Parco dei Principi, Sorrento
Dating back to 1962, this seaside hotel created by famed Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti is a masterful embodiment of modernist style. Set on a cliff on the outskirts of Sorrento, Italy, the white boxy structure is enveloped in tropical gardens teeming with exotic and rare flora. Interiors are done up entirely in blues and whites, the marine color scheme interrupted only by lush greenery framed by large windows that stud the place like paintings. Ponti had a hand in nearly every detail here, from the furniture and fixtures down to the floor tiles, which are a sea of geometric blue-and-white patterns (a dizzying number of tile variations exist, as each of the 96 guest rooms features a different pattern). Beyond the eye-catching tile work, rooms are minimalist in style, featuring Ponti-designed pieces such as chairs, desks, and lamps that are equal parts elegant and whimsical, and ooze a retro ‘60s flair. Even the saltwater pool is an original Ponti design, its angular free-form shape complete with a diving board that emerges out of the water, swanlike. Beach bums can head through tunnels that cut through the cliff to a private beach, where an alfresco restaurant on a waterside deck serves up fresh seafood in the summer. For a more formal dining affair but equally mesmerizing bay views, the Gio Ponti restaurant has a panoramic terrace and a menu of local dishes.
By Aleksandra Hogendorf, AFAR Contributor
Via Bernardino Rota, 44, 80067 Sorrento NA, Italy