My first visit to Naples involved staying at the Hotel Paradisio - nice place but kind of out of the way. The second visit, my Naples friend Antonio recommended the Hotel Miramare. It looked nice on the website, good location across from the bay, kind of pricey but I could afford it - so I booked it. Six nights including New Years' Eve - bring it on!
Hotel Miramare - orange building - apologies for the blurry image!
Well, we arrived from Rome, were picked up by Antonio's company at Napoli Centrale and driven here (see above). First impressions were wow! Gorgeous! It looked like someone's stately home, flown in on a magic carpet direct from the English countryside and dropped by the Bay of Naples, complete with chandeliers and posh sofas. There was even a grand piano! Below are images of the furniture, mirrors and lights in the lobby (more like a living room than lobby but you get the idea)
Our six nights here were fantastic. The staff couldn't have been nicer - even though I am sure they were secretly having a laugh at our expense. We just couldn't figure out how to open the door to the street - no amount of pushing the security buzzer would let us out - or in for that matter - and my friend's bathroom plumbing required an engineering degree to turn on the shower and the bathroom basin tap.
The hotel, as we found out, was once a regal residence. It was the family home of a very wealthy Neapolitan and was built in the late 1890s - relatively new for Naples. It did feel like a home and we were the house guests. On New Years' Eve, the owner laid on the sparkling wine for all the guests - everyone received a free bottle - and he was ever the hospitable host, chatting with his guests and making sure we were enjoying our stay. He turned out to be the uncle of Massimiliano Rosolino - a very famous Italian Olympic swimmer who won gold at the Sydney Olympics. He also had the haughtiest dogs I've ever met. Dogs normally love attention and a pat - not these Miramare dogs - no - they sniffily put their doggy noses in the air and looked the other way. Maybe our doggy Italian was just too much for them.
Here are some more images of the hotel, including the rooftop terrace where they served breakfast. Utterly beautiful!
View from the balcony of my room
Vesuvius from the rooftop terrace on an absolutely perfect winter's morning