More Exciting New Hotels in Italy


On December 13, we returned from our latest whirlwind trip to Italy.  As well as enjoying the good food and getting a little R & R, we made several “site inspections” of new or recently opened hotels.  Here’s what we discovered:

ROME – Located nearby the Piazza Campo del Fiori, the new D.O.M. Hotel has just opened. Our overnight stay and site inspection revealed a new and very comfortable “gem” in an excellent neighborhood that is easy walking distance to all of the “must see”and favorite destinations.  Small, elegant, and very sophisticated, the D.O.M. will certainly become one of Romes hot spots for the “in crowd”.  Beautifully designed and appointed in an elegant contemporary style, the D.O.M. rooms and common areas are a breath of fresh air for the “first time” and seasoned Rome traveler alike.

PORTOFINO, SANTA MARGHERITA, CINQUE TERRE –  Located on the water between the charming towns of Portofino and Santa Margherita, the Hotel Miramare met and exceeded our expectations.  In the spirit of “old family style”, the Miramare feels good in every way and as comfortable as your favorite pair of bedroom slippers.  A great choice for families, the property has a small and safe beach, on-site pool, and fabulous gardens all around with excellent choices of room combinations all of which overlook the gardens or sea.  Miramare is perfectly located to serve as a “base camp” for the enjoyment of day trips to Portofino, the nearby town of Santa Margherita, and the hill towns of the Cinque Terre.  

We enjoyed an excellent dinner and breakfast at their restaurant and found the hotel to be easy to enjoy, convenient, and superbly presented in an unassuming and unpretentious way.

TAVERNELLE VAL DI PESA (FLORENCE) – Just a 35 minute drive through the countryside side south of Florence is, without question, the quintessential Italian country villa.  Castelo del Nero is perched on a hill top in the surrounded by  480 acres of rolling vineyards and olive orchards.  Beautifully renovated and finished in every respect, the Castelo del Nero surprised us with balanced architectural elegance, warm and friendly staff, outstanding spa, and excellent dining.  Perfectly appointed and comfortable rooms in charming surrounds everywhere made us want to return.  All aspects of the Villa  certainly gave us the confidence to recommend the location to our well traveled clients who are seeking a perfect alternative to being “in the city” of Florence .

VILLA DI CORA, FLORENCE – Just outside of the Porta Romana of Florence in a magnificent and noble neighborhood we arrived at the Villa di Cora.  A perfectly renovated “grand” property surrounded by beautiful grounds and gardens, the Villa offers a quiet neighborhood experience within walking distance of the Boboli gardens and a short taxi ride to the Centro Historico.  Great room combinations, delicious restaurant, fabulous pool with food services, and elegant spa all in a quiet setting presents the Florence traveler with a great alternative to the downtown experience.

ORVIETO, UMBRIA – Just off the beaten path and 20 minutes from Orvieto is the recently opened


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Exciting Trip Ideas – Spring/Fall 2014

In association with one of our most prestigious and experienced ground operators, we are pleased to offer customized travel to Portugal, Spain, and Morocco.  These fabulous adventures can best be enjoyed in the Spring and Fall of the year.  For full information and customization, contact Adamarie King.

Morocco: Family Fun -Fes, Marrakech, High Atlas Mountains -8 days, 7 nights -Land price starting at $3,550 per person based on four travelers

better woman

Calling all families who love an adventure:  we have the action-packed trip for you! Kick off your trip in Volubulis, where you’ll explore the extensive Roman ruins and enjoy a scrumptious picnic lunch at an organic farm. In Fes, learn how to make a traditional tagine in a private cooking lesson and savor the results for lunch!  The culture aficionados in your family will love the drum-making workshop and private calligraphy lesson. Then, onward to Marrakech! Here, our expert guide will lead you through the endless marketplaces, historical monuments and colorful gardens.  You will take a privately guided hike through the magnificent High Atlas Mountains. Take a refreshing mint tea break in a local village along the way!

Portugal: Adventure Awaits -Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Coimbra, Porto, Douro Valley -7 days, 6 nights -Land price starting at $3,780 per person based on two travelers

Umbrellas in Aveiro Portugal (1)

Your private fun-filled getaway begins in Lisbon. Explore her colorful neighborhoods and the ever-changing views of the River Tagus. Discover the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra and the seaside town of Cascais. Your journey continues in Coimbra, where you will visit the venerable University and the picturesque Botanical Gardens. Lace up your boots for a private hike in Porto’s breathtaking Peneda-Geres National Park! Venture on to the dramatic Douro Valley for tastings in one of the oldest wine regions in the world.

Spain: A Luxurious Insider’s Look  -Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, Cordoba, Barcelona -8 days, 7 nights -Land price starting at $7,390 per person based on two travelers


Searching for a Spanish escape? Look no further.  Kick off your journey with a private tour of Madrid, a city rich in history and culture. Enjoy a special evening “tapas tour” with a local connoisseur, sampling delectable dishes and Spanish wines. In Toledo, step back in time with a private guide as you explore winding streets, stone houses and churches.  In Sevilla, our expert guide will lead you on a private walking tour of the historical landmarks and you’ll enjoy the passionate art of flamenco at one of Spain’s best venues! Embark on a privately led tour of Cordoba, home to one of the largest medieval quarters in Europe. Finally, journey on to Barcelona, for a private architectural tour, and take a wine tour of the Torres Winery – the oldest in the Penedès Region.

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New Hotel in Sicily

ZASHexterior foto

On my recent spring 2013 visit to Sicily, I was pleasantly surprised to find something new and wonderful.  Just a short drive from the Catania airport, Zash, the newly opened country boutique hotel took my breath away!

Offering only (9) outstanding luxury rooms, the hotel is located in the quiet countryside with vistas to the sea, Mt. Etna, and across their own fragrant orange groves.

Recently featured in “Vanity Fair Magazine”, Zash is the perfect home base for easy travel to all locations on the east coast of Sicily.  The hotel is located between Taormina and Syracuse and very near Catania, so all three major destinations can be visited as day trips.  It is also perfectly located for day adventures to ascend Mt. Etna and visit its surrounding villages, to the Baroque cities of Noto, Ragusa, Modica, and much more.  Travel west from the hotel, a leisurely half day trip through beautiful country side and national parks, to reach Palermo.

Lovingly crafted in an old villa setting, Zash hotel and restaurant offers a slow and elegant dimension of fine taste as a perfect compliment to the magnificently detailed contemporary architecture.

Rates upon request.

For complete information, contact:

Zash from the pool

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