Hot List 2009

Romeo Hotel, Naples 

45 Via Cristoforo Colombo

Italy 80133

Tel: 39 081 0175

This ancient Mediterranean beehive, often snubbed by travelers rushing to the Amalfi Coast, is in fact a fascinating and cultured place. Which is why the portside 85-room Hotel Romeo celebrates its hometown by incorporating portraits of the city by its most famous photographers. In fact, the art card is played everywhere at the Romeo, from the anodized aluminum and glass fish-scale facade by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange to expressly commissioned art by Italians Francesco Clemente, Lello Esposito, and Mario Schifano. For all of the pedigreed brand names—Caprai sheets, B & B furniture by Tramontano, custom-designed sofas by Philippe Starck, what's really winning here are the adorable and smartly uniformed staff, and the stunning rooftop pool and spa. Rooms are rich-looking due to their brown- and tan-streaked tabu wood floors, and origami-clever in their efficient use of space, including a sliding glass door between bedroom and bath.
When to go: May and June, which are warm and sunny and without the tourist hordes.
Which room to book: Seventh- and eighth-floor bay view doubles.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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