We recently took a two week trip to Italy, during which time we stayed at three properties we purchased on Luxury Link.
Starting in Milan we spent three days at The Gray, a small hotel within in feet of the Duomo & The Galleria. The room was beautiful, the service excellent and the restaurant dinner exceptional. The staff was friendly and helpful, especially the bartender Pedro.
We also bought the Villa Pambufetti stay at Luxury Link. Set in enclosed park like setting, the hotel is very pretty. We were given the room at the top of the tower, with exceptional views of Montefalco (within walking distance) and the Umbrian countryside. The cooking class we took with Alessandra and her assistant Anna was both informal and informative and the resultant lunch really good. The dinner we had at the hotel restaraunt was fantastic, as were the wines. Both Assisi and Perugia are within easy driving (or train) distance as are the other Umbrian towns worth visiting.
Our last purchase was the Villa Crespi at Lago d'Orta. We were given a magnificent suite with views of the nearby mountains and lake. As part of our package we were given a tasting dinner which was fantastic. The wait staff was possibly the most attentive and professional we've ever had in Europe.
To sum up, we could not have been happier with our purchases and would highly recommend all three of the hotels.
Sounds like a wonderful trip. I will definately have to keep these locations in mind for our next Italian escape.
We too just returned from Italy (Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome) and stayed in wonderful Luxury Link properties. The Continentale in Florence was spectacular. The room was contemporary and beautiful, but most importantly, the staff was extremely helpful and the service was exceptional. The hotel had an unparalleled breakfast spread and was central to all of the sites us first timers flock to. Since the hotel is located at the corner of the Ponte Vecchio, you can people watch from your room all day.
In Rome we stayed at Hotel dei Mellini. Although the accommodations were not as beautiful as Continentale, the room was large, clean and quiet and better than expected. This hotel definately had a lot more guests going in and out and seemed a bit more harried, perhaps a large city side effect? However, the hotel staff gets kudos for scoring my husband and I same-day reservations for a garden table at La Jardin at Hotel de Russie
We stayed with Gianni Franzi in Vernazza. The rooms were very small, but not uncomfortable. They are also up quite a few stairs, so pack light. Many have their own bathrooms and there is a quaint private bluff which was a highlight. We felt that Vernazza was a lively town and a fine place to stay in because the other towns were easily accessible and there were many options for dinner. It has a good mix of locals and tourist establishments. There appeared to be more upscale hotels in Monterosso and one in Vernazza, which seemed very nice, but it is my understanding that nearly all rooms are smaller than elsewhere in the country.
Your trip sounds wonderful. We purchased two packages from Luxury Link. The first was at the Grand Hotel Majestica in Verbania-Pallanza on Lake Maggiore. The hotel was elegant; our suite was well appointed and overlooked the lake, as promised. Quite unusual in our experience, we had a huge bathroom with tub and separate shower and a powder room. The public rooms are very pretty and the view as one enters the hotel is breathtaking. Just across from the property is a private island with villa; a small madonna guards the harbor. The entire property is well maintained and the scent of gardenias, oleander and gardenias permeates the property. Staff is attentive and very helpful and the food at dinner was very good. The hotel is a ten-minute walk from the ferry, which suited us fine; we were happy to walk and look at the villas along the way and wander around the town where we found some very good local wine. We chose not to drive, but most people at the hotel did have cars and most were from Italy and Germany. We were pleased with our choice to use trains and ferries for the trip so that we could both enjoy the scenery, but others might want the freedom of a car to drive to nearby towns. We did have to take a taxi from Stresa one night after a concert because the ferries quit running rather early in the evening.
Our second stay was at Como on Lake Como at the Albergo Terminus; although the literature states that the property was refurbished in 1994, it has seen a great deal of wear in the ensuing 14 years; the property is not well maintained. The bathroom door was peeling; paint in the hallways was scarred; the entire place smelled stale. The staff were not gracious. We do not recommend the property. It is well located just across from the ferry in Como, but the property is depressing. We did have a good dinner at the restaurant outside on the terrace, the only cheerful place in the hotel. We had not been to Lake Como in years and had stayed in Mennagio which is more centrally located on the lake and which we would recommend rather than Como. We always purchase excursion tickets on the ferries which allows us, for a few extra dollars, the right to get on and off as many times as we like during the day, but Como is a long ferry ride from most places of interest, though Cernobbio and the Villa d'Este are well worth seeing. We discovered a great new restaurant in Varenna, Isola Nuovo Ristorante. It is small, located in a shaded courtyard, down the hill from Vecchia Varenna , a restaurant that seems to be mentioned in all the books. The food and service were excellent; and they were in no rush to close their lunch business at 2:00, as was Vecchia Varenna.We love long, relaxed lunches when we travel and this was one of the best.
We were well pleased with the Grand Hotel Majestica, but were surprised that Albergo Terminus was even listed with Luxury Link; it should not be.
We took a recent trip using 2 LL properties and were quite pleased. The Villa Pambufetti In Montefalco was beautiful. While we were there, a British couple got married and had the reception at the site.( Wow...they really go for showy hats like those worn at the Kentucky Derby). The town was small and an easy walk from the property. Alessandra is a people person and made our stay even more memorable.There are a number of English speaking staff members. The cooking class was fun. The Hotel Relais Ducale in Gubbio had everything we needed and more. Gubbio is a gorgeous city. The cooking class was even better for us ( more experienced cooks ). The bell tower chimes every 15 minutes 24 hours a day so ask for a back room and keep your windows closed.The owners speak English ( the husband is from Scranton, Pa. Apparently, many Gubbians migrated to Scranton to work in the mines. ) On a separate trip we stayed at a LL property in Ravello ( Amalfi coast ),Hotel Palumbo.This place was also a winner. It is a palace that was built in the 11th or12th century.