Following research, we loved what we saw about Hotel Micalo and asked to drop by to take some shots. They were kind enough to provide us with accommodation, however all thoughts and opinions are – as always – formed independently and without agreement to be favourable.
After hours spent at the airport and trying to find a taxi that knows where your hotel is, the last thing you want is to finally reach your planned hotel just to be given your keys and left to find your own way to your room between the reproduction ‘Classic‘ furniture and the sparkle of gold leaf that covers every doorway, mirror or any other object left standing for more than a brief second.
What you really want is calm – and that’s exactly what we experienced at Napoli’s Hotel Micalo
On walking into the corridor that leads into the centre of Hotel Micalo you’re created by the calming sound of silence that makes you question if you’re in the same volume-heavy city that you’ve passed through to reach it
With calming neutral colours covering the walls and rich, warming Pompeii red’s appearing throughout, this 17th Century building with it’s high ceilings and perfectly chosen decor is wonderous for the eye and the mind as you take it all in.
After climbing the classical wide staircase usual from a building of this era, entering the corridor through the 8ft high rich-red painted doors causes you to slow your tempo to take the details in.
Throughout the building – but especially in the entrance way – you’ll come face-to-face with the history of the building. In this particular room you’ll see what remains of the fresco that once would have been the highlight of the room, drawing the eye in as you enter the luxury apartment of it’s original owner.
What remains of the fresco is the result of hotel owner Michelle Lowe’s efforts to keep a hold on the history of the building whilst bringing the decor to the art-rich and minimal design she has chosen to employ since opening the hotel close to 8 years ago.
Also, for the keen eyed you’ll have a treat in store as you look to the ceiling.
Restored and now preserved for the next generation to enjoy; the ceiling has been saved and returned to it’s original 17th Century design and will take you’re breath away not just with it’s age, but also it’s simplistic beauty that had us both astounded with it’s 300 year old beauty.
You can feel the passion behind each decision that has been made in the decoration of the hotel, that this is more than just you’re run of the mill boutique, art or design hotel; that this is the true meaning of a art hotel, and with a background in interior designing in London and Milan it’s done to perfection.
In the central reception area – and throughout the first floor it inhabits – you’ll come across the most magnificent art pieces that many an art gallery in the city and through Europe would be eager to purchase and envious of displaying.
Apart from the personally picked pieces by Michelle herself, there are also the works of local artists (chosen together with a respected local dealer) that also are the envy of the galleries in Naples.
It’s an attitude towards supporting local artisans and the community that we’ve come to love as we’ve travelled the world and it gives us great pleasure to see the same not just in Naples, but also in the very hotel we’re staying in.
Everything through the building was either crafted or sourced locally; not only the artwork that decorates the rooms and the common area where you can sip a coffee or a glass of champagne as you enjoy the rich sea view; but every little detail of the decor from the bespoke tables and stunning chairs that are a design lovers dream, but also the stones that offer a moment of zen throughout the building are from the beautiful isle of Capri that you can see across the bay of Napoli as you take your morning cappuccino.
The bedding too is a soft and warm bespoke design chosen by Michelle, the breakfast set is again another local design which you’ll find yourself not wanting to put down, not forgetting the soft olive oil-based soaps that too have been made with the Naples area.
Once into the rooms you’ll find yourself amongst the same silence and calm that you will have found on your way into the building. The same restored beams and ceiling are revealed, the calming feeling given from the colours and items that decorate the room offer a peacefulness that you’ll soon welcome after a day in the hot Mediterranean sun.
Filled with all mod-cons, the room is perfect for either a lone traveller or a holidaying couple. Each room has it’s own bathroom that can be reached up a small flight of stairs that brings to closer to the ceiling, utilising the space that you’ll often find in these fantastic classic buildings. You’ll also find yourself even closer to the ceiling so that you can too admire the beauty of seeing the beams and floorboards refreshed as if they were put into place just recently.
Now whilst we very obviously loved the building and especially the artwork that decorates it, what truly sold Hotel Micalo as the only place we’d want to stay in Naples was the passion and personal assistance of those who work there.
From the very first day there was nothing more the staff could possibly have done more to enrich our stay in a city. In fact, if it weren’t for the passion of the staff in particular to help us satisfy our architecture and art needs, we never would have come across even half of the brilliant palazzi that are scattered through the city, but hidden from view.
Going on from a description of our tastes we not only tasted the best of Napoli’s art and architecture but also it’s true local lifestyle. We saw not only the more elegant lifestyle lived by some in the city, but also the opposite, we saw how the real Neopolitans live in the north of the city and couldn’t have had a better time and felt free and incredibly safe in doing so the entire time; in fact, the whole of Naples is a much safer city than I think most people and the typical stereotype might make out.
88 Riviera di Chiaia,
80122 Napoli, Italy
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Hotel Micalo is the benchmark for where a specialist hotel can be when done with passion, with care and a good eye for detail.
Going back to the hotel after a day in the city or after a day trip to nearby Pompei felt less like checking back in, but more alike returning home. Our comforts were taken care of, our queries and wishes met not just with the minimum, but a desire to go above and beyond the call of duty. What sets this apart from some experiences we’ve had in the past is the passion that Michelle and the team at Hotel Micalo have for service.
We both feel that should we ever return to Naples there wouldn’t be anywhere else we’d rather be and that Hotel Micalo will be the place to stay not only in 2014, but for many years to come.