Hotel Portofino: ITV release date, trailer, filming locations, cast with Natascha McElhone and Season 2 news

Natascha McElhone and Anna Chancellor star in Hotel Portofino, a new ITV period drama set on the Italian Riviera in the 1920s

Hotel Portofino, a new period drama set in 1920s Italy, is arriving on ITV1 on Friday 3 February (a little over a year after its original Britbox release on Friday 27 January 2022).

The series, which stars Natasha McElhone and Anna Chancellor amongst others, follows the story of a new English hotel in the Italian Riviera, thrown into disarray by a sudden murder.

Here’s everything you need to know about Hotel Portofino.

What is it about?

The period drama is set on the Italian Riviera in the 1920s, unfolding against the backdrop of rising fascism and geopolitical turbulence. Bella Ainsworth (Natascha McElhone) is the daughter of a wealthy industrialist; she moves to Italy to set up the titular Hotel Portofino, which over time begins to attract a number of even wealthier guests.

Bella is soon drawn into the political intrigue and plotting of Mussolini’s Italy, as corrupt local politicians begin to threaten the Hotel. Even worse, a guest is murdered – and the series soon starts to take on the shape of a whodunnit mystery.

Who stars in Hotel Portofino?

Natascha McElhone in Hotel Portofino (Credit: ITV/Britbox)
Natascha McElhone in Hotel Portofino (Credit: ITV/Britbox)
Natascha McElhone in Hotel Portofino (Credit: ITV/Britbox)

Natascha McElhone stars as Bella Ainsworth, the owner of Hotel Portofino. You’ll recognise McElhone from a number of things, including Californication, Halo, Designated Survivor, and the most recent season of The Crown.

Mark Umbers plays Cecil Ainsworth, Bella’s very charming yet very dangerous husband. Umbers is probably best known for his role in Home Fires, but you might also recognise him from My Dinner with Hervé, Father Brown, and Collateral.

Anna Chancellor, meanwhile, plays Lady Latchmere – the hotel’s wealthiest and most demanding guest. You’ll likely know Chancellor from television series The Hour (in which she starred with Dominic West and Ben Whishaw) as well as her film roles like Four Weddings and a Funeral.

The rest of the cast includes Pasquale Esposito (Gomorra), Lorenzo Richelmy (Marco Polo), Imogen King (Darkest Hour, The Bay), and Adam James (Vigil, I May Destroy You) amongst others.

Who writes and directs Hotel Portofino?

Matt Baker (not that one) created and wrote all six episodes of Hotel Portofino. Baker has previously written episodes of Professor T, Before We Die, and Suspect (which each adapt international dramas). Walter Iuzzolini is a producer on Hotel Portofino.

Adam Wimpenny - who previously directed an episode of Sky’s Urban Myths, and the comedy series The Revolution Will Be Televised - directed all six episodes of Hotel Portofino.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! You can watch last year’s Britbox trailer right here.

When and how can I watch it?

You can catch Hotel Portofino on ITV1 on Friday 3 February – for the past year it’s been a Britbox exclusive, but it’s now finally making its debut on traditional television.

You’ll also be able to watch Hotel Portofino on ITVX.

How many episodes is Hotel Portofino?

Hotel Portofino is six episodes long, each of which are around 45 minutes or so.

Where was Hotel Portofino filmed?

Like a number of series, Hotel Portofino wasn’t actually filmed in the same place it’s set. The Italian Riviera you see in Hotel Portofino is actually the Adriatic sea, with most of the series having been filmed in Croatia.

Will there be a Series 2?

Yes, there will! Another six episodes of Hotel Portofino were filmed in Croatia over summer 2022, with stars McElhone and Umbers, as well as writer Matt Baker and director Adam Wimpenny, all returning. It’s expected to arrive on Britbox in 2023, suggesting presumably it’ll arrive on ITV1 at some point in 2024.

Why should I watch Hotel Portofino?

It’s one to check out if you enjoy an ITV murder mystery – especially those set in beautiful locales.