ACTIVE ESCAPE – CAESAR AUGUSTUS !!!

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You might have spied that my two previous posts were photographed at the jewel in Capri’s majestic crown, the Hotel Caesar Augustus. Following on from the Active Escape piece I wrote about Positano, I felt that this dream-of-a-destination deserved its own round-up, since it represents the perfect embodiment of a ‘healthy getaway’, and has a very distinct feel from the fantastic Il San Pietro; this is an island hotel, a tranquil haven of an escape, a retreat, a sanctuary, and altogether exceptional. Read MORE for my thoughts on how you can stay active and explore this magical place at the same time, along with a collection of lovely photos 😀

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Following the established format, this post will be split into 4 sections, comprising 1) the fitness activities, 2) the facilities/highlights, 3) the nutrition and 4) the service.

1) THE FITNESS ACTIVITIES
Swim – the only infinity pool on the island, with one of the most restorative views you’ll find in the country! 27m of two-tiered pool located 400m above sea level, right by the cliff edge, and glistening with a topaz blue that echoes the sea and sky beyond it,. My photos don’t quite do it justice, nor could they ever; it is a masterpiece!

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Mountain Hikes: ‘Monte Solaro’ is is just a stone’s throw from the hotel, is eminently hikeable, and its peak stands about 600m above the sea, giving some impossibly breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples. For the lazy, there’s a picturesque chairlift up to the top too, but that’s not really in the spirit of an active escape! When you get there, the summit is adorned with a matching statue of Emperor Augustus (who first landed on Capri millennia ago) to complement the hotel’s own statue of its titular patron (photo courtesy of Capri Tourism Office).

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Gym – spectacularly located on the hillside, overlooking the gardens and ocean, the gym is modestly sized, but well equipped with current-generation Technogym machines and dumbbells, but most importantly, is outdoors. There’s a rare pleasure to working out in what feels like a private gym, the gentle ocean breeze providing natural cooling, faced with a stunning view of the Gulf of Naples and Vesuvius!

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Beach – being 300m above the sea, there are no immediately accessible beaches, but a 10 minute shuttle ride down to the port in the Hotel’s gratis shuttle service will see you arrive at one of the island’s sand traps! The tourism office has the best hints, HERE!

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Island walks – there are some phenomenally pretty routes through the main town of Capri. There is a funicular up from the port to the top of the main square, but I walked the gorgeous, winding road of Via Marina Grande Piazetta. Thereafter the Bond Street of Capri is located along Via Le Botteghe and Via Camerelle, which apart from being quite an aspirational little wander, is also stunningly bedecked with bougainvillea, everywhere! A little further along is the route to the gorgeous Augustus Gardens in Via Krupp, with a mesmerising view over the Faraglioni (Capri’s more glamorous answer to our Old Harry Rocks!)

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The Phoenician Steps – The hotel lies within meters of a natural stair master, known as the Phoenician Steps: 900 steps carved out of the rocks by the Ancient Greeks and which, until the early 20th century, were the only way to reach Anacapri from Marina Grande. A testing descent allows you to enjoy the stunning views, after which you cool off at the Bagni di Tiberio beach, and swim amongst the ruins of Emperor Tiberius’ villa!

2) THE FACILITIES / HIGHLIGHTS
Spa – located in the ‘Wellness’ zone, the Maison Orlane spa lays on world class treatments, and there’s a pretty unique steam bath attached too! The Wellness zone also houses the gym, as featured above.

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– The dramatic Infinity Pool, as mentioned in section 1.
Panoramic Terrace – a stunning and vast centrepiece, which seems to span 270 degrees (super-panoramic!), where they host live concerts through the season.

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Weekend Yoga – Every weekend, the hotel’s gorgeous gardens provide the inspirational venue for a series of Yoga lessons designed to help their guests control their breathing and channel energy. The lessons cost nothing, but prove valuably invigorating.
Private cove – I chose to meditate here by virtue of the stunning view from a little hideaway nestled into the mountain, but you can also book it for a private little dinner with a custom, healthy menu!

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– Restaurant La Terrazza di Lucullo was reviewed in my previous post HERE and stacks up according to Conde Nast Traveller as one of the top 5 island restaurants in the world!

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3) THE NUTRITION
– The Kitchen Garden, so called for its affinity between the Chefs and the produce, also featured in my previous post. Below are some of the pictures of their wonderful ingredients, before they hit the plate.

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4) THE SERVICE / ROOMS
Almost uniquely, the Caesar Augustus blends the reassurance of a big-hotel group’s ‘ever-present service’, with the charming intrigue of a small family-run hotel; that is an incredibly rare combination. The staff are full of charisma, but always stay on the professional side of charismatic. The rooms are simultaneously modern and classic, with local natural toiletries, Caprese linen sheets and a generous minibar policy that allows you to stay very well hydrated at all times. In other words, you’re fabulously looked after amongst incredibly comfortable hospitality. But it is their stunning balcony views that redefine any understanding of tranquility. A fresh healthy breakfast, taken early, overlooking the Sorrentine Peninsula as the sun emerges to full glory, gulls soaring in the gentle thermals… that is an inexpressible experience! The photos below try to capture the variety and scale of the views (along with some of the hotel’s personal touches), but it’s so hard to convey! After you visit, you’ll get it :) Faya x

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