Beyond its renowned scenery, immense cultural heritage, exceptional food and wine, Tuscany is not only one of the finest luxury destionations in the world but also a very authentic one, with a most complex offering. Tuscany has it all: wellness, relaxation SPAs, exquisit restaurants, exceptional wines, hotels - many housed within centuries old palaces or monasteries, beaches with surfing, the very best of luxury shopping (major luxury brands also also artisan, family owned business). The best months of the year to visit Tuscany are May, June up to mid July and September.
In an exclusive series, CPP-LUXURY.COM looks at 3 of Tuscany’s finest destinations:Forte dei Marmi (beach), Castel Monastero (countryside) and Florence, the capital of the region and one of world’s most beautiful cities.
Forte dei Marmi
Think Hamptons or Martha’s Vineyard in the U.S. – serene beaches, beautiful private summer homes (most of them, mansions or villas), a vast array of luxury shopping (Louis Vuitton recently opened a huge pop up store, adding to the established Prada, Valentino, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana stores) - for decades an exclusive destinations accessible only to the Italian elite and aristocracy, almost unwelcoming for ‘outsiders’ (in the past).
We reviewed PRINCPE FORTE DEI MARMI, the only true luxury hotel in Forte dei Marmi, with a most complex offering - a comtemporary new building, with the highest attention to details and all the latest facilities one would expect from a top luxury hotel - private beach with restaurant, heated outdoor poor with a beautifully manicured garden, a luxurious roof-top lounge and bar with stunning panoramic views of both the sea and the surrounding mountains and a state of the art SPA, of the highest luxury standard – with an indoor heated pool, water experience, hydrotherapy, latest positive anti-aging treatments and package etc.
A former Tuscan village, with its very own piazzetta (with a working well in the middle) and a Church (holding mass every Sundays), made of several buildings, one dating back to 800 – coverted a few years ago into a luxury hotel & SPA, a destination in itself – surrounded by greenery and vineyards. Exceptional, personalized service and a separate building entirely dedicated to the SPA, make it ideal for longer stays, whether for relaxation, detox, losing weight or many seeking to balance their way of life. The SPA is very much medical oriented, an Indian doctor prescribing treatments based on Ayurvede and Western medicine.
It is probably the first trip which we have identified the ideal way to experience one of Italy’s most beautiful cities.
We reviewed the FOUR SEASONS FIRENZE – a unique urban ultra luxury resort, 15 minutes from downtown, with its very own lavish private park and gardens, an outdoor pool, the best Sunday Brunch in Florence and the largest luxury SPA in Florence – featuring exclusively treatments by Santa Maria Novella and cutting edge instant result anti-aging oxygen stem cell Rephase). Four Seasons’ legendary service is at its highest levels, the Florence property being among the global flagships of the chain, worldwide.
RELAIX SANTA CROCE by BAGLIONI HOTELS- for those seeking to be at the heart of the historical centre, in a heritage palazzo building – for a most intimate experience, personalized services and steps from all the major attractions.
VILLA SAN MICHELE by ORIENT-EXPRESS, a 20 minute car drive from Florence city centre, on a hill top in Fiesole – the most romantic setting, with almost impossible to describe panoramic views of Florence skyline – a former monastery, with lush gardens and an outdoor heated pool – probably the pool with the most spectacular view in the world!
ST REGIS, a luxury property away from the busy downtown, yet within 10 minutes walk from the very best of luxury shopping (all major international luxury fashion, accessories and jewellery brands have impressive stores in Florece). The St Regis features the city’s largest and most impressive ballroom, ideal for the most refined and sophisticated private events, but perfectly suitable for special business events (incentives, launches of luxury products etc). Given its location and type of accommodation and services has probably the most extended and constant occupancy, during the off-season, welcoming corporate guests and events. The hotel has a tiny SPA, yet, many other features to impress: a custom Bentley available 24 hrs for hotel guests and a Butler Service for all rooms and suites.