Italy has experienced its share of economic struggles, but the tourism sector remains strong with new hotels and resorts recently opened. In fact, seven of these were recently named by Condé Nast Traveler to their 17th Annual Hot List of new hotels worldwide.
If you’re the one in your group who likes to be the first to report back on new places to stay, consider this a great opportunity. Of the seven new hotels in Italy, the Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel and Spa located on the Amalfi Coast, just three miles from the town of Amalfi, garnered three flames on the Hot List.
The Monastero as its name implies is a restored 17th Century monastery. Much of its attraction is found in the original architectural features of the stucco structure such as the vaulted ceilings and ancient wooden doors have been retained. Add to this its tranquil cliff top setting with terraced gardens, a spectacular pool with sparkling Mediterranean views, and you’ll realize that competition for its 20 rooms is likely to be quite vigorous even at €550.00 [$713.52] during high season May 21 to October 6.
Even if this won’t be your first trip to the Amalfi Coast, the Monastero Hotel and Spa provides a quite different experience from any you have likely experienced in this region in the past. In contrast to the larger hotels you may have experienced in along this popular coast, this is a small, quiet place of beauty.
The seven Hot List hotels from Italy also include a couple that earned two flames on the Conde Nast hotness scale. If you’ve always been intrigued by Sicily you now have a new reason: The Monaci della Terre on the slopes of Mt. Etna. This is a very small property with only eight rooms in a restored villa on a 40-acre estate. The owners are very much hands-on, making the experience perfect for each guest.
Whether you’re all about exploring Mt. Etna’s trails, check out the beaches of Isola Bella National Park or explore ancient ruins such as the Greek Theater of Taormina, this location is convenient new choice that offers its own many charms at the end of each day and a cost of from €180.00 [$233.51]during high season.
Journeying from the southern tip of the country all the way up to Verona in the north, you’ll find the other affordable [$] two-flame property on the Hot List from Italy. The Palazzo Victoria is an actual 14th Century medieval palace with an array of 71 richly appointed guest rooms each either hand-stenciled or lined with silk. And, the bathrooms featured this city’s famous red-toned marble. Of course, it also helps that this palatial structure is close to everything from Juliet’s house to the Roman Wall, Piazza Erbe and Porto Borsari.
The city of Verona is a heady romantic mix of twisting streets and old world charm that can be appreciated anytime of year. However, if you are a classical music lover, its summer opera festival is the perfect time to pay a visit. Rates are around $400/ per night for a deluxe double room in July on booking.com.
In Milan, the TownHouse Street Milano Duomo is in the same price range [from $274/night], but in high contrast to a medieval palace setting in Verona. These ultra contemporary studio spaces are one and two bedroom suites created in a former office building.
It’s like renting a very chic apartment [designed by architect Simone Micheli], but with the services of a hotel, which is exactly how this works since check in and meals are provided through the Galleria Hotel. Milan in the summer can serve as a great base for exploring the city’s fashion and restaurants or for rail service to take day trips to the surrounding countryside.
If your budget can accommodate the $$$ price range, consider the glamorous 9-room Palazzo Margherita, owned by director Francis Ford Coppola. From frescos and vintage décor to a modern screening room with hundreds of movies, this villa is in every aspect a luxury escape in the small town of Bernalda, Italy. This exclusive property captured two flames on the Conde Nast Hot List and easily captures the hearts of its guests with courtyard dining, herb gardens and a beautiful pool.
If money is really no object, then the one from the Hot List for you just might be Grand Meliá Rome, a luxurious 116-room urban resort located in Rome’s historical Gianicolo District near close proximity to many major sites of Rome including Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori, the Castel Sant’Angelo and the entrance to Vatican City. The archaeological remains discovered during the building of this museum-hotel are attributed to the ruins of the Villa Agrippina (first and second centuries AD), which was the home of the mother of Rome’s famous Emperor Nero.
Although the rooms are not large, the newness of the property in conjunction with its location and history will justify its price of around $717.50/night for a premium double room and breakfast. And with its fabulous outdoor pool who cares if Rome can heat up in summer?
So, readers, if you need a new reason to visit Italy or just want a new place to stay in an old favorite area, check out these Hot List choices by visiting monasterosantarosa.com, monacidelleterrenere.it, palazzovictoria.com, townhouse.it, coppolaresorts.com and melia.com.