Villa del Portico – Alassio – Ligurian Coast
10 Suites – 2 Bedrooms - Pool
It is an eclectic architectural jewel set in one of the most beautiful parks of the Riviera di Ponente, in Alassio on the Italian Riviera. It reopens its doors this spring to friends and guests after a major restoration. The 12 suites set in a luxurious Mediterranean park recreate the atmosphere of the turn of the 20th century when Thomas and Daniel Hanbury spent time in Liguria, creating the botanic jewels which brought them widespread fame.
VILLA DEL PORTICO is an architectural complex made up of 2 prized homes (the Villa proper, and the 'little villa" or Villino). They are set harmoniously in a one-of-a-kind hillside location with a breathtaking view, overlooking one of the most beautiful gulfs in Liguria.
The property boasts historical ties to the English community which, between 1800 and 1900, elected this corner of the Riviera among its favorite winter holiday destinations. The Villas are surrounded by a vast 2.2 hectare garden which combines Mediterranean vegetation with a large variety of exotic flowers and rare plants.
This splendid property was abandoned for years after being occupied by three important English families. One of these, the Hanbury family, lived in the house for more than a century. The villa's extensive restoration has taken place thanks to the initiative of a group of private citizens, passionate about the area, who acquired it in order to preserve and share its beauty with a select public of art and nature lovers. The villa has been transformed into a sophisticated hotel, a 'home away from home" for travelers in search of absolute tranquility.
The Villas and the Garden. The two nineteenth century villas have been returned to their original splendor through a meticulous restoration headed by the architect Ettore Mocchetti. The pomp and exquisite taste of the period have been expertly rehabilitated. The architectural style replicates that of English Victorian residences in India and Malaysia, villas constructed on multiple levels with large terraces and pergolas looking over the garden and inviting visitors to enter.
The extraordinary Garden Terrace, planted along the hill's natural slope, has been brought back to life by the deferent work of landscaper Paolo Pejrone, one of Italy's landscape masters. The original natural setting of the villa has been reproduced with a variety of flowers sprinkled among the native Mediterranean plant life. Next to the olive and orange trees which grow naturally on the hill, Canaries palms and date trees have been placed, along with the cypresses and other exotic species: from South American cactuses to Australian eucalyptus, aloe and agaves, as well as a large variety of wisteria and flowering plants. A pool equipped with a whirlpool and changing rooms in the English style, can be found on one of the garden terraces.
Common Areas. Inside the main villa, the reception and common areas open onto the marble foyer, dominated by the grand white marble staircase. The bright dining room, occupied by a single, large period table and dominated by the original Finale stone fireplace, is connected to a modern kitchen where lavish breakfasts are prepared with great care and which, in clement seasons, are served in the adjoining garden surrounded by the age-old perfumed eucalyptus. In the living room, a welcoming and comfortable meeting point for guests, the eye is drawn through a large bow-window to the Ligurian sea. Once can even see Corsica poised on the horizon. It is a view which truly transports the visitor to a place of total peace and tranquility.
Rooms and Suites. Of the 6 rooms in the main Villa, the Daniel Hanbury Suite sits on the ground floor adjoining the foyer. It is named after the last owner of the Villa who injected the property with great life. The room is decorated in relaxing terracotta tones and has a private access to the garden.
The rooms and suites on the first floor are large and have their own private access to the terrace with a view of the Gulf of Alassio. Each of these is unique in its colors, period furniture, and antique paintings. Each room is dedicated to a guest who has stayed in the Villa, with selected memorabilia and books harkening back to the famous visitor.
Connected to the main Villa through a pleasant walkway, through the pergola which gives the property its name, is the second villa, the Villino della Portico. It is the older of the two buildings and is endowed with a more elevated position and an even more astounding view.
In the Villino there are 6 rooms and suites dedicated to artists who have adored Liguria: from the English musician Edward Elgar who here wrote his celebrated symphony 'In the south, Alassio', from the writer and journalist Cecil Roberts who here dedicated his novel 'Portal to Paradise' to Alassio, to the Canadian painter and poet Frances Jones Bannerman.
ROOMS & SUITES Equipements (10 Suites - 2 Rooms). Each Room is full equipped with: Bathroom with shower and/or bathtab, air conditioning, safe box, mini-bar, hairdryer, Nespresso Coffee machine, kettle, a Fortnum & Mason tea selection, Sat TV flat screen LCD (Sky Vision Gold e Pay TV), internet cable / wi-fi connection, direct telephone line, books selection about the territory and the Italian Riviera, chair longue and chair on the terrace. All rooms are non-smoking.
The style of the House and its Service. The style of service is that of extreme discretion and efficiency, as it once was among the great stately homes of the British upper class. The house staff is imbued with the highest standards of service which is today requested by the most discerning guests. A modern 'governess' takes care of the guests, preparing their delicious breakfasts of homemade cakes and jams, fresh fruit and locally produced foodstuffs. A concierge coordinates requests and programs for guests, providing valuable information on the surrounding area and opening doors to exclusive night spots, restaurants, and private visits, even those seemingly impossible to access.
DISTANCES: Genova, 90 Km (50 Mls), Milano 220 Km (137 Mls), Nizza 104 Km (65 Mls). AIRPORTS: GENOVA (Cristoforo Colombo Airport) 83 Km (51Mls); the airport is served by national and international flights from the major european destinations like London, Paris, Madrid, Munich, Rome. NIZZA (Galileo Galilei Airport) 115 km (71Mls); this airport is served by national and international flights from the major european destinations like London, Paris, Madrid, Munich, Rome, Zurich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Wien. VILLANOVA D'ALBENGA private Airport in C. Panero, 8 Km (5Mls).