Shermans Travel » Blog » Italy
Venice is one of my favorite places (I just returned from my 8th visit), but trying to figure out where to stay in this romantic maze of 117 islands and 409 bridges can be frustrating. There are so many options – this small city of 60,000 residents has several hundred hotels to cater to its estimated 15 million-plus annual visitors – it can make your head spin. Over the years, I have sampled about a dozen properties and here are five of my top picks that offer a terrific mix of location, service, and amenities – and range in price from about $150/night to $579/night.
I’m getting married in less than three weeks [hold for applause]. It’s a destination wedding, which probably merits its own blog post at some point. However, since wedding planning has rendered me unable to put together a string of coherent thoughts, it’s best if I focus on the honeymoon in this post since, well, that’s way less stressful.
Selecting a honeymoon destination requires looking at the trip from several different angles. As you begin to discuss where to decompress after months spent selecting tablecloths and entrée choices, you want to make sure you reach the decision that makes both of you happy. Ultimately, there are only three types of honeymoons. Once you pick which is right for you, the decisions get a lot easier. Read more
Booking a summer vacation is so satisfying. Even more satisfying? Saving hundreds of dollars on it. Our deals experts have been scouring the internet in search of the hottest summer deals to help you save. Here’s what they came up with, from an incredible suite in Vegas to a cool Bahamas getaway to a 5-star Spain package. For even more deals, check out our weekly Top 25.
Romance is revving up all over the place during the month of February, from sun-kissed beaches to sophisticated big cities. Here are 25 deals and packages – from Fort Lauderdale to Fiji, Maine to Madrid, and St. Kitts to Sedona – that you can still book to make this Valentine’s Day the most memorable ever:
IN THE U.S. & CANADA
The Grand Del Mar: Unplug and relax with the “Disconnect Package” at the luxurious The Grand Del Mar near San Diego (shown above at left) and you’ll get one night’s accommodations (with the room TV unplugged and upgrade upon booking if available), berry-infused champagne cocktail upon arrival, choice of a 60-minute couples massage, or a 2-hour horseback ride for two, breakfast in bed for two, and late checkout, from $795/night. Read more
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend more quality time with the person you love, then I suggest you enjoy that togetherness someplace amazing! And what’s better or more romantic than a stunning, sun-kissed island? There’s something innately sexy and bond-inspiring about the sea – floating together in gentle turquoise surf, walking hand-in-hand at sunset, enjoying the day’s fresh catch paired with a rum cocktail or a fine wine. So as the new year begins, here are my top 10 picks for the most amazing islands to escape to together in 2012. Read more
Fashion designer-turned-hotelier Georgio Armani opened his second luxury hotel in the heart of Milan, Italy, yesterday. This is the second hotel for the iconic designer: The first was in Dubai, with projects in the works in Marassi and Marrakech. Armani Hotels & Resorts has teamed with Emaar Properties PJSC to create luxurious hotels in keeping with the designer’s aesthetic.
The Armani Hotel Milano is in a palazzo designed by Enrico Griffini in the 1930s, with incredible views of the city. The public areas have panoramic views of the Duomo and city skyline, and the restaurant features traditional Italian cuisine. With 95 rooms and suites – from 485 square feet to 2150 square feet – these rooms are larger than the average Italian hotel room. Rates start at 500 euro a night (that’s nearly $700) and the rooms are equipped with minibars, high-tech gadgets, one-way glass shower doors, and Asian limestone surfaces. The Business Center has a conference room and board rooms, as well as a private kitchen to cater upon request. The hotel is also equipped with a Lifestyle Department, created to fulfill guests’ every wish, discreetly, of course; a spa with six rooms and Couples Suite; and a gym and pool.
In keeping with the fashion theme, the Armani Hotel’s brochure is decked out with stunning, chiseled models wearing fabulous dresses and suits, turning the hotel into a mere backdrop for an Armani photo shoot.
For general-trip planning information, see our Milan Travel Guide.
Does sailing off into the Mediterranean sunset under billowing white sails sound like a head-in-the-clouds fantasy? Well, go ahead and turn that tall tale into your very own reality this fall (and beyond) onboard the sumptuous sailing yachts of Windstar Cruises. Happily, we’ve pinned down refreshingly down-to-earth rates on a duo of shoulder-season autumn sailings, as well as uncovered a special promotion for those looking ahead to their 2012 vacation planning. Read more
Out of all the dreamy spots visited on our recent Amalfi Coast escapade, Amalfi’s “city center” and its nearby Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi were highlights. The coastal town has a compact little village (aka the city center) tucked behind the port, while the hillside Grand Hotel Convento, a centuries-old convent turned hotel, sits high above the sea overlooking the coast, its three jetties, and the winding, cliff-hugging road below. Read more
I did this recently through Capri Boats. For about 800 Euros (around $1,150) you can rent a motor boat with a driver-guide for up to eight hours and plan out a unique tour of this famous island off Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The cushy speed boat comfortably accommodates four people, with room for as many as eight passengers. With friends, it’s possible to split the cost and each pay as little as 100 euros (about $140) per day. Public wooden boats (you’ll see them in Capri’s marina) provide a less glamorous, more practical way to explore by water, but the private option is quite affordable and the most flexible.
Punta Tragara sits high on the rocky cliffs of Capri across from the Faraglioni Sea Stacks, about a 10-minute walk from Capri Town. The splashy 44-room villa-cum-boutique hotel has hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Eisenhower, Churchill, and, more recently, Jonathan Adler and Trina Turk. I checked in a few weeks ago and am happy to report that our few nights here were a highlight of our Amalfi trip. Read more
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