Ischia's best hotel, the Hotel Regina Isabella, which houses the top spa in Ischia.
By Anita Draycott
The greener, flatter island of Ischia, while lacking the glamour and glitz of its sister Capri, has a quieter charm all of its own. It’s blessed with the best beaches on the Amalfi Coast, and due to its volcanic origins, Ischia boasts more than 50 curative mineral springs.
The best hotel on the island conveniently also houses the top spa. With views overlooking the village and harbour of Lacco Ameno, the Hotel Regina Isabella offers palatial public spaces, luxurious guest rooms, splendid gardens and a private cove for swimming and lounging.
Visitors to the spa have included Nobel Prize winner, Marie Currie, who studied the benefits of the mineral-rich thermal waters and mud. Treatments range from Ayurvedic massages to facials using ancient Chinese techniques.
Lacco Ameno has long been the island’s mecca for the rich and famous. Fiat magnate Gianni Agnelli used to anchor his yacht here and Ameno was the backdrop for the famous barge scene in Cleopatra. In fact, Liz and Dick stayed at the Regina Isabella during filming. More recently, the Ischia Film & Music Global Fest has attracted such luminaries as Norman Jewison, Francis Ford Coppola and Hilary Swank.
At the helm of Indaco, the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, chef Pasquale Palamaro creates innovative tasting menus. He also invites guests to enjoy a glass of Spumante in his kitchen where he cooks and serves appetizers every evening.
Certainly there’s much more to Ischia than meets the eye, so please allow at least a few days to succumb to its allure.