What:

A gem of a hotel designed in the 1960s by Gio Ponti and preserved exactly as it was with original modernist furniture throughout the 96 retro rooms, clean-lined swimming pool, landscaped grounds and spectacular rocky beach and waterside restaurant.

Where:

Clinging to a cliff in the heart of Sorrento with panoramic views of the Gulf of Naples and the rest of the Amalfi Coast. An elevator descends from the 27 hectares of lush gardens through the rock to deliver guests at the bathing platform and sea.

Why:

The Parco dei Principi is a rare opportunity to experience Gio Ponti’s design philosophy in an all-encompassing environment (he designed everything from the cutlery to the sun loungers). And while there are many famous hotels on the Amalfi Coast, this remains something of a secret amongst architecture aficionados who come back every summer, attracted by the coveted combation of style and substance: the hotel is well run by the Royal Group of hotels and includes business facilities, a spa, gym, sea-water swimming pool and an oh-so-Italian rocky beach area with a charming restaurant. Day trips can be taken to Capri by the hotel’s boat before retiring to one of Ponti’s majolica tiled rooms, or one of two exclusive villas. In short: one of the original design hotels is still amongst the best.