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Pearl of Amalfi

Ravello, Italy

One of the hotel highlights of the Amalfi coast, a pink 12th-century palazzo, just became even more alluring thanks to its newly redecorated suites by Cristina Celestino

Last year, designer Cristina Celestino unveiled The Pink Closet, a boutique within Palazzo Avino, a luxury hotel on the Amalfi coast. In the hotel’s signature livery – a distinctive shade of pink that clads the outer walls of the 12th-century palace – it went several steps beyond the swish-but-dull aesthetic common to most hotel boutiques. With its scallop-shell tiles, a polychromatic marble floor, a cocooning carpeted changing room and curving mirrored screens, it was more wunderkammer than shop.

Following its success, Celestino was asked back, this time to work across a collection of the hotel’s best suites, and they are just as compelling. Perched on a hillside overlooking the coast in the town of Ravello, the hotel has a setting that is nothing short of magical, and now some of that magic is reflected in the interiors, too.


As with The Pink Closet, the designer wanted to bring to the rooms something of the hotel’s external architecture and its natural surroundings. “The idea came by thinking about the essence of Palazzo Avino and its bond with Ravello and the Amalfi coast,” says Celestino. “Perched on the steep cobblestone alleys, the hotel is like a pink mirage amidst terraces of olive and citrus trees. Hard to reach, it is a destination that proves to be even more extraordinary than expected, thanks to the breathtaking view of the sea and the horizon, glimpsed through the palazzo’s lancet windows.”

The rooms’ internal architecture is beautiful, with marble floors, high vaulted ceilings and gothic-arched openings that break up the various areas within the suites. Celestino has incorporated one of three palettes into each suite, aquamarine, coral and sand, and each interior also features some of the hotel’s collection of fine antiques.

Perched on the steep cobblestone alleys, the hotel is like a pink mirage amidst terraces of olive and citrus trees

For the coral palette, Celestino took her influence from Ravello’s classically beautiful gardens, one of the town’s major tourist draws, and in particular the terracotta that is one of the gardens’ key materials. The beds are enclosed within slightly concave walls, which in the Belvedere Suite is a patinated terracotta, a colour that’s repeated on other walls. The designer has run with the shell theme that also appears in the pink closet, with lighting that resembles pearls set within brass seashells. Elsewhere surfaces have been treated with a paint finish that resembles mother-of-pearl. These lustrous finishes contrast with the flat matt plastered walls.


The designer worked with rug company cc-tapis on a capsule collection for the rooms, with designs that feature lusciously oversized plants and flowers, their inspiration again taken from the locale: pomegranate, citrus trees and asphodel flowers. Hand-made in Nepal from linen, wool and pure silk, they chime in with Celestino’s three designated palettes.

It’s interesting how the pattern is reserved only for the floor, with the bold rugs overlaid on the sumptuous inlaid marble floors. From the riot of multicoloured marble in the bathroom tempered by minimalist white bath, to the custom-made furniture that sits perfectly with the antique pieces, Celestino always knows how to get the tempo right.