In my book, a “cool” place to stay doesn’t need to be hip and trendy and cutting edge. It just needs to be somewhere that isn’t bog-standard. And this place we stumbled upon – quite literally – in Castellabate, Campania is very cool, if like us, you like things that are a little bit different.

We’d taken the coastal road south from Sperlonga – and although only 136 km it was a long drive, as the road isn’t straight. We stopped off in Salerno hoping to get a room, but unfortunately had arrived in town when the Italian postal workers were holding a national conference. No room at the inn, so on we carried. Paestum was the next obvious stop – and I remembered the name from history lessons – but it was difficult on a dark October night (it was after 9pm by this time) to summon up any enthusiasm for the town, simply becasue we couldn’t obviously find anywhere to stay. This is a big regret of our trip to Italy as I’ve since really looked into Paestum and the history geek in me WILL be returning. The upside though of not finding anywhere on route, meant that we discovered the next place – Castellabate.

Although to be fair, we didn’t realise this until the next day. We were shattered and a bit lost, to be honest so pulled into a car park in a what seemed to be a typical old, Italian hill town. By sheer coincidence, where we’d parked the car, we saw a sign, half covered with ivy, which seemed to say “Albergo” – and although it was now quite late, we thought we’d at least make an enquiry…

And, wow – how glad are we that Salerno was full of postal workers? This was a GEM and we simply cannot recommend it highly enough. Read over on Trip Advisor what we thought…

The hotel (although as it’s far removed from a “hotel” as you can imagine) is just stunning – as is Castellabate. Another find, highly recommended by Her Travels. But ssshhhh – we don’t want everyone going there