This is why our favourite hotels in Italy are Belmond Portofino, San Pietro di Positano, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Lupaia, Forestis, il Sereno Lago di Como, Four Seasons San Domenico Palace, Portrait Firenze and Aman Venice.
The list could continue, because Italy has the best collection of five-star hotels in the world. Here we celebrate the truly exceptional, the absolute standouts in a country where the best hotels deliver service, sophistication and their unique style.
Belmond could have a few entries on this list, like Caruso and Villa San Michele, both divine properties.
Our favourite Belmond in all of Italy is Hotel Splendido in Portofino. It’s a romantic bolthole that’s been discreetly hosting the world famous for over a century.
This iconic property has been fully upgraded after an intense multi-year renovation. We love the grand suites with their wrap-around terraces.
The most sought after suite to stay in is the new Ava Gardner Suite. For the 2023 summer season we eagerly await the new La Baronessa Suite as well.
A wellness retreat above the clouds in the Dolomites, Forestis has an equally impressive history of famous guests. This former sanctuary was where popes came to holiday in summer.
Yet you won’t find anything old. Forestis Dolomites is a minimalist, eco-friendly retreat, leading the charge for contemporary Italian hotel design.
The rooms are spartan, the furnishings minimal. The design is all about letting the outside in, so you can feel at one with the alpine nature.
This alpine getaway is within driving distance of Prague and is also home to one of the best hotel spas in the world.
San Pietro di Positano
Another grand dame of the European hotel scene, San Pietro di Positano has the most beautiful setting of anywhere on the Mediterranean.
This is the most glamorous place to stay in one of the most glamorous places to visit, the Amalfi Coast. What’s so remarkable is how this hotel fully lives up to its reputation.
San Pietro di Positano has all the wow factors – location, terraces, rooms, pools, amenities – but mostly you’ll remember its warmth and old-school charm.
Yes, it’s included on many best hotels in the world list. But it’s not big or corporate. San Pietro di Positano is a family-owned and operated hotel, where the General Manager is the owner.
Some Italy holidays are all about rest and relaxation. Others are all about exploring, like when you have a city break in Florence or Milan.
Portrait Firenze lacks some the amenities you may expect from a five-star hotel, like a spa. But it’s a blueprint for providing luxury and convenience in the heart of a destination that demands exploring.
The most prized location in Florence, steps from the Ponte Vecchio, delivering boutique-style privacy and tranquillity.Book one of the spacious suites with in-room kitchens for families.
A hotel like Portrait Firenze has everything you need to help you relax, while also maximisibg your time exploring Florence.
Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco
Tuscany has some exceptional country estates, like the new Castello di Reschio and Belmond’s Castello di Casole. Our long-standing favourite is Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco.
A working wine estate. A restored medieval village. Farmhouses converted into luxury villas, standing alone on the Tuscan countryside. The Daniela Steiner spa. So much is iconic here.
This is not only a highly polished luxury resort. It’s a large multi-functional estate that feels deeply authentic, deeply rooted in its unique place.
As with all Rosewood properties, it’s the design and attention to detail we love the most. Did you know Rosewood Vienna opened last year?
Hotel Lupaia, Montepulciano
Perhaps you don’t want to stay at such a grand Tuscany property? Or Castiglion del Bosco is a little out of your budget, especially with all the Brunello you plan to buy?
Hotel Lupaia in Montepulciano is our hidden gem in Tuscany. It has incredible character and it’s incredible value too.
Hidden down an unpaved road, this is a hotel where you’ll take a thousand photos. But you’ll want to keep it secret and not spread it all around Instagram.
At EliteVoyage we personally inspect hundreds of hotels every year. So we can offer you these lesser-known hotels and advise you on the best suites and rooms in each property.
Four Seasons San Domenico Palace
Taormina in Sicily has been a sought after holiday destination for 150 years. Everyone from Audrey Hepburn to European royals and world leaders have stayed at San Domenico Palace.
It’s a former 14th-century monastery overlooking the rooftops of Taormina, looking out to Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea. Yet it fell into disregard and was feeling extremely tired.
Step forward Four Seasons who have brought this grand dame back to life. Reopened in summer 2021 it’s quickly charmed our clients.
If you like Four Seasons then you’ll love this hotel. And if you don’t like the brand so much, San Domenico Palace will surprise you. The property is a perfect fit for a hotel brand vested in old-world swagger and elegance.
il Sereno Lago di Como
Lake Como in the Italian Lakes is a grand dame of a destination and if you want old-world and opulent then opt for Grand Hotel Tremezzo.
Constructed from wood, glass and stone, il Sereno is a new-world hotel we love on Lake Como. It’s such a refreshing change from all the classically styled hotels elsewhere on the water.
Patricia Urquiola is behind the bold, contemporary design, dominated by natural materials and furnishings.
This is a hotel for the younger generation, an example of how it’s good to break from tradition and rethink a destination. Even if you don’t stay here, don’t miss the restaurant, Berton al Lago.
The Gritti Palace is the most opulent and has the best parties. Belmond Cipriani is the private island retreat. And it’s hard to look past the Signature Monet Suites at The St. Regis Venice.
Our top Venice pick is Aman Venice. We love how this small 24-room hotel transcends Venice through the ages. It completely immerses you in a city and art that spans many centuries.
Unassuming from the outside and a treasure chest from the inside. Our favourite room is the Alcova Suite, with original 18th-century frescoes by Tiepolo.
Aman Venice doesn’t even have a check-in desk. It’s a Venetian home away from home, with all the services personalised and brought to your room.
What’s Your Favourite Five-Star Hotel in Italy?
Do you agree with our list? What’s been your favourite hotel in Italy and where is highest on your travel list?