Hotel San Francesco al Monte in Naples, a Unique ex-Monastery Luxury Hotel

Hotel San Francesco al Monte in Naples, a Unique ex-Monastery Luxury Hotel

Hotel San Francesco al Monte should be at the top of your list for accommodations if youre visiting Naples. Not only is it a luxurious and beautiful place to stay, but the view of the city is unparalled, and you simply must see the treasures on the third floor!

view of Vesuvius and Naples from Hotel San Francesco al Monte

In a rather nondescript, cream-colored building set within a hill in Naples, just below St. Martins Monastery and St. Elmos Castle lies Hotel San Francesco al Monte. This building was originally a 16th century monastery run by the Barbanti monks, known for their long beards.

Disclosure: my mother and I were hosted for a two night stay with dinner by the owner of Hotel St. Francesco al Monte with no terms or conditions. (I was not asked to write a post or review, however, I enjoyed my stay so much, I cannot keep this gem from you.) As always, all opinions are my own.

Today, you can stay here and look out of your window for an incredible view of Vesuvius, sitting quietly, if not, majestically, over the city of Naples. The view here cant be beat as it encompasses almost 180 degrees of Neapolitan beauty; from the sea to the expanse of the Neapolitan city.

view of Naples from Hotel San Francesco al Monte

I was in Naples this last June and just fell in love with this city only an hour south of my mothers village where Ive spent years of my life! Mum had never really visited properly either, so when we had a chance to go before taking our AmaWaterways Melodies of the Danube cruise (posts to come), I couldnt resist taking her, too.

We took a taxi from the airport directly to Hotel San Franceso al Monte, and were there in less than 20 minutes as the trip is only about 5 miles. You must be careful when taking taxis in Naples (and other European cities): make sure to ask what the total cost will be before agreeing to ride. We also told our driver we only had credit cards and he said he didnt take them, but lo and behold, out popped a credit card machine at the end of our trip! I dont recommend renting a car in Naples (dont even ask)!

Hotel San Francesco al Monte in Naples

hotel lobby

In case you might think that the hotel actually feels like a monasteryit doesnt. Its just an elegant, and peaceful place that is a fantastic location from which to explore Naples.

hallway at the hotel san francesco al monte

We left our luggage until our room was ready since we arrived in the morning and went out for a coffee and pastry. Mum was absolutely dying for a sfogliatelle, her very favorite Italian pastry. Naples is the best place for them and she just couldnt wait! I, on the other hand, had been waiting three months for a rum bab!

naples pastries

Neither of us were in the least bit disappointed! Neapolitan pastries have to be amongst the best in the world!

naples, italy

I should add, although Hotel San Francesco al Monte is located atop a hill, theres no need to worry about walking up and down from the main part of the city (unless you want to). Youve assuredly heard the Neapolitan song, Funiculi Funicula? Well, its about the funiculars in Naples, and one of them takes you from one of the main streets in the city right up to where Hotel San Francesco al Monte is located!

funicular in Naples
an old funicular car on display next to one of the stops

The stop is only about a five minute walk and very inexpensive (Id recommend getting day or week passes, depending on your stay). The tickets are also good for other public transportation like the underground and buses.

view of Vesuvius and Naples from Hotel San Francesco al Monte

We returned to our hotel and were awed by our absolutely gorgeous room with a view of the city and Vesuvius! Heres a little tour.

The bedroom.

bedroom in our hotel

The bed itself was comfortable, but the decor was classic Italian, complete with antique furniture and even frescos: divine!

bedroom in our hotel

This was a little room off of the main bedroom! Where will you ever find a space like this in your hotel room?

Hotel San Francesco al Monte

The bathroom was up some stairs and had a fancy shower, but we only used the normal part as we couldnt get the fancy stuff to work! After settling in, we went up to the seventh floor to see the pool, gardens, terraces, and views. This is definitely one of the best parts of the hotel, especially in warmer weather.

art in our room

Seventh Floor Amenities at Hotel San Francesco al Monte

Rooftop of San Francesco al Monte

The rooftop garden, pool and terraces are simply stunning, and of course, they all come with that million dollar view.

seventh floor of San Francesco al Monte

seventh floor of San Francesco al Monte

The pool (photo courtesy of Hotel San Francesco al Monte).

pool on the seventh floor
photo courtesy of Hotel San Francesco al Monte

The Common Areas and Third Floor of Hotel San Francesco Al Monte

hallway at San Francesco al monte

There are lots of places around the hotel to relax or even just explore.

Christina at San Francesco al Monte Hotel

No, the hotel isnt under construction here. This is part of the the unique characteristic and charm of this hotel.

doorway in the hotel

hall in the hotel

There are religious artifacts throughout the hotel, I would assume, from the original monastery.

nativity scene
a detailed nativity scene


And beautiful stained glass windows.

stained glass window

Someone at the front desk advised, do not miss the third floor. Thank goodness he told us because look at what we would have missed in the refectory.

hotel san francesco al monte

Mum and I walked in here and went in different directions and I realized, after going further and further back into the caves, that I should tell her where I was. Too late, she thought Id gone back to the room!

The Refectory in Hotel San Francesco al Monte

The Refectory in Hotel San Francesco al Monte

Mum and I were both blown away by these rooms and the artistic style in which they were designed, as well as the artwork.

painting in The Refectory in Hotel San Francesco al Monte

jugs in a sink

However, continue traveling through the labyrinth of rooms and youll discover tiled steps which seem to go down and into the mountain itself.

tiled steps

I had gone back to the room to find Mum and brought her back her with me. She was just as awed as me, and we spent more time exploring this incredible hotel. We felt as if we were in a museum and should have paid to enter!

Breakfast at the Hotel

breakfast buffet

Breakfast is included with your stay at Hotel San Francesco al Monte. I might add, you may not need to eat lunch afterwards. The quality and selection of food available is marvelous. So if you simply want granola and yogurt, or a full on bacon and eggs breakfast complete with Mimosas, youre set!

breakfast buffet

You could also just go for Prosecco and cakes!

prosecco and cakes

Dont worry, theres also fresh fruit, meat and cheese trays, honeycomb and more.

breakfast buffet

cannoli and babas
cannoli and babs at breakfast

The famous Neapolitan coffee, tea and hot chocolate is also a given and you can dine inside our outside.


Although there are several bars and private chefs dinners available, Mum and I had dinner at

Restaurant La Terrazza dei Barbanti

naples at night

The dinner we had at La Terrazza dei Barbanti was absolutely superb. From our first course to last, it was completely wonderful. We did have to eat inside as it was raining.

i barbanti

One of my very favorite dishes of the evening was this starter which I was hesitant to order. Please excuse my food photos as it was dark, as you can see, and all I had was artificial lighting

buffalo milk soup

It was described as Cold buffalo milk soup with candied tomatos and basil. I had no idea what to expect, but all I can tell you was that the milk tasted like liquefied burrata (!), the candied tomatoes werent super sweet and basil mousse just added the gilding to the lily! It was sublime.

Mum enjoyed her local red wine and I had white which was also very good, both from the same vintner, DAione from Campania.

We didnt order a pasta dish as wed already eaten quite a few things around the city earlier in the day. We were both delighted with our second courses, though. The first photo is my mothers starter: eggplant inside a crispy crust with tomatoes and mozzarella. I dont like eggplant and even I liked it! The second photo is my panko breaded swordfish, baby vegetables and yogurt with pink peppercorn sauce which was excellent all around. My mothers grilled beef filet with asparagus and corn with green sauce was also top notch, as you can even see from the photos.

i barbanti

Lastly, my mother ended with a phenomenal cheese plate with honey and mustard. She was in dairy heaven as every single Italian cheese she tried was better than the last (I can attest to this)!

cheese plate

However, you have probably guessed that I ordered something a little more sweet to end my dinner. Even though I had that rum bab in the morning, how could I pass up the mini bab dessert here, especially when our head waiter, Dario, convinced me? I didnt regret it one bit, either. The sponges were soaked in an orange-flavored liqueuer which was magnificent, and Im not exaggerating!

baba dessert

Dario did us one last favor when we asked if hed take our picture! He really made sure we had a lovely evening; grazie, Dario!

i barbanti

I really hope Ive conveyed how unique, yet welcoming and relaxing Hotel San Francesco al Monte is. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that they also have a spa, which we didnt use, but maybe next time.

For more information on the history of the hotel, or for pricing or reservations, click the link below. Please note, like many smaller and historical European hotels, I wouldnt recommend Hotel San Francesco al Monte for anyone who cannot take stairs, or has limited mobility. There are elevators, but its simply not a good choice.

Hotel San Francesco al Monte

La Terrazza dei Barbanti Ristorante

As disclosed above, I was hosted, but there were no terms or conditions attached.

The post Hotel San Francesco al Monte in Naples, a Unique ex-Monastery Luxury Hotel appeared first on Christina's Cucina.

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