Personal review from Gabriela’s stay at l’Albergo Della Regina Isabella in Ischia.
The arrival – L’Albergo Della Regina Isabella
In the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, just one hour away from the port of Naples, where volcanoes chose to meet together thousands of years ago to redefine beauty, you will find Ischia, “La Isola Verde.”
More than a picturesque Italian island, Ischia is a little green treasure that emerges from the sea. Surrounded by hundreds of craters and full with “tufo verde” (a green rock that gives Ischia it’s beloved nickname), Ischia is simply a piece of Mediterranean heaven.
This getaway island smells of lemon mixed with sea salt, tastes like red wine and rucolino, feels like hot springs and cool breeze, looks like a green gem, and sounds like a Mediterranean song of Italian words and church bells.
The beauty of the island is only enhanced by l’Albergo della Regina Isabella, the only five stars luxury hotel in Ischia. Since 1956, l’Albergo della Regina Isabella has hosted myriad celebrities in the worlds of fashion, culture and entertainment, as well as jetsetters from all over the world who believe that traveling is about a journey full of elegance, sophistication, and style.
From the first moment upon my arrival up until the last moment upon my departure, I notice something unique: l’Albergo della Regina Isabella is ruled by the feelings of passion and delight. It is simply intoxicating to listen to the staff who work and/or live on the grounds. Their passion for their island and their hotel is filled with stories of friendship and joy. The staff lives and breathes their culture making a stay at this boutique hotel one that I will cherish and recommend to others who seek authenticity in their travels.
The amenities – l’Albergo Della Regina Isabella
L’Albergo della Regina Isabella serves its guests luxury rooms that are beautifully decorated, combining tradition and modernity. Every corner of the rooms is decorated with accessories that ooze the elegance of the island.
Getting to your room is an experience in itself. At l’Albergo della Regina Isabella, you will find 128 rooms, including 27 luxury suites. Every room has been tiled in a different style, turning each one of them into its own private affair. When I entered my hotel room, and once I finished admiring the floors, I instantly walked towards the windows and let go an exhale from the sheer beauty of the panorama offered to me. Imagine a view that combines both Mount Vesuvius and Capri, a view that boosts a flotilla of Italian fishing boats upon the majesty blue sea, and, of course, a view that is adorned with the warm glaze of the Italian sun. This is Ischia at L’Albergo della Regina Isabella.
If the views and original flooring wasn’t enough, l’Albergo della Regina Isabella offers its guests four exquisite pools, a spa with thermal water treatments, meeting rooms and three on-site restaurants.
The fine dining – L’Albergo Della Regina Isabella
Michelin-star Executive Chef Pasquale Palamaro, a charismatic local resident who is as passionate about food as I am passionate about travel, oversees the kitchens of the three Regina Isabella’s restaurants. If you are a foodie, and even if you are not, I can almost guarantee that you will find immense pleasure letting Chef Pasquale Palamaro and his team cook up for you delectable foods that will enchant your palate.
At l’Albergo della Regina Isabella, a typical morning starts with homemade brioche, fresh coffee (in Italy, you must remember that coffee is enjoyed as expresso caffè), and a plate of season fruits and juices. Best is to enjoy an hour long breakfast while admiring the view from the terrace at “La Dolce Vita”.
For lunch, opt for a selection of delicacies from the buffet, then pick a “primo piatto” and/or “il secondo” from a tempting menu. Finish up with one of those oh-so-delicious desserts. I strongly recommend trying the seafood risotto at least once during your stay.
The afternoon can be spent enjoying the pools filled with thermal waters, swimming in the sea, or discovering the island by foot. Just before sunset, make your way to the hotel bar for an Aperol Spritz or a glass or Italian wine before dining in style at “Indaco”, the hotel’s finest restaurant.
If you are like me and believe that food is not just for the palate but for creating lasting memories, you will be pleased to learn that during the summer months, at l’Albergo della Regina Isabella, Chef Palamaro shares his kitchen with renowned chefs from around the world to offer hotel guests an exclusive dining experience. Eight exclusive menus on eight different nights.
On one of those magical nights, I was delightfully surprised by lime marinated red sea bream served with green chiles, red onions, peach granite and peaty whiskey followed by grilled octopus served with watermelon juice, cassis, white balsamic vinegar, beetroot and kumquat seasoning as a starter. For the main course, I truly enjoyed the pasta “gigli” from gragnano with star gazer ragoût, yellow cherry tomatoes, horse frayed meat, sorrel and toasted rye bread. As for dessert, it all started with transparent peer raviolo, Casa Madaio yogurt and young basil followed by something to remember, a Gianduia soft ganache served with hazelnut ice cream and lavazza coffee foam. Simply divine.
The evening at l’Albergo della Regina Isabella is one where darkness transforms itself into a moment of bliss as you slip into the plush comforts of your luxury bed.
Passion and delight defines l’Albergo della Regina Isabella; the staff reminds us why Italian’s are famous for their hospitality and style.
LuxeInACity highly recommends a stay at l’Albergo della Regina Isabella. Visit www.reginaisabella.com to plan your visit.
Photo by: Alessandra Vignaroli and Gabriela Laborie.