From Tuscany’s rolling hills to the shores of Lake Como, these Italian gems have mastered the art of la dolce vita.
This year, many of our readers’ favorite properties will come as no surprise. Guests have been kicking back at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo since 1910, when the hotel — a magnificent canary-yellow palace — was on the European Grand Tour. Jackie Kennedy frequented the Hotel Caruso, now a Belmond property, which is set 1,000 feet above sea level on the grounds of an 11th-century palace in Ravello. But a few others have come onto the scene more recently — including the No. 1 winner.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Come summer, the chicest Italians flock to the Amalfi Coast and Le Sirenuse and Il San Pietro di Positano, both of which are family-run and occupy cliff-side perches overlooking the Mediterranean. While the 58-room Sirenuse has the privileged feel of a wealthy friend’s retreat, the 57-room San Pietro (which also made the Top 100 overall list) is more like a country club. The beachside restaurant is available only for guests, who descend to it — and the town’s sole private beach — via a dramatic glass elevator ride. Also at your disposal are a private yacht and a complimentary Mercedes-Benz for shuttling to and from town. A recent multimillion-dollar renovation has added six airy suites designed by Fausta Gaetani that are outfitted with marble floors, Iaccarino wallpaper, and local ceramics. Attested one reader, “Simply the best.”
If you’d prefer to be inland, you will be hard pressed to find a more glorious location than the Tuscan town of Casole d’Elsa and its Belmond Castello di Casole, which won the top spot among resort hotels in Europe in 2016 and 2017. (Belmond began managing the hotel in February.) Set on 4,200 acres, the hotel has 41 extravagant suites in a 10th-century castle and surrounding villas.
But when it comes to an idyllic Italian experience, there’s no need to choose between verdant vistas or sea views. As this year’s No. 1 property attests, you can have it all.