A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World network, Casa Angelina in Praiano is located just 8 km from Positano and 14 km from Amalfi. Although less well known than its more famous neighbours, Praiano offers the same stunning sea views and architectural treasures but also has a few hidden extras of its own. Casa Angelina is one of them.
The boutique hotel is the fulfilment of a long-cherished dream for its founder, Antonino Cappiello. After spending the very early stage of his professional life in the hotel business abroad, he decided to put this experience to use in 2005 and create a hotel that was a little bit out of the ordinary. He named it Casa Angelina in honour of his mother and set about creating an oasis of calm against the stunning natural backdrop of Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
Today, the exclusive boutique hotel is an insider tip, popular with honeymooners and those looking for the perfect spot to pop the question. In the Instagram age, the hotel’s multiple terraces and spectacular setting offer the perfect backdrop for a generation for whom image curation is a priority, while its intimate atmosphere and discreet service satisfy a growing need for privacy.
“The hotel concept came from a hugely personal place but it has struck a contemporary nerve that resonates with an ever-growing customer base,” describes Sales and Marketing Director Annarita Aprea. “Part of the hotel’s success can also be traced back to the founder’s willingness to take other people’s input on board.”
Having started out with the simple desire to create a place where guests would feel at home, after two or three years Antonino Cappiello decided that the hotel would benefit from a more professional organization. This resulted in the arrival of General Manager Domenico De Simone and Ms. Aprea, who have both significantly influenced the hotel’s subsequent successful development.
The hotel concept came from a hugely personal place but it has struck a contemporary nerve that resonates with an ever-growing customer base. Annarita ApreaSales and Marketing Director
“Casa Angelina embarked on a new direction resulting in significant development and growth,” says Ms. Aprea. “Most important is the service we offer to guests. We have 95 staff looking after 40 rooms. This gives us plenty of manpower to look after the fine details that make all the difference.”
One of these is Casa Angelina’s all-white aesthetic which contrasts beautifully with the surrounding landscape. “We have 15 different shades of white and a painter who checks over the whole hotel every day and touches up any surfaces that need repainting,” says Ms. Aprea. “Rather than feeling stark, the whiteness of the hotel is relaxing. After a day at the beach, the effect is cooling and calming. It is one of our key selling points. Nowhere else on the Amalfi Coast offers a similar ambiance.”
The hotel is also unusual because it is easily reached by car, despite some parts of it being built directly into the cliff face. “We have four very special rooms that can only be occupied between 15 May and 15 September,” notes Ms. Aprea. “They are former fisherman’s houses that were built into the rock with direct access to a secluded cove that overlooks La Gavitella Beach, a locals’ favourite and lively hangout with regular live music in the summer. They are separate from the rest of the hotel but can be accessed via a lift.”
Guests in the Eaudesea Experience Rooms enjoy the same high standard of amenities as guests in Casa Angelina’s other rooms, including free Wi-Fi, and Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TVs and Apple iPads. This level of sophistication and luxury means that Casa Angelina positions itself clearly as a hotel for adults rather than young families.
“Casa Angelina is a quiet, romantic getaway for couples,” confirms Ms. Aprea. “Apart from just two singles, all of our rooms are doubles or suites. We pride ourselves on the quality of the service and the elegance of the ambiance.”
Of course, that is also reflected in the restaurant, which serves up a fine dining menu of local produce, including ingredients from the hotel’s own vegetable garden as well as freshly caught fish landed by local fishermen. Presiding over the kitchen is the supremely talented young chef Leopoldo Elefante, who curates specially created menus for one-on-one dining experiences.
“A lot of visitors come to Italy specifically for the culinary experience,” says Ms. Aprea. “To cater more fully to this interest in Italian produce and cuisine, we recently introduced live show cooking on one of our tiered terraces where guests can see their food being prepared and ask the chef about the techniques and ingredients.”
Replete at the end of the meal, guests can let the ambiance of the surroundings envelop them with the lights of Positano twinkling along the coast. “Our goal is to ensure our guests enjoy the most magical stay possible,” insists Ms. Aprea. “There is no need so small that we cannot fulfil it.”
This approach has made Casa Angelina a hidden gem that is nearly always fully booked by those in the know. “For us, business is booming,” says Ms. Aprea. “The boutique hotel trend with its emphasis on intimate luxury has proved a winner for Casa Angelina.”