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Splendido Mare: Charm and Design in Portofino

Enjoy the authentic “Estate Italiana” at Splendido Mare in Portofino. The charming guest house in the heart of the legendary Piazzetta just opened its doors after a complete renovation: discover this hotel by the sea with its mid-century modern touches.

​Once a humble retreat for fishermen, today ​Splendido Mare is a charming guest house characterized by a nautical signature style, reminiscent of its glorious past and its location overlooking the beautiful sea of Italian Riviera. As the first inn of Portofino, the building was called ‘Nazionale’ and was established by Silvio Gazzolo, an elderly retired fisherman. Visitors arrived here in horse-drawn postal carriages, stopping to enjoy delicious hot meals and a comfortable bed. The same family looked after the building for four generations, giving it its current appearance.

In 1997 Belmond purchased the property, taking care of it and defining its signature style. Today Splendido Mare has evolved to become a gathering place for stylish Italians and the international jet set. For this summer season, the guest house reopens with a completely renovated look designed by Paris-based firm ​Festen Architecture.

Stepping into this wonderful location it is impossible not to remain enchanted by the timeless charm of Portofino you can breathe inside. Accomplices of these feelings are the hidden terraces that capture the spirit of the harbor giving the guest a kaleidoscopic view of Riviera Ligure.

Every detail in the interiors evoke the charm of Liguria, enclosed in the accents of traditional colors of the old local fishermen’s houses - amber, sea green and terracotta. Also, the bespoke wooden latticed flooring is a Portofino signature, inspired by the church of San Giorgio that can be seen from the hotel. Here is impossible not to feel the authentic nautical style: fishing boats are the main inspiration in the design of furniture and décor. All the natural details were made from the locally sourced, hand-varnished wood traditionally used in the fishing boats and some of the textiles, designed by Véronique de Soultrait, are made using braided ropes to create geometric patterns.

Mid-century antiques capture the essence of the dolce vita, the era when Portofino first drew the world’s gaze. Visiting the elegant interiors, one has the feeling of jumping back to the 50s thanks to exquisite décor such as Murano glass lamps, understated fabrics and iconic vintage furniture by ​Gio Ponti and Paolo Buffa.

The architects have tastefully combined traditionally crafted elements revisited with a contemporary twist, original vintage pieces and bespoke décor. Every detail conveys the spirit of the place, underpinned by fine Italian craftsmanship and materials sourced in Italy, like the Carrara marble on the bathroom floors and the slate on the terraces.

Enjoying a privileged setting, the Splendido Mare offers an elegant yet casual base from which to explore the gems of Liguria. There are many adventures you can try in Portofino: to hop aboard a traditional wooden gozzo to enjoy the slow pleasures of local life, or dive into the emerald waters of Paraggi, a secluded bay just a short drive away. To complete your experience at the hotel, visit the beautiful restaurant DaV Mare where fresh local ingredients and antique recipes are combined with a modern flair to propose a unique culinary experience.

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