Way to Go

Our Favorite Hotels in Italy

by Team Fathom
The The Italianate garden at The St. Regis Venice. Photo courtesy of The St. Regis Venice.

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It’s one of those funny truths in travel: As exciting as the whole world is, there’s just something about Italy. Magnetic and magical, it’s a place we — and you — seem to never grow tired of. We’re going to start publishing our Fathom Favorites exclusively for subscribers to Way to Go, starting with our favorite hotels in Italy, organized from north to south and by budget. Because we didn’t want to overwhelm your in box, we’ve only included the top 24 (our lucky number) here. For the full list (lots and lots more), check the Substack and bookmark the page, as we’ll continue to update it with all the hotels worth knowing up and down the boot. And we want to know which are your favorites, so drop a note in the comments.


Worth the Splurge

The St. Regis Venice
Five connected palazzi (the oldest from the 17th century) that have welcomed notable guests since the 1880s were reincarnated a few years ago as a St. Regis. The location is unbeatable: right on the Grand Canal, steps from Piazza San Marco. Every detail was carefully considered, with the goal of transforming an illustrious history into a pretty and cosseted present. Should the city's charms fail to inspire (ha — what's wrong with you?), you can escape to the public spaces for cocktails on the canal-facing terrace in the Arts Bar, a cozy chat in the Grand Salone under artwork commissioned by the hotel, or a snooze into your novel in Gio's Italianate garden. Bonus: If you’ve been hoarding Marriott Bonvoy points for years, this is a dreamy place to spend them. 

Great Value

Il Palazzo Experimental
The Paris-based Experimental Group, known for their cool cocktail bars and increasingly for European hotels, opened their first Italian outpost in the former headquarters of the Adriatica navigation company. Designer Dorothée Meilichzon filled the 32 cozy rooms and suites, as well as the public spaces, with whimsical nautical themes and local motifs (mullioned Venetian windows, anchor knockers on the doors). A quiet garden in the back overlooks a residential canal, and the cocktail bar is, of course, a big draw. Adding to the appeal are the affordable rates and the off-the-beaten-path location in the quiet Dorsoduro neighborhood.


Worth the Splurge

Portrait Milano
It would be hard to overstate the impressiveness of this project, the recovery of a colonnaded piazza in the center of Milan’s fashion district that, before it had been abandoned for twenty years, had been home throughout the centuries to a seminary, a hospital, and, most recently, the offices of prestigious Italian designers. Lungarno Collection, owned by the fashion-y Ferragamo family, infused 73 spacious rooms and suites with high style touches: thousands of art, design, and culture coffee table books; marble bathrooms; and enormous closets for the fashion set that will no doubt make this a new home base. On the ground floor are chic boutiques, a terrific in-house lounge and restaurant (they do a fab, light-filled breakfast buffet), and an outpost of trendy Beefbar restaurant.

Great Value

Vico Milano
The seven-room Vico Milano feels like going to a friend's house — that is, a well-traveled friend who has astonishingly good taste in art, furniture, and architecture (basically, the trifecta of what makes contemporary Milan Milan). Every corner of the hotel, which used to be a factory for racing bikes, manages to be homey and photo-ready at the  same time. We stayed in room No. 1, which had a little foyer-cum-closet and Moroccan-tiled bathroom (with a Dyson hairdryer, *chef's kiss*) on its first floor and a bed underneath skylights (that can be closed for black-out effect) on its second. Take advantage of the honesty bar at night and absolutely get the chocolate granola at breakfast.

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