Villa Orchidea

  • Region:
    Amalfi Coast
  • Location:
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  • Bedrooms:
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Many brave warriors vowed to fight until to defend the ancient stone walls surrounding the Tower of Hercolani from attacks launched by the much feared Saracens. Later these very same walls were protected by the so-called “Torrieri” or tower dwellers, who were brave officials of the Spanish Royal army.

It was the King of Napoli Ferdinand I, who ultimately put an end to these assaults in April 1816 by winning approval for a peace treaty among various European states: Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli.

On February 2nd 1909, Gilbert Clavel (B.  Basil 29 May 1883 – D. Basil 6 September 1927) purchased the tower and the outcrop of rock surrounding it.

The Princess Santa Borghese Hercolani (Paris, November 1897 – Rome, 13 April 1997) bought the tower from the brother of Gilbert Clavel, who recognized in the Princess a woman who would respect a house that Gilbert had considered a work of art, that, like the pyramids and the sphinx was destined to last through the ages. That said, the Princess could not hide her initial hesitation in the face of the sheer austerity of that rocky structure. But eventually she, too, fell in love with the house, and that love, in turn, filled it with warm vitality after years of almost worried stillness.

Today the children of the Princess are managing the house with the same passion  that inspired their mother. The property has been refurbished (bathrooms, kitchen, floors, AC) but it wasn’t revolutionized. The decor and most of the furniture are still those designed by Clavel himself.

“Born to defend against human hatred and now enclosed in stone walls and living in the silence of an ageless dawn are the spirits of those who have lived with great love in this beautiful home”


This unique and very special property is built on a promontory over multiple levels surrounded by the sea and nestled into the luxuriant Mediterranean scrub which distinguishes the Amalfi Coast.

The main entry to the property is at the end (west side) of “Fornillo’s Beach“. In order to get to the village of Positano the customers have to pass through the beach via a little path made of pebble rocks and  a wood boardwalk (15 minutes walk) or get the water taxi from the Tower to the main dock (5 minutes ride).

Behind the property on the west side there is a small private beach accessible by few stairs or by the sea. The beach is equipped with sunbeds, chairs, airbeds, hot/cold shower and a little toilet at the top of the stairs that leads to the Tower.

Ultimately, Villa Orchidea is designed to be the perfect place for those who want to enjoy their stay far from the crowd in a simple and convivial way with no pretense.

The property is divided into 3 connecting areas:

  • the Tower is composed of a fully equipped kitchen on ground floor, a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with bathtub and shower on the first floor, a living room and a single bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower on the second floor, a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom with bathtub and shower on the third floor. This last bedroom is the only room which has access to the top terrace of the tower. All the rooms and the living have AC.
  •  the Porch communicates with the the ground floor of the Tower through a corridor. It is composed of a porch with two arches which faces out the sea equipped with a big table for lunch, a small living room, the main kitchen, the laundry room and the wardrobe on the ground floor. On the first floor there are a double bedroom (green one) with en-suite bathroom (yellow one) with bathtub and shower and a single room (library) which share a wonderful terrace fully equipped with sofas, chairs, tables and another double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower (secret one). All the rooms have AC.
  • the Sirene communicates with the Porch through an internal staircase. On the first level there is a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with bathtub and shower. On the second level a single room with en-suite bathroom with shower. On the third level a small living room equipped with a small kitchenette and TV. All rooms have AC.

 INCLUDED in the rate:

  • Chef 6 hours a day (from 10 am to 4 pm)
  • Linen and towel change
  • Utilities (AC, water, electricity, Internet, gas)
  • Final cleaning
  • Laundry (available only 3 days a week)
  • Maid 6 hours a day (from 9 am to 3 pm)
  • Porter and transfer to and from the Tower on the day of the arrival and departure
  • Welcome lunch or dinner depending on the time of the arrival

NOT INCLUDED in the rate:

  • Staff extra duties
  • Food and beverages
  • Telephone and Fax
  • Extra laundry
  • Wine Tasting
  • Massage
  • Babysitter
  • Taxi Boat

The villa can be rented weekly and/or monthly.