The hotel was created in the 1920s when Bordighera, a pretty town with sloping tree-lined roads, became a winter retreat. The hotel too is on a steep sloping site, and is a friendly place for walkers and families: Rita and husband Maurizio take groups off into the Maritime Alps, then guide them back on three-hour treks. Come home to a play area with swings, slide and children’s pool, and a massage room for weary limbs. (A spa is on its way.) Public areas are comfortable with a mish-mash of 19th-century furniture, glass chandeliers and lavish bunches of silk flowers, the restaurant is traditional and charming, and the bedrooms, double-glazed against the main road, are newly decorated in a hotelly way. Bathrooms are white-tiled with floral friezes; pick one with a terrace and a view of the hills. Best are the terraced gardens: large palms at the entrance, a courtyard with bougainvillea and oranges, lush planting round the pool. Set off for the pebbled beach, a ten-minute trot down the hill; return to fresh fish on the menu served by attentive, delightful staff.