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Enticing Italy

By Paul Britchford

Senior Product Manager

Posted: 22 June 2018
Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice

Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice

Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice Grand Hotel Majestic Già Baglioni, Bologna Villa Spalletti Trivelli, Rome Royal Hotel Sanremo Eight Hotel Paraggi Hotel Brunelleschi, Florence

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Our Senior Product Manager for Europe & North Africa, Paul Britchford, has recently returned from two work trips exploring Italy, searching high and low to bring some exciting and enticing additions to our handpicked portfolio of Italian hotel gems in some of the classic Italian cities, such as Venice, Rome and Verona, plus new destinations such as Bologna and Sanremo. Here, we present his personal insight into each of the hotels and discover why Italy’s appeal is as vibrant as ever…


Baglioni Hotel Luna
“This hotel has the best location in the city. It is, literally, a 25-second walk to St Mark’s Square – I timed it (!) – meaning you cannot be more central to the action. I loved its very Venetian styling and enjoyed breakfast in the stunning Ballroom, which has been used for masked balls over the centuries and still is each year, in case you are tempted to join in.”

Hotel L’Orologio Venezia
“This hotel offers something a little different for second or third-time visitors to the city. Located by Rialto Market, the hotel’s location allows visitors to easily explore a different side of Venice. L’Orologio has limited facilities, but as a returning visitor, you’d know everything you could possibly want is just a bridge away anyway. Also, it has a contemporary design, which is uncommon in Venice.”


Due Torri Hotel
“Due Torri Hotel’s central location, in walkable Verona, means all the sites are on your doorstep, including the amphitheatre, home to the famous Arena Opera season. It is one of the oldest hotels in the city, so the guest rooms and bathrooms do have their size issues, but the upside is that you are staying in a piece of history and what you lack in ‘cat-swinging space’, the hotel makes up for in service and its rooftop terrace, open in the summer.”


Grand Hotel Majestic Gia Baglioni
“Stepping out from this traditional hotel’s beautiful, large marble reception, you find yourself squarely in the centre of Bologna. Piazza Maggiore is two minutes away, the Towers of Bologna no more than eight. Plus, the fabulous Restaurant da Nello is practically next door to the hotel and is highly recommended by the hotel’s concierge and, indeed, myself!”


Baglioni Hotel Regina
“Art Deco style, located on the famous Via Veneto in the centre of Rome, a relaxing spa and a great restaurant – what’s not to love about this hotel? As if that wasn’t enough, the rooftop is given over to a stunning three-bedroom Penthouse with a Jacuzzi and huge terrace with great views.”

Villa Spalletti Trivelli
“I loved this small hotel. It felt like you were being welcomed to your home in Rome. This was the concept of Count Giangiacomo Spalletti Trivelli, who wanted to replicate the noble hospitality of his ancestors. Nestled in a quiet, yet central location close to Via del Corso and Via Condotti, there’s a garden, rooftop terrace, Jacuzzis, a wellness area and several peaceful receptions rooms. In fact, everything you could need, including incredible discreet service just a button push away, meaning you are left to your own devices to enjoy your home-away-from-home.”

DOM Hotel Rome
“More members’ club than hotel, this small boutique hotel appealed because of its relaxed vibe, cool and atmospheric bar and restaurant affiliation (to the Michelin-starred Achilli). Most of all, I was impressed with its superb location, not too far from the iconic Piazza Navona. I think it will appeal to visitors returning to Rome, as to stay here means you’re off the beaten path of tourists and the fashionable café culture and cobbled streets of Trastevere can be much more easily reached.


Royal Hotel Sanremo
“Sanremo was originally discovered as a tourist destination by the British, who loved its temperate winter climate. However, I would probably recommend you go in the summer these days! The great service and warm welcome from Royal Hotel Sanremo are as true today as they were when the family of owners first opened this grand hotel and welcomed royalty and gentry alike. A great pool area and spa, plus links to the beach, just five minutes’ walk away, appeals to my relaxing side, but being in the heart of Sanremo means you can stroll and explore this old Italian harbour town, or going further afield, can easily reach Monaco or Dolceacqua. I bet this is a part of Italy our clients know little about and I love introducing these gems for them to explore and hearing their feedback.”

Portofino & Paraggi
 Eight Hotel Portofino
“This design-led boutique hotel offers you the buzz of Portofino, but thanks to being a five-minute stroll from the centre, also has the relaxation afforded by a quieter location. Think of it as a stylish city-style hotel – with smaller guest rooms, due to the constraints of the original buildings. However, there’s access to the marina’s goings on, plus use of its sister hotel’s facilities, including having breakfast at Eight Hotel Paraggi’s beach club.”

Eight Hotel Paraggi
“Round the bay road from Santa Margherita and you are met by a vivid blue bay of crystal-clear waters. Blink and you’d miss it, but reach Portofino in about two minutes. By doing so, you will miss out on the exclusive beach club style hotel of Eight Hotel Paraggi. There are a small number of guest rooms, but the hotel is big on service and makes the most of its direct location on the beach. The beach club delivers flavourful Asian Fusion food and we were treated to an impressive tasting menu. In front of the beach club are their sun loungers (replete with beach service), which are complimentary for guests of both Eight Hotels.”

Cinque Terre

Grand Hotel Portovenere
“In fairness, the name may overplay this otherwise simple, but charming small hotel in the port village of Portovenere, on the Ligurian coast. The destination is the perfect spot in which to base yourself for a couple of nights whilst you explore the beauty of the Cinque Terre – A collection of five picturesque villages previously cut off from the mainland except by sea – and best explored by boat, which leaves from the dock, literally, below the hotel.”


Hotel Brunelleschi
“Again, the location of this hotel is great, just steps from Florence’s famous Duomo. Whilst here, definitely dine in their intimate fine dining restaurant – located in their exclusive Byzantine tower – with just seven covers and a selection of tasting menus. Also, the top guest suites here have the most incredible views over the rooftops to the Duomo; in one you can even see it from your Jacuzzi!”


Borgo Pignano

“More like a country manor house than anything else, this hotel has charm in abundance. So much so, that some of their beautiful, uniquely appointed, guest rooms are named as such. The views out toward Volterra are beautiful and at sunset, you can enjoy a cocktail on the terrace as the sun drops behind the Tuscan hills! I went for a horse-ride around their expansive estate and it was great fun cantering up the hills and past the hotel’s farm. They take fresh food very seriously here and are pretty much self-sufficient, growing everything they use on the farm. Guests can see how they do it and join in with the beekeeping or herbology, while art lovers will adore this place, as they positively encourage creative expression, providing a studio full of equipment to use and a gallery on site. And it wouldn’t be a Tuscan retreat without cooking classes and wine-tasting! The food here was fantastic and the staff truly engaging. What more can I say; I was thoroughly charmed by it.”

To learn more about Venice's Baglioni Hotel Luna and Hotel L'Orologio Venezia, or to visit Verona's Due Torri Hotel in northern Italy, please call our Europe Travel Consultants for a wonderful cultural itinerary. Alternatively, food-lovers will adore exploring Bologna and staying at Grand Hotel Majestic Gia Baglioni, whilst those heading to Rome will relish Baglioni Hotel Regina, homely, Villa Spalletti Trivelli or boutique DOM Hotel, Rome. From the glorious sites of Rome and the coastal attractions of Sanremo, plus grand appeal of Royal Hotel Sanremo, to the famously beautiful regions of Portofino and Paraggi with its Hotel Eight properties — there is plenty of Italian flair to savour and admire. Returning visitors to Italy may wish to venture to the Ligurian coast, staying at Grand Hotel Portovenere, explore more in Florence with a unique stay at Hotel Brunelleschi, or taste more with their family at Tuscany's Borgo Pignano.  

About Paul

I have worked in the industry for several years and brought my passion for travel from a completely different background and as such, I have been able to use this knowledge and apply it to the luxury travel market. I am very proud to work here, as Elegant Resorts is a fantastic place to work, with a very personable and positive attitude that comes right from the very top. Plus, it is a privilege to be managing the European and North Africa Sales Team as they are a great bunch, and their level of knowledge is second to none. In fact, I challenge anyone to know more about our collection of stunning destinations and luxurious hotels. During my time here so far, I have been very fortunate to travel on a private jet, luxury yacht and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and have stayed at some of the most beautiful luxury hotels in the world – all of which are in Europe and North Africa, of course!

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