Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Capri Tiberio Palace

12 Apr 2012 by Jenny Southan

WHAT’S IT LIKE? A glorious hideaway on the Island of Capri, the five-star Tiberio Palace is reopening this month (April 19) after the winter season. During the six-month period that it was closed, it underwent renovation work that saw the rooms on the top floor redesigned and modernised. A member of the Preferred Boutique group, it was a JW Marriott hotel until it was taken over in 2009 by Preferred and given a complete facelift.

The property combines Mediterranean architecture with Regency styling, and walking up the broad steps from the hillside street brings you into a chic, homely lobby with a decidedly coastal vibe – sea-green furnishings, bookcases adorned with magazines and shells, and charming staff to welcome you. The property has a relaxed ambiance ideal for anyone looking for a stress-free break, and although you can expect some families with children it is also a good option for couples or individuals.

WHERE IS IT? A 40-minute boat ride from Naples, on the Island of Capri. Ferries depart regularly and the hotel can arrange to collect you from the harbour on arrival or transport your baggage while you take the scenic route up the funicular railway to the old town at the top of the hill. (Don’t try and walk up – it is a very steep and there are a lot of steps.) The Tiberio is a little tricky to find up narrow pathways and winding streets but is, in fact, only five minutes’ stroll from the main square. It’s location just off the main drag means it feels peaceful, though, and overlooks lemon and orange groves.

ROOM FACILTIES Rooms come with standard amenities including minibars stocked with free soft drinks and beer, robes, slippers, balconies, satellite Panasonic LCD TVs, free wifi access, 24-hour rooms service, hairdryers and safes. Higher category suites also offer iPod docks, living areas, terraces, walk-in showers and separate black-stone bathtubs.

My Superior room was quite compact, but I was pleased to find the balcony offered lovely views of the island and there was space for two chairs on it. The floor was of hand-painted blue and white tiles, and although there was no air conditioning, the overhead ceiling fan was very effective. There was also a wardrobe and dressing table with vanity lights, a modest bathroom with a narrow tub and combined overhead rainshower, a bidet and Etro and Acqua di Parma toiletries. I found the king bed to be very comfortable.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The 100-seat Terrazza Tiberio restaurant offers guests the option of eating both inside and out, on its sweeping al fresco terrace with sea vistas. In the morning there is an extravagant buffet with everything from pastries, fresh fruit, cakes and yoghurts, to bread, eggs, meat, cheese and salad. Waiters are also present, bringing fresh coffee and juice on request. I also ate here in the evening, and although it was quiet, the food was delicious and the ambiance idyllic.

The Mediterranean lunch/dinner menu lists starters such as aubergine flan with buffalo ricotta, smoked cheese, tomato and pesto sauce (€18) and fresh local octopus salad with durum wheat biscuits seasoned with olives and celery (€22). Mains range from seafood risotto (€30) and oven-baked seabass (€32), to veal sirloin (€28) and handmade potato gnocchi (€30). I had the ravioli filled with cheese and marjoram and served with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil (€22), which was filling and delicious, followed by lemon pie with dark Araguani chocolate stacciatella ice-cream (€12). Again, lovely.

Jacky bar is open for snacks and cocktails from 10.30am to 7pm, and from 10.30pm until late.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Although the hotel is primarily for leisure guests, there are two ground-floor meeting rooms that can be combined to create 74 sqm of event space. The Belleville suite’s Mojito terrace, which features panoramic island views, and has a bar and spa bath, can also be hired for events.

LEISURE FACILTIES There is a 1,200 sqm contemporary two-floor spa (open 9.30am-8pm) with six treatment rooms, a frigidarium, Turkish bath, relaxation area, and steam room, as well as an on-site gym (7am-10pm) sporting free weights and exercise bikes, and a semi indoor/outdoor pool (10am-7pm) on the first floor that is more suited to cooling off in than doing laps. Attendants are on hand to bring you fresh towels or take drinks orders.

The whole of the island can easily be explored on foot, and there are plenty of bars, shops and restaurants in the vicinity. The Marina Piccola on the south side (the opposite side to the Marina Grande, where the ferries come in) was my favourite sunbathing and swimming spot but expect to pay about €20 for a lounger.

VERDICT An elegant property that manages to combine Capri charm with laid-back luxury. The food and service are excellent, and the environment is conducive to a relaxing break away. A very good choice.

FACT FILE:

HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 60 rooms across nine categories (Classic, Superior, Deluxe, Family, Junior suite, Terrace suite, Ambassador suite, Imperial suite and Bellevue Royal suite.) They range in size from 20 sqm to 80 sqm.

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The open-air balcony overlooking the island, minibar with free soft drinks and beer, free wifi and Acqua di Parma toiletries.

PRICE Internet rates including breakfast for a one-night weekend stay in May started from €355 for a Classic room.

CONTACT Capri Tiberio Palace hotel and spa; Via Croce 11-15, Capri; tel +39 081 9787 111; preferredboutique/tiberio

Jenny Southan

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