If you’re longing for a slow-paced holiday filled with incredible food, awe-inspiring scenery, and relaxation, a slow-paced Italian getaway is what you’re really longing for. After exploring the bustling and vibrant city of Rome, consider booking yourself in at a luxury hotel to indulge in the Italian concept of dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing. Whether it’s sipping espresso and watching the world go by, enjoying a long lunch with good company, or soaking up the sun followed by a pisolino (a nap), the concept of dolce far niente is embedded in Italian culture. And what better way to try it out yourself than at one of Italy’s many luxury hotels?
From the pristine shores of Lake Como to the breathtaking cliffside of Amalfi and Taormina, Italy is filled with jaw-dropping natural scenery and five-star resorts and hotels that provide the most opulent setting to take in the views.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como
Situated on the picture-perfect western shore of Lake Como within vast lush parklands is the iconic Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Built-in 1910, the historic hotel has elegantly retained its art nouveau features and Belle Époque flair throughout its breathtaking halls and dining rooms. In the summer months, guests can take a dip in one of the hotel’s three awe-inspiring pools or simply bask in the Italian sun with a cocktail in hand.
Presenting a luxurious Lake Como experience, the hotel also offers a private gateway to the lake’s waters with water limos moored at the hotel’s marina, waiting to take you to the hidden nooks and crannies of the lake.
Exuding regal glamour and capturing impeccable views spanning Bellagio to Punta Balbianello, the hotel’s Lake View Prestige Room is the epitome of opulence. Prices for the luxurious room are around A$2,030 per night.
Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi
Originally built in 1880 by Giuseppe Gambardella, Hotel Santa Caterina has long been a favorite on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, with Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina Jolie, and Kim Kardashian on the hotel’s list of notable guests. Etched into the coastline, the hotel enjoys sweeping views of Amalfi, all framed by citrus groves and lush gardens.
In terms of amenities, the hotel offers two restaurants overlooking the sea, the Michelin-starred, fine-dining Glicine Restaurant and the more relaxed Restaurant Al Mare. Guests can soak up the sun, lounge by the ocean, and take a dip in the pool at Hotel Santa Caterina’s idyllic beach club.
The ultimate suite for honeymooners, the Giulietta and Romeo Chalet provides breathtaking views of the ocean. Sprawling across two levels, the suite encapsulates a king-sized bedroom, en suite, lounge, and second bathroom, not to mention a private garden with a heated pool.
Rates for a Double Deluxe sea view suite sit at around A$685 per night while a Special Suite with direct sea views can cost around A$1,500 per night.
Hotel Caesar Augustus, Capri
Located in the charming small town of Anacapri, Hotel Caesar Augustus enjoys breathtaking views from its prime position on the slopes of Monte Solaro, 300 meters above the sea. Boasting a double-level infinity pool, an outdoor wellness area and a restaurant serving local Italian fare, this lavish cliffside hotel is an oasis of luxury dating back to the 1800s.
Comprising just 49 rooms and six exquisite suites, the ancient villa turned five-star hotel has played host to celebrities, princes and kings over the decades. If you’re searching for the most opulent and exclusive Capri experience, the Caesar Master Suite with its 180-degree views of the sea, lavish decor, living area, jacuzzi and direct infinity pool access.
Il San Pietro di Positano, Positano
Carved into the cliffside, Il San Pietro di Positano presents a small slice of paradise framed by jaw-dropping views of the coastline and Mediterranean sea. Dating back to 1962, the magnificent Il San Pietro estate incorporates lemon groves, a beach club, a tennis court, a gym and two restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Zass restaurant helmed by Chef Alois Vanlangenaeker.
As for the accommodation, guests can expect understated luxury, unique design and impeccable ocean vistas. Designed by Fausta Gaetani, each of Il San Pietro’s Prestige rooms is unique and features an extra-large bed and a spacious terrace complete with sunbeds and a table with chairs, so you can sit back and take in the views. Rates for a Prestige room is around A$6,945 per night.
Le Sirenuse, Positano
Bursting with colour, Le Sirenuse in the stunning cliffside village of Positano is unlike most five-star hotels on the glittering Amalfi Coast. Originally known as Villa Giulietta, the hotel has remained in the Sersale family for three generations and offers a unique and personalised feel with its variety of art pieces, contemporary decor, antiques and ceramics.
After guests have finished relaxing poolside, Le Sirenuse’s opulent spa with its sauna, granite steam bath, and ice room offers a quiet space for rest and relaxation. In terms of dining, the hotel offers two restaurants and two bars, all framed by impeccable views.
A Deluxe Sea View room with a balcony and large queen-size bed at Le Sirenuse is priced at around A$3,044 per night..
Villa d’Este, Lake Como
The enchanting Villa d’Este has been welcoming guests into its jaw-dropping 16th-century estate since 1873. Located in Cernobbio on the southwestern shore of Lake Como, the hotel features elegant Renaissance architecture and offers a total of 152 rooms within its Cardinal Building and Queen’s Pavilion.
Surrounded by a lush 10-hectare private park, Villa d’Este is immersed in beautiful natural scenery and boasts four 19th-century villas available to rent out during your visit to Lake Como. During your stay, you can indulge in a pamper session at the hotel’s spa or dine at Il Platano, Villa d’Este’s lakeside restaurant serving up simple and refined cuisine.
Transporting guests to an opulent bygone era, Villa d’Este’s sumptuous rooms and suites are draped in silks and velvets, each with its own style and color palette. Rates for a luxurious Double Deluxe room with magnificent lake views start from around A$1,600 per night.
Castello di Casole, Tuscany
Dating back to the 10th century, Castello di Casole is a hotel steeped in history. Within the historic castle’s storied walls, contemporary luxuries including a heated pool, luxury spa and fitness center ensure a five-star Tuscan escape.
Comprised of just 39 rooms and suites, the hotel offers an exclusive and enchanting getaway immersed in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Before retiring to your luxurious room or suite, you can explore the area by bike or horseback or enjoy an afternoon of golf or truffle hunting.
Decorated with local antiques and rich Italian fabrics, the Castello di Casole Suite immerses guests in traditional Italian luxury and costs around A$4,200 per night.
San Domenico Palace, Taormina
Transformed from a Dominican convent into a hotel in 1896, San Domenico Palace is a history-filled hotel that has played host to an illustrious list of guests, including Oscar Wilde, Audrey Hepburn, and Sophia Lauren.
Perched high above the Ionian Sea in idyllic Taormina in Sicily, San Domenico Palace captures impeccable panoramic views of Mount Etna and the ancient Greek theater. Blending rich history and Italian tradition with modern luxuries, the Four Seasons hotel offers a clifftop infinity pool, award-winning dining, and an opulent spa inspired by local healing traditions.
In terms of accommodation, the hotel offers a range of contemporary-style rooms and suites including the opulent Junior Suite with a plunge pool and breathtaking sea views. The Junior Suite with plunge pool costs around A$5,360 per night.
Hotel Villa Carlotta, Taormina
Offering a more unique way to experience Taormina is Hotel Villa Carlotta. Soaking up blissful views of the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna, the boutique hotel rests in a unique historic setting on the beautiful island. Characterised by vibrance, colour and beautiful scenery, the family-run Hotel Villa Carlotta is “more like a sophisticated home than a hotel.”
After some poolside relaxation, guests can enjoy a drink or two at the hotel’s characterful lounge bar followed by some authentic Sicilian food and wines at Villa Carlotta Restaurant.
As for the accommodation, Hotel Villa Carlotta offers 29 rooms, suites, apartments, and villas. A luxurious Garden Suite with a private sun terrace, living room, and marble bathroom costs around A$2,080 per night.
Villa Cora, Florence
Situated in a centuries-old park overlooking the stunning Boboli Gardens, Villa Cora is a garden oasis positioned just outside the historical center of Florence. Defined by its eclectic decor and intriguing artistic styles, the historic villa provides a beautiful and exclusive setting to enjoy all that Florence has to offer.
Featuring a luxurious spa and wellness center, a sparkling swimming pool, breathtaking Baroque-style common areas, and a scenic roof terrace bar, Villa Cora provides the ultimate Tuscan holiday.
Decorated with antiques and framed by enchanting garden views, Villa Cora’s rooms exude an air of regality. A Deluxe room with a private balcony costs around A$1,140 per night.
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