12/09/2011 05:40 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Hotel Review: Palazzo Belmonte, Santa Maria Di Castellabate, Italy

Off the beaten track, and in a fabulously unspoilt corner of Italy, this crumbling royal pile makes an amazing alternative to The Amafli Coast's cookie-cutter hotels.

palazzo-belmonte Courtesy of Palazzo Belmonte

The USP: Grand yet charming home-from-prince's-home with private beach, pool and restaurant.

Book it now if: You like the Amalfi Coast but want a holiday that's high on relaxation and good food, but low on British accents.

Bedding down: In 'Edoardo's House', part of the old palazzo are a number of unique airy rooms and suites many with balconies and sea views. Over in the newer 'Villa Belmonte' are 30 more modern bedrooms, all still retaining the character of the old house, but with more 'uniform' facilities. For our money, Edoardo's House is the place to be, but everyone's different!

palazzo-belmonte Courtesy of Palazzo Belmonte

Feed me: The hotel's alfresco restaurant serves high-end Italian cuisine and delicious cocktails. At lunchtime, order from the pool-side bar, or skip down onto the beach and along to one of the sea-front restaurants where pastas and salad are as authentic as it comes.

Easily bored: Unlike Amalfi further up the coast, there are great walks around this region, so pack your boots if you want to explore. The village of Castellabate, a windy drive above the harbourside Santa Maria di Castellabate is an absolute must. Eat granitas in the little square surrounded by characters worthy of a Fellini movie.

What's the damage: A three-night stay for two costs from £595 per person, through villa holiday specialist CV Travel (020 7401 1039,, based on two sharing a standard double room within Villa Belmonte, including car hire.

Point me in the right direction: Palazzo Belmonte, Via Flavio Gioia, 25 - 84072 Santa Maria di Castellabate, Salerno, Italy. (To book, call: 020 7401 1039; web:

palazzo-belmonte Courtesy of Palazzo Belmonte