I checked this page before we went to Corniglia and right after we returned and found no accommodations. Somebody has apparently beat me to it, but since I have more information and know more places to stay, you could may be fill these inn too?
First of all, you don’t have to take those steps at all (we found out on our third day there). There is an electric minibus corresponding with the trains going from the train station to the village. It costs 3000 lire per person and 1000 lire per each piece of heavy baggage.
Also there are a lot of accommodations in Corniglia. We stayed with Sandra (Mateo of Bar Mateo’s niece) at via Fiechi 212 (the main street of Corniglia) and had a lovely double room with a terrace facing the Mediterranean sunset. If you are not so interested in Mediterranean sunsets (to me they are like bad sex, a lot of commotion and one minute of action – then, where I come from the sunsets lasts for hours) there were a lot of boarding houses on the other side of the main street.
At the restaurant U Tinola in the little square you arrive at coming up from the train station, you can also rent rooms, not with terraces facing the sea, but with windows. This is also a wonderful restaurant – not only because of the food, but because the owners, Paolo and Fabio, used to be sailors and are 2 of the 4 people we found in Corniglia who speak English (or any other language than Italian for that matter). The other 2 were one of the bus drivers and the man running the grocery store on the right side of the main street.
Then – and to this place you don’t have to pass the stairs at all: There are little shacks next to the railway station, each containing a double bed, a bunk bed and a kitchen area. The standard would in my eyes be like minus 1 star, but I wouldn’t mind staying there in the summer or for 1-2 nights in the winter. It is called “Europe” something.
Then if you are really desperate, try what we did: Go to Bar Mateo (also in the main street), ask for Stefano or his lovely little bar maid – who understands English if you put in as many Italian (French or Spanish) words you can muster – and he will make phone calls for you. He did for us anyway! This is also a great hang-out in bad weather where you can meet people from all over the world. We met people from Switzerland, USA, Australia, Canada and Germany there. It is also a great hang-out in good weather (we found out the fifth day we were there and the sun came out again!), because he has tables in the middle of the main square where he also serves more substantial breakfasts than the normal Italian sweets.
And last, but not least. We staid in Corniglia in the heaviest rain I have ever experienced – when the district of Piemonte was classified catastrophic – it rained buckets non-stop for five full days. They had to close the walking trails because they were afraid of earth avalanches, so we actually got stuck. But: We still had a fantastic time and are planning to go back there with our children in the summer!
Hope you can use some of this information.