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Palazzo Murat, Positano 

23 Via dei Mulini
Amalfi Coast
Italy 84017
Tel: 39 089 811 419
view web site ›'s insider take:

Step off the busy, boutique-lined lane that heads beachward in Positano into the entrance courtyard of Palazzo Murat, and suddenly you're in another world. Away from the day-trippers and the dubious '60s caftans is the garden of the elegant summer residence that Gioacchino Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law, bought and renovated after he was crowned King of Naples in 1808. Given the aristocratic setting, it would have been easy for Palazzo Murat to wing it on ambience alone, but this stylish establishment also offers excellent service and attention to detail. It's also good value in comparison to other Positano four-star hotels—if you can put up with the lack of a pool (don't worry, the beach is just a sashay away). Interiors are embellished with period antiques, rare marble, and objets d'art, with 30 bedrooms divided between the antique splendor of those in the 17th-century wing and the lighter, sunnier grace of the newer rooms, most of which overlook the delightful garden—the only proper green space in the center of town. Another plus point is the hotel's Il Palazzo restaurant, which does upscale Neapolitan cuisine in a romantic alfresco setting.—Lee Marshall

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