What is it about those Italian boys and their mothers? No other girl could hope to replace "the mama". I must admit, as a mother of a son, I rather like this idea of being placed so high on such a solid pedestal that there's no fear of falling off. I also like the idea of my son building a hotel as a tribute to me (take notes, Quincy), which is what Antonino Cappiello has done.
Casa Angelina, a modern retreat on the Amalfi coast, is dedicated to his late mother, Angelina. Even its logo is based on her signature. But this project isn't a soppy gesture, Cappiello has spotted a gap in the market: this is the first minimalist luxury hotel to open on this chic coast. And the stylish young crowd that drifts about its clean white spaces clearly lap it up.
Stepping up the cliffside in a series of flower-filled terraces, most rooms are positioned to make the best of the wonderful views across the impossibly blue waters of the Gulf of Salerno to the pastel tumble of Positano.
Inside, the white-on-white design is softened by the warm wood on the floors, brightly coloured Murano glass and sculptures by Alfredo Sosabravo. And furnishings from Marrakech take the hard edge off pieces like the Philippe Starck lamps.
But the point here is the view, for which the hotel acts as a giant frame, including the panoramic glass lift. Just gorgeous.
Praiano, 40 minutes' drive from Naples, may not be as famous as neighbours Positano and Amalfi, but it too clings to the mountainside and shares the same jaw-dropping views. Prepare for a thigh-workout, the hotel sits halfway between the beach and the main street.
The comfort factor
The stark white theme continues in the 40 rooms and suites, which are equipped with Wi-Fi and satellite TV. There's little privacy on the balconies, where you're separated from your neighbours only by a giant planter.
Pristine porcelain from Philippe Starck, fresh fragrances by L'Occitane.
The food and drink
The main restaurant, Un Piano nel Cielo, is set on the top floor to make the most of those spectacular views through its picture windows and from the terrace. Fish and shellfish dominate a classy Italian à la carte menu. Expect to pay around €40 (£27) per head excluding wine. Pricey snacks are served at the cocktail bar and on the pool terrace.
Stylish, young and European, with a surprising number of families.
The hotel has two very small pools, one indoor, one outdoor. The outdoor pool gets quickly crowded, but relief will come next season in the shape of a new infinity pool. A gym has been set up by the indoor pool, the water uncomfortably close to the machines. Massages take place in an adjacent room, which can be a noisy spot when the other facilities are being used. But both gym and spa are due to be expanded for next season. The lift takes guests halfway to the rocky shore, where deckchairs and umbrellas are available free. A shuttle bus runs to local towns and you can hire a boat. Within easy reach are Naples, Vesuvius, Pompei, and Paestum, and the islands of Capri and Ischia.
All those steps make it tricky if you have a disability, but hotel lifts go to all floors.
Doubles from €240 (£163) per night, room only.
Casa Angelina Lifestyle Hotel, Via G Capriglione 147, 84010 Praiano, Amalfi Coast, Italy (00 39 089 813 1333; casangelina.com; steinhotels.com/casaangelina).
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