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A Milanese Eataly
Two of our favorite things coming together in union just in time for Valentine’s Day – we’re talking about Eataly and Starhotels, both brands we love from the Bel Paese, which have just announced they’re striking up a liaison.
This will be Eataly’s first hotel relationship, but it’s bringing a lot to the table: not just mini restaurants in Starhotels properties, but the creation of special menus, and special events with Italian chefs around the country.
We thought 2015 was just going to be the year that Rosewood Hotels would expand its European presence with the reopening of the Hotel de Crillon in Paris. It is still doing that – bar any delays we don’t know about yet – but while that’s enough of a hallmark moment, Rosewood will also start managing the Tuscan estate Castiglion del Bosco this spring.
Estate isn’t hyperbole by any means, consisting as it does of the ruins of a castle, a medieval church, and the Borgo, what was once a farming village, dating back 800 years. The Borgo now forms the heart of the hotel, but there are ten additional villas in restored farmhouses in the surrounding area. That looks something like the above, which is really about as Tuscan as it can get, don’t you think?
Hotel Packages / Hotel Spas / Puglia Hotels / Italy Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Valentine's Day Hotels / → All Tags
Sadly we do not believe this man is included in your package
It’s the second week of January, and you know what that means. It means New Year’s resolutions are so over; now it’s all about Valentine’s Day. And while we’ll be seeing plenty of loved up packages with late check-outs and vomitable intimacy kits in the next coming weeks, we rather like this first one: the Broken Hearts Spa at Borgo Egnazia in Puglia (previously known for breaking your heart when Justin Timberlake held his wedding reception there).
This is no yeahhhh-single-gals-4eva patronizing spa retreat; it’s a full-on, totally nuts “renewal program” as only the Italians can do. Are you struggling with a break-up? They will knit you back together, not with fancy massages or sweet-smelling candles, but with an entire team of “soul therapists”:
Guess the Hotel Revealed / Hotel Indigo Hotels / Rome Hotels / IHG Hotels / InterContinental Hotel Group / Italy Hotels / → All Tags
It's Guess The Hotel revealed! There were several ways in which we thought we’d follow up on our Guess The Hotel from earlier this week. Never in a million years did we think it would be with the knowledge that this, Hotel Indigo St. George in Rome, will now be part of the same family as Kimpton Hotels. While we continue to process that, we’ll take you on a quick tour of one of the latest additions to one of IHG’s quirkier brands, in a setting that couldn’t be further from the Asian cities where we’ve come to love some of its design.
The 64 rooms all have their murals, but what you’ll get depends on the category you choose: for the Cinquecento, pick the Executive King/Twin, which has a bit more space than entry-level Standard rooms. Caravaggio and the angel inspired by “Amor Vincit Omnia” (Love Conquers All), from our Guess the Hotel, appears in the Executive Suites, which give you a living area with pull-out sofa.
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When you think of skiing close to Mont Blanc, France’s Chamonix will probably come to mind first of all, but if you have a case of been-there-done-that, there is a new hotel to check out this season in the Italian town of La Thuile, which will still give you the proximity to Il Bianco, or “the White One” as the mountain is called.
And if it’s new experiences you are looking for, Nira Montana, as it’s called, fits the bill in other ways too: you may not have yet had a chance to stay at a Nira Hotel, a small group with only a few properties, disparately encompassing Nira Alpina (in the Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz), Shanti Maurice (a beach resort on Mauritius), and Nira Caledonia (a city hotel in Edinburgh, of all places).
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Verdura Resort in Sicily
We knew a couple of months ago that Rocco Forte was sniffing around Venice, but plans really are coming to fruition now. Last week, it was announced that Forte is getting a $95m cash injection from Italian investors (in return for 23 percent of the company) – which he’ll use to open hotels in Venice, Milan, Naples (YES) and Sicily.
It gets better. In an upbeat interview with Il Giornale, in which he says that luxury travel will save Italy's economy, Forte said this:
We want to create a network of uber-luxury hotels in Italy – one that’ll be capable of attracting travellers wanting to rediscover the Grand Tour, that was so tantalizing to the aristocrats of the 18th and 19th centuries.
According to Forte, they’re currently sifting through potential sites in Venice, Milan and Naples. He is also “convinced of the unexplored potential of Sicily” (where they already have one resort outside, Verdura, in Sciacca). Taormina or Siracuse are on the hitlist there. Paris, New York, Moscow and the Middle East are priorities after Italy.
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Scouring around for information about the forthcoming JW Marriott Venice yesterday, we stumbled upon a rather exciting piece of news: Rocco Forte is planning to open a hotel in Venice.
According to La Nuova, RF himself said that Venice is “attractive” (no, really?), and that he’s looking for a property. The only problem is:
Venetian palazzos are small, and it’s difficult to find space for a 60-room property, which is what we’d like.
Simples, Rocco – buy an island.
That article is from 2012, so let’s hope they’re close to finding something by now. In the meantime, here are three other recent Venice openings (all 2013) that’d be worth a shot:
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As Week 1 of HotelChatter Cocktail Week(s) wraps up, here's a run-down of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know in the comments below!
There’s so Much More to Syrup Than Maple –
If you’re into cocktails there’s a pretty good chance you’ve made your own simple syrup but these hotels are going beyond the norm and creating some pretty exotic specialty syrups.
At Fifteen Beacon’s Mooo (a Preferred Hotel) they make all of their syrup’s in-house, but we particularly liked the sound of the House made Celery Lemongrass Syrup that they use in their Celery 75 cocktail, made with Berkshire Greylock gin, Prosecco, strawberry, and the syrup, of course.
Cost to imbibe: $14
Cost to stay at the hotel 'cause you've imbibed: Starts at $479
And here’s an exotic beauty from the W Bangkok: the Chor Muang cocktail. You have absolutely no hope of making this drink at home since it’s made with Butterfly Pea Flower House Made Syrup – a flower that has become so rare that it’s difficult to find it in Thai markets. This elusive ingredient, however, makes it popular with guests who want something authentically Thai, and with locals who want the same. Other ingredients in this cocktail include Butterfly Flower-infused raspberry vodka, lime juice, and it’s garnished with – here we go – a 24-carat gold dust-dipped Butterfly Flower.
Cost to imbibe: THB $275 ($9)
Cost to stay at the hotel 'cause you've imbibed: Starts at THB 4,788 ($150)
It’s the second largest island in the Mediterranean, with 1149 miles of spectacular coastline, fine food and huge history… and yet Sardinia is rarely on our radar. Maybe because we don’t know where to go? Maybe because we hear it’s a destination only for oligarchs? Maybe.
You may put all that aside, though, once you see these pictures of Cala Cuncheddi, which reopened last week east of Olbia. Crisp, white rooms and marble bathrooms. Sea views. Vitra furniture. Gnarled olive trees. An infinity-style pool overlooking the beach below. A loggia – a loggia! – overlooking the Mediterranean.
The hotel has reopened after a complete overhaul (the last TripAdvisor reviews were from 2011), with a local/natural aim. So the design emphasis is on looking outwards, the restaurants, Asumari and Asarena, serve “zero kilometer” food (on specially designed Villeroy & Boch plates).
Killer View / Killer Views / Amalfi Hotels / Amalfi Coast Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Historic Hotels / Italy Hotels / → All Tags
There are definitely killer views from Monastero Santa Rosa, located as it is on Italy’s almost painfully scenic Amalfi Coast. We’ll get to those in a second, but perhaps unusually we’ll start this time with this killer view of the hotel itself, because it is just as good.
Perched on a rocky outcrop and beautifully lit at night, it began life as the name suggests as a monastery in the 17th century. These days, it’s a pretty stunning hotel with just 20 rooms and suites and – what else would you expect – a cliff-edge pool. Check it out after the jump.
Hotel Indigo Hotels / Rome Hotels / St. Petersburg Hotels / Russia Hotels / Italy Hotels / Hotel Design / IHG Hotels / → All Tags
Oh happy day! Spring is (almost) in the air -- summer’s waiting in the wings -- and Hotel Indigo is popping up all over Europe, just in time for peak travel season.
With two new openings this month, in Rome and St. Petersburg, one next month in Madrid, and at least three others “coming soon” (Lisbon and two more in the UK), we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. So let’s get started with Hotel Indigo Rome - St. George and Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg - Tchaikovskogo ). We'll follow up on the others as they progress.
The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!
Not to be outdone by the Lulu Guinness tree in London, the Hotel de Russie in Rome has its very own designer Christmas tree to show off. In a match made in fashion heaven, the hotel has enlisted utterly Roman brand FENDI to create chic Christmas decorations throughout the hotel and garden.
Inspired by FENDI’s latest kooky, and some might say creepy, 'Bag Bug' handbag accessory line, the brand has also decorated the hotel's impressive 16-foot Christmas tree on the Piazzetta Valadier with plexiglass versions of the fuzzy critters.