When we travelled to Italy last summer not many of our friends had used Airbnb, so we were going out on a bit of a limb by booking into Sycamore Hill B&B. We needn’t have worried, because it was a lovely experience from start to finish and very cheap.
We opted not to hire a car (which I don’t recommend…) and turned up at host Chiara’s doorstep very sweaty, stressed out and regretting that decision enormously. Chiara showed us into a huge room that was every bit as lovely as the photos and more.
It was beautifully cool in the room despite being hot outside, and big wooden shutters meant that it was easy to control the temperature. Our room was en suite and the bathroom didn’t quite live up to the bedroom, but we didn’t exactly spend much time in it…
The rest of Chiara’s house was equally quirky and cool and one one night she took us up onto the roof, where there’s an amazing view out over the bay and some of the clearest stars I’ve ever seen. As a host, she struck a great balance between being helpful and attentive and leaving us to it, which we really appreciated.
Breakfast at Sycamore Hill is served on a balcony terrace, and let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten breakfast with a better view. Mount Vesuvius is front and centre, but you can also spy on the little boats criss-crossing the harbour and see the town of Sorrento stretched out below you.
Chiara served far too much breakfast for my not-a-morning-person boyfriend to handle, but luckily I am quite capable of eating for both of us. We could choose when to eat and we ate breakfast in the company of other couples and groups staying at Sycamore Hill most mornings, which was really nice and sociable.
Breakfast varied day to day, but there was always cereal, fruit, fresh croissants and yoghurt on offer. Some days we had cold meats, other days cheeses served with slices of tomato. It was all delicious and served in a really relaxed way, which made it a perfect way to start a day of adventures.
It’s easy to get to Sorrento and Pompeii in one direction or to Amalfi and Positano in the other on the local buses, and tickets are just a couple of euros. Though the hotel opposite (Residence Le Terrazze) doesn’t serve meals, it has a very pretty whitewashed terrace with a view, prices are reasonable and when we went for a drink in the afternoon we were absolutely plied with snacks!
Minor reservations: The only thing that perhaps could have been made clearer on the profile of Sycamore Hill was that it’s not exactly in Sorrento. We’d seen a map, so we knew it was on the outskirts, but because the hills climb so steeply behind Sorrento and there aren’t many footpaths, it’s not very safe or easy to walk there.
We also had to traverse a fairly hairy road up to the next village along (Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi) to eat each night, as the buses became too infrequent to rely on after about 7pm. It was no hardship, as the village was lovely and the restaurants (especially I Quattro Venti) served delicious food for next-to-nothing (20-25 euros for pizza or pasta, dessert and a bottle of wine).
I’d be back in a heartbeat, as long as I had a car, and would wholly recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap B&B in Sorrento.
P.S. If you book using this link, you get £14 off your first stay and I get £14 credit. Everyone wins!