San Domenico Palace, A Four Seasons Hotel, Taormina, Sicily — Photo courtesy of Four Seasons
The second season of the HBO hit series “The White Lotus” had everyone dreaming of Sicilian sunsets, infinity pools, and hotel bar cocktails. Shot at the iconic San Domenico Palace, A Four Seasons Hotel in Taormina, Sicily, it certainly brought la dolce vita and Italian old-world glam to the forefront.
It also generated unprecedented demand for the hotel, so if you can’t get a reservation there, don’t fret — there are plenty of incredibly luxurious hotels and resorts across the country in which you can recreate your own indulgent Italian holiday. You know the type: hotels where nothing is too much of a bother for the concierge, where you come to see and to be seen, and where the setting — whether on mountaintops, coasts, islands, or lakes — is nothing short of dreamy.
Grand Hotel Timeo – A Belmond Hotel, Sicily
Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel — Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel
One of Taormina’s historic hotels (celebrating 150 years in 2023 no less), the Grand Hotel Timeo by Belmond offers luxury travelers an idyllic retreat. Steps away from the bustling main drag, it enjoys a prime location near the ancient, awe-inspiring Greek Theater and features breathtaking views of the coast and Mount Etna. Relax in the hotel’s Dior “Garden of Dreams” Spa, sip on cocktails at the Timeo Bar, and enjoy outstanding regional dishes by chef Roberto Toro, who has a Michelin star.
Hotel Il Pellicano, Tuscany
Hotel Il Pellicano, Tuscany — Photo courtesy of Hotel Il Pellicano
Situated on Tuscany’s Argentario coast, Hotel Il Pellicano has become synonymous with exclusivity. With its vintage charm and stylish, beachy vibe, it remains a favorite hideaway for the rich and famous. Overlooking a private bay, this summer hot spot offers the coolest of beach clubs, a renowned Michelin-starred restaurant, sea-inspired decor, and impeccable service. Prepare to be thoroughly spoiled by the laid-back glamour of one of Italy’s most iconic hotels and keep the feeling alive once you’re home by buying fashionable local wares at the super chic ISSIMO boutique.
Passalacqua, Lake Como
Passalacqua, Lake Como — Photo courtesy of Passalacqua
To say Passalacqua is a magical place sounds banal, but it evokes a feeling that’s quite hard to put into words. This lakeside haven boasts acres of immaculate gardens and secret passageways and comes complete with a spa and lakefront pool. The former home of esteemed composer Bellini, the resplendent chandelier-lined suite dedicated to him is enough to rival any property on Lake Como, George Clooney’s included.
Bulgari Hotel Rome
Bulgari Hotel Rome — Photo courtesy of Bulgari Hotel Rome
Experience true opulence at the Bulgari Hotel Roma in a prime location that overlooks the mausoleum of Emperor Augustus. Offering unrivaled elegance and impeccable service — not to mention iconic Italian design across its rooms and suites — it boasts one of Rome’s largest and most glamorous spas, as well as gourmet dining by Michelin-starred chef Niko Romito. Enjoy chocolate creations at Bulgari Dolci and expertly mixed cocktails at one of the hotel’s many bars, like the one on the rooftop that stuns with incredible views of the city’s domes.
Splendido Mare – A Belmond Hotel, Portofino
Splendido Mare – A Belmond Hotel, Portofino — Photo courtesy of Mattia Aquila
For an unparalleled experience in Portofino, the Belmond Splendido Mare is the epitome of exclusivity. With its opulent ambiance and flawless service, it exudes the glamour that the Italian Riviera is known for. Located in the heart of the main piazza, it offers easy access to the charming town. Take a refreshing dip in the stunning open-air pool that’s perched high above the bay, and marvel at the breathtaking vistas of the picturesque harbor at your doorstep.
Forestis, Trentino Alto Adige
Forestis — Photo courtesy of Forestis
With the imposing Dolomite mountains as its backdrop, Forestis is an understated luxury retreat. Embracing its natural surroundings, the resort blends minimal and thoughtful architecture that invites you to do nothing but unwind. Reconnect with yourself and nature through indulgent spa treatments and delectable locally sourced cuisine. Penthouse suites offer the ultimate alpine paradise with private pools and dramatic views.
The St. Regis Venice
The St. Regis Venice — Photo courtesy of The St. Regis Venice
Sip cocktails right on the edge of the Grand Canal and you’ll see why The St. Regis Venice is known for having one of the city’s most prized locations. Housed in a 17th-century palazzo, the hotel showcases exquisite architecture and opulent interiors. Its private garden provides a verdant retreat, while suite terraces offer breathtaking views. This stately escape exudes Venetian splendor, and with personalized butler service, world-class dining, and a blissful spa, you’ll have everything you could want or need at your fingertips.
Borgo Santandrea, Amalfi Coast
Borgo Santandrea, Amalfi Coast — Photo courtesy of Enzo Rando
Discover the perfect blend of mid-century design and Mediterranean style at Borgo Santandrea, the Amalfi Coast’s hottest gem, where timeless charm and modern luxury co-exist. Perched high on craggy cliffs, enjoy breathtaking views from its picturesque balconies and terraces, and find stunning design pieces throughout. There’s also a gleaming saltwater pool and a private beach club at which to relax, cocktail in hand.
Villa Igiea – A Rocco Forte Hotel, Palermo
Villa Igiea – A Rocco Forte Hotel — Photo courtesy of Villa Igiea – A Rocco Forte Hotel, Palermo
Having welcomed celebrities and royalty for over a century, Villa Igiea holds a cherished place in Palermo’s history. The palazzo’s opulence has been preserved through a meticulous restoration, and the interiors feature a blend of contemporary and traditional grandeur with sumptuous fabrics and antiques. Sicilian delicacies are the highlight at the Belle Époque-inspired Florio restaurant, while cocktails come with stunning views at the terrace bar.
Il Borro, Tuscany
Il Borro, Tuscany — Photo courtesy of Francesca Pagliai
Within the enchanting walls of Il Borro, the esteemed Ferragamo family estate in Tuscany, time seems to have stood still. The 5-star wine resort — once a medieval village — offers a dream experience with charming suites spread across 2,700 acres. Immerse yourself in wine tastings, spa treatments, nature trails, and gourmet dining, or visit boutiques and workshops to have jewelry or shoes custom-made.
Casa Maria Luigia, Emilia Romagna
Casa Maria Luigia, Emilia Romagna — Photo courtesy of Stefano Scatà
World-famous chef Massimo Bottura and his wife Lara Gilmore bring their culinary and hospitality expertise to life at Casa Maria Luigia. Tucked away in the pretty Emilian countryside by Modena, this lavish retreat showcases their signature style: a captivating blend of vintage charm and modern elegance. Designed with warm and homely hues, the suites and inviting communal spaces come complete with Gucci furnishings and eclectic design pieces, and the restaurant serves dishes from Bottura’s acclaimed repertoire.
Masseria Torre Maizza – A Rocco Forte Hotel, Puglia
Masseria Torre Maizza – A Rocco Forte Hotel, Puglia — Photo courtesy of Masseria Torre Maizza – A Rocco Forte Hotel, Puglia
Luxury hotelier Rocco Forte took a 16th-century farmhouse and transformed it into the ritzy Masseria Torre Maizza. The home’s history converges with contemporary elegance amid its bougainvillea-adorned white walls and stunning suites designed by Olga Polizzi, which feature local ceramics. An expansive pool, rooftop terrace, day spa, and rustic Pugliese cuisine will complete your stay.
Baglioni Resort Sardinia
Baglioni Resort Sardinia — Photo courtesy of Baglioni Resort Sardinia
The latest hotel to line Sardegna’s Caribbean-like coastline is the sleek Baglioni Resort Sardinia. Perched by the serene waters of San Teodoro, the resort features exquisitely crafted furnishings by local artisans, the delectable Michelin-starred Gusto by Sadler restaurant, a stunning beach, poolside cabanas, and a spa.
Four Seasons Resort Milano
Four Seasons Resort Milano — Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Milano
Elegance in Milan doesn’t get much more refined than the Four Seasons Hotel Milano. Located in a 15th-century convent, it exudes tranquility with its box tree-lined courtyard and its prime position on Via Gesù, which places you in the heart of Milan’s fashion district. Preserving its original charm, the hotel boasts stone carvings, stucco ceilings, and frescoes. Indulge in the spa, formerly a cellar, or take a dip in the pool beneath vaulted ceilings.
Vocabolo Moscatelli, Umbria
Vocabolo Moscatelli, Umbria — Photo courtesy of Vocabolo Moscatelli
In the heart of Umbria, this 12th-century monastery-turned-hotel is an exclusive retreat that combines the gravitas of ancient stone walls with a contemporary design ethos. The chic Vocabolo Moscatelli is surrounded by sun-kissed lavender and quintessentially Mediterranean landscapes. A travertine swimming pool, bar, and vegetable-forward restaurant complete the tapestry of this rustic yet elegant haven.