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Hotel Gritti Palace • Venice, Italy

Romance on the canal

Hotel Gritti Palace - Venice, Italy

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The Hotel Gritti Palace, a magnificent palazzo once belonging to the Doge Gritti, is a historic 16th-century palazzo situated on Venice’s Grand Canal and within 500 meters of St. Mark’s Square. The views from the canalside rooms and the terrace are incomparable. Guests entering the spell of the Gritti will stay in air-conditioned guestrooms that are carefully planned with an Imperial theme featuring richly patterned fabrics and antique furnishings.

Hotel Gritti Palace - Guest room

Amenities for the guests of the Gritti include satellite television, direct-dial phones, radios, minibars, safes and marble bathrooms with bathrobes, slippers and toiletries. Guests can browse the daily newspapers in the lobby, use the Internet or take advantage of the private boat service to the Lido.

Gritti Palace in Venice - Romantic Supper

The hotel houses a range of boutiques selling Venetian handicrafts, masks and glass, and offers cooking courses during certain months of the year. Practical amenities include a 24-hour front desk, a dry-cleaning service and a multilingual concierge service.

Two dining options are available: Decorated with Murano glass, marble and hand-made stuccoes, Club Del Doge is a romantic restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the Grand Canal, serving a range of Mediterranean and Venetian specialties. Bar Longhi serves a range of snacks, drinks and cocktails in an intimate setting decorated with 18th century paintings, marble and Murano glass.

Gritti Palace restaurant

Hotel Gritti Palace
Location: Campo Santa Maria Del Giglio, Venice, Italy 30124; 91 rooms; distance from airport

Luxury style: The Gritti Palace is an extravagant, flamboyant ode to romance. It is the ultimate in the palazzo hotel, the Venetian palette of its decoration, the chandeliers of fine glass, the magnificent terrace. From Somerset Maugham to Hemingway, the Gritti has conducted a love affair with many repeat visitors for a century.

What we’ve heard: If you want to imagine the role of decadent expatriate conducting a questionable yet passionate love affair while traveling through the Continent, the Hotel Gritti Palace will fulfill all your fantasies…even if the lover accompanying you is your longtime spouse.

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Gidleigh Park • Chagford, England

The ultimate country house hotel

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, England

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This magnificent country house dates from 1928 and was the private residence of an Australian shipping baron. The estate was converted to a hotel in the 70’s and began its tradition of hospitality on the highest level. Surrounding the house are the wilds of Dartmoor, lending a contrast between untamed and civilized landscapes.

Enlarged in 2006 to 24 guest rooms and featuring a complete renovation, the decor is inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement that flourished around the time the manse was built.

Guests will enjoy the warmth and comfort of fine wood paneling, richly textured drapes and upholstery and comfy easy chairs and sofas. The verdant views and manicured lawns provide a calming backdrop. The one-of-a-kind flavor of the rooms are complimented by all modern technological conveniences including WiFi and HD flat screen TVs. Bathrooms are marble and graced with Occitane toiletries.

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, England

A highlight of a visit to Gidleigh Park is dining at the hotel’s Michelin 2-star restaurant. The gourmet meals and extensive wine list bring the Gidleigh Park restaurant into the upper tiers of haute cuisine. The blend of modern and classic European cuisine has brought Gidleigh Park countless awards.

Activities on-site include hiking, lawn games, jogging and tennis. Guided walks of the wild and thrilling moor are available. A tour of the 45-acres grounds and gardens of Gidleigh Park can also be arranged. And, of course, breathing the fresh country air is available everywhere.

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, England - golf course

Gidleigh Park
Location: Devon, United Kingdom TQ138HH; adjacent to Dartmoor National Forest.

Luxury style: The relaxed yet traditional luxury of country living is carried out to perfection at Gidleigh Park.

What we’ve heard: A meal at the Michelin-rated restaurant is an experience not to be missed.

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Hotel Hassler Roma • Rome, Italy

Luxury atop the Spanish Steps

Hotel Hassler guest room

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Hotel Hassler Roma is the ultimate luxury hideaway in the Eternal City with warm, discreet hospitality that has attracted a cadre of devoted guest who return time and time again. Atop the Spanish Steps, within walking distance of the Villa Borghese Park, Via Veneto, Via Condotti, and the fashionable boutiques, the Hassler is the hotel of choice of celebrities, diplomats and statesmen, movie stars and film directors. Owned for over 100 years by a noted family of Swiss hoteliers, the current general manager is Roberto Wirth, who continues the family traditions without interruption.

The pride of the Hassler are its suites, many of which have private balconies or terraces with spectacular vistas on the golden skyline of Rome. Of particular note is the Penthouse, recently renovated with one of the largest terraces in the city; also the choice of la creme de la creme is the San Pietro suite, the Villa Medici suite and the three-bedroom Hassler suite.

At Imago, the newly renovated rooftop restaurant at the Hassler, guest can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a superb Sunday brunch.  The restaurant is situated at one of the highest points in Rome and guests can enjoy the ever-changing panorama while relaxing in the artful combination of modern and classical decor.

Hotel Hassler Roma - elegant accommodations

There is also a state-of-the-art gym and the Hassler Wellness Club which offers massages, treatments, a steam bath, sauna and solarium tanning.

Work out on state-of-the-art Technogym equipment while enjoying a spectacular view of the Eternal City, including the St. Peter Church. Exclusively for guests of the Hassler, the gym provides a refreshing way to work out. The facilities of the Hassler Wellness Club include an open-air terrace where one can enjoy a choice of refreshing drinks or a light snack from their healthy menu. The sun beds available on the terrace will give you the opportunity to bask in the sun after a workout. Available by appointment, the Wellness Club offers an array of specialized massages and exclusive beauty treatments, a sauna and steam bath.

Hassler Hotel Roma - Lobby

Hotel Hassler Roma
Location: 6 Piazza Trinita dei Monti, Rome, Italy 00187; 30 kilometers, 45 minutes by car to Fiumicino airport.

Luxury style: No detail is too small for the attentive staff at the Hassler. Long known as the most discreet of Rome’s luxury hideaways, service is with a capital “S” here from the lowliest chambermaid to the general manager.

What we’ve heard: Some top floor rooms have views to die for — request one in advance. For the ultimate, stay in one of the named suites.

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