GRAND HOTEL A VILLA FELTRINELLI HOTEL REVIEW
Where oligarchs and CEOs go to get their most matronly cosseting. Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli has resolutely carved its own path, refusing to modernize, embracing its history, maintaining its peerless, polished brilliance in the face of endless newness all around.
Telephone: +39 0365 79 80 00
Price: Doubles from about £1,180
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JK PLACE CAPRI HOTEL REVIEW
Capri is one of those places that can surprise the first-timer with just how low-key the island actually is. But this hotel is just so handsome, it's like a straight-backed mansion designed to be a shiny and fresh as a ship at sea, with views of Parmesan cliffs and Mount Vesuvius beyond.
Telephone: +39 081 838 4001
Wifi: Included with the room
Price: Double from £876
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AMAN VENICE HOTEL REVIEW
In a city awash with much-loved legends – the Cipriani, the Daneli, the Gritti Palace – this relative newcomer wins out for its insider location, intimate size and proper Italian aristo experience, where palazzo pomp meets understated Aman smarts. And what an entrance: under the Rialto Bridge in a glossy Riva and up to Palazzo Papadopoli’s private jetty on the Grand Canal.
Address: Palazzo Papadopoli, Calle Tiepolo 1364, Sestiere San Polo, Venezia 30125, Italy
Telephone: +39 041 2707333
Wifi: Wi-Fi is complimentary
Price: Doubles from about £915
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The wow factor at this old-school favourite - run by the fourth generation of the family that founded it - is the beach club with bar, freeform pool, and sun loungers right on the water's edge - on one of the most stunning coastlines in the world. Back at the top, there are more dazzling views from the restaurant and balconies of some of the rooms in the 19th-century villa, which is set in gracious grounds of citrus and olive groves; honeymoon suites have decadent details such as shell-shaped beds and infinity pools.
One of five resorts owned by Francis Ford Coppola, this 19th-century palazzo is in the southern Italian town of Bernalda, the birthplace of the filmmaker's grandfather. There are six grand apartments on the piano nobile and three in a former outhouse, all designed by Jacques Grange, and dining is wherever guests so choose, from the luxuriant gardens to the Cinecittà bar or in front of an Italian film in the salon/screening room, with a bottle of wine from Coppola's Californian winery.
Landscaped in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Val d'Orcia has a unique aesthetic that was immortalized in Renaissance painting and has captivated many a visitor since, not least Anglo-Italian lawyer Michael Cioffi. His response has been to take on the restoration of an entire hilltop village, with a 12-room hotel at its heart, a Tuscan restaurant, a swimming pool, an art gallery and a concert venue in the Romanesque Sant' Andrea church.
BORGO SANTO PIETRO
Claus Thottrup bought this 13th-century villa near the beautiful roofless abbey of San Galgano as a wedding present for his wife Jeannette; 15 years later it's the ultimate honeymoon retreat. The 15 classic rooms and suites - some with open fires, frescoed walls, and claw-foot baths - are insanely pretty, and the 13 acres of grounds include a freeform pool, a spa, a rose walk, and organic gardens that grow produce for the Michelin-starred restaurant and Treehouse Bar.
Address: Palazzetto, 53012 Chiusdino, Tuscany, Italy
Telephone: +39 057 775 1222
Price: Doubles from about £315
John Steinbeck described Le Sirenuse as an 'old family house converted into a first-class hotel,' when he stayed here in the 1950s; and Le Sireneuse is still the height of low-key sophistication, not least thanks to Antonio Sersale, who runs it with effortless grace and humor. The Pompeian red-and-white building houses 59 bedrooms, most with sea-facing balconies or terraces, and there's also a pool, an Aveda spa, and a Champagne bar where evenings commence before moving on to Michelin-starred fish restaurant, La Sponda.
Telephone: +39 089 875 066
Price: Doubles from about €350
CA MARIA ADELE
This 12-room, 16th-century palazzo has an enviable location in the peaceful Dorsodoro quarter, just behind the Salute church, mere steps from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and with its own entrance on the Grand Canal. It combines opulent concept rooms (like the crimson damask Sala del Doge and black and gold-flock Sala dei Mori) with a more contemporary-feel terrace and living room with a view.