Photo of Portofino

About Portofino

Portofino is a chic and charming resort, which attracts a smart crowd to its gloriously beautiful location, pretty much typifying the idyllically sunny charm and glamour of the Italian Riviera. Beautiful to look at from the water, it’s no wonder Portofino is so popular with the yachting and sailing set, and the whole town seems to pulse with la dolce vita. It’s also probably no wonder that Portofino has a reputation for being expensive. But while our recommendations for the the best places to stay in Portofino do include some seriously opulent hotels, there are also some more modest converted villas, a wonderful hotel perched on the beach, and a charmingly converted Ligurian farmhouse in the hills above Portofino.

Portofino’s incredible location meant that it couldn’t remain an undeveloped fishing village for long, but it is still essentially just a crescent of coloured villas around a picturesque bay, and many of the pleasures of Portofino are all about relaxing in this idyllic setting. It's a particularly perfect setting for honeymooners, those looking for a glamorous escape, or anyone seeking out a spot for some peace in the sun. But this isn’t a large town, really just the Piazzetta overlooking the water and the yachts in it. There’s a church, and a castle, which is on the hilltop and mostly hidden by the Mediterranean scrub, but not a huge amount in the way of sightseeing opportunities. Portofino is for idling over your drink and people watching.

The best places to stay in Portofino are perfect for lovers of Italian luxury, but if you do find yourself getting a little weary with relaxing and sunbathing, eating and drinking well, and shopping in the high end boutiques, you could always go out on the ferry, or one of the hire boats — if you didn’t bring your yacht this time, we mean!

The Best Places to Stay in Portofino

For Quintessential Portofino

  • The Hotel Splendido is a large and luxurious hotel, prettily perched on a hillside overlooking Portofino Harbour. This is one of the most glamorous spots in the whole of the Mediterranean, and this iconic hotel is very much a part of that. And it’s certainly splendid. It has something of the look of a grand villa about it, but on a huge scale. We like it for its arched balconies and colonnades, lush grounds, and incredible sea views. We also appreciate the glamorous bar and choice of three sophisticated restaurants all serving Italian cuisine from different regions, and the impressive spa and health club.

For a Romantic Beach Break

  • The Eight Hotel Paraggi is nestled into a private bay just along the picturesque coastline from Portofino. Converted from a charming Ligurian villa, the hotel has 13 rooms and suites, the best with near perfect sea views and private outdoor hot tubs. The decor is stylishly simple and contemporary, making a feature of the views from balconies and huge windows. The restaurant and bar spill out onto the sand in front of the hotel, and there’s the opportunity to have private, candle-lit suppers on the beach, of fabulous Italian cuisine. If you have kids with you it’s possible to book adjoining rooms.

For a Romantic Escape

  • The Hotel Eight has been converted into a chic hotel, from a large, but simple Ligurian farmhouse located on a hillside above Portofino. During the transformation the charming gardens gained a hot tub, the house was divided into 17 elegant rooms and suites, all the mod cons were added, and an entirely contemporary interior was imagined. Now the hotel is a stylish option with plenty of luxurious features. Breakfast is served and you’re a pleasant stroll from a number of restaurants.

For Luxury

  • The Imperiale Palace Hotel is a large and luxurious pick, grand and opulent, overlooking its own palm trees and views of Santa Margherita Harbour. Its 89 rooms and suites offer the best of traditional Italian luxury: beautifully inlaid parquet flooring, frescoes on the ceiling, chandeliers, beautiful antiques and huge French doors to appreciate the incredible views. The Imperiale has the facilities of a five star hotel too, a gym, luxury spa, elegant restaurant, pool and sun terraces, and a glamorous bar. But it’s family friendly too.

For Great Value

  • The Hotel Piccolo is a 22 room villa conversion, surrounded by lush greenery and views of the coastline. Some of the villa’s period features have been retained, but the rooms are very contemporary, with clean, straight lines, minimalist details and a monochrome colour palate. Breakfast is served on the terrace, and the restaurant is known for its seafood and traditional Ligurian cuisine. Romantic and serene.

For a private apartment or villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Portofino’s closest international airport is Genoa’s Christopher Columbus Airport, which is about 40 minutes away by car or taxi, and just shy of two hours on the train. Milan’s Linate Airport is about two hours away from Portofino by car or four hours on the train, while Milan Malpensa Airport and Bergamo Airport are more like two and a half hours drive, or about four hours on the train. Portofino doesn’t have its own station, you have to catch a shuttle from Santa Margherita Station. There’s very limited parking in Portofino, and you have to pay premium prices for it, so bear these challenges in mind when planning your journey. One option might be to use the ferry — which also benefits from spectacular views — from Rapallo or Santa Margherita.
  • If you plan to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • Portofino is the sort of place where some of the boutiques, bars and restaurants shut up for the winter, so most visitors opt to come between Easter and the end of October. You can find out of season deals if you’re a serious fan, or want to visit the Cinque Terre outside of the summer seasons, but many of Portofino’s charms are tied up with sunshine and warm seas.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Portofino

Best Hotels in Portofino

  • Hotel Piccolo Portofino 22 rooms from £195

    Views  -  Stunning views over the bay
    Sights nearby  -  Just 450m from the centre of town
    Local markets  -  Enjoy local street market
    Swimming Pool  -  Private beach access
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolPet friendlyDisabled accessViews

    A refined period villa immersed in lush vegetation, typical of the Ligurian Riviera. In contrast, rooms are modern with minimalist furnishings and stunning views. Enjoy breakfasts on the terrace, fresh fish and traditional Ligurian cuisine in the hotel restaurant. Truly romantic. See More

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  • Imperiale Palace Hotel Portofino 89 rooms from £304

    Total relaxation  -  A luxury property on the tranquil Italian Riviera complete with indulgent spa.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Palazzi dei Rolli declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Great walks  -  Take long walks through the scenic Portofino Park.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxurious 5 star property overlooking the scenic Italian Riviera. Elegantly dressed throughout, the rooms are no exception. High ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, wooden floors and antique furniture abound. Some of the best also have frescoes and chandeliers. Italian indulgence at its very best. See More

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  • Eight Hotel Paraggi Portofino 13 rooms from £373

    Foodies  -  Meticulous Italian cuisine.
    Beach Life
    Private Hot Tub  -  All rooms except standard and superior feature a private outdoor hot tub
    Outstanding location  -  Set in a private bay on the Italian Riviera.
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenViews
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A Ligurian villa nestled in a private bay on the Italian Riviera. Stunning modern rooms and suites with balconies and hot tubs, fabulous Italian cuisine, private candle lit dinners on the beach, and plenty of sun traps to bathe in. An ideal choice for a romantic beach holiday. See More

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  • Hotel Eight Portofino 17 rooms from £469

    Traditional  -  A traditional Ligurian house.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Air conditioningSpaGardenViews
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Fodors

    A Ligurian farmhouse perched on a hill just above Portofino village with a charming private garden with hot tub. Contemporary chic rooms and suites have all the mod cons, balconies, and attractive furnishings. Charming breakfast verandah and walking distance to restaurants. Romantic, picturesque. See More

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  • Hotel Splendido Portofino 85 rooms from £590

    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Kayaking  -  Explore the wonders of the Italian Riviera aboard a kayak.
    Restaurant  -  La Terraza restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine
    Fishing  -  The hotel fishing boat: "Castel Dragone”
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyViews
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A luxurious Italian hotel set on a stunning hillside, overlooking Portofino harbour. Rooms are timelessly elegant and boast impressive sea views. A choice of three sophisticated restaurants, serving traditional Italian cuisine. Swimming pool, spa and health centre. Quintessential Italian splendour. See More

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