Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
Via Teatro Greco 59, Taormina
There’s an ancient Greek ampitheater at its back, and unobstructed views of the ocean and Mount Etna at its front, making this a pretty stunning place to rest your head while you tour Sicily.
Belmond Villa San Michele
Via Doccia 4, Fiesole
This is one of those hotels that manages to make itself the destination, rather than Florence—while the city is within striking distance (15-minutes away by car), you won’t really want to leave the hotel’s gorgeous terraced gardens, stunning city views, and chic suites. The villa—which dates back to the 15th century—used to be a monastery, and it is said that Michelangelo carved its façade. There's also a fantastic cookery school on site where guests can partake in immersive cooking lessons taught by Executive Chef Attilio Di Fabrizio. For littles, the Young Chefs Academy is a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Capri Palace Hotel & Spa
14 Via Capodimonte, Anacapri
While the opulent, chintz-bedecked Grand Hotel Quisisana takes up a lot of the local oxygen, we much prefer this chic little hotel. The food is delicious (the on-site restaurant has two Michelin stars), the spa is fantastic, and you can walk down the hill to get sandals handmade in Capri at the city’s best shoemaker.
Faro Capo Spartivento
Sardinia’s oldest lighthouse (built in 1856) is now home to a small, luxury hotel, which is set apart on a promontory that’s only accessible via the hotel’s shuttle. The wild, untouched setting is as gorgeous as the panoramic views of the sea. It’s intimate enough (six junior suites in total, along with two cottages set apart on the property that are topped with glass roofs) that you chat with the chef each day about what you’d most like to eat—and then you can take those meals in the open-air. Abutted by white sand beaches, the property offers snorkeling, scuba diving, along with mountain bikes and the option to ride horses up and down the coast.
Fendi Private Suites
Via della Fontanella di Borghese, 48, Campo Marzio
Walking into the lobby sort of sets the tone for the experience here with Campana Brothers sofas, vintage Fritz Hansen chairs, Gio Ponti mirrors, a wall lined with art books, and Lindsey Adelman light fixtures—it’s all very aligned with the luxury-first approach of the Italian fashion house. (It also happens to sit atop the newly redesigned Fendi flagship store in the Tridente neighborhood.) The seven pied-à-terre style apartments maintain a modern, high-design bent—grey paneled walls, sharp Fendi Casa furniture, jewel-toned velvet chairs—and the staff operates with an anything-is-possible attitude. For breakfast, opt for pastries and coffee served in bed.
Piazza di Pasquino, 69, Centro Storico
Tucked away in a 16th-century palazzo just off Piazza Navoa, this ten-room strong townhouse feels like one of those gems you scour Airbnb for but can never seem to find. The thing about the aesthetic of G-Rough is that it's intensely personal and unstudied—there are pretty, old tiled floors and time-worn frescoes mixed with Gio Ponti and Guglielmo Ulrich furnishings, as well as artwork from the owner’s private collection. For those looking for a bit more space, the two suites on the top floor, each with its own outdoor terrace, can be combined for a kind of makeshift penthouse apartment. Overall, the hotel is about as un-hotel like as it comes: There’s no formal concierge, but there’s a very attentive butler who will see to your every whim, and there’s no food on the premises, save for a modest continental breakfast menu and some smaller bites during aperitivo hour; but plenty to eat and drink within striking distance.
Piazza San Giovanni del Toro 2, Ravello
As if its location in an 11th century palace weren’t enough, this hotel literally sits above Ravello, with stunning views of the sea at its feet. They offer daily boat rides around the Amalfi Coast (or to Positano), or you can linger in the infinity pool perched above the city.
Hotel De Ricci
Via della Barchetta, 14, Centro Storico
The recently opened Hotel de Ricci is the city’s most stylish new addition. Lorenzo Lisi (also the proprietor of the permanently packed seafood spot Pierluigi) hired the stylist and illustrator duo behind concept store Chez Dédé, to manage the hotel’s aesthetic. The furniture is mid-century style and the walls of each room have been hand painted with illustrations—the overall effect is modern, romantic, and fresh. Aside from the incredibly stylish interior, the Hotel de Ricci takes wine seriously, with a fully stocked wine cellar and a former sommelier turned Hotel Manager on staff. Aperativo is served nightly in the guests- and members-only Charade bar, or can be delivered to your room and enjoyed with a glass of the wine personally selected for each guest and waiting in their room on arrival.
Hotel De Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel
Via del Babuino, 9, Campo Marzio
Often referred to as one of the best places to stay in Rome, Hotel de Russie on Via del Babuino is smack-dab in the center of the city, amidst a maze of cobblestoned streets. Marked by a blush façade and pale blue shutters, the hotel, a 19th-century palazzo, feels like a little Mediterranean enclave in the center. The rooms—and on-point service—are what Hotel de Russie is known for. Perhaps the most exciting, if your pockets are deep enough, are the newly redecorated suites: The Picasso Suite, a tribute to the artist who stayed there for a few months in 1917, features a dining room, Italian marble bath, and private terrace overlooking the garden. The significantly larger Popolo Suite is a wonderful mix of European antiques and more modern design, and includes pieces done up in Italian velvets, custom rugs, and black-and-white photography of Roman monuments lining the walls. A recently updated spa includes Turkish baths, plus on-demand personal trainers. And with the faint scent of orange blossom lingering in the background, drinks in the courtyard garden of Le Jardin de Russie restaurant is as magical as everyone says.
Via Ludovisi, 49, Ludovisi
On the heels of a seventeen-month-long soup-to-nuts renovation, and now under the watchful eye of the Dorchester Collection (The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hôtel Plaza Athénée), this famously historic hotel, which first opened in 1889, is finally ready for its close-up. The location, situated between the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese, mean that it’s central without being too highly trafficked. There are ninety-eight rooms, each one thoughtfully done in a way that feels comfortable but refined. (Think: a muted palette, WiFi, marble bathrooms, and Bottega Veneta toiletries.) With the revamp also came a new spa, which features Sonya Dakar treatments, plus a blow-dry bar and mani/pedi salon—both new-fangled conveniences not often found in European hotels. Of the three restaurants on the property, Il Giardino, which serves up Italian-style tapas in addition to its menu of pizza and some lighter fare, is the most low-key. Be sure to ask for a table outside on the terrace.
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