Hotel Santa Venere, Maratea
Still waiting to be discovered by the masses, the charming stretch of Basilicata coastline around Maratea offers hideaway coves, cultural showstoppers and access to Italy’s largest national park.
Surrounded by private parkland and boasting an impeccable line-up of facilities (private beach, pool, a spa and gym), the Hotel Santavenere is perched on a promontory above the sea just outside the port of Maratea.
Interiors are chic and unfussy with several comfortable lounges with huge picture windows and polished terracotta flooring scattered with ethnic rugs. Stylishly furnished bedrooms (Superior, Deluxe, Suite, Deluxe Suite, Junior Suite) have balconies or terraces that overlook the parkland or the sea and range in size from 25 to 45 square metres.
There are two restaurants. Le Terrazze a Mare, which hovers over Santavenere Bay, is a great lunch spot perfectly positioned between the pier and the private beach, while breakfast and dinner are served in La Sala delle Lanterne or on the outside terrace, overlooking the sea. The menu combines the best of national and local cuisine and is exquisitely presented. There are two bars, the Bar alle Terrazze overlooking the bay and the poolside Bar in Giardino which serves cocktails, snacks and light lunches.
The seawater pool is set amidst flower-filled gardens and manicured lawns, with views across the bay. From here, a short path leads through the pine-scented forest down to the private beach where there are sun beds, parasols, towels and canoes. Other facilities at the hotel include a tennis court, gym and Le Terme spa which has a sauna, Turkish bath and hydromassage plunge pool.
The hotel is a short drive to the shops, restaurants and bars in Maratea’s lively yacht harbour.
The beaches around Maratea are all quite different, with white or black sand or white small pebbles, but all have crystal clear water that stretches out a long way from the shore making snorkelling and diving popular activities. All along the coastline, there are sandy bays and sea caves that are only accessible by boat and you may want to take advantage of the hotel’s guided tour, setting off from Santavenere and stopping off at the Secca della Giumenta and the Grotta della Malamugliera caves.
The pretty medieval town of Maratea is utterly charming, with an impressive 44 churches, narrow cobbled streets and hideaway piazzas. Whilst the 22 metre high white marble statue of Christ the Redeemer which towers over the town is clearly visible along the coast, it is well worth climbing up the steps opposite the Basilica of San Biagio to get within touching distance, not least for the views.
For more spectacular views and some great hiking, head inland into the Pollino National Park. Also recommended is a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Certosa di Padula monastery in the neighbouring Cilento.
Check distances from Hotel Santa Venere by copying and pasting the following locations' names in to the ''Get Route'' box below the map.
Marina di Camerota
Pollino National Park
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