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Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre: La Torretta Lodge

When I first started looking for the best place to stay in Cinque Terre, I was looking for creature comforts.  (Disclaimer: I’m a hotel snob.  My mom worked in the hotel industry, so I’ve been able to stay in some pretty fabulous places.)  On our second trip, during our wine tasting tour, we spent a morning with a Manarola local.  He explained that the increased tourism (and demand for apartments) has priced many young people out of the market, and there are less than 300 local residents of Manarola now.  If this trend continues, Cinque Terre will soon just be a pretty place to take pictures (more so than it already is, but more on that later).  His stories made me appreciate La Torretta even more.  I can confidently say that it is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre – from both a comfort and sustainable tourism perspective.

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The Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre: The La Torretta Arrival Experience

It was difficult for me to fathom what Cinque Terre would be like.  Similar to Venice, there are no(t many) cars allowed.  I read of the winding stairs, cautionary messages of not bringing too much luggage, and the importance of being in shape.  For that reason, I booked the luggage transfer from the Manarola train station to the hotel during our first visit.  When we emerged from the tunnel, La Torretta was waiting with a golf cart to whisk us (and our luggage) up the hillside.

This year, our flight from London would arrive in Pisa at 5:00pm, so it was unlikely we would arrive in Manarola before the 7:00pm cutoff.  We were so excited to be back in Cinque Terre though, it didn’t matter.  The air was cool and crisp.  The streets were mostly empty.  We dragged our bags up the hillside, stopping a few times to catch our breath, and soon arrived at the plaza in front of the hotel.  The hardest part of our journey being over, I scampered to check-in, leaving my husband to handle the bags – at his request, of course!

The front desk immediately ran to help my husband with the bags.  They took our passports, escorted us to the terrace, handed us our glasses of prosecco, and headed off to prepare our room.  Vacation officially starts here.  It was the first moment I took a moment to just exhale.  La Torretta does check-in especially well; it’s a great reminder that one of beauties of Cinque Terre is the ability to just slow down.

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The Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre: A Tale of Two Rooms

We’ve stayed at La Torretta for the past two years.  The first year I booked a classic room, and this year, I took whatever I could get, which ended up being the junior garden suite.

Classic Room

  • Classic Room with Mountain View
  • Private terrace with a sea view
  • Queen bed
  • Small traditional closet
  • In-room safe
  • Nespresso machine
  • Free minibar
  • Free breakfast
  • Rainhead shower
  • Bottle of prosecco

Junior Suite

  • Junior Garden View Suite with small sitting area
  • HUGE terrace with lounge chairs, perfect for afternoon naps
  • Queen bed
  • Armoire for closet
  • In-room safe
  • Nespresso machine
  • Free minibar
  • Free breakfast
  • Rainhead shower
  • Bottle of process

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The biggest difference is the size and the sitting area, but honestly, the classic room was so cozy and romantic, I didn’t notice it.  We preferred the terrace to the sitting area.  The bathroom in both rooms is pretty small, but the water pressure is good and you can control the temperature well.  Both got the job done.  The one thing I would advise is to book a room with a terrace.  We enjoyed spending our afternoons on it, enjoying fresh air (and prosecco).  The breakfast terrace is always available, too.

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The Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre: Includes Free Breakfast

Typically, we aren’t into breakfast.  Our health habits include skipping breakfast, but when we’re in Cinque Terre, we burn so much glycogen that it’s important to supplement our protein.  La Torretta’s breakfast is perfect for that.  In addition to hot dishes, including eggs and quiche, there are cold cuts and cheeses, fresh fruit, pastries and more.  Sweet or savory, they have everyone covered.  My husband loved going to breakfast on the terrace while I preferred to stay in the room.  He would bring things upstairs for me, but every morning before we would head out, the staff would offer to make me  anything I wanted.  While I wouldn’t take them up on it, the service really is exceptional in that way. The best part is – breakfast is included with your room rate.  It’s not an add on or a loyalty perk, it’s just part of the experience.

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The Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre: Why Manarola?

After our trip to Cinque Terre, we thought we might want to stay in another village.  However, after this year, my husband declared we will only stay in Manarola.

Simply put, life in Manarola is easy.

Well, that hike up the hill isn’t necessarily easy… but it’s not the end of the world either.  Manarola harbor is gorgeous in the morning.  It’s absolutely stunning at blue hour.  And, it’s pretty magical at night, too.  It’s a quiet village – there aren’t a lot of things that stay open really late. (That goes for Cinque Terre collectively, at least in April when we’re there).  Once you leave the harbor, the crowds thin out – even in the midday.  The wine terraces are the best maintained in the region. You can even walk around the village through them!  We think it has the best views of the entire village.  You can see all parts of it.  Most of the villages have one distinct view or vantage point, but no matter where you are in Manarola, you can appreciate everything it has to offer.

So – it’s Manarola (and La Torretta) for us!

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For more Cinque Terre photos:

manarola cinque terre photos – 2016, riomaggiore cinque terre postcard photos – 2016

cinque terre hike photos – 2016, monterroso al mare cinque terre postcard photos – 2016

vernazza cinque terre photos – 2016

For more Cinque Terre planning, tips and tricks:

cinque terre trip planning, best place to stay in cinque terre

making pesto in cinque terre, wine tasting tour in cinque terre

best gelato in cinque terrewhy you need to stay in cinque terre

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Linking up for #WanderfulWednesday

Isabel, Marcella, Vanessa, Lauren