Once a hideaway for luminaries like Greta Garbo, the Hotel Caruso, on Italy's Amalfi Coast, had all but faded into obscurity. That is, until Orient Express bought the 11th-century property sixyears ago and gave it a complete overhaul. Some $37 million later, the whitewashed structure, which sits atop a 1,150-foot limestone cliff in Ravello, has regained its luster.
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Interior designer Federico Forquet dressed up the 54 bedrooms with bronze lamps and Neapolitan-style furniture, while chef Franco Luise created a locally inspired menu (think: chilled zucchini soup with Parmesan ice cream) that's served outside, overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. The hotel's 42-foot fishing boat whisks guests off for day trips to Positano, but the real draw is the infinity pool, whose waters fade into the mountainous horizon. Hotel Caruso, 2 Piazza San Giovanni del Toro, Ravello; 39-089/858-801; www.hotelcaruso.com; doubles from $709; closed NovemberMarch. —VALERIE WATERHOUSE