The post about my time in Ischia wouldn’t be complete without talking a bit about my hotel on the island, the Mezzatorre Resort & Spa. I spent a good amount of time looking for a place to vacation for a few days before some business meetings I had in Europe this past week. I really wanted to further explore the coast of Italy, because in past years I have spent these early June trips in the south of France, a destination I hold as one of my most loved places for R&R. This year though I was hoping for something that could live up to the great times I have had before. Needless to say, Mezzatorre and Ischia far exceeded any expectations and has raised the bar for next summer.
Finding a place for me to vacation is not the easiest task. On business I don’t really have a lot of concern for where I will stay — often a Hilton of any color will suffice. So long as it is clean and well kept, I’m golden. But, when it comes to a vacation now that’s a whole other story. I agonize over where to stay when it comes to some of my few true holidays. Trip Advisor can be helpful, but I find most of the people on there are insane or just very easily won over and have tendencies to over rate things. So I’ve learned to look to people — people whom I consider to have all-around good taste — for advice based on their past experiences.
This time around I was looking to stay somewhere on the Amalfi Coast and I couldn’t seem to come up with anything I liked under $1200 a night (which is insanity as far as I am concerned unless it is a honeymoon situation). Eventually though I found the perfect person to ask for advice and he in turn offered up the Mezzatorre, which ended up being the perfect solution. That man? None other than Mr. Tom Kalenderian, the smartest man in menswear, Barneys New York GMM and all around good guy.
The Mezzatorre is situated on the north shore of the island and is spread over seven beautiful wooded acres with views of the sea from every nook and cranny. I actually think that the views alone are worth the cost of admission. The rooms are clean and the service was attentive without being over bearing. There was never any pressure to buy drinks or spend more, we only experienced freedom to enjoy ourselves and help when we wanted it.
Mezzatorre has two restaurants, a casual place and a more formal option, plus a bar and lots of space to roam around. We spent most of the days at the pool which sits right next to a perfect little inland. We would oscillate between swimming in the pool, laying in the sun, drinking Rosé and then swimming in the sea. When we had had enough time in the sun, we would head into the little village of Lacco Ameno to watch the boats in the bay, eat gelato and wander around.
The crowds in June are a third of what they will be in peak summer months, which makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable. Being a volcanic island, Ischia also has some amazing thermal baths where you can spend the entire day soaking in a seemingly endless variety of hot spring pools. It is not an exaggeration that the sun, sea, food, island and the people make Ischia the perfect escape.
After staying at Mezzatorre, I don’t know if I will ever make it to see the Sorrento or Amalfi coasts, Ischia could be all I’ll ever need.