‘La Dolce Vita’ sums Italy up and you’d be hard pressed to find a sweeter life than one sipping an excellent Rioja surrounded by olive groves. In fact it’s difficult not to be inspired by any number of hotels which is why many of our itineraries turn into a mini tour, packing in as much as one can see, whilst still maintaining an air of rest and relaxation.
We specialise in bespoke honeymoons, exploring the country by classic car. Starting in Pisa or Florence to soak up the culture before heading down to Tuscany and then the Amalfi coast, via Rome. Combining hotels with private villas, B&B’s with boat charters. We just think it would be rude not to show you all the country has to offer.
Or how about finally ticking Puglia off your list? Within easy reach of two airports, Bari and Brindisi, popularity has soared for this once-overlooked part of Italy. Winding tracks will take you to medieval villages and untouched coastline and boutique hotels have popped up at a rate of knots. Boasting sunny days until early October, we just recommend you go with an empty stomach, to ensure you have room for every last mouthful of hospitality.
I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list
CAPRI TIBERIO PALACE
Just a short walk from Capri’s main square, Capri Tiberio Palace is perfectly located. Just a five-minute stroll to the main piazzetta, this hotel was fully refurbished in 2010 by the innovative interior designer, Giampiero Panepinto, combining eclectic stylish fabrics with the style of 1960’s Capri. With only 46 rooms and suites, enjoy drinks at the Jacky Bar followed by supper at Terrazzo Tiberio which serves Mediterranean cuisine. The Spa Tiberio has an indoor-outdoor pool, hydrotherapy pools and steam rooms along with spa treatment rooms for the ultimate in relaxation.
This beautiful Moorish hotel is tucked away in glorious gardens in the medieval village of Ravello. Offering spectacular views over the Amalfi coast, this former twelfth century nobleman’s villa has been lovingly restored. There is an open air fitness area, a spa with hydrotherapy pool and a panoramic rooftop solarium with Jacuzzi whirlpools. Spend your days at the private beach club or just relax by the pool in the terraced gardens. Lunch can be enjoyed on their terrace at Terrazza Belvedere, before making room for supper at their Michelin-starred restaurant, Rossellini’s.
CAPO LA GALA
High on the clifftops above the Bay of Naples, Capo Le Gala combines sea-gazing with nautical design. The hotel boasts only 22 rooms to share a huge swimming pool, private decked area with access to the sea, hot tub, Michelin-starred restaurant Maxi (they also have the more relaxed dining option at Taverna del Mare Nerea and club-style Capri Bar by the pool) and a marine-themed spa. At sea level is a huge area of decking with a large pool, sun loungers, pontoons for dips in the sea, a bar and a hot tub. They also provide a complimentary shuttle to the Vico Equense, 20 minutes away.
This stylish hotel comes courtesy of the Ferragamo family so you can expect impeccable design throughout this stylish boutique hotel. Just moments from the 14th century Ponte Vecchio, expect modern and minimal lines against the stark contrast to the architecture of the city. With the bonus of a delightful little roof terrace aside the hotel’s restaurant and Fusion bar, this hotel offers fantastic quality at a great price.
Located on the jet set Porto Ercole peninsula, Il Pellicano clings to a steep cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The 50 bedroom hangout has been the hotel of choice for movie stars for years, popping down to their seaside sundeck by the hotel’s elevator. You can take a boat trip to local islands to visit Roman ruins or snorkel in the clear waters of Tuscan Archipelago’s marine sanctuary. Their restaurant has 2 Michelin stars or head down to the local harbour to experience local cuisine. With cooking classes and cocktail classes available at the hotel though, there’s not much reason to leave.
The luxuriously modern hotel on the shores of Lake Como sets it apart from other hotels in boasting a feeling of space throughout. With only 22 rooms, an infinity pool and private beach, you can soak up the jaw-dropping lake views from wherever you’re standing. The restaurant serves authentic and healthy Italian dishes and the feeling of ‘wellness’ continues with massage therapies available in-room. Located in a tiny village the hotel is just 10km from the nearest town (Bellagio) and 25km from Como. You can take a 10 minutes’ taxi to the nearest larger towns or visit Como by boat from a pier just 10 minutes’ walk away.
Open all year round, this exclusive 5* resort echoes the true authenticity of a Puglian village. With expansive grounds housing three swimming pools and gardens with views towards the Adriatic Sea, the location is picture perfect. There are plenty of gorgeous restaurant options including Pescheria da Vito on the beach. Additionally the hotel has a cookery school, kids club and spa, making it one of the most luxurious family retreats. Similarly, there are amazing beaches and 40-acre grounds to explore on one of the resort bikes. This really is one of Puglia’s best kept secrets.
Mainly traditional in style, yet with all the modern luxuries you would expect and more of a present day 4* superior hotel. Overlooking the pretty village of San Cassiano, with the stunning Dolomites surrounding, the Hotel Fanes offers an amazing 2,000 sqm spa with an indoor/outdoor pool, various sauna’s and thermal experiences, as well as an outdoor plunge pool, sauna and hot tub along with their new ‘Sky Pool’. With a great restaurant, impressive wine cellar and 5-minute transfer to the lifts via their complimentary shuttle, it’s well worth a visit to one of Italy’s most breath-taking mountain ranges
Rocco Forte spent years nurturing Verdura resort with his interior designer sister Olga Polizzi. This spa-enhanced dose of discreet service and architecture makes this as much a delight for the parents as it is for the kids. The property has over 200 rooms but the sense of space and privacy runs throughout. The beach facilities, golf range and resort bicycles will keep the whole family happy. And then there’s the spa with its indoor and outdoor pools and bespoke medispa programmes. All rooms have sea views and the hotel activities include scuba diving, paddle boarding and kayaking. You can also arrange boat trips and horse riding from the hotel.
This boutique hotel and wine retreat is set on the foothills of Mount Etna. A former 18th century monastery, the owners have injected life and love into their 40 acre estate, with a strong emphasis on the environment. This luxury eco-retreat uses local produce from their on-site farm and the surrounding area and there is no single-use plastic in your room (one of our pet peeves when hotels should be paving the way for sustainability). Even their activities provide low impact. With only 21 rooms and suites, you can spend the day in the gorgeous pool, arrange a wine tasting or pasta-making class or head to nearby Taormina for its beach, shopping and fantastic restaurants.
Boutique hotel Locanda Rossa is a striking russet-hued farmhouse in Capalbio. With sentry-like olive trees that surround their pristine pool and huge, urban style rooms, clean lines run throughout. With only 17 rooms, you can relax and unwind in the spa and Turkish bath or take your choice from one of the hotel’s three pools (an outdoor heated pool for adults and children over 14 years and an adult-only pool in the spa). Or hire the electric bikes to explore the rolling hills on your doorstep. Either way, the sunny conservatory is the perfect place to enjoy the local charcuterie at lunch. Plus with unspoilt beaches a mere 30 minutes’ drive away, you should head out and explore the untouched Maremma coast.
Borgo Santo Pietro has won ‘Best Boutique Hotel in the World’ as well as having been listed in Tatler’s ‘Best Spa Guide and Conde Nast’s Hotlist. Lovingly restored by its Danish owners, this 13th century property boasts a working farm and spa, all nestled amongst landscaped gardens. With only 15 rooms you can expect plenty of peace and quiet as well as tennis, badminton and bike hire. Be sure to try the superb 7 course tasting menu.