I just returned from three days in the CT, and had a very nice stay at La Torretta. We had a small apartment with a large terrace overlooking the town and sea below for 140,000 lira a night. The rooms were pleasant (nicer than they look on La Torretta’s web site) and clean. Gabriele, the proprietor, was friendly and helpful. It is a steep hike from the train station (so we packed our day packs accordingly), but the view is worth it.
The hiking was magnificent, with all hues of wild and cultivated flowers in bloom and the fragrance of orange blossom everywhere. Despite assertions that the Via dell’Amore would be open by Easter, it was still closed the week of April 22. (An alternative walk between Manarola and Riomaggiore takes you briefly along the road above the towns, then down through the terraced vineyards in Riomaggiore. The walk took about an hour and the descent was a bit hard on the feet, but walking through the vineyards was interesting and there were magnificent views from above of Riomaggiore.)
I also highly recommend the 30-minute ferry trip from the CT to Porto Venere, a beautiful harbor town with a medieval castle and church, those wonderful pastel buildings on the waterfront, and snow-capped Alps in the distance.