Top 10: most fabulous luxury hotels in Italy

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (October 23, 2017): top 10 best luxury hotels in Italy.

Italy is one of the world’s most fascinating, utterly refined and hauntingly beautiful countries. A trip to this boot-shaped nation in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea gives you a chance to discover the breathtaking monuments of the Roman Empire in Italy’s bustling capital, to feast your eyes on Renaissance architecture in Venice and Florence, to be awestruck by the magnificent scenery of the legendary Sorrento Peninsula, to immerse yourself in ‘la dolce vita’ on the shores of sun-baked Sicily, and to feed your passion for authentic cuisine, which varies by region. Italy also harbours some of the most exclusive hotels in the world and making a top 10 list is a daunting task, almost mission impossible, given the sheer abundance of extraordinary properties that dot the country. Nonetheless, I hereby share with you my 10 favorite luxury hotels in Italy, which all score high points for their mind-blowing location, design, ambience, and/or heritage.

There is more information below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Italian hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*** Follow me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for a daily moment of travel inspiration ***


Lying on the most strikingly romantic stretch of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, the Hotel Cala Di Volpe, A Luxury Collection Hotel, was designed by architect Jacques Couelle to resembles a charming fishing village. Its towers, terraces, irregular roofs and porticoes blend beautifully with the natural landscape of rosemary bushes and rockroses. Delightful vistas of distant mountains, pristine white sand beaches, and the translucent seas of the Mediterranean make for unforgettable views. Each of the 100 sea-view rooms and 21 suites pays tribute to Sardinia’s unique artistry and natural beauty. The minimal chic decor is inspired by traditional Sardinian workmanship.


At the heart of Taormina’s mystique lies Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, an elegant, classical villa built into the craggy cliffs next to the Greek Theatre, with stupendous views that have been charming and inspiring guests since 1873. The property offers 71 suites and bedrooms split between the main building and the adjacent Villa Flora. Most come with that amazing view – over the clustered terracotta rooftops of medieval Taormina, past the coves and headlands of the rugged coastline, and across to Mount Etna’s violet slopes and puffing peak. Guests can also take a short complimentary shuttle trip, or thrilling funicular ride, down the hill to sister hotel Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, a 19th-century former private residence that comes with a private beach.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond Grand Hotel Timeo
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, $100 USD food & beverage credit, early check-in, late check-out, and daily breakfast for 2).


Refined and prestigious, the Bulgari Hotel in Milan links contemporary design with comfort and represents a tribute from the Italian jewelry brand to the world of luxury. The ultraluxe property is housed in a tastefully renovated 18th-century Milanese palazzo in the cultural and commercial heart of a city that, behind its austere facades, hides delightful and unexpected courtyards and green spaces. One such space is the 43,000-square-foot private garden, a natural extension of the nearby Botanical Garden, a restorative oasis of serenity and relaxation in the midst of Milan’s busy pace. The 58 renovated rooms and the Bulgari Spa complete this timeless gem.

  • Hotel websiteBulgari Hotel Milano
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, a complimentary lunch or dinner, early check-in, late check-out, and daily breakfast for two).


One of the oldest and best-preserved estates in Tuscany, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is located in Montalcino, Tuscany, in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Val d’Orcia. Surrounded by rolling wooded hills, extensive vineyards and farmland dotted with ancient farmhouses, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco offers its guests and members the chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of this authentic corner of Tuscany, in a setting of unparalleled elegance and refinement. The property is ennobled by eight centuries of history and offers 23 suites and eleven luxury villas, as well as a private golf course, spa, winery and vineyards.

  • Hotel websiteRosewood Castiglion del Bosco
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, $100 USD resort credit, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast for two, and one dinner for guests staying in a villa, delivered in the villa on the arrival day).


With at least two amenities that are very rare in Florence — an 11-acre private park and an on-site spa — Four Seasons Hotel Firenze is taking luxury living to new heights in this Renaissance capital. Housed in an art-filled Renaissance palazzo and a former convent, the hotel’s interiors are adorned with arches, inlaid pillars, friezes, painted frescoes and marble floors. The 116 guest rooms and suites at are located within three buildings, and no two rooms are alike. Reflecting the architectural beauty of their celebrated past, they blend Renaissance artistry with high-tech comfort. The wonders of the Uffizi and Duomo are a stroll away.


For more than 100 years Belmond Hotel Splendido has been welcoming romantics, adventurers, movie stars, political leaders, aristocrats and royalty, who come from around the world to experience La Dolce Vita in the famous fishing village on the Italian Riviera. A former 16th -century monastery high above the bay of Portofino, the property is a secluded hideaway where guests can relax in terraced gardens as they enjoy spectacular views over the harbour. A more recent addition to the family, Belmond Splendido Mare is an intimate retreat on the piazzetta and water’s edge that opened its doors in 1998. The two properties complement each other beautifully; it takes only three minutes to travel between the two by shuttle, which runs continuously from 9am until midnight and at other times on request, or ten minutes on foot.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond Hotel Splendido
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, $100 USD food & beverage credit, early check-in, late check-out, and daily breakfast for 2).


Designed by famed Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola, the all-suites Il Sereno features 30 oversized suites, all with their own furnished terraces and lake views. The hotel is the third property to join the Sereno Hotels portfolio after Le Sereno Hotel & Villas in St. Barthélemy and Villa Pliniana, also located on Lake Como. Decorated Milan restaurateur and Michelin star chef, Andrea Berton, is at the helm of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Ristorante Berton Al Lago, featuring an exquisite menu inspired by the region. Rounding out the all-star team, acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc contributed his signature vertical botanical gardens throughout the property, including a spectacular “green sculpture” work of art.

  • Hotel website: Il Sereno
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).


Perched on a cliff’s edge, Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa stands alone in majestic solitude, its rock base evoking the robe of a king. Originally a 17th-century monastery, Monastero Santa Rosa has been affectionately and respectfully restored into an ultraluxe boutique hotel . It’s hard to imagine that the generous grounds, filled with four levels of gardens, lush landscaping, plentiful lounge chairs, and canopied daybeds, serve just 20 rooms and suites. Monastero Santa Rosa also hosts a fully equipped spa to rival any major city spa, offering not just treatment rooms, but large-scale amenities that include a sauna, steam, mosaic-tiled experience shower, hydro pool, and tepidarium.


As sumptuous and romantic as the city itself, Aman Venice – located within a phenomenal 16th-century Palazzo Papadopolion on the Grand Canal – is the most (ultra)luxurious property in the city and home to museum-quality treasures including Tiepolo frescoes, gilded ceilings and centuries-old leather wall coverings. More home than hotel, Aman Venice offers the rare privilege of space in the centre of the Floating City. High ceilings and spacious light-filled salons are joined by two mature outdoor private gardens and a small rooftop rarely seen in the city. With views to the hotel’s private garden or the Grand Canal, many of the 24 rooms and suites feature protected frescos and reliefs.


Situated in the most spectacular location, almost suspended between sea and sky, Belmond Hotel Caruso occupies a former medieval palace at the highest, quietest point of Ravello, overlooking the rocks and cliffs of Italy’s Amalfi Coast and the Mediterranean (or, more correctly, Tyrrhenian) Sea. With frescoed salons, arched stone vaults and just 50 highly individual rooms and suites occupying every shape and corner of the ancient palace’s architecture, it is an intimate retreat with an intriguing sense of history. But above all, with its rose arbour leading to one of the world’s most spectacular infinity pools, with sunlit or candlelit dining in the Belvedere Restaurant, and with a rich sense of its past as a retreat for presidents, writers and film stars, the hotel is almost impossibly romantic.

*** Follow me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for a daily moment of travel inspiration ***



  1. Le Sirenuse is a stunning property indeed and I will mention it next week in my top 10 list of hotels in the Naples area (Capri, Ischia, Amalfi Coast). However, I was personally not overwhelmed by my recent stay at Le Sirenuse. Belmond Caruso, Monastero Santa Rosa and Caesar Augustus are my favorite hotels in the area (especially because of their stunning, somewhat remoter locations, and a wide range of sublime facilities, such as extensive gardens).

  2. …and the Cipriani, and the Hassler, and the San Michele, and the Villa d’Este, the JKs?

  3. Others have said it but that Cipriani doesn’t make your Top Ten really says something about this Top Ten!

    And when I click on your Like button, it wants me to open an account at That site seems to be for bloggers or for people who want to create a blogging site, which I do not want to do.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Top 10: de allerbeste luxehotels in Italië -

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.