Palazzo Manfredi Rome and Punta Tragara Capri, Sheer Italian Perfection
June 4, 2018
Palazzo Manfredi is unlike any boutique hotel, only a stone’s throw from the Colosseum, this 18th century townhouse owned by Count Goffredo Manfredi is the very height of opulence and luxury. With only 16 suites and master rooms, and 11 tables in its one Michelin starred restaurant Aroma, Palazzo Manfredi is at once intimate and grand.
From the moment you enter the Palazzo you feel special, the concierge is excellent and there are thoughtful touches to the service, from the weather card left in your room each night informing you of the next day’s forecast to the pillow menu which is your opportunity to be a veritable Goldilocks of pillows selecting just the right one. The rooms are decorated with a stylish contemporary flair with a dark palette which retains a hint of the classical, and should you feel inspired to train like some of the gladiators of the past just across the street you can even request gym equipment in your room and get your dose of exercise in private.
The rooftop restaurant, Aroma, is perhaps the most romantic and intimate in Rome, with one Michelin star the food is certainly not overshadowed by the views of the Colosseum which you enjoy during this stellar dining experience. Chef Giuseppe Di Iorio creates dishes which dazzle and delight showing off the pleasures of Mediterranean cuisine. Under the flicker of candlelight, we enjoyed the tasting menu, sampling the light and modern cuisine such as the risotto and roasted courgette appetiser, and scallop on a bed of tomato and olive coulis. The ingredients are seasonal and local, none more so than the herbs in the olive oil which accompanied our bread selections, having been grown and picked from the balcony of the restaurant. Breakfast is also served in the rooftop venue, you are spoilt for choice with a buffet-style range of Italian cured meats and cheeses, conserves, fruits and pastries, the kitchen will also cook whatever you want, you will find it difficult to leave no matter how full you are!
Capri is a favourite day-trip destination, during the day it can be hard to move for tourists in the Piazzetta Umberto I or the designer boutiques and cafes of Via Vittorio Emanuele, therefore staying on the island is a must to experience its charm at night when the streets are quiet, and you will likely bump into a holidaying celebrity. Punta Tragara is somewhat of a celebrity on the island, whenever anyone asked us where we were staying, and we answered, Punta Tragara what followed was immediate recognition, “wow” and an exclaim that it was the best hotel on the island.
The VIP experience starts as soon as you step off the hydrofoil and arrive at Marina Grande, Carmine met us, he took care of our bags, thankfully, ensuring they got to the hotel safely, there is no lugging your bags up the rugged terrain and through the streets, he walked us to the funicular and handed us our tickets to Capri Town where it is a 10 minute walk to the hotel along the prettiest streets, lined with bright flowers, passing private villas and gardens full of orange and lemon trees.
All the rooms come in different shapes and sizes, a result of being built into the rocks and adapting to the landscape, this meant we had a very generous sized bathroom and a spacious walk in wardrobe. Our balcony overlooked the Fragolini rocks which really is one of the best views to wake up to each day.
The hotels facilities are first rate, outdoors is just as luxurious as the interior, with a sweeping terrace overlooking the Tyrrlenian Sea, a gin bar serving over 150 varieties of the tipple, two pools, one of which is heated, you can lounge in the sun in utmost style and comfort. The chic spa offers a full range of pampering, from massages and facials to beauty treatments. I opted for a massage, the perfect ambience was created with candles and burning oils, for the most relaxing and opulent experience.
Monzù the hotels restaurant is a true delight, chef Luigi Lionetti’s menu is creative and light, and being a Capri native it’s not surprising that his dishes are inspired by traditional Caprese and Neopolitan cuisine. It will also not come as a shock to discover the menu showcases the best of seafood with each dish allowing the freshness of the ingredients to take centre stage. It’s difficult to pick a favourite of the dishes we had, but notable mentions include the shrimp tartare in olive soup and candied lemon, and the sea bass perfectly cooked and sitting simply on a bed of sea bass mayonnaise was splendid in its beautiful simplicity and flawless execution. Breakfast is also served at Monzù and it is perhaps the most exquisite presentation of a breakfast buffet I have ever seen.
Punta Tragara also owns the Michelin-starred restaurant Mammà located in central Capri. Like Monzù seafood is in the spotlight, caught locally and selected first thing each morning by chef Salvatore La Ragione each dish flaunts the best of the sea. The cuttle fish tagliatelle was one of the prettiest dishes, with verdant broad beans and bright pink beetroot coulis and tagliatelle so tender you can’t quite believe it is made of cuttle fish. The lobster served Caprese style with fruit was at once simple and complex with a perfect blend of flavours that manages to accentuate the essence of each of the ingredients.
Palazzo Manfredi, Punta Tragara and their restaurants offer exquisite luxury and unforgettable memories. The venues do so much so very right it’s difficult to pinpoint any one element which stands out, however the two hotels excel without doubt in two areas, firstly the restaurants, each superbly displays the best of local Italian cuisine and delivers impeccable service in the most mesmerising locations, which brings us to the second area par excellence, the views. Each hotel showcases their surroundings in such a way that you fall ao completely and hopelessly in love with the venues and Italy that you never want to leave.
Reviewed by Alex Scott for Luxuria Lifestyle
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