From centuries-old palaces converted into luxury suites to small boutique hotels equipped with every modern amenity, Italy offers a wide range of options when it comes to hotel accommodations.
The best of the bunch offer rooms with views that are so spectacular, guests needn’t venture farther than their balconies or terraces to go sightseeing. Whether decorated in a minimalist style or with antique furniture, rich tapestries and hand-blown chandeliers, the hotel interiors can be just as breathtakingly beautiful. Add superlative services into the mix, and a great luxury hotel becomes a world-class travel destination in its own right.
The following hotels in Italy offer all the modern conveniences and pampering features that guests want from a luxury establishment, but it’s their standout style, prime locations and historic settings that make them truly amazing.
Located in a former 11th-century palazzo on the Amalfi Coast, the Belmond Hotel Caruso sits on the highest point of the village of Ravello, providing guests with a breathtaking panorama of the Bay of Salerno. The landmark hotel was completely renovated in 2005, transforming the medieval structure into luxury accommodations equipped with every modern amenity. Terraced gardens planted with roses, jasmine and orange trees invite leisurely strolls. Situated at the highest point of the property, the views offered by the infinity pool make it the hotel’s star attraction.
A central location and a rooftop swimming pool make the Grand Hotel Minerva an appealing option for anyone traveling to Florence during the warm-weather season. Situated on the recently renovated Piazza Santa Maria Novella, this four-star hotel gives guests easy access to all the attractions of the city’s historic center, including the magnificent 15th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Novella located next door. The sixth-floor terrace on this stylish hotel offers sweeping views of Florence and the countryside beyond.
Carved into cliffs and caves overlooking the Adriatic Sea in the town of Polignano a Mare, the Grotta Palazzese Hotel provides visitors with a truly unique travel experience. Situated inside a large limestone cavern, the hotel’s famous Grotto restaurant is the establishment’s main draw. Guests dine by candlelight while watching waves crash on the rocks below and the sun slip over the horizon. Although the 25 rooms and suites in this four-star hotel are small, they’re equipped with all the modern comforts and offer guests easy access to the region’s best beaches.
Considered one of the best hotels in the world, the Grand Hotel Timeo is situated in the heart of Taormina, right next door to the ancient Greek Theatre still used for theatrical productions today. The five-star hotel is not only prized for its antique elegance but also for the panoramic views of Mount Etna and the Sicilian Coast offered from its sea-facing terraces. Air conditioned rooms are beautifully appointed with fine art, rich textiles and modern amenities, but it’s the hotel’s stunning vistas that make a stay at the Grand Hotel Timeo such a memorable experience.
Located conveniently close to Siena and Florence, the Castello di Casole offers ideal accommodations for travelers who want an authentic Tuscan experience without having to compromise comfort and convenience. The expansive property includes acres of olive trees and grapevines centered around a completely renovated and thoroughly modernized 10th-century castle. The earth-tone décor in the hotel’s 41 rooms is an artful mix of contemporary and Old World style. A well-stocked wine cellar, pizzeria restaurant and a pampering spa round out the hotel’s amenities.
One of the world’s most famous hotels, the artfully refined Hotel Hassler is situated at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome, offering guests the best views of the Eternal City. Although the 19th-century hotel has been recently renovated, it remains a sterling example of Old World luxury. Each of its 82 rooms and 14 suites is ornamented with antique furnishings, Venetian lamps and masterpieces of art. Along with an on-site gymnasium, spa and salon, a Michelin-starred restaurant and garden café surrounded by stone walls adds to the attraction of the celebrated Hotel Hassler.
Few hotels in Italy can rival the Caesar Augustus Hotel when it comes to rooms with a view. Perched on a cliff high above the Bay of Naples, this former summer home to Russian royalty offers panoramic views of Mount Vesuvius and the Capri shoreline. Sweeping vistas can be enjoyed from nearly every room, and the infinity pool and poolside restaurant in this five-star hotel are all about the expansive views they offer as well. Mediterranean-style décor, attentive service and full-service spa make a stay at the Caesar Augustus Hotel a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Located on the west shore of Lake Como, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo has been a popular destination for world travelers since it opening in 1910. In addition to uninterrupted views of the water and the town of Bellagio, this fine hotel with its century-old style features three restaurants, three swimming pools, a fully equipped wellness center and a park with tennis courts and jogging paths. From the architecture of the hotel’s grand Sala Musica to the fresh flowers in every room, no detail is overlooked. Everything at the Tremezzo comes together to deliver an elegantly pampering and comfortable experience.
Housed in a 16th-century monastery, the Belmond Hotel Splendido is perched high atop a hill overlooking the Ligurian Sea. The hotel has been a favorite stop for the rich and famous since it opened in 1902. Celebrities from Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra to Winston Churchill and the Duke of Windsor have enjoyed luxurious stays in one of the hotel’s 64 individually designed rooms and suites, which feature expansive bathrooms, large wardrobes and an abundance of high-tech gadgets. Three restaurants, a swimming pool and a wellness center round out the hotel’s amenities.
With its Grand Canal location, extravagantly refurbished rooms and beautiful dining room, the recently reopened Gritti Palace offers guests a classic Venetian experience. Situated across the water from the Guggenheim Museum and lovely Santa Maria della Salute, this 15th-century palazzo occupies one of the best locations in Venice. Lavishly appointed with Old World antiques, Murano glass lamps and silk damask wall coverings, the five-star hotel’s rooms have been upgraded with every modern convenience. The Gritti Palace is the place to stay for visitors who want to experience true Venetian period splendor.
An 18th-century villa turned into a hotel by the aristocratic Sersale family in 1951, Le Sirenuse offers visitors to the beautiful Amalfi Coast accommodations that are both elegant and homey. Filled with family heirlooms and mementos, the seaside hotel also boasts a Michelin-starred rooftop restaurant, a swimming pool and a designer spa. As author and former guest John Steinbeck wrote in a 1953 article for Harper’s Bazaar: “Every room has its little balcony and looks over the blue sea to the islands of the sirens from which those ladies sang so sweetly.”