Back in August Virtuoso revealed that Italy is the number 1 travel destination that consumers are interested in. So we've rounded up the latest travel news in Italy so you are best equipped to provide your clients with the deets.
Last year Marriott International announced plans for a luxury resort on the private island of Sacca Sessola in the Venetian lagoon, a short ride from the majestic city of Venice. To be JW Marriott brand’s first hotel in Italy, the JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa was slated for 2014. The latest news is that the hotel—which will have 230 rooms and 36 suites spread across four floors—will open its doors in March 2015. (HotelChatter points out that you can make reservations starting March 12.) In this private resort setting, you’ll find a spa and rooftop infinity pool with views over the “City of Bridges.” There will also be two restaurants, a fitness center, and an event space housed in an old church. (We hear wedding bells!) And with 13,000 square feet of meeting space, the hotel is bound to attract business meetings, incentives, and conferences. For more information, visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/vcejw-jw-marriott-venice-resort-and-spa.
Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Resorts has rolled out a range of family friendly on-site activities and excursions around the Italian capital. Aimed to cater for the younger guests, or the "knights and princesses" as the resort likes to refer to them, adventures range from fast paced Ferrari racing to history experiences around the city. One of the more popular programs, Gladiator Training allows families to learn ancient combat skills with authentic weaponry. Nice touch: kids are provided with a full mini-gladiator kit including helmet, shield, sword and cloak. Training can be arranged in in the hotel’s 15-acre private Mediterranean park, or onsite at Gruppo Storico Romano for access to an arena. Check out the small museum featuring a collection of antic swords and shields used by actual gladiators. By special request, kids can take part in the Ferrari Kids Indoor Circuit Racing. the circuit comes equipped with stop signs and a pit stop area. Each child (up to two at a time) will be able to operate his or her own electric and perfectly reproduced Ferrari.
Headed to Naples? Here are two new suites at the Romeo Hotel that we say are worth exploring... The Wellness Suite has almost no structural barriers in its design and uses some swank materials (think macassar ebony and striated olympic marble) as well as decorations that include an original Guttuso etching and a 19th century Neapolitan bardiglio marble fireplace with steam technology. The suite's bathroom is dominated by a Teuco whirlpool, surrounded by an infrared sauna and a steam bath with an "emotional" shower - both with chromo, aroma and music-therapy by Starpool. The Garden & Pool Suite, on the other hand, uses LED lighting for a comfortable atmosphere and has a large whirlpool for unwinding. Design details include a 19th century Rouge de France marble fireplace, a Renato Guttuso artwork and Athor leather armchairs and chaise lounge. But the best part of this suite is its dedicated garden with a scented jasmine gazebo with a heated whirlpool. Good to know: An awning system covers the garden for maximum privacy. For more details about the hotel and the suites, visit www.romeohotel.it.
Ravello, Italy's Palazzo Avino has just wrapped its complete renovation of all 43 rooms and suites. We hear the rooms have been revamped in shades of blue, green and cream. The bathrooms are equipped with Frette towels and special edition amenities from fragrance brand, Dr. Vranjes. The hotel opened as Palazzo Sasso in 1997 in what was once a 12th century private villa for an Italian noble family. In 2013, the hotel's name was changed to Palazzo Avino. For more information visit www.palazzoavino.com.
Vacationing in the Tuscany countryside this summer? Travelers don’t often picture the sea when they hear the word Tuscany, but the Maremma coast is beautiful, with dreamy hideaways overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. One such destination, a Relais & Chateaux member called Hotel Cala del Porto, recently unveiled its brand new beach club overlooking the Tuscan Archipelago. La Vela was designed by Rebosio+Spagnulo, the Milan-based architecture studio, as a dramatic, sail-like structure on the sand. The club has a wellness area with a solarium, hammam, spa treatment rooms and an outdoor fitness center with Technogym equipment. There’s a bar and terrace—ideal for sunset drinks—plus a restaurant serving up Mediterranean food with local Tuscan ingredients (both lunch and dinner). In addition, there’s a bar on the beach. Part of the Baglioni Hotels collection, Hotel Cala del Porto is located next to the marina of Punta Ala and offers views across the bay to the island of Elba. For more information, visit www.baglionihotels.com.