Category Archives: Most Beautiful Hotels

Raphael Hotel • Rome, Italy

A charming gem in Rome’s historic center


Hotel Raphael Bramante terrace

Tucked away in the twisting and picturesque back streets of Rome’s historic center is the ivied Hotel Raphael, a charming combination of period exterior and modern interiors topped off by a fascinating art collection and a nod to comfort.

Just beyond the Piazza Navona, the Hotel Raphael is within walking distance to famous historical highlights like St. Peter’s Church, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Pantheon, Campo de’ Fiori and the Spanish Steps. It’s also convenient to the interesting shopping of the city center with everything from posh clothing shops to eccesiastical department stores to fine artisan studios.

The 54 rooms overlook the small Largo Febo piazza or internal courtyards, and feature antique furniture, Flemish tapestries and and the color schemes are done in a palette of ochre yellows and Roman reds. All are equipped with satellite TV,Suite - Hotel Raphael Internet connections. Bathrooms include power showers, bathrobes, and Bulgari toiletries. The Executive Floor was recently redesigned by brillian Richard Meier. All rooms are made of oak and elegantly furnished, equipped with air-conditioning, BOSE Digital Sound System, CD and DVD, Sky Entertainment TV, free ADSL and WIFI on request. All the bathrooms, with a private double shower each, are made of fine Carrara statuary marble. Also available are exclusive suites, some with terraces with astonishing views of the Eternal City.

The elegant lobby features artworks by Picasso and Miró, as well as classical Roman statuary, part of the lovingly assembled collection of the hotel’s founder. The three-tiered rooftop terrace offers views over St Peter’s Basilica, the Vittoriano monument and Castel Sant’Angelo. The ground- floor library has an extensive collection of books which can be taken to rooms or the rooftop terrace on request. The marble-floored Picasso restaurant features antique tables and 19th-century silk-upholstered chairs, and serves breakfast and seasonal Italian dishes. The hotel serves snacks, teas, coffees and alcoholic drinks until late, accompanied by live piano music.


Hotel Raphael
Location: streetaddress-city,country; 26 kilometres, 45 minutes from Rome Fiumcino airport.

Luxury style: Intimate, boutique, charming details, a first-class Roman hideaway.

What we’ve heard: The elegant suites are a special treat with their lovely private terraces. Boutique fans can opt for the Richard Meier-designed executive floor.

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Hotel Lord Byron • Rome, Italy

A privileged location, a tranquil ambience

Hotel Lord Byron - Exterior

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Step back into the 1930’s Art Deco era and imagine elegant screen stars pulling up to a secluded location for a soiree of the utmost refinement. The location of this passing fantasy might have very well been the patrician villa of the gorgeous Hotel Lord Byron.  A member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, the Hotel Lord Byron is known for top notch service and elegant comfort.

Located in the exclusive Parioi district and just north of the Villa Borghese park, the hotel is convenient to the Spanish Steps, Via Veneto, Trevi Fountain, the exquisite shopping districts that connect them. A hotel shuttle also serves further points.

Hotel Lord Byron - Room

Entering the villa, the guest will be greeted by a white-gloved doorman and trod upon marble steps. The cozy lobby features fresh flowers and books. Continuing the Art Deco style, the elegant restaurant serves Italian dishes such as pasta rolls with trout and black truffle sauce. At Il Salotto Lounge and Wine Bar the late-night crowd can enjoy Mediterranean cuisine and cocktails in a 1930s-style setting with mirrors, striped carpets, deep-red fabric chairs and dark wood furnishings. Original art from the owner’s collection decorates the bar. The hotel serves evening port and petits fours and complimentary buffet breakfast. There is also a stunning rooftop garden for guests to enjoy Rome panoramas.

The Hotel Lord Byron’s 32 climate-controlled guestrooms feature 1930s-inspired interiors, floor-length curtains and mahogany or rosewood furniture. Some rooms have balconies with garden or city views. All include satellite television, dial-up Internet ports, minibars, and complimentary bottled water. Traditional paintings decorate the vintage-marble bathrooms, which contain bathrobes and slippers.

Hotel Lord Byron - Terrace

Hotel Lord Byron
Location: Via Giuseppe de Notaris 5, Rome, Italy 00197; 45 minutes from Fiumciumo airport

Luxury style: For travelers who want to nest in a cozy spot that is away from the madding crowds, but convenient to all sights and shopping, the Hotel Lord Byron is an excellent choice. It will also please those who really hate staying in a tourist-only neighborhood, as the exclusive Parioli district is a very Roman neighborhood.

What we’ve heard: Atypically for Rome, early 20th-century works of art by Northern European artists, part of the owner’s private collection, are displayed throughout the hotel.

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Hilton Villa Igiea • Palermo, Sicily

Palermo pleasures in an Art Nouveau palace

Hilton Villa Igiea Palermo, Sicily

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Designed by noted architect Ernesto Basile more than a century ago, the Art Nouveau palace today is a world-class hotel, perched on a cliff looking out towards the Sea of Palermo. Often noted as Palermo’s finest hotel, the visitor will be first swept into a gracious and grand welcoming lobby with many touches recalling the Belle Epoque period. From there, the breeze will blow toward the terrace where views out to sea are magnificent.

Exotic and fragrant gardens surround the property and there’s a delightful free-form swimming pool with more extravagant view out to the sparkling waters.

Grand Hotel Villa Igia - Palermo, Sicily - Guest room

The guest rooms are large and spacious, many with balconies looking out to the gardens or to the sea. Warm tones and rich fabrics set an atmosphere of complete relaxation.

Mediterranean fare plus top notch service will enchant diners at the Villa Igiea restaurant. The hotel also welcomes business meeting and special occasion events with meeting rooms and special programs.



Villa Igeia - Palermo, Sicily

Hilton Villa Igiea Palermo
Location: Salita Belmonte 43, Acquasanta 90142, Italy; 35 kilometres from the Palermo airport, approximately 40 minutes drive.

Luxury style: Elegant conferences, special event gatherings, family holidays

What we’ve heard: There is a shuttle from the hotel to the town center (approximately 3 kms) but the distance is more reliably traversed by taxi.

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