Monastero Santa Rosa, Amalfi Coast Review: Rarified Clifftop Luxury
— Updated on 12 February 2023

Monastero Santa Rosa, Amalfi Coast Review: Rarified Clifftop Luxury

— Updated on 12 February 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

A spectacular past sensitively translated for Amalfi’s aggressively premium market. For the overzealous, it may seem egregious at worst, jarring at best. Although transforming such sanctity into a charming luxury hotel has given Monastero Santa Rosa an edge on a peninsula renowned for its iron grip on the luxury travel market. Is it worth it? Read on for our full Monastero Santa Rosa review.

Perched on a cliff, overlooking the Gulf of Salerno, this historic monastery was completed in 1681 as a homage to Santa Rosa da Lima, shortly after which it became the home of The Dominican cloistered nuns of the Santa Rosa Conservatory. Although it wasn’t until 1924 that the property became a hotel, built from years of sensitive restoration led by US entrepreneur Bianca Sharma.

Now, Monastero Santa Rosa is considered one of the few truly great hotels of the Amalfi Coast, a top-tier reputation that sits above – in most cases, literally – the coastline’s generous spread of luxury accommodations. There are only 20 rooms and suites in the building, which I guess adds to the exclusivity of it all. Still, perhaps the best part is the tiered garden that sits between the Monastery and the sea, elevated by an infinity-edge swimming pool offering one of the most incredible views in the world.

Monastero Santa Rosa Review – Table Of Contents


The view from Monastero Santa Rosa’s infinity pool (Photo by Chris Singh)

Monastero Santa Rosa’s location is synonymous with unassuming luxury, which is ironic given the Amalfi Coast is one of the most overtly luxurious places in the world. It’s unassuming because it’s fairly secluded, perched atop that rocky outcrop just outside the very quaint village of Conca dei Marini. Not only is it an incredibly small, boutique hotel but every inch screams privacy, from the large, hallowed hallways decorated with original objects from the building’s history – including an untouched confessions booth where guests can give their “feedback” to the hotel via a scroll – to the one-Michelin-star Il Refettorio with its stunning terrace pulling in that quintessential view out to sea.

The town of Amalfi is not even 5 km away, so it’s a short drive in the hotel’s shuttle if you want an arterial connection to the rest of the Amalfi Coast. Just head to Amalfi and you can easily get a ferry on over to Positano, Capri or just about any other of the several high-profile stops around the coast. Hotel history and comfort aside, choosing Monastero Santa Rosa is a wise way to base yourself near plenty of connections.

Romance is caked-in. Those clifftop Mediterranean views are hard to tear yourself away from, and the pool gives the impression of floating over the Amalfi Coast, which is unparalleled when it comes to capturing that La Dolce Vita lifestyle. There are also many intimate spots peppered across the terraced gardens, each distinctive and all tied together by immaculate views, as exciting during sunrise as it is during the day when the sea is packed with private charters.

Design & Features

Monastero Santa Rosa review
The spa at Monastero Santa Rosa feels intimate and genuinely relaxing (Photo supplied by Monastero Santa Rosa).

The bedrooms are sensitively converted from the nun’s suites, the restaurant benefits greatly from its open-air terrace at the top of the terraced gardens, and the spa feels appropriately hidden, offering many ways to unwind including food baths, treatment rooms and hydrotherapy showers. The contrast between the monastery’s intact history and those touches of modern luxury gives Monastero Santa Rosa an incredibly charming and distinctive style. It wouldn’t quite be the same without the admirable way the designers have kept the Monastery alive and thriving.

The mix of antiques found throughout the hallways only adds to the allure of the hotel, telling the story of the Monastery so those interested can connect better with the hotel before popping out to the ethereal gardens. The sun is the most effective tool of the hotel’s style, making those gardens feel like they’ve been ripped out of the pages of a fantasy novel.

Stumbling upon the outdoor gym feels genuinely exciting, given it’s an outdoor playground of modern equipment and looks directly over the sea. There are fewer places I’d rather exercise.

That aforementioned spa? While I didn’t have time to get a treatment from the extensive menu, there’s a nice and tight area with all those aforementioned foot spas and hydrotherapy showers. Granted, it’s not the big, impressive modern spa you’d get in some other luxury hotels, but considering it as a function of the space helps you appreciate it more. And you know it’s a classic Italian spa when you walk in and smell Santa Maria Novella products everywhere.


A Sea View Superior Room at Monastero Santa Rosa (Photo supplied by Monastero Santa Rosa)

As above, rooms and suites have been converted from the nun’s quarters and each has names rather than numbers. The mismatched furniture and flickering candles only add to the great character of each room. The entry category can feel quite small with only a window peeking out to the sea, but comfort is unquestionable, from the large, cushy bed to the sand-coloured bathrooms with heated floors.

Food & Drink

Breakfast at Monastero Santa Rosa
Breakfast with a view (Photo by Chris Singh)

Charming, blindingly quick service and good food are usually all you’d need from a restaurant. And Il Refettorio has that a thousand times over, but the real show-stealer is the view. It’s an incredibly romantic setting for dinner, and evidently, both guests and locals agree. On my visit, the restaurant’s terrace is packed with convivial get together and obvious dates.

A five-course tasting menu for $135 euros is well-curated by Chef Alfonso Crescenzo, drawing heavily from garden-fresh flavours and varied enough to take in all sorts of soups, pasta, proteins and vegetarian dishes. The menu seems to change more frequently than most, which is a great sign for guests who appreciate the vast difference truly fresh produce makes.

For more casual eats, the bar does a great octopus burger, and for a la carte breakfast you’d be remiss if you didn’t include a homemade sfogliatella pastry. The famous Italian pastry originated here, after all, so there’s an obvious pride when the staff serve you the flaky, creamy treat.

A poolside lunch seems to be the best way to play here, although, with my limited time, I was unfortunately not able to do this. That being said, I don’t think many guests who value exploring the Amalfi Coast as well as staying here would be able to afford much time to just lazing by the pool. If you do though, I could think of nothing more relaxing.


The outdoor gym at Monastero Santa Rosa (Photo by Chris Singh).

Generous, attentive service is always delivered with a smile without feeling scripted or disingenuous. The staff here all seem trained up to know everything there is to know about the Amalfi Coast, and any questions about the best way to get around and answered with considered solutions.

It certainly helps build up the rarified exclusivity of Monastero Santa Rosa. Having staff that feel more like exceedingly friendly locals than anything else is valuable when it comes to immersing guests further into the lifestyle. Discretion is everything here as well, so there’s little doubt those more high-profile guests – and I’m assuming a lot of them come through these doors – will be satisfied with the privacy on offer.

Verdict & Value

The beautiful terraced gardens of Monastero Santa Rosa (Photo by Chris Singh).

Monastero Santa Rosa is, as you’d expect, expensive. While it’s hard to justify forking out that much for an entry-level category room – a Sea View Superior Room – you’re mostly paying for the holistic experience of staying here. If I was to book for April 2023, I’d be looking at around AU$1,020 per night, which obviously climbs much higher if you’re looking at the right other room categories.

And yet, $1,000 still feels fairly reasonable once you actually check in and head out to explore the gardens. The majesty of such scenery negates the spending for those on a tighter budget, more so when you realise just how excellent the location is for exploring Amalfi Coast.

Yet those on a tight budget might want to consider a few things. Just being on the Amalfi Coast and getting around can add up to a significant sum, so allocating that much to accommodation may not seem like such a great choice.

Monastero Santa Rosa

Address: Via Roma, 2, 84010 Conca dei Marini SA, Italy
Contact: +39 089 832 1199

Rates at Monastero Santa Rosa start from around $1,020 per night.

The author, Chris Singh, stayed at Monastero Santa Rosa as a guest of the hotel.

Enjoyed our Monastero Santa Rosa review? Check out our other hotel reviews around Italy:

Monastero Santa Rosa – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best months to visit Amalfi Coast?

The best time to visit the Amalfi coast is in May or September, just edging the peak touristic period. This won’t make Monastero Santa Rosa feel any less expensive, but it will help with availability.

How much is a room at Monastero Santa Rosa?

If you want a Sea View Superior Room then expect to pay somewhere around AU$1,000 per night.

Is Monastero Santa Rosa a good hotel?

Monastero Santa Rosa is an excellent choice for those who want to live it up on the Amalfi Coast, yet with only 20 rooms and suites, availability is hard to come across.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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