A Hotel That is Not a Hotel…

BY Lisa Lindblad

September 20, 2010

In 1902, one Otto Bierbaum, midway through his Grand Tour to Italy’s South, wrote, “A hotel, that is not a hotel, but offers every comfort, this is something rare.”  His letter continues, “Cocumella, the erstwhile Jesuit cloister, is truly a poets’ inn, where the friend of peace and beauty feels safe…”

Yes, it is all this and more.

Dating back to the 16th century when it was a Jesuit Monastery, Cocumella is located in a lovely residential area of Sorrento, surrounded by hectares of lush planting of ancient wisteria, umbrella pines, herbs, grasses, flowered cloisters and secret gardens.  With only 32 rooms, all of which face the sea and Vesuvius beyond and many of which have generous terraces, it is a place to come to rest.  With a sublime location – 30 minutes from Naples, 40 minutes from Pompeii and 30 minutes from Positano and Capri – it is ideally suited as a base of operations, as a jumping off point, for a tasting of the region.

If you can gather your wits and your energy!

So beautiful and cool are the gardens, so magnificently quiet the pool, so delicious the local fish and organic vegetables and salads, so kind and welcoming the staff that you long to stay put, to escape the hurdles and trappings of travel.

Family owned for the past 30 years, coming to Grand Hotel Cocumella is like coming home.  As Bierbaum said, “A hotel that is not a hotel…(but)…a poet’s inn.”

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John Derian Goes West