It is not hard to find some of the world’s most luxurious hotels in Italy. From the north of Lake Como and Cinque Terre to the Amalfi Coast and Sicily sits some of the best luxury hotels anywhere.
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The combination of the Italian attention to detail, partnered with their inherent hospitality (“host-italia”), and their Dolce Vita attitude makes it a delight to visit any of these.
Needless to say, in each hotel the service is impeccable, the rooms decorated beautifully, and full of all the mod-cons one expects from a five-star today. Interiors range from intimate to grand depending on your choice of hotel or room and each usually has more than one dining or bar option available.
(We head from north to south.)
Four Seasons Hotel Milano
We can’t talk start at the top without including the Four Season Milan. In the heart of the shopping district and city center, you couldn’t ask for a better address or prime location for what this city has to offer. From its enviable spot off the Via Monte Napoleone, the heart of the fashion district, this former convent is the place to be and THE home for the glitterati during Fashion Week.
The remnants of the Renaissance convent can be seen in the glorious courtyard and also in the frescoed luxury suites, but don’t the Four Seasons is stuck in the past. Rooms are uber-chic and simply decorated. The Lobby Bar is packed at aperitivo time. The lovely La Veranda restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine for lunch and dinner. On Sundays, don’t miss the brunch and make sure to visit the spa at least once – it was the former wine cellar!
Four Seasons Hotel Milano, Via Gesù, 6-8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The queen of the luxury hotels in Italy. Holding court from her place on Lake Como, she has taught the other hotels just what “most luxurious” means in Italian. All you have to say is her name and those in the know know exactly what to expect.
Originally built in 1568, it’s been reigning over Lake Como since it became a hotel in 1873. The villa sits inside its fabulous 25 acre gardens, with terraces, fountains, and lake views aplenty. No need to ever leave the gorgeous pool sitting almost in the lake itself. The rooms are simply decorated, but ever so chic and utterly Italian. If you are looking for more privacy there are separate villas on the grounds as well. You never have to leave – there are water sports to try, a tennis court and squash courts, and cooking classes, plus so much more.
There is both informal and formal dining and a fabulous bar. One of the greatest luxuries is enjoying a cocktail on the terrace while having the orchestra play in the background.
Villa D’Este, Via Regina, 40, 22012 Cernobbio CO, Italy
Il Sereno Hotel
If it’s something completely difference you are looking for, then Il Sereno Hotels is the perfect place for you. Wave classic Italian decor goodbye and say hello to contemporary style with wood, glass, and stone, with added panoramic views to die for. It wouldn’t be on this list if it weren’t equally as luxurious as its older neighbors.
Don’t miss the infinity pool which stretches out over the lake. If you want to venture out on the lake then reserve one of the two Riva boats. You can go on you own or with a driver. There is one of the great Northern Italian Michelin star restaurants, Berton al Lago, as well as a great bar for having drinks on water’s edge. The spa is housed in its own building with every kind of treatment which will make your spirits bright!
Il Sereno, Via Torrazza, 10, 22020 Torno CO, Italy
The jewel that is Portofino has always been a draw. Picture perfect, it deserves a hotel that is equal to its charms. That would be the Hotel Splendido. Perched on the hill overlooking the Italian Riviera, the Splendido, like the Villa D’Este, is one of the Queens of Italy’s luxury hotels. The hotel was originally a monastery and is surrounded by a gorgeous garden. I
t’s hard to equal view with the Terrace restaurant. Enjoy it while dining on Genovese highlights, think pesto! A winding path takes you down to the harbor (or a little mini-van), if you want to leave the gorgeous grounds and amazing service. Or you can sit on your terrace overlooking the Med without moving a muscle.
Belmond Splendido, Salita Baratta 16, 16034 Portofino, Genoa, Italy
The Gritti Palace
Sitting on the Grand Canal, opposite the stunning Santa Maria della Salute church, is the wonder that is the Gritti Palace, one of the best hotels in the world. Although it had a major renovation a few years ago, it has remained purely Venetian in spirit with Murano chandeliers and Rubelli silk on the walls. You can’t ask for a more central location in Venice. Just a short walk from both the Piazza San Marco and the Accademia Bridge, this historic hotel is perfect for the romantic getaway. What makes the Gritti special is is its exceptional service. From the moment you step inside, they welcome you as if you are family, whether it’s your first time or your 100th.
A lunch or dinner at the Club de Doge restaurant is imperative as is a cocktail in the Bar Longhi and the on the Riva Terrace – one of the best bars in Venice!
The Gritti Palace, Campo Santa Maria Del Giglio, 2467, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Belmond Hotel Cipriani
For those desiring a more resort style of hotel in Venice, there is really only one – the Cipriani. Located on the island of Giudecca, the hotel is a private water taxi ride from St. Mark’s Square. Once inside, you are in a wonderland of luxury. The views, the pool, the Michelin-starred restaurant are just a few ingredients that gives the hotel its more than five-star reputation. With its elegant bedrooms, the best views over the Venetian lagoon, and private pool, there is now way you will have anything less than an unforgettable stay. The Bar Gabbiano serves one of the best Bellinis in Venice!
Villa La Massa
By the folks who brought you Villa D’Este, Villa La Mass is its cousin in the heart of Tuscany. Once owned by the Medici family, the interiors are still purely Italian with four-poster beds and antique furniture combined with modern amentities. The pool overlooks the Arno and a day spent never moving is what you head here for. If the city of Florence beckons, there is a complimentary bus that takes 15 minute journey. You’ll feel like a Medici!
Villa La Massa, Via della Massa, 24, 50012 Candeli FI, Italy
Four Seasons Florence
If you want to be in the hear of Florence then, the Four Seasons is your spot. Right in town, you can walk to everything – the Duomo, Arno, Galleria Academia. Formally the Palazzo della Gherardesca and tucked into the surviving Giardini della Gherardesca, you might feel you are in your own museum. It’s decorated with all the luxury you would expect. Definitely the best spa in Florence, using local Santa Maria Novella products. Do not miss dining at the Michelin-starred Il Palagio where Chef Vito Mollica works his magic. It’s Tuscan at its finest.
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Borgo Pinti, 99, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Hotel Il Pellicano
If you are in Tuscany and longing for the beach, you can’t miss another of the most famous hotels in Italy, In what was once hidden to most of the world, Il Pellicano catered to those in the know from its high perch over looking over Porto Ercole for decades. Once you discover it, you’ll understand why it’s has been a favorite since 1965. Once there, you stay….you stay to spend the afternoon in a boat on the med, you stay to relax by the pool, you stay to play tennis, you stay to have one the best breakfasts in any hotel in the world. You’ll just stay.
Hotel Il Pellicano, Località Sbarcatello, 58019 Porto Ercole GR, Italy
The mother of all luxury hotels in capital city of Rome, the Hassler, from its high perch above the Spanish Steps, conducts the symphony that is Rome. The Hassler has been wowing guest for over 125 years. Elegance and opulence are the two words that come to mind when describing the Hassler. It is a heady mix of modern and classic, with plush sofas mingling with brass and granite accessories. You will feel like a movie star every time you emerge.
Hotel Hassler, Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 6, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Hotel de Russie
As opposite you can get to the Hotel Hassler but equally as decadent, the Hotel de Russie also in the centre of Rome is low-key sophistication at tis best. This Rocco Forte wonder has been attracting those who don’t want to walk up and down the Spanish Steps since it opened. A step away from the Piazza del Popolo, you might be slightly farther from the shopping on Via Condotti, but closer to Caravaggio’s masterpieces in the St. Maria del Popolo. The courtyard bar and hotel restaurant have been Rome’s place to be for over 20 years.
Hotel de Russie, Via del Babuino, 9, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Sitting high above the Amalfi Coast and a few miles from the tiny town of Positano, Le Sirenuse in known for its spectacular views and incredible service. Grab a seat on the terrace and gaze over the Mediterranean Sea. You do feel like you have the whole world at your feet. When the lemon trees are in full bloom, there is not a prettier spot in Italy. The rooms and interiors, with their white-walls, hand-painted tiles and lovely furnishings make you feel at home, if your home was a villa overlooking the Amalfi Coast.
Le Sirenuse, Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30 — 84017 Positano, Italy; +39 089 875066
Il San Pietro di Positano
The other wow hotel in the area is Il San Pietro, which sits on a cliff high above the Med. If exclusivity is what you are looking for in Italy, this is your place. There is even a private beach and if you don’t feel like heading into Positano you never have to. If you do there is a private shuttle, or the even more glam house boat. Charming is the word that comes to mind, everything is citrus colored. Also, you don’t have to walk to the beach, there is an elevator that takes you up and down, and once you are down, you won’t go hungry as there is a bar and restaurant. Views abound.
Il San Pietro di Positano, Via Laurito, 2 — 84017 Positano, Italy, +39 089 812 080
Masseria San Domenico
A masseria is part old fort and part farmhouse and many of them have been converted to hotels over the past century. The most luxurious of them by far is the Masseria San Domenico. A perfect setting to explore the gorgeous region of Puglia, with its trulli to see, the white city of Ostuni or the fabulous ceramics you can only find in Grottaglie, Or just stay in this peaceful masseria with its expansive gardens, gorgeous pool tucked into olive groves without moving. The pool has been designed to look like a lake or you can enjoy the beach which can be easily found by bike or shuttle bus.
Masseria San Domenico, SP90, 72015 Savelletri, Fasano BR, Italy
While this might look like an old masseria with ancient buildings surrounding it, the Borgo Egnazio was built only a little more than 10 years ago. It really doesn’t matter because once you step into the Borgo you are convinced that it has been there since the dawn of time. The white stone and the endless grounds were built for luxury. You can choose from four pools and four restaurants. The service is impeccable and everything you could want will be provided for.
Borgo Egnazia, Savelletri di Fasano, 72015 Fasano, Brindisi, Puglia, Italy
If Matera weren’t enough to tempt you, a stay at the Palazzo Margarita might. In the Italian region of Basilicata, the hometown of Francis Ford Coppola, he swept in and bought the one palazzo in town and created one of the most beautiful hotels in Italy. With Jacques Grange designing, it was going to be fabulous. Don’t be fooled by its simple facade, once inside the gates, the gardens and terraces go on forever. The fun is the eat-in kitchen, where you can also take complimentary cooking classes. Learn how to make specialties specific to this area and then head upstairs to watch a movie in the living room which becomes a screening room in a flick of a switch. Coppola has provided Italian film that he could find!
Palazzo Margarita, Corso Umberto I, 64, 75012 Bernalda MT, Italy
Four Seasons San Domenico Palace Hotel
The first and most beautiful of Sicily’s luxury hotel, this former monastery has one of the greatest views in Italy. From its lemon and grapefruit lined garden, you have the Med, Mt, Etna, and they say on a clear day, a view of North Africa. I am not so sure about that, but I guarantee you will keep looking. There is no beach access but who wants to leave the pool with a view like this. The rooms in the old part of the hotel might seems small but they were the converted monks cells and are glorious. Don’t miss the two Michelin-starred Principe Cerami restaurant whose chef Massimo Mantarro continues to create glorious food from Sicily’s finest.
Four Seasons San Domenico Palace Hotel, Piazza S. Domenico de Guzman, 5, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
Things to Do in Sicily
Best Bits to leave you with
These are actually only a few of the most luxurious hotels in Italy – there is the Monastero Santa Rosa, the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, the Belmond Hotel Caruso, the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, the list goes on and on. All of them have great service, fine dining, spas and great cocktails! Just throw a pin at the Italian map and I assure you, you will find a glorious place to stay!
More Luxurious Places to Go
The Most Luxurious Hotels in Italy
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