When we were looking for accommodations on the Amalfi Coast we kept coming back to this beautiful photo (see below) and an article we read about an amazing hotel perched up on a cliff in the village of Conca Dei Marini.
Here’s an excerpt from that article: “a most extraordinary new luxury resort this century (so far…) Bianca Sharma is one extraordinary woman. She is the sole owner of Europe’s most extraordinary hotel to open this century, Monastero Santa Rosa Bianca acts on impulse. She is a former schoolteacher who had always defined herself as a wife and mother of two sons. Married to Texas-born Ken Sharma, co-founder of the software company i2 Technologies, he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1997. He passed away in 1999. That same year the soft-spoken Bianca and her two teenage sons went for a visit to the Amalfi coast, staying with longtime friends. During a boat trip along the coast, she looked up at an imposing ruined building, an old monastery 1,000 ft up a near-vertical cliff. Back in the 1600’s a Sister, Rosa Pandolfi, a descendant of a noble family had founded the convent. The monastery, as it became known (not because monks lived here, but because it was the home of a secluded religious order) closed it’s doors in the mid-1800s. In 1924, it reopened as a hotel but by the end of the 20th century that establishment had shut its doors as well, and the convent once again stood silent, in danger of falling into ruin. When Bianca saw it hanging on the cliff she said, I HAVE A DREAM as she envisioned a 20-room luxury hotel.”
Her dream took many years to form but the hotel finally opened in 2012.
When we visited the Amalfi Coast back in 2015, the hotel had only been opened for 3 years. Even though it was a bit pricey back then, we certainly lucked out price wise as it’s prices have certainly gone up as it has now gained it’s reputation as a well known luxury hotel in Amalfi Coast. We have read that in recent years the hotel has hosted its fair share of famous guests. Bernard & Aline ? NOPE! Proud to say neither rich nor famous but we are always ready for a bit of pampering ….so here goes…
La vie au Monastère 🛐.
To get to this hotel the cab driver drove up along a steep hillside and followed this very small winding road. Suddenly as we looked up, we spotted the hotel at a distance just hanging there on the edge of a cliff. 😊
We were able to check-in early that morning as we had booked spa services. When we arrived at the hotel the staff rang the Monastery bell to signal our arrival. The bell is rung for every guest on arrival and on departure as was the tradition during the Monastery days. Stepping into the entrance of the hotel was certainly one of those “pinch me” moments. I think what got to us more then anything was all the attention to detail. Everything in the hotel has been left with many of it’s original features as when it was a Monastery but the owner has added of course all the extras that makes it stand out as a luxury hotel today.
There are only 12 small guests bedrooms and 8 larger suites in the entire hotel. Most of the rooms would have been where the nuns slept many years ago. Most have been kept to their original sizes but some have been transformed into large beautiful suites. Each room is named after a flower or herb that the nuns would have used for medicinal purposes back in the Monastery days. Ours, was an orchid (Orchis) and was accented on pillows and on the room door.
Original features of the Monastery have been preserved such as the hallway arched walls. Beautiful ancient wooden doors and white-washed vaulted ceilings are all so impressive.
There’s even a confessional in the hallway, located across from the sinner’s room.
A walk around the property…wow so immaculate and peaceful. A visit through this slideshow…
The pool and a little lunch.
Then time to relax…
A memorable dinner on this beautiful outdoor terrace.
The next morning we spent a good part of it just being lazy and admiring the views from the upper terrace. It was so calm and peaceful looking at the sea and the mountains. All you could hear were the birds and very soft Italian music in the background. What a place to meditate. I was thinking and imagining the nuns who would have lived here many years ago. The “pitter patter” of their feet moving around. If they could see their place now!
We finally had to convince ourselves to leave this terrace and go down for breakfast. We were served sfogiatella which we were told are pastries often made at the Monastery by the nuns. We were also told the the nuns sold their apothecary potions and pastries in order to give money for charity.
Well it’s time to leave this beautiful spot and move on to seeing what else the Amalfi Coast has to offer.
Bernard can we come back here for our 40th wedding anniversary? I’ll start savings our pennies now.😊
Bianca Sharma thanks for bringing this beautiful paradise back to life. We felt so relaxed here.