Stepping out of Toledo Metro station into the belly of Naples, I began to wonder if we’d made a terrible mistake.  Swarms of people surrounded us, their voices bellowing with animation.  Vespas zipped in and out of the crowd, separating the throngs with their no-nonsense pips.  The air was thick with the smell of warm, spilled beer and national chants slurred from the depths of a nearby bar. 

It was Labor Day in Italy – a fact my boyfriend Fraser and I were unaware of when booking our trip, and a fact we were feeling distinctly unprepared for as we carved a path through the crowd in search of our hotel.  In any other context, the carnivalesque atmosphere might have been enjoyable – with a bagpack digging grooves into my shoulder and a suitcase that disagreed thoroughly with cobblestones, this was not the case today. 

Finally, like a beacon glinting through the fog, the sign for our hotel emerged: 

Caruso Place Boutique and Wellness Suites 

A more welcoming name, I could not imagine. 

Stepping through the impossibly small door into the courtyard that led to our hotel, I began to understand a little of what Alice might have felt when she took that fateful tumble down the rabbit-hole and wound up bleary-eyed in Wonderland; just seconds from the madness of Via Toledo, I began to get the impression that Caruso Place was going to offer us a little oasis of calm in the heart of this bustling metropolis.  Thankfully, we were lucky enough to be hosted here for not one, but two nights.

 

Caruso Place is a small boutique hotel, with just ten bedrooms.  From the website’s description, the place promised luxury, peace and idyllic surroundings.  As we walked up the chandelier-lit stair, it was pretty evident that we were in for a treat.  Here’s a lowdown of everything to love about the hotel, and why I’d recommend it to anyone looking to splash out a little on somewhere special to base themselves in the heart of Naples: 

 The Location 

For me, location wins every time.  I’d always rather pay a little more to be in the thick of things, particularly as I always seem to find myself surprisingly short on time, despite my best efforts at planning.  For a central position, it couldn’t be better than Caruso Place.  We’d had a few discussions about staying closer to the Garibaldi train station, but had been put off by traveler pals who’d had bad experiences with pickpocketers navigating the area.  Thankfully it was an easy metro ride to Toledo station, and at less than two euros, it was more than worth the three-stop journey. 

Caruso Place was only a few minutes’ walk from the metro, and despite the madness of our arrival (I’m assured that Labor Day is an anomaly in the Italian calendar), Via Toledo had a lot to offer, with gelaterias, pastry shops and designer stores lining the avenue.  The hotel itself was nicely positioned, straight across the road from the Galleria Umberto, and an easy stroll to the Teatro San Carlo. The narrow lanes of the Spanish Quarter also offer up plenty of quirky, late night eateries if you fancy escaping the main thoroughfare.  We particularly loved Hosteria Toledo, a cosy little family-run joint which served up rustic home-cooked grub and was only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.

  Those looking to stretch their sea legs will also be happy to know that it was an easy hop, skip and jump down to the port, where you can catch the ferry to neighbouring islands like Procida and Ischia, or catch onward connections to the Amalfi Coast.  If you’re short on time in Naples, I’d absolutely recommend sticking to this part of town.  With so much on your doorstep, you can’t go wrong. 

Galleria Umberto, a matter of feet from Caruso Place

The Facilities 

Small it may be, but Caruso Place has a lot to offer its guests.  As well as the accommodation, the owners also run a travel company, Aloschibros, and so the staff are well equipped to offer advice and help you out if you need any tours or transfers sorted.  The owner Adolfo was kind enough to spend some time working out ferry arrangements for our trip to Procida – even going as far as to work out the best time of day to travel to get the most hours of sunshine in. 

The beautiful island of Procida, a 40 minute ferry ride from Naples

As the name might imply, the staff at Caruso care about the wellness of their guests.  From the calming colours throughout to the gentle arias which trickle through the corridors, the hotel achieves a lovely balance between stylishness and serenity.  If the interior alone doesn’t do it for you, you might even want to treat yourself to consider getting a therapy treatment.  We opted for a couples massage, and I can safely say that those shoulders lowered by a good inch or two by the end. 

The Rooms 

Every room at Caruso Place has been planned out with the guest’s comfort and experience in mind.  We stayed in room 104, which wasn’t the biggest on offer, and yet it had more than enough space for two people plus luggage, with some clever storage options on hand.  Although it was very close to reception, the room was surprisingly quiet and because there was a second entrance to the building, we didn’t feel that our privacy was affected in any way. 

The décor was gorgeous, with the same golden, bronze and ochre tones that were echoed throughout the hotel creating a warm and relaxing vibe.  Everything was immaculately presented, with a bed so big you could easily lose each other and all the mod cons you could possibly ask for, including a large smart TV which would have been handy for playing music through or watching films, if we’d had a little more time on our hands! 

Every little detail had been thought out, from the ridiculously soft towels to the little lemon sweets left on our pillow each morning.  My absolute favourite aspect of the accommodation however had to be the bathroom, with its indulgent stone sink, rainfall shower and LED light system – or the ‘disco shower’, as it became known. 

While we didn’t get a look in all the rooms on offer, we did manage a quick peek at the Wellness Suite Berrio, which came complete with two king-sized beds and a hot tub!  In a way I’m quite glad we didn’t get that room.  I might never have left. 

The Breakfast 

Breakfast is served in the beautifully decorated yellow lounge.  Every morning we were greeted with the option of a freshly made Italian coffee.  Nothing sets you up for the day like an Italian espresso!  This went perfectly with the traditional breakfast options; cured meats, cheeses, pastries and fruit.  I was particularly glad to see cannollis, and ate more than is probably acceptable to admit on here.  Also up for grabs was sfogliatelle, a traditional Napolese pastry shaped like a lobster’s tail and filled with zesty lemon cream. 

The Staff 

They say that people make places; this is definitely true of the staff at Caruso Place.  From the moment that we were welcomed at reception we were made to feel right at home, and no request was too big.  The staff were knowledgeable, full of advice for things to see and do and always on hand to keep our caffeine levels suitably topped up.  When you’re paying for luxury treatment, it helps to have a team so passionate about the place they work and the city they live in.  This place might be new to the market, but Adolfo and his team look like they’re on to a winner. 

For the perfect stay in central Naples, you can find Caruso Place Boutique and Wellness Suites at Palazzo Berio, Via Toledo. +39 081 010 8987 

Prices vary according to season, so for accurate costs, head straight to their website here. 

Disclaimer:  We were fortunate enough to have our stay supported by Caruso Place.  Many thanks to Adolfo and his staff for making this possible and for looking after us so well.  As always, my opinions are my own. 

About The Author

A twenty-something-year-old with a penchant for travel and a never-ending supply of terrible puns.

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