by Lissa Poirot
The Lido Palace Hotel lives up to its name, a grand dame that overlooks the Meditterrean Sea in the Italian Riviera town of Santa Margherita Ligure. The hotel and town are centrally located in an elegant summer tourist destination, between Rapallo and Portofino, and minutes away from Cinque Terre. The town is known for its sailing regattas, and the hotel’s sea-facing rooms provide views of the sailboats and yachts that frequent the waters. Steps away from the hotel are sea-view restaurants with ample outdoor seating and a quaint town with narrow-winding streets that climb into the hills for even better views. It’s a fabulous hotel and one of our favorites across the whole of Italy.
Our Editor Loves
- Family suites
- Views of Mediterranean Sea
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There are 54 units in the Lido Palace Hotel, including Classic, Superior and Deluxe rooms, as well as several suite variations. Families will love the Junior Suite for its extra living room. The rooms feature a living area with a pullout sofa bed and a small dining table, and a private bedroom with queen bed. A kitchenette is available to guests who stay at least a week. (Sounds weird, right? They actually lock the kitchenette doors unless you are staying a week or more.) Balconies with sea views are offered in many of the suites, and the Superior Junior Suites feature a large walkout terrace with lounge chairs and an outdoor dining area. Smaller rooms feature either one queen or two twin beds.
All rooms provide free Internet, satellite TV, air conditioning and a private bathroom with either a shower only or shower and tub combination.
Lovely hotel right across from the beach. We had a junior suite deluxe sea view with balcony and plenty of room for 2 people. The rooms were clean and tidy and well kept. The bathroom was equally clean and well maintained. The staff were all friendly and always helpful. Breakfast was as expected with a cold and hot buffet with plenty of choice. The restaurant menu (American Bistro) had enough choice as there was also a snack menu which you could pick from. The hotel was close to all the shops and restaurants. Only thing would be if you have mobility problems the room we were in had stairs going down to the room and stairs in the room as well. This hotel is closing at the end of September 2019 to be refurbished and hopefully opening in April 2021.
Stayed at the lido palace for my wife's 30th birthday at the end of August. Fantastic location over the road from the beach and the ferry to portofino, and 5 mins walk from the train station. Hotel was friendly and relaxed and the room clean, comfortable and spacious with a great view of the ocean and good Aircon (which we needed as temperatures were up at 29/30 degrees). Staff were friendly and helpful and good choice of breakfast.
One of the biggest allures for the Lido Palace is its location directly opposite a large public beach. Beach towels are provided to guests (at a small fee). A park, snack vendors and summertime events complete the beach experience.
While staying in Santa Margherita Ligure, hop aboard a water taxi or a bus to reach picturesque Portofino, three miles from the hotel. The charming town is also home to many yachts and sailboats in the summer. In nearby Cinque Terre, you can visit the five villages in one of the most beautiful vistas in Italy.
Note: The Cinque Terre walk received damage in a recent storm, and hikers can no longer walk through the National Park between all five towns. Due to traffic in the summer, the roads are also closed to cars. The only way to see the towns now is by rail.
The hotel's main-floor restaurant, La Ghiaia, features floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the gorgeous views (or fancy car watching, which is popular in the Riviera.) The Ligurian menu provides a local selection of dishes and an extensive wine menu. As a coastal town, seafood is the house specialty. The restaurant doesn't have a specific menu for kids, but Italian basics, such as pizza and spaghetti, will please them.
The restaurant also provides cooking classes from March to November.
The hotel also has a breakfast lounge, where complimentary continental breakfast is served daily.
The American Bar provides a lounge for coffee and cocktails with sea views.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Concierge will assist in arranging babysitting services.
Laundry service is available, at a fee.
A small fitness center offers a Turkish bath, wellness programs, a spa, treadmills and stationary bicycles.
Parking is available by valet, but make reservations at the time of booking accommodations to ensure there is room.
The Art of Smart Timing
Santa Margherita Ligure is a warm-weather Riviera town and comes alive between March and November. In the winter months, the town basically shuts down and goes into hibernation until the throngs of people return to bask in the Italian sun and sunbathe on its beaches.
The nearest airport is in Genova, Cristoforo Colombo, about 42 kilometers (26 miles) from the hotel. The hotel provides transportation service from the airport, or visitors can take the Volabus shuttle to the Principe railway station. By train, the hotel is on the Genova ï¿½" La Spezia line, with a stop marked for Santa Margherita Ligure/Portofino, located about 200 meters from the hotel.
If arriving by car, take the Autostrada A12 and follow signs for Rapallo. From there, follow signs to Santa Margherita Ligure and travel along the sea road until you reach the hotel.