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Cenobio Dei Dogi – Hidden Gem on the Italian Riviera

Cenobio Dei Dogi – Hidden Gem on the Italian Riviera

If you are looking to relax, unwind and enjoy the beauty of the Ligurian Riviera, then this upscale property is the perfect place to hang your hat. The hotel is nestled on one end of the quaint stretch of beach bordering the colorfully-painted fishing village of Camogli (pronounced CAH-mol-yee).
 Surrounded by Nature
As you approach the entrance, you are immediately drawn into the contrast of colors: blue skies above, a bright yellow building with emerald green shutters, and terracotta tiled walkways flanked with flowering plants. To your left sits a second building, painted blush pink with yellow trim.
The entire grounds are a nature-lover’s paradise. Neatly trimmed bougainvilleas, soaring palm trees, blooming rose bushes, potted plants and lovely statues vie for attention. The views from every point of the property are stunning, with the Golfo Paradiso (Golf of Paradise) in the foreground and the glistening shores of Genoa in the distance. The backside of the property is flanked by ragged cliffs, dotted with popular hiking trails.
The expansive grounds are impressive, especially considering how packed together the rest of the buildings along the town’s beachfront are. I loved stolling the property and stopping on each perch or patio to take in the sweeping views. I breathed in the salty air, and before long, my worries melted away as I started to embrace the Italian’s slower way of living.
For an afternoon of true relaxation, take a refreshing dip in the heated saltwater pool. If you prefer the beach, you’re in luck! Cenobio dei Dogi has their own quiet stretch of private pebbled beach where your lounge chair and umbrella await. When you’re ready for a refreshing beverage, sweet treat or savory snack, you don’t have to go far. The Il Chiosco serves its beachside guests from 11 am until 8 pm seasonally.
Friendly and Attentive Staff
One of the things I love most about Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi is the way the staff greets you when you arrive. I felt like I was a family member returning from a long trip away. Check in was a breeze and as I collected my keys, my bags were whisked off to my room and waiting when I arrived.
As you enter the main lobby, you’ll see comfortable seating areas strategically placed to encourage conversation. The atmosphere is elegant and airy. Here is where you’ll find the Il Doge Bar and a large open space filled with round tables set between arched columns, with a stately grand piano on one end. You might even catch a glimpse of guests froliking in the outside pool through large underwater windows.
Savor an afternoon aperitivo inside or find a table on the patio outside and take in the fresh air and unparalleled view. Your refreshing spritz or local wine will be accompanied by a plateful of delicious snacks.
Elegant and Sophisticated
Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi has 103 well-appointed rooms, each uniquely decorated in subtle tones of blue, gold, cream or gray. High ceilings, intricate parquet floors, fine draperies and refined wood furnishings created a striking first impression.
You can choose between standard or classic rooms or opt for a spacious suite. You’ll be able to choose a garden or sea view, some with a balcony to watch the sun set over a scene of flickering lights and swooping birds.
Each room is equipped with satellite TV, Wi-Fi, minibar, tea kettle and daily housekeeping. The beds are incredibly plush and comfortable with soft, white linens. If you are traveling with friends, most of the king-sized beds can be prepared as two singles.
Bathrooms are well appointed with marble tile, bidet, hair dryer, magnifying mirror, heated towel rack, luxurious bath products and either a shower or tub.
Hotel History
The history of this property dates back to 1565 when the powerful Dogi Family built their vacation villa on the side of Portofino Mountain. They named it “Castellaro” and this stunning home became not only their vacation get-away, but a respite from their government duties.
Since the Dogi family often hosted priests and cardinals, they built a small, ornate chapel on the property. This gorgeous structure in its original form still stands today.
At the end of the 18th century, the villa passed into the hands of the Tassari family, who split the property into two distinct villas. The family occupied the seaside structure and sold the other to the De Ferrari family.
In 1920, both villas were acquired by nature-loving Emilio De Ferrari, who decided to turn them into a luxury hotel. The doors opened in 1956 and people from all over the world have flocked to this seaside retreat ever since.
Lots of Dining Options
As the sun sets on another perfect day in Italian paradise, head to one of three restaurants on the property.
Choose Il Doge Restaurant for a fine dining experience. As you take in the striking views from the wall of windows, you’ll be served delectable Ligurian dishes prepared to order by the chef and his staff.
This is the same room where you’ll savor a fresh brewed espresso and massive breakfast buffet each morning of your stay. Included in the room price, you can choose from an expansive array of traditional favorites, such as sweet pastries, savory breads, fresh fruits, yogurt, granola, focaccia, cheeses, eggs and cured meats.
Another dining option is La Playa, where you can experience a candlelit dinner overlooking the hotel’s private beach. This cliffside restaurant serves dinner from May to September.
Opening each season in June is La Terrazza Giulia. You’ll enjoy the same menu as Il Doge in a casual setting, either outside on the terrace or inside by the bar. Live music will accompany your delicious meal.
All of the restaurant menus contain an impressive selection from both land and sea as well as a variety of regional pasta dishes. As a vegetarian, I was impressed with the meatless options, including potato gnocchi, penne or truffle pasta and even a gourmet seitan burger. In addition, I was delighted to find one of the most comprehensive wine menus I’ve ever seen in Italy. Whatever your preferences, make sure to order one of the incredible desserts!
For a fun group activity, inquire about the specialty cooking classes. You’ll be invited to join the chef in the kitchen as you prepare your preselected dishes. I was excited to make pesto-filled cappelletti from scratch as well as a huge Focaccia di Recco, which consists of two thin layers of crust filled with soft, gooey cheese.
The Quaint Village of Camogli
Located a 30-minute drive south of Genoa, this beach destination is popular with European vacationers but isn’t well known to American tourists – yet!
The colorful oceanfront promenade is lined with charming shops, filled with goods crafted by local artisans. Savor a coffee or gelato while watching the children play kickball in the square or head up the stairs behind the harbor to take a look at Castello della Dragonara (Dragone Castle).
While you’re there, take a peek inside the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. The unassuming exterior belies the exquisitely detailed Baroque interior, complete with gold bladed stucco, beautiful frescoes and tiered crystal chandeliers.
If you decide to forgo the hotel’s private beach and join the locals and tourists on the shore, you can rent a boat, paddleboard or sea kayak from several stands located right on the pebbled beach.
A quick stroll to the opposite end of the promenade will bring you to the harbor, where you can watch as the local fishermen unload their daily catch. Their fresh bounty will end up on the menus of the cute restaurants that border the inlet.
This is also the harbor where you can catch a daily ferry to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, a must-see stop accessible only by boat or hiking trail. Once there, another ferry can take you on to Portofino for an afternoon of shopping, dining or exploring. I highly recommend the easy hike to Castle Brown, where you’ll have the most incredible views of the area.
In 30 minutes, you’ll be high above Camogli in the quaint village of San Rocco, where a gorgeous church sits in the center of town. For serious hikers, you can continue on to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso or Portofino, with its history of catering to the rich and famous.
Multi-Service Property
The hotel offers an extensive array of services, including luggage storage, safe deposit boxes and free private parking for those arriving by car. If you don’t have your own vehicle, the concierge can arrange for a car to meet you in Genoa.
However, the easiest way to arrive at Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi is by train. Once you leave the station, simply cross the street and take the elevator to the street below. Walk a short distance to your right and you’ll be at the door of this impressive property.
If you’re traveling with your furry friend, you’ll be happy to hear that Cenobio dei Dogi welcomes any size pet at no extra charge. If you’re a parent who wants a night on the town, the hotel staff can arrange for a sitter to watch after your little ones for a fee.
The friendly concierge can arrange all sorts of fun day excursions. Travel by boat, train or car and visit the best sites this area has to offer. It is important to note that the hotel (and Camogli in general) has a lot of stairs and some areas may be difficult to navigate for differently-abled people.
For those hosting meetings, celebrations or other special events, they have an entire team to help you plan the perfect experience. Choose from one of 7 conference rooms, which can accommodate 20 to 200 guests. Each room is equipped with the latest conference technology.
Weddings are especially popular at Cenobio dei Dogi. Leave it to the competent staff to arrange everything, from the ceremony to the elegant reception, complete with the perfect menu for your special day.
And last but certainly not least, when you’re ready to pamper yourself even more, the hotel has a boutique spa where the competent Gabriella specializes in a variety of treatments. The menu includes customized massages, luxurious facials, body scrubs and wraps, nail services, waxing, and even makeup (perfect for the bride-to-be). The spa is open 1-8 pm each day with morning services available by appointment.
Waiting to Welcome You
If a seaside respite is what you crave, the attentive staff at Cenobio dei Dogi are waiting for you. Located at Via Nicolò Cuneo, 34, 16032 Camogli GE, Italy. For reservations, call +39 0185 7241 or visit

Linda Beach is a retreat success mentor, spa expert and freedom lifestyle coach She teaches passionate, travel-loving entrepreneurs how to design, market and host unforgettable (and profitable) retreats. She also hosts numerous retreats around the world each year.
As the founder and CEO of Linda Beach Coaching, Linda divides her time between Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (near her 3 grown “kids”) and traveling the world in search of incredible venues.
Her greatest passion is teaching others how to dust off their wildest dreams and create a life they don’t need a vacation from. To read more about Linda, go to

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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