Italy’s breathtaking Amalfi Coast beckons travelers of all sorts from around the world. There’s something magical and calming about the combination of the mountains and the sea, and traveling families are not immune to the call. Positano, one of the Amalfi Coast’s most popular towns, promises drop-dead-gorgeous views, the opportunity to relax by the ocean, a variety of activities in and around the water, great shopping and delicious cuisine. However, there’s one huge caveat: The steep, mountainous terrain can be too much to negotiate for families with young (or even youngish) children.
This is why Hotel Palazzo Murat is a clear standout. Because the property is located in the heart of the downtown shopping district, and near enough to the beach for frequent trips by way of the village’s staircases, families staying here can actually enjoy their time in Positano with minimal worry and effort.
Palazzo Murat is an honest-to-goodness former palace. It was owned by a former king of Naples, King Murat, who was married to Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister. The story given by the hotel owners is that the king would entertain his family, friends and lovers in this palace, and it retains the elegance and sense of place from that other time. The architecture and decor lend a regal vibe that makes for a unique accommodation choice.
The hotel is composed of the original 18th-century building and a 1960s addition, and there are a couple of options for room configurations that suit families well. One is connecting Garden Rooms; another is a Special Superior Room connecting to a Superior Room. Both offer terraces and/or balconies, some private.
Deluxe Rooms can accommodate one extra bed, and suites are available as well. The largest suite sleeps six, but has stairs that may not be appropriate for children 3 and under. An especially great find is the gorgeous, modern — and unadvertised — apartment, which is upstairs in the original palace building and includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is available with well-in-advance notice, and boasts a large terrace, high ceilings, lovely decor and ample living space.
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Children are welcome throughout the hotel with no restrictions. The owners have a young child who lives on the property, and they are cognizant of the needs of families. Kids will love the cold, hand-squeezed lemonade served upon arrival and will revel in the decadent breakfast buffet laid out every morning on the terrace, laden with pastries and treats.
The hotel also offers complimentary boat tours every morning in summer, from 10a to 1p, with a stop to swim in the sea. The lovely pool, complete with lounge chairs on a nearby lawn, overlooks the beautiful dome of the church of Santa Maria Assunta. A large garden, where vegetables and fruits are grown for use in the hotel restaurant, offers space for kids to meander and move about, and lends the property a casual, unintimidating feel.
Kids will enjoy the novelty of ferry rides to destinations like Capri, Amalfi or Sorrento, plus spending time on the beach and swimming in the sea. A visit to Pompeii, a fascinating and educational stop on the way to or from Naples, can also be integrated into a vacation to this area. Overall, a trip to the Amalfi coast is sure to transport visitors away from the mundane and everyday, and a stay at Palazzo Murat makes a visit with kids not just doable, but a genuine pleasure.
Editor’s Note: Hotel Palazzo Murat provided Ciao Bambino with a media package to facilitate a review of the property. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Laurel Perry.
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