Tag Archives: Europe & Asia

SLH Making Additions in South Africa, Italy, and France | Instant News

Small Luxury Hotels in the World (SLH) kicked off the new year with seven new member hotels, including a return to the South African map with three hotels from The Liz McGrath Collection. Together with the Italian trio and historic hideouts in the hilltop fortress of Bastia in France, this is the latest addition to the portfolio.

South Africa (New Destination)

Liz McGrath Collection

SLH returns to South Africa with three hotels from The Liz McGrath Collection: The Plettenberg on the Garden Route coastline; Marines, cliff top retreat on Hermanus Beach; and The Cellars-Hohenort in the historic Constantia Valley, Cape Town.

Surrounded by nine acres of gardens and with views of the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, The Cellars-Hohenort combines the historic Hohenort Manor House and Cellars at the 18th century Klaasenbosch Wine Estate. Located on the wine-growing suburb of the Valley of Constantia, this 51-room hotel also offers a great base from which to explore Cape Town. The 17th century have arranged fountains and walkways within the estate. Rooms and suites have views of the East Table Mountain Slope and gardens. The Cellars-Hohenort is also home to the award-winning Greenhouse, which is consistently ranked as one of South Africa’s top 20 restaurants.

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Less than an hour and a half drive away is The Marine, offering some of the best land whale watching spots between June and November each year – including straight from the property’s 40 rooms. Located atop a cliff on rocky Hermanus beach overlooking Walker Bay, this retreat is great for relaxing and getting acquainted with nature via Fernkloof Nature Reserve and Grotto Beach.

Plettenberg serves the ultimate Garden Route destination. Located on a rocky headland on Plettenberg Bay along the green Garden Route on the southeast coast of South Africa, Plettenberg Bay has a temperate climate and golden beaches. This family-style hotel with 35 rooms and two villas offers impressive views, from the sea to the mountains. It is also one of the few hotels in the area with direct beach access.


Grand Hotel Victoria Concept & Spa (Lake Como, Menaggio)

This 81-room lakeside hotel is the newest five-star hotel on Lake Como. Starting life as a 19th-century neoclassical villa, Grand Hotel Victoria Concept & Spa this February reopens as a retreat with classic chandelier and pillar decorations set alongside contemporary furniture and surrounded by gardens, lake and mountain views. Rooms can be booked individually or combined to create multi-rooms. Lago restaurant, led by chef Martin Vitaloni, takes advantage of the incredible views from the lakeside veranda. Guests can relax at the 16,000-square-foot Erre Spa, which is centered around the courtyard. The “grand dame” villas and even the magnificent gardens, which lead to the shores of Lake Como, include the 12th century Villa Carlotta and the Villa del Balbianello, which are now filming locations.

Canne Bianche Lifestyle Hotel (Torre Canne)

Located in Torre Canne in Fasano in Puglia, these 52 beachfront retreat rooms feature white linens, wooden furnishings and a hydro-massage bath / shower cubicle. Aqua Spa offers a variety of treatments, including Ancient Roman rituals such as “The Essential Flower”, using rosemary, myrtle and olive oil. Freshly caught fish and seafood are the main dishes here, alongside locally sourced meat, fresh vegetables and homemade orecchiette. The resort hosts special themed evenings on the restaurant terrace for guests to experience the customs and traditions of the area, with live cooking, classic Puglian street food and Pizzica folk dance. The location is also ideal for self-drive beach tours: the pretty town of Fasano is a 10-minute drive, and about 20 minutes from the whitewashed town of Ostuni, and Alberobello, a UNESCO site known for its hobbit-like Trulli house.

Villa Soligo (Treviso)

Villa Soligo, which has 39 rooms, owes its Palladian style to its beginnings in 1782 as a summer hunting lodge for the Counts of Brandolini. Now restored, this boutique hotel sits on nearly four hectares of land at the foot of the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Romantic columns frame the villa entrance in a neoclassical style that continues upstairs to the rooms and suites – each individually designed and furnished to reflect the style of the Treviso period and the mansion’s history. Nearby marks the start of La Strada del Prosecco, where you can take part in a guided tasting of Italy’s most famous drink. Guests can also visit nearby wineries to sample the best of local wines, or head to Venice (less than an hour by car) or the town of Conegliano, which inspires Giovanni’s masterpieces.


Governor Hotel (Bastia)

Tucked away within the historic site of Fort Bastia, the Hôtel des Gouverneurs is the only hotel within the hilltop fortress of Bastia. The boutique property, which has only 26 rooms and was built in 1380, is only a two-minute walk from the Old Harbor and five minutes from the city center. Rooms are a “classic-contemporary meeting”, with a terrace offering views of the Old Harbor and views of the sea. Guests can also enjoy Italian-style showers and Roberto Cavalli toiletries. There is also an indoor heated pool, sauna and hammam at the Biologique Recherche Spa (guests can also receive treatments in their room). The Mediterranean-style Les Dînettes des Gouverneurs turns into a terrace tapas restaurant in the evening, before returning to the friendly bar for a small amount of gin and rum.

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Italy Reaches 1 Million Vaccinations for COVID-19, the Most in the EU | Instant News

Italy is the first country in European Union has surpassed 1 million vaccinations, with a total of nearly 2 percent of the population now receiving vaccines, according to National Tourism Board (ENIT). The destination currently ranks sixth in the world for number of vaccinations and second among all Europe.

Italy began launching the first phase of its vaccination program on 27 December 2020 and has vaccinated all of them National Health Staff. As part of Phase One, Italy expects all people in their 80s and over and homecare residents to be vaccinated by the end of January, bringing the total number of people vaccinated to 2 million.

As part of Phase Two of the vaccination program, which will launch from February to June, Italy is targeting to vaccinate a further 21 million people, including those with underlying health conditions, teachers and over 60s. Phase Three will offer vaccinations to all essential service workers, while Phase Four will see other populations expected to be vaccinated by the end of December 2021.

Caterina Orlando, ENIT Manager for United States of America. and Mexico said in a press announcement: “Tourism is one of our most important industries and we are taking every step possible to ensure Italy is a safe destination for travel. With the vaccine launches continuing, we hope to build consumer confidence in visiting Italy once again when it is safe to do so. This is certainly a positive achievement for the destination and is seen as a step forward in our recovery for the travel industry. “

With plenty of country towns to explore, cities of art and a number of anniversaries and celebrations planned for this year, Italy, says ENIT, makes for an ideal destination to visit when it’s safe to do so.

For more information, visit www.italia.it.

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Celebrated Experience Adds Guide and Transfer Service in Italy | Instant News

Celebrated Experience announced this week that it now offers transfers, guided service and customized experiences throughout Italy. Although Celebrated Experiences has maintained strong relationships with many of the local guides and transportation companies in Italy, the company used the time during the pandemic to build teams Famous Driver and Guide. Each local partner is an expert in their area and offers a variety of experiences and services.

These services are not new to Celebrated Experiences. For nearly 30 years the company has been assisting travel advisors by booking guides and drivers on English, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The services offered range from classic walking tours on Venice, Florence and Rome into more active activities, such as cooking classes, off-road driving, interactions with local craftsmen, and plenty of wine experiences. Celebrated Experiences has also organized dozens of activities for families, such as scavenger hunts and highly instagrammable tours like visits to iconic film locations in Rome. The company also offers special experiences, including private access to top museums, scuba diving to the underwater city, sailboats and other boating tours, and more.


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Many travel advisors have requested that Celebrated Experiences add to this service since Celebrated Italy launched in 2014. On average, each Italian expert has more than 10 years of experience helping travel advisors.

Jonathan Epstein, CEO of Celebrated Experiences, said in a press release, “We are committed not to waste a pandemic. We will continue to invest in services and tools that help travel advisors grow their business. ”

Please note: In September Celebrated Experience launched a Celebrated Home division, which includes a wide variety of residences throughout Italy – as well ENGLISH and Ireland.

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Art-Centric Galleria Vik Milano Reopens in Italy | Instant News

Vik Retreats has announced the reopening Vik Milan Gallery. The hotel first opened its doors in late 2019. Located within the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the most iconic landmarks in Italy, Galleria Vik Milano offers views of the famous Galleria and the bull. The opening of the property is carried out simultaneously with Milan reopening the door.

The hotel has implemented check-in and checkout without contact for guests, will ensure that rooms have been vacant for at least 48 hours before arrival, and extensive housekeeping will only be carried out prior to arrival and following departure as part of new practices that have been applied .

The hotel Experience Concierge team is available to help tailor each visit, promising a smooth visit. Guests are within a few steps of the Milan business center, La Scala opera house and other landmarks, upscale boutiques and retailers, as well as many of the top restaurants, ice cream and coffee shops in the city.

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Like all Vik retreats, art, architecture and design play a central role in Galleria Vik Milano. With a recent comprehensive redesign and renovation, the hotel is launching an interior that highlights artists to celebrate Milan’s history and culture. Upon entering the reception, guests are welcomed by the famous bronze statue of Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, as well as deep dry wall paintings that cover the ceiling and walls by Italian artist, Alex Folla. There is also an extensive international art collection and a mix of contemporary, medieval, antique and antique furniture. Each hall has a variety of art, some covering the wall completely.

Galleria Vik Milano has 89 unique rooms and suites. The suite includes many installations by Italian, Uruguayan and international artists.

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Italian Experience: Genuine Romans | Luxury Travel Advisor | Instant News

Paloma White from Paloma White Travel take us across Tiber for an excursion that you won’t soon forget and offer insider tips for other special and calm moments.

The complete schedule for Rome must include activities other than just seeing ancient monuments and extraordinary art. For me, that meant getting out of the historical center by taking a walk in the local neighborhood, making a day trip to the beautiful mountain town in nearby Umbria, and resting my weary feet at the beautiful rooftop bar overlooking the city.

Directly across the Tiber River is a former working-class neighborhood called Trastevere (literally translated “across the Tiber”), which is considered to have a more “authentic” atmosphere than the historic center.

While increasingly popular among tourists, Trastevere still retains its charm unlike other places in Rome. The narrow cobbled streets are filled with buildings, cafes, restaurants and beautiful courtyards with laundry scattered above.

Dinner on this side of town is a must, but I suggest you take a walk and eat wherever your heart takes you instead of having an agenda set. Time in Trastevere is to be enjoyed, not to rush.

The trip to the hilltop city of Orvieto was a reprieve after a few days of frenetic energy in Rome. A brisk 90 minutes by train, followed by a funicular ride up the volcanic rock hill, Orvieto almost feels like you’ve traveled back through time. While so many tourists flock to Tuscany, I am surprised at how often Umbria is overlooked.

Although the beautiful Orvieto cathedral is not to be missed, its appeal lies in the speed of life here. Spend the day sipping Orvieto Classico, local wine made since the Etruscan times … and enjoy the traffic-free medieval streets, away from the hustle and bustle that characterizes most trips to Rome.

Spanish Steps in Rome

Spanish Steps in Rome. // Photo: Getty Images

My last recommendation for every trip to Rome is to find a quiet place to relax between seeing the sights. My favorite place to do this is the Minerva Roof Garden, a five-star roof bar Grand Hotel de La Minerve. Adjacent to the Pantheon in the middle of the historic center, the bar is open to anyone and luxurious without being stuffy.

Enjoy 360-degree views of Rome while beating the heat and recharge with Prosecco in hand … and if you’re lucky, you might only be presented by the musicians in the piazza below.

Insight Adviser

Kat Bride, a travel consultant with Travel Edge, recommending that when visiting Rome one must take a private tour of the Colosseum with an architect. “There is no shortage of guides who will guide you through this UNESCO World Heritage site, but an architect makes it better,” said Bride, who uses DMC Rome’s Best of Italy for this experience. “He can describe the design, construction, material, historical context, objectives, events and politics involved in making monuments for this era. This extra knowledge enhances experience and puts you right in the act 1900 years ago. “

Bride also suggested the Hidden Art Tour and its use very italian for his client. “Among Rome’s many gems is an invisible masterpiece,” Bride said. “It’s easy to find Bernini, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Caravaggio in Roman public museums and monuments, but a trained and curious eye will lead you to the next treasure.

Bride recommends a private tour of the Colosseum with an architect. // Photo: Getty Images

“For example, take the Cerasi Chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo. Standing opposite the twin church at the end of Via del Corso, this modest-looking house of worship is home to some of the earliest commissions of Bramante (apse), Bernini (statue), Raphael (tomb) and Caravaggio (painting). They are all young and hungry when they are offered and accepted to work here. A space like this gives clients the opportunity to see how great Italian artists began their careers and when clients visit museums, they can map out how maestros grow in subject matter and improve their techniques. The pleasure of walking through the Eternal City is bumping into unexpected charms along the way. “

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