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The Luxury Hotel Insider:Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.

Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.


Featured Journeys: Romantic Trip Through Italy

Italy, known for food, art, and culture, it seems as if there's something new to discover at every turn. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're going on a Romantic Trip Through Italy. While there's so much to explore, this journey will feature three of the major cities, along with a stop in Tuscany for wine and enjoying la dolce vita. 

Rome
Siena
Florence
Venice

Rome

The journey begins in Rome. Founded around 753 B.C., the city is a haven for history lovers. Three of our favorite hotels below provide ideal locations to explore all the Eternal City has to offer, including the Colosseum, Pantheon, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican, and the Trevi Fountain. Thanks to Italy's fashion houses, many of the city's major landmarks, including the Trevi Fountain have recently been refurbished, making it an ideal time to visit. 

Here are a few of our top Rome hotels:

Palazzo Manfredi

Palazzo Manfredi

Directly opposite the Colosseum, the Palazzo Manfredi is a boutique hotel set within a 17th century villa. Offering the Michelin star Aroma Restaurant, guests can dine on award-winning cuisine while enjoying views of the iconic Colosseum. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive daily breakfast for 2, complimentary welcome drink, and entrance tickets for 2 to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill.

Palazzo Montemartini

Palazzo Montemartini

Situated in central Rome, Palazzo Montemartini offers a modern, yet romantic setting. The only hotel in the city crossed by the Servian Walls, the luxury hotel is set within a stately former palazzo with a spa, Turkish bath, and indoor lap pool. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive a bottle of wine, plus a 10% discount at the Senses restaurant and spa treatments. 

Fendi Private Suites

Fendi Private Suites

Why only shop at the Fendi flagship boutique when you can spend the night in the Fendi Private Suites? Offering seven chic and creative suites within the Palazzo Fendi, the innovative designs incorporate the brand's classical visual language in the heart of Rome.

Explore all Rome Luxury Hotels

 

Siena

Offering a medieval setting, the city of Siena makes for a great base for exploring Tuscany. While the town itself is charming, we recommend spending a few nights (or why not an entire week if timing allows?) at one of the area's vineyard hotels where you can relax, sip some wine, and take in the beauty of the Italian countryside. 

Here are a few of our top Siena hotels:

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

This majestic estate has an 800-year history. Set in Val d'Orcia just north of Montalcino, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is one of Tuscany's largest contiguous estates. Completely restored, the property offers a focus on the land, wine, and history. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive $100 USD resort credit, and a welcome bottle of Castiglion del Bosco wine. 

Castel Monastero

Castel Monastero

Set amongst the Chianti vines, Castel Monastero is situated within a medieval village from the 11th century. About 30 minutes from Siena, this country resort offers a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, an intimate church for weddings, wine cellar with Tuscan wine tastings, and spa with wellness programs and medical anti-aging treatments. Perk: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive a three course lunch for two with wine, and $100 spa credit. 

Castel Porrona Relais

Castel Porrona Relais

Nestled amongst vineyards, cypress trees, and olive groves, the Castel Porrona Relais is a historic village resort with an outdoor swimming pool, fine Tuscan cuisine at Il Chiostro Restaurant, and suites with personal butler service. The Agua Spa offers wine therapy baths, Moroccan-inspired hammam, and treatments incorporating Tuscan wine and olive oils. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive a complimentary bottle of wine and 15% discount on spa services. 

Explore all Siena Luxury Hotels

 

Florence

Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a must-see for art lovers. Yes, Michelangelo's "David" is here, but there's so much more to see. Il Duomo, the Florence Cathedral was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, and was built on the site of 7th century Church of Santa Reparata, where visitors can see the remains of the foundation in the crypt. On the piazza outside of the cathedral is the Baptistery of St. John, considered the oldest religious site in all of Florence. Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio to the "newest" part of the city for shopping, and be sure to try the iconic Florentine Steak for one of your meals. 

Here are a few of our top Florence hotels:

Brunelleschi Hotel Florence

Brunelleschi Hotel Florence

Steps from Il Duomo Cathedral, Brunelleschi Hotel Florence is in the heart of historic city center. Set within a 6th century byzantine tower and medieval church from 1400, the luxury boutique hotel has an upscale Italian restaurant and traditional trattoria. Note: you may recognize the property, as it is where Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks' character) stays while in Florence in the DaVinci Code and Inferno. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive a $50 food and beverage credit per room, along with a welcome amenity. 

Hotel Il Salviatino

Hotel Il Salviatino

Perched on the hillside of Fiesole, Hotel Il Salviatino is set within a 15th century villa. Overlooking Florence and the rolling Tuscan hills, the unique property has outdoor pools set immersed in the green hills. There's a spa with aroma's of Dr Vranjes, an exclusive Florence perfume house, along with La Cucina serving Tuscan cuisine crafted with ingredients grown on the property. 

Belmond Villa San Michele

Belmond Villa San Michele

Surrounded by gardens with a facade attributed to Michelangelo, Belmond Villa San Michele is set within a former monastery. Minutes way from the center of Florence, the building was expertly restored with the assistance of the Florence Fine Arts Authority. There's an Italian Cookery School with hands-on cooking classes, La Loggia Restaurant, and a hilltop pool. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive lunch for two at the Pool Restaurant, fresh flowers, and fruit upon arrival. 

Explore all Florence Luxury Hotels

 

Venice

The final stop on the journey is Venice. The City of Canals offers a romantic setting with ornate palaces lining the Grand Canal, narrow mysterious streets, and arched marble bridges crossing over canals with gondalas. Popular with artists and writers for centuries, the city is an ideal place to roam and wander with the one you love. Designed to approach from the water, Venice's iconic St. Mark's Square is a must-see, but can get crowded. We recommend visiting in the early morning.

Here are a few of our top Venice hotels:

Boscolo Venezia

Guest room at the Boscolo Venezia

Overlooking the lagoon, Boscolo Venezia is tucked inside a 16th century villa with a hidden garden. Providing a classic Venetian setting, the hotel's Giardino Segreto Restaurant provides a Boscolo Food Experience with themed islands, open kitchens, and an emphasis on food presentation. The Serenissima spa draws inspiration from the city's wellness traditions, and the hotel has a private boat offering transportation to St. Mark's Square. 

JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa

JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa

Tucked on the private island of Isola delle Rose, the JW Marriott Resort and Spa is a 15-minute boat ride across the lagoon to St. Mark's Square. There is a Wine & Cooking Academy providing guests with the opportunity to learn the art of Venetian cuisine, and the family-friendly property has a kids club and family activities. There is a romantic church, four restaurants, water sports, and a rooftop lounge with a pool. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive VIP status, Venetian sweets, and a bottle of prosecco. 

Aman Canal Grande Venice

Aman Canal Grande Venice

Overlooking the Grand Canal, guests typically arrive by boat to the Aman Canal Grande Venice. Evoking the feeling of bygone era with sweeping staircases, soaring ceilings, and historic frescoes, the luxury hotel has private gardens, and a boutique specializing in Venetian glassware. There's a roof terrace, along with the Dining Room serving Italian and Asian cuisines, and guests have walking access to San Polo. 

Explore all Venice Luxury Hotels

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Overlooking the Borghese gardens and the hotel's private park and swimming pool, the Royal Suite at the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese offers panoramic views of Rome and a lavish setting with antique furniture, rich decor, and two bathrooms. Situated on the Penthouse Floor, the unique venue has an office area with a grand desk, and living room with chandeliers and a Bang & Olefsen TV system. Continue reading below the image. 

Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

The opulent bedrooom features a king bed and sitting area, plus a spacious dressing room and vanity. See photo of the bedroom below. 

Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

The Aldrovandi Villa Borghese is set within a former convent, in an upscale residential area, between the Borghese gardens and the Borghese Gallery. The grand property was built in the 19th century, and offers a palatial setting with an outdoor pool, fine dining, and gardens. 

Check rates and availability at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

 


Across from the Colosseum in Rome, Palazzo Manfredi is set within the archaeological remains of a gladiator arena, the luxury boutique hotel occupies a historic Italian villa. There's a Michelin-starred restaurant, Aroma, with a rooftop terrace featuring exquisite views of the Colosseum and Rome. 

Five Star Alliance Perk Alert: All guests who book through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome drink, daily continental breakfast for two, and tickets to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and The Palatine Hill. 

Currently, the property has 14 opulent guest accommodations with incomparable city views. The Relais & Chateaux property is planning an expansion. Read more about it along with details about the hotel's suites below, in an article from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, by Sharri Whiting De Masi.  Continue reading below the photo.

Palazzo Manfredi

For those who love all things Roman and want to stay in proximity to the great historic sites, the Palazzo Manfredi offers not only the most sublime and surreal view of the Colosseum, but the Michelin-starred Aroma restaurant from which to enjoy it. The 18th-century townhouse, which is adjacent to the ruins of the old Roman gladiator school, will be enlarged with several additional rooms and suites in a more modern building behind the palazzo. At present there are 14 rooms and two suites in this Relais & Chateaux property. Continue reading below the image.

View from Aroma at the Palazzo Manfredi

The Colosseum Suite on the first floor contains a large whirlpool bath and small private gym separated from the bedroom and the living room by glass walls, but the real focal point is the ever-present view of the Colosseum from four windows. There is a living room decorated in tones of silver and black, with parquet floors. The suite is about 650 square feet.

The ground-floor Ludus Magnus Suite is about 550 square feet, and has two full baths with walk-in showers, a large king bedroom and a living room with parquet floors. Again, there is the ever-fascinating view of the Colosseum.

Check rates and availability at Palazzo Manfredi >>

Suite at the Palazzo Manfredi


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When visiting Rome, you can spend the night above Fendi's flagship boutique, in the Fendi Private Suites. Featuring seven elegant suites, all accommodations meld chic and creative design with Italian elegance and innovation, plus Fendi-infused touches. Set within the former palace of the Boncompagni Ludovisi Princely family, guests can dine at Zuma, situated on the rooftop, then shop at the store below (or vice versa). Read more about the Fendi Suites from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, written by Sharri Whiting De Masi.

What can we say about the Fendi Private Suites, other than to emphasize that couture is couture and style is style. Living over a store has never been so sumptuous. Enter through the silvery elevator doors and come out to find Fendi’s innovative design translated into sleek leather sofas, floor-to-ceiling windows and signature room dividers made from woven metallic wire sandwiched between glass. Palazzo Fendi, at Via della Fontanella di Borghese 48, is right at the end of Via Condotti, Rome’s famous shopping street. Continue reading below.

Lounge at the Fendi Luxury Suites

The largest of the seven suites, all of which are located on the third floor, is the Corner Suite No. 7. Six windows flood the 650-square-foot suite with light. Wine-velvet chairs and a colorful Fendi fur-wall mosaic provide contrast to the neutral velvets and taupe leather used throughout the suite. Levanto marble lines the walls of the bathrooms in the suites, with distinctive chocolate and cream swirls. There is a deep tub and a double shower. Note: There are bathtubs in five of the seven suites, along with separate showers.

Suites 4 and 5 have adjacent doors and, though separate, can be taken together for a group stay. Suite 4 is about 550 square feet, with two tall windows overlooking Via Tomacelli. The wide-screen TV swivels to face the bedroom or the living room and there is a walk-in wardrobe.

We also visited Palazzo Suite 2, which is 550 square feet and overlooks a small piazza. There are two large windows to bring in the Roman light. This suite can connect with Palazzo Suite 1, which looks out toward the skyline above the Spanish Steps.

We loved Fendi’s use of iPads in the suites to display clever apps for navigating Rome and providing hotel info to guests, who are also offered private tours of Fendi’s amazing new flagship store. Karl Lagerfeld photos of Rome decorate the walls in every suite, providing inspiration for the visit downstairs to see his couture collection for the design house.

The hip Zuma Ristorante shares the Palazzo Fendi, offering hotel guests breakfast, as well as contemporary Japanese cuisine at lunch and dinner. The rooftop terrace at Zuma is a favorite spot for sunset cocktails.

Check rates at the Fendi Suites >>

Fendi Suites in Rome

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If you're planning a family vacation to Rome, Palazzo Manfredi has the ideal accommodations.

The hotel offers a rate with two connecting bedrooms and Colosseum views. At 538 square feet, this option offers a spacious retreat in the Eternal City. 

Palazzo Manfredi Guest Room

Palazzo Manfredi is a 14-room boutique hotel located in the historical part of Rome. Set within a 17th century villa, the hotel is directly in front of the Colosseum, and steps away from the Roman Forum and Domus Arena, families can explore the sights, and relax at the hotel with ease.

Ideally situated for sightseeing, there's the Michelin Star-awarded Aroma Restaurant with a rooftop setting and Italian cuisine, plus the American Bar serving quick lunches and cocktails on-site. 

Palazzo Manfredi

Five Star Alliance Perk: guests who book through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome drink, Continental breakfast daily for up to two guests, and entrance tickets for two to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and The Palatine Hill. Guests who book a suite also receive a one way limousine transfer from or to the airport.

Check rates and learn more about Palazzo Manfredi>>

Palazzo Manfredi

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A magnificent mansion built in 1620 for the Fonseca family, The Grand Hotel de la Minerve offers 135 guest rooms and suites in the Rome historical city centre, the hotel overlooks the Pantheon and is just minutes from Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

Sitting Room of the Melville Suite

The Melville Suite at the Grand Hotel de la Minerve:

"In the square there is an obelisk that rises above an elephant…", that's how the famous writer of Moby Dick, Herman Melville describes in his diaries the amazing view of Bernini's masterpiece from this suite. 

Overlooking the Minerva Square, this 75 sqm suite is composed by a large living room with a sitting area, a bedroom with a four poster king size bed and a marble bathroom with Jacuzzi bathtub and shower. The coffered ceiling and the accurate design lend the Suite Melville its noble, elegant lines and the warmth of a comfortable, welcoming aristocratic "home". 

Max occupancy is 2 adults and 1 child, with a crib available upon request.

Find out more about the Grand Hotel de la Minrve and book your room now >>

Bathroom of Melville Suite


The First Luxury Art Hotel Roma has a rooftop bar that allows you to dine outdoors if you would like to. It offers amazing views of the city and a romantic and lively atmosphere.

The First Luxury Art Hotel Roma

Book a stay at The First Luxury Art Hotel Roma >>


If Julius Caesar is one of your heros, you won't want to enroll in gladiator training at Rome Cavalieri. The luxury hotel is located only minutes from Rome's great monuments, but offers 15 acres of Mediterranean parklands. The setting makes it a perfect place to practice your swordfighting. Rome CavalieriAt the Rome Cavalieri guests can experience the world of the gladiators who fought and often died in the Coliseum two thousand years ago.

In the Rome Cavalieri's private park, overlooking Rome's skyline, instructors from Rome's Gladiatorial School will instruct guests in ancient combat techniques as well as explaining the life and times of the gladiators. Available on request, and open to all guests over the age of seven, the course is a mix of sport and culture. A gladiator kit is included with traditional tunic, Roman sandals, belt, protective gloves, and wooden training sword, and on completion students are presented with a medal declaring them a "Tiro," or first level gladiator.

 

Book a stay at Rome Cavalieri >>


Renowned chef Oliver Glowig brings his masterful style of haute cuisine to Rome at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese. The eponymous restaurant has been recognized with two Michelin stars. Experience Chef Glowig's distinct interpretation of contemporary Italian cuisine as you gaze out at the hotel's tranquil gardens, a hidden oasis in the heart of Rome.

Dine at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese >>


Refined with just a touch of rambunctious style to keep things interesting, Aleph Hotel features 96 luxurious guest rooms and suites, an inviting full-service restaurant, and an elegant bar where late afternoon aperitifs lead seamlessly into lively evenings with friends. Style is found in Aleph Hotel's pretty and poetic details. The 96 luxury rooms, including four Exclusive Rooms with large private terraces, two Junior Suites, three Executive Suites and one Grand Suite, are studies in Italian design dating from the 1930s and 40s. Large black and white prints by New York street photographer Bram Tihany grace the walls, capturing the everyday beauty of daily life in Rome, while Italian touches like Murano Liberty glassware and Deco furnishings create unconventional spaces that sparkle with originality. All guest rooms and suites have large closets, desks, dressers and minibars, while bathrooms feature a rich line of bath amenities.

Book a stay at Aleph Hotel >>


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