Everything went well. Next time we would allow more time for the visit as the city was so lovely and so much to see.
Excellent help and advice from Cody, Callum and team
Very attentive service
Thank you Jerry Bushell and Marie for another fantastic service
Everything fine as usual!
You’re totally reliable. And it is a joy to be 'handled' by you. It makes travellling much easier
Taxi driver who picked me up from the hotel - I thought he was practising for Brands Hatch. Quite a reckless driver
Usual professional assistance we are used to.
Great trip, all sorted by Kelly.
Delighted that you managed to avoid any issues with the French Air Traffic Controllers strike, well done.
Jordan is very helpful and professional
The hotel Amadeus in Seville was excellent, so convenient for walking to all the main attractions.
Thanks Shaun - another lovely holiday
Keep it up. Superb
Thank you so much for sorting our car problem super quick!
Fantastic customer service from Peter when booking and great support when we were stranded because of an airport strike.
So nice to talk to a human! Solves so many issues/doubts - thank you!
The hotel was fantastic in terms of providing a relaxing stay throughout.
Brilliant service as usual..
Fantastic service as always. Really appreciated support when our flight was cancelled and personal call from our agent when we got home.
The personal touch, quick phone answering and helpline are very reassuring.
Gavin brilliant as always
Saf Patel was absolutely amazing every step of the way and really put my mind at ease as we were a big group of 28 travelling.
Eric was amazing. I’ll be booking all future trips as he’s always delivered!
We always use DialAFlight for our bookings and Adam Siu is always very helpful
As always, brilliant personal service from Dominic, Andrew and the team.
Tristan was very helpful and friendly, I would certainly book flights with you again.
I felt almost guilty for my return flight being on time. Snow on Friday 10th March delayed the Birmingham flight by 8 hours and many others similarly!
Cameron did a great job booking everything for our ski holiday - flights, hotel and transfer
Could not fault Alfie and his exceptional service
Some hotels manage effortlessly to combine a hip and trendy image with old school charm - and the Splendido Hotel in Portofino is certainly one of them. In the Hotel Splendido’s case a generous dose of Italian style is also thrown in for good measure.
THE ROAD TO SPLENDIDO
It is perched on the Italian Riviera coastline, two hotels in one, both boasting roof gardens, geranium-filled terraces and a languid way of life. Carved from a 16th Century Benedictine monastery high above the village, the original Hotel Splendido opened in 1902 and has 65 rooms surrounded by terrace gardens with a swimming pool. In 1998, a satellite branch on the harbour - the Splendido al Mare - opened with 16 rooms and suites.
Portofino is still a fishing village, south-east of Genoa. Pastel-coloured houses, high-end boutiques and seafood restaurants fringe the Piazzetta, which is a small cobbled square overlooking the harbor, which often has a selection of super-yachts in evidence.
A path leads from the Piazzetta to Castello Brown, a 16th century fortress and museum with frequent art exhibitions and constant panoramic views of the town and the Ligurian Sea.
The village in general, and Hotel Splendido in particular, has always been a magnet for celebrities, past and present. The visitor of note list includes Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Madonna, Rihanna.
WHAT TO EXPECT
All the hotel's rooms are spacious with a mix of antiques and marble, maintaining a timeless feel. Gadgets are kept to a minimum, although the Splendido does have its own yacht. There is also a shuttle to spare guests the 15-minute walk between the two sites.
ITALIANS DO IT BEST
Food takes centre stage - this is Italy, after all. Elizabeth Taylor, who honeymooned here, has a spaghetti dish named after her – but Ava Gardner went one better. There is a suite named after her.
La Terrazza is the Splendido's most iconic restaurant – it’s romantic, relaxed, with serious seafood and alfresco tables.
Down in the harbour, Chuflay offers a more formal dining experience, but many celebrities - including Madonna and Rihanna - see it as the perfect place to hang out during yachting holidays.
The location on the Ligurian is as scenic as could be desired, and Portofino's harbour is one of Europe's most beautiful. The many-coloured villas hugging the coastline are the subject of many calendars.
The waters of this fishing village are now frequented by the yachts of the super rich. Yes, there's nothing much to do - but that's really the whole point of Portofino. You stroll, indulge in some light shopping at Ferragamo, and then indulge some more at a restaurant or bar.
HOME TO THE STARS
The USP of Portofino is that it can claim to be Italy the way it was - for Hollywood stars at least - around 50 years ago, when celebrities could wander through the cobbled streets without being pestered for selfies.
It's still, relatively speaking, a safe zone for celebrities. But Beyoncé learned that stilettos aren't the best footwear for the terrain in 2010 - when she returned in 2014, she opted for more suitable flats.
Regular guests Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw holidayed at the hotel with their family very recently. Kylie Minogue, another regular visitor, was also in Portofino recently to perform at a Dolce & Gabbana show.
But is it good enough for the rest of us? Undeniably it is. You can sip your aperitif at one of the delightful harbour bars and feel just like a star.
And at the Splendido, from the stars twinkling above the moonlit ocean to the swaying palms in the garden, you can live la dolce vita. It is the epitome of Italian glamour.
First published in the Mail Online - June 2018
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