Naples, Italy

Photo: Romeo Alberghi S.r.l.

This long-planned trip isn’t starting out on the right foot. Bad weather created widespread delays. You landed hours later than expected. Then lines—customs, baggage, and even the bathroom—greeted you upon arrival. The first day of your vacation was a bust.

It was late as you approached Naples. You’d planned to visit the National Archaeological Museum, explore the Catacombs of San Gennaro, walk along the water to Castel dell’Ovo, and eat pizza. But you lost the day. Italy’s third-largest city will have to wait. You’re boarding a ferry bound for the islands first thing in the morning.

Now, instead of a full day, you only have an evening in Naples. En route to the hotel, you altar your plans. You won’t have time for the museum and the catacombs. So, after dropping off your bags, you’ll wander along the Lungomare. From the waterfront promenade, you’ll have a view of Mount Vesuvius and plenty of casual pizzerias from which to choose. Everything else can wait a few days.

Photo: Romeo Alberghi S.r.l.

Today is not the day for plans, though. They change, once again, when you reach the Romeo Hotel. The design hotel took over a building from an old shipping company along the port. Its Japanese architect gave it a glass-and-steel facade, an open lobby, and swanky decor. Modern art, from the owner’s personal collection, fills every open space. Plus Bar 9850 has a marble counter and a cigar room.

The ground floor is cool, but it’s the upper levels that are truly impressive. Your sixth-floor, Deluxe Harbour View Room—definitely worth the upgrade—features a bed with a mountain of pillows and a glassed-in bathroom. Slatted wooden blinds cover the floor-to-ceiling windows. They open to reveal a stunning view of the Gulf of Naples and the city’s famous volcano.

That view keeps expanding from the higher floors in the hotel. On the ninth floor, the Beluga Bistrot & Terrace and the glass-fronted pool add the Certosa di San Martino and Castel Sant’ Elmo on one side; Capri, where you’re heading tomorrow, is on the other. While, like the Greeks and the Romans in the past, you feel like you’ve conquered Naples from Il Comandante, the Michelin-starred restaurant on the top floor. You’re obviously not going anywhere else tonight.

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