Hotel Splendido: Take a cue from Bogart and Bacall, Callas and Onassis, Taylor and Burton, and head to Portofino for a Mediterranean break. The Hotel Splendido, as the name would suggest, is splendid indeed. The main building is an ancient, wisteria-clad villa that overlooks the bay and tiny harbor of Portofino, and is surrounded by olive trees and pine groves. Originally a Benedictine monastery, the building was attacked so often in the 16th century that the monks abandoned it, and it became overrun with sheep. The villa was converted into a hotel in 1901, and the Orient-Express group purchased it in 1985. (The Duke of Windsor was the first person to sign the visitors' book.) The rooms are light and airy, and decorated in the shades and styles of the Mediterranean (lots of yellow, marble, tile and arches). In addition to the main building, there is the adjacent building, the Splendido Mare, which overlooks the piazzetta around the waterfront. Most of the rooms have their own balcony or terrace overlooking the bay. Summer rates for the Hotel Splendido range from 571 to 2,300 euros ($524 to $2,114). The Splendido Mare ranges from 517 to 1,850 euros ($475 to $1,700). Hotel Splendido, Salita Baratta, 16 16034 Portofino, Genoa, Italy, Phone: 39 018 526 7801, Fax: 39 018 526 7806, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ristorante Puny: Portofino, like all of Italy, is a diner's delight, and you will rarely have a poor meal. Insiders flock to Ristorante Puny, which caters more to locals than tourists (the trattoria does not accept credit cards). If you can get a table, try the pappardelle al portofino, which blends tomato and pesto; portions are anything but puny. Or go with Ligurian seafood specialties like baked fish with laurel, potatoes and olives, or the moscardini al forno, baked octopus with lemon and rosemary in tomato sauce. Gelato is also served. Ristorante Puny, P. Martiri dell'Olivetta 5, Portofino, Italy, Phone: 0185/269037.
St. Tropez, France
Hotel du Cap Eden Roc: Sara and Gerald Murphy, artists and friends of the Fitzgeralds, once rented the entire Hotel du Cap Eden Roc for the summer. This hotel (and the entire whirlwind of parties, drinking, painting and the family pet monkey) later became the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Hôtel des Étrangers in Tender Is the Night. The hotel, located on a 25-acre private peninsula, has been attracting celebrities, literati and politicians ever since. General manager Jean-Claude Irondelle has said that Eden Roc "isn't really a hotel, but more a domain reserved for the elite of all nations." A better word would be "moneyed." Hotel du Cap Eden Roc opened in 1870, and today it consists of three different buildings, all along the rocky coastline. Like most beaches on the French Riviera, expect rocks, not sand. Rates range from $393 to $1,020 per night; prices for the larger suites are available only on request. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Boulevard Kennedy, B.P. n 29, 06601 Antibes Cedex, Phone : 33 4 93 61 39 01, Fax: 33 4 93 67 13 83.