We last visited this 19th-century villa, perched on Italy's Amalfi Coast, 12 years ago, and couldn't wait to see if it had retained its traditional romantic charm. Remarkably, some of the characters we loved best from our first visit are still present - like the eternally effervescent maître d'. If there is a man alive more passionate about food and drink, we have yet to meet him.

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The decor remains true to our memories, but you don't come here to be cool - you come for the immaculate service and the beauty of its idyllic location. Best of all, you can enjoy that view from just about every part of the hotel, but we headed for the Ristorante Al Mare, overlooking the sea and beach club - just the place to enjoy a very boozy rum baba.

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Fancy a day out? A trip to the nearby island of Capri is well worth the 40-minute hydrofoil hop. Take a stroll through the lush botanical Gardens of Augustus for some of the best views on the island, before following the car-free coastal road round for lunch at Punta Tragara Hotel (www.hoteltragara.com). If you can, grab a terrace table to drink in the spectacular seascape while tasting chef Luigi Lionetti's excellent regional dishes. Be sure to save room for his twist on a traditional insalata caprese salad: buffalo mozzarella ice cream and tomato crumble on a bed of basil soup.

WOW FACTOR Book the Chalet Giulietta & Romeo, a two-level suite with its own private garden and pool.

FLIGHT TIME 2.5hrs from UK

GO The Leading Hotels of the World www.lhw.com/scaterina offers stays from £233, B&B

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