Over the past few months, I’ve gotten several messages and gorgeous photos from readers who used our Amalfi Coast guide, and it had me feeling rather nostalgic as I sit here figuring out how to dress a toddler for blustery 30 degree weather. I was looking through photos from our trip last year when I realized I never reviewed this incredible property. Although there were some drawbacks, in our opinion, Nick and I both agree it was one of our best hotel experiences to date. As a side note we also splurged on a stay at the Caesar Augustus in Capri with high expectations, but after coming from a stay at the Monastero it didn’t quite compare!
I’m starting to get the travel itch again so would love to hear – what’s the most memorable hotel / resort experience you’ve had?
After spending a few days in bustling Positano (read my hotel review), we hired a car service and drove down the coast to the quiet little hilltop town of Conca Dei Marini. The main thing that drew us there was the secluded and historic Monastero Santa Rosa (see Tripadvisor reviews), a luxury hotel perched at the top of the hill. I’d read all the reviews of this 17th-century monastery that was converted to an intimate boutique hotel (with only 20 guest rooms!), but none of the photos online really did this place justice!
The hotel is adults only / ages 16+, so if you’re a pair looking to relax and get pampered for a few nights of your trip, it’s definitely worth considering. We saw fellow couples on romantic getaways as well as sweet mother daughter duos – Nori, mama is waiting for you to treat her to a return trip ; )
The hotel is located on a cliff between the busy touristy cities of Amalfi and Positano – about 15 minutes from Amalfi and 30 from Positano. There isn’t much to do in the tiny town itself, but the pool, spa, and beautifully landscaped gardens are where we wanted to spend most of our day anyway. If you do want to adventure out, there are some hiking paths up the hill and down to the beach, and the complimentary hotel shuttle is convenient. We used it to get to and from Amalfi for our lemon grove tour and to meet with friends.
I’ll start here as there were very few, but they’re worth pointing out because at this price point you want to make sure you’re getting exactly the experience you’re looking for!
We booked a lower tier room (which was still pricey) for half of our stay, and it was small with no private outdoor space. This is because when converting the monastery, they preserved the modular structure of the nun cells, combining either 2, 3, or 4 small cells to make different types of guest rooms. Our bedroom looked like it used to be one cell and the bathroom was another. After you unpack, they do offer to take away your suitcases for storage to clear out some more space. The grounds and facilities around the hotel are so nice though, we didn’t find ourselves spending much time in the room.
Onsite lunch & dinner
We also didn’t love the onsite lunch & dinner options, despite the Michelin star rating (expensive and average tasting in our opinion—although this seemed like a recurring theme at the more gourmet restaurants in this region). The complimentary breakfast however was great and there was a popular local restaurant a short drive away that was delicious and very affordable.
What we loveD
The private-feeling respite
This place is a true escape for those seeking tranquil R&R on a scenic property. Although the hotel was fully booked during our stay, we didn’t encounter many other guests as we were enjoying different corners of the hotel grounds. We’d visit the pool mid-day and there’d still be tons of seating and big comfy cabana beds open. This was a pleasant surprise, especially compared to similarly priced resorts we’ve been to where you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to “reserve” a good pool / beach seat!
Service was very attentive from start to finish. As soon as you step out of the taxi or shuttle, you’re greeted with a refreshing towel and drink and checked in as you enjoy the views. All the front desk staff knew us and our room, and they communicated with the other departments (housekeeping, pool, restaurant, front desk, etc.) SEAMLESSLY with any of our needs as we moved around the property grounds. Housekeeping staff were ninjas and always had our room refreshed or turned down, even if we only stepped out for 5 minutes.
The front desk also went above and beyond with our questions or requests. One night, it was late and I craved non-hotel food, so the front desk helped call around to some popular local spots and explain our request. Apparently “delivery” is not a thing there, but they still managed to get delicious, super affordable fresh pasta to arrive from the restaurant down the street just 10 minutes later!
The grounds & gardens
The picturesque infinity pool is perched on the edge of a cliff. Our favorite time for a swim was at sunset, overlooking the horizon!
In addition to the pool and cabana area, there were plenty of private vignettes to lounge and relax with a good book throughout the day. The terraced gardens are beautifully landscaped – I think there were more gardeners than guests! You can also request a tour of the hotel herb & vegetable garden (off premises but nearby) that the chefs use for their restaurant.
We stayed in one of the lowest tier rooms for the first two nights, before switching to a pricier room due to availability. We actually preferred the view from our first, smaller room, since our windows faced the city of Amalfi instead of the hotel grounds and ocean. And although that room didn’t have any private outdoor space, it was located right next to the shared Sunset Terrace where the hotel staff suggested we have room service or the complimentary breakfast service delivered. The panoramic views are stunning on this shared terrace (actually better at sunrise than sunset!), and the breeze is delightful. There’s also a phone on that terrace to order cocktails, and a fire pit for warmth at night.
Complimentary Breakfast & Afternoon Tea
While the hotel lunch & dinner options left something to be desired, we loved the complimentary breakfast and might’ve binged on it daily. Rather than a buffet, it was a sit down, choose-as-much-as-you-want breakfast with everything made to order, and you can enjoy it at the restaurant or as in-room service (or on the Sunset Terrace). There was also a complimentary tea & snack hour in the afternoon, which was a nice way to get out of the sun after lounging by the pool.
Complimentary Spa facilities
As part of your stay, guests have access to complimentary “geothermal” stations at the hotel spa. This includes a foot bath with soaking salts, a tea station on heated stone seats, a sauna, rain shower, hot jet tub, and steam room. You get a locker upon arrival and are guided to your private changing room with a shower, robe, and slippers. The complimentary facilities aren’t huge, but felt like a little slice of pampering at the end of the day. I was pregnant so stuck to the foot bath, but Nick made sure to make his rounds at the thermal stations daily!
On our last day, we treated ourselves to a couples massage on the spa’s serene, shaded outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean. The gentle breeze, the tranquil sounds of the waves below, clear views of the Amalfi coast…PLUS a good scalp and shoulder rub?? Sign. me. up.
Our parting gift was a box of pasta and a recipe, which we cooked up nostalgically at home.
We were a little nervous booking this hotel due to the location and price, and we typically don’t choose a town where the hotel IS the main attraction. But this turned out to be one of our most memorable, relaxing stays amongst an activity-packed trip. I hope this review is helpful if you’re looking for a luxurious hotel for your Amalfi coast trip!