May 7, 2008
Viale Barata, 16; Portofino
39 0185 267 806; http://www.hotelsplendido.com
( May 5-7, 2008 ). Some of our friends have so raved about the Hotel Splendido, that we decided to celebrate the tenth anniversary of TMP’s purchase of JSK with a few days at this Orient-Express hotel. A comfortable three-hour drive from Nice on the autoroute/strada found us weaving our way up the serpentine driveway to this aptly named hotel.
The site is certainly splendid as is the hotel’s staff. The rooms are quite small but well-appointed. Scattered around the heated (30 degrees C!), salt-water pool and at various levels overlooking it, are comfortable lounge chairs with umbrellas.
One night we ate Ligurian specialties–pesto on trofie and mixed fish grill with one of the sweetest sea bass filets of all time.
The second night we opted for more ambitious dishes and found we should have stayed with the local specialties.
Gary’s game improved after hitting tennis balls with the pro, Favio, on the hotel’s synthetic grass court and Varian loved her solitary swims.
Only once did we leave and that was for lunch in town. We hopped on their shuttle and ate at one of the many restaurants lining the small harbor, ö magazine, a recommendation of the friendly concierge. The local specialty, a pasta sauce combining pesto with tomatoes and cream was delicious served over pappardelle. There is a lovely pedestrian walk back to the hotel, which takes all of about ten minutes.