Hotel Villa Cimbrone is a private hotel with just 19 rooms that was created out of what was, and is once again, a magnificent residence dating back to the 12th century. The building and the six-hectare park that surrounds it have both been sympathetically restored by the Vuilleumier family in one of the most successful architectural restorations in the area.
“I have known and loved this estate since I was a child,” says General Manager Giorgio Vuilleumier who is the latest in a long line of hoteliers and whose father Marco was instrumental in restoring Villa Cimrone to its former glory after a period of relative decline during the Second World War.
The first round of renovations were completed in the 1970s. When Giorgio Vuilleumier took over in the late 1990s he was determined to complete the work. In 2000, a second round of restoration work costing seven million EUR was started. It was completed in 2006 and included the addition of a 26 m² swimming pool and wellness and fitness centre.
Today, the Hotel Villa Cimbrone takes pride in its roots as a family business and its strict adherence to high quality services for its guests. It has long hosted famous people looking to enjoy the Amalfi coast in relative seclusion. That is still the case today and is helped by the fact that the hotel cannot be reached by car but by a stone-paved path with steps about a ten-minute walk from the center of Ravello.
Of course, the most exclusive guests arrive by helicopter and the hotel itself offers helicopter flights to the romantic island of Capri just off the coast. Each of its 19 rooms and suites reflect the hotel’s splendorous past; many of the original features have been retained and much of the furniture dates from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
“Our rooms are designed for discerning guests who wish to live and breathe the hotel’s incredible history,” notes Mr. Vuilleumier. Romance is, of course, a key part of the attraction of the Amalfi coast. It has become synonymous with love and is an increasingly popular place where people come to celebrate their nuptuals.
The right decisions have seen the hotel flourish as a family business. Giorgio VuilleumierGeneral Manager
“Many of the bookings we receive are for wedding parties,” confirms Mr. Vuilleumier. “We offer a special service for bridal couples aimed at ensuring they enjoy the perfect day with their guests. With a backdrop as stunning as this and our unrivalled attention to detail, theirs will be a wedding to remember for a lifetime.”
As well as providing a beautiful backdrop to the festivities, Hotel Villa Cimbrone offers catering of the highest possible standard. The hotel restaurant Il Flauto di Pan (Pan’s flute) is the proud posessor of a Michelin star and its executive chef serves up a varied menu of refined Mediterranean culinary delicacies that makes the most of the region’s outstanding agricultural produce. The restaurant’s fame has spread far and wide and there is a six-month waiting list for a table.
“Much of what we serve in our restaurant is grown in our own vegetable gardens and cultivated in accordance with organic principles,” notes Mr. Vuilleumier. “We also make our own jams and have arrangements with selected local producers.”
Guests can enjoy a fabulous culinary experience while taking in the spectacular panorama from the Terrazzo dell’infinito. Having retained its Michelin star last year, the hotel restaurant is keen to add a second star in the future. “That is one of our strengths,” says Mr. Vuilleumier. “We are always looking ahead and thinking what we can do better.”
Another focus of the restoration work was the hotel’s antique wine cellar. It holds its own vintages as well as a wide selection of the finest Italian and international wines and is the venue for wine tastings led by expert sommeliers. Ravello has the highest concentration of luxury hotels in the entire Campania region, and guests choose the Villa Cimbrone for its fascinating history, stunning scenery, privacy, and personalized, top-quality service.
To increase its visibility, Mr. Vuilleumier is considering a cooperation with the prestigious hotel chain Chateaux. “I just love this place,” he sums up. “The right decisions have seen it flourish as a family business. We are now in a fantastic position and there is still huge potential to take the hotel to yet another level.”