Fourteen Italian hotels recently made it into the top list of the 2015 Smith Hotel Awards, celebrating exceptional hotels worldwide. Out of the 120 awards granted worldwide, 14 hotels were chosen in Italy by the hotel booking service Mr&Mrs Smith, as the world’s best hotels in the following 11 (out of 12) special categories: Best-Dressed Hotel, Sexiest Bedroom, Best Hotel Pool, Hottest Hotel Bar, Best Spa Hotel, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Hotel for Families, Best Budget Boutique Hotel, The Eco Award, Best Newcomer and…Best Smith Hotel 2015.
For many of you Mr&Mrs Smith need no introduction, but if by any chance you haven`t heard of them, check them out. As they state on their website, they’ve been around longer than the film with Angelina and Brad, 🙂 “visiting and anonymously reviewing stylish boutique hotels and hip holiday stays”. For a decade now they have selected their favorites, the most stylish and individual hotels in destinations around the world, including Italy.
The 14 Italian hotels that made it into one of the categories of the 2015 Smith Hotel Awards appear in our list below in no particular order except for the first one, which won two awards, and the order according to the hotels’ ranking within the individual award categories. When two hotels, mentioned in different award categories, had the same ranking the order was (arbitrarily) determined by what we judge more important a criteria.
1. Aman Canal Grande Venice, Veneto
The Aman Canal Grande Hotel in Venice was awarded the 10th rank in the crème de la crème list of the Best Smith Hotels Worldwide. Housed in the 16th century Palazzo Papadopoli, the Aman Canal Grande, is the most expensive and perhaps the finest hotel in the city. One rare feature of this Grand Canal hotel is the garden, to the left of the main building.
The same hotel also made it in Smith’s Top 3 of the sexiest bedrooms worldwide, which makes it the number 1 of our list.
2. Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento
As the winner of Smith’s sexiest bedroom award, Hotel Bellevue Syrene, housed in an ancient grotto, comes second in our list.
The exposed stone walls, over-sized hydro-massage pool – on top of an en-suite tub, canopied king-size bed, and balcony with sea views make this hotel the 2015’s Sexiest Bedroom winner.
3. Masseria Cervarolo, Puglia
Winner of the Best budget boutique hotel award, Masseria Cervarolo is a 16th-century farm with truli houses located in Ostuni. The historic Masseria was completely restored taking into account the original architecture using authentic materials.
4. Monteverdi, Tuscany
The winner of the Best hotel restaurant award, the centuries-old Hotel Monteverdi, opened its fine dining Oreade restaurant in the heart of the hotel-village of Castiglioncello, where Chef Giancarla Bodoni proffers farm-to-table cuisine.
5. Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, Abruzzo
Sextantio Albergo Diffuso scored fourth on the list of Smith’s inaugural eco award for its innovative approach to restoring an entire abandoned Apennine village.
Using traditional methods, craftwork made by villagers, the hotel offers a rustic simplicity maintaining the hilly hamlet’s medieval charm, while seamlessly incorporating modern luxury.
6. Palazzo Margherita, Basilicata
With its very discrete façade and unassuming location in Bernalda (Basilicata) you would never guess that Palazzo Margherita houses a luxury retreat created by the director Francis Ford Coppola and that it boasts the fifth Sexiest bedroom in the world, according to Mr&Mrs Smith.
Bernalda is in fact the birth town of the director’s grandfather Agostino Coppola. Next to the hotel’s entrance is the Cinecittà bar.
7. Prati Palai, Lake Garda
Perched in tranquil olive groves above Lake Garda, the boutique hotel Prati Palai is the fifth Best newcomer worldwide.
8. L’Albereta, Brescia
A few minutes’ drive from Lake Iseo, L’Albereta Relais & Chateaux is an enchanting off-the-beaten track place in the heart of the Lombardy region. Its award-winning Espace Vitalité Henri Chenot brings it seventh on the list of the Best Spa Hotels worldwide.
9. Villa Arcadio, Lake Garda
An ancient convent located in the enchanting environment of the Salò hills, Villa Arcadio boasts one of the best hotel pools worldwide (number 8 on Mr&Mrs’ list). The hillside pool offers beautiful views over Lake Garda.
10. Borgo Egnazia, Puglia
One of the Best hotels for families, this 21st-century fairy-tale hotel, immersed among the ancient olive groves of the Itria valley, is renowned for its first-class all-ages childcare.
11. Portrait Firenze, Tuscany
Set on the banks of the Arno, Portrait Firenze, was selected as one of the Best dressed hotel in the world for its mid-century-inspired magic on luxurious suites and its beautiful riverside café.
12. Castello di Casole, Tuscany
Listed in the Best hotel pool category, restored Castello di Casole, offers the rare opportunity to time-travel to one of the pool parties held by former owner, the Italian film director Luchino Visconti, who entertained European and Hollywood celebrities throughout the estate.
13. Monastero Santa Rosa, Amalfi Coast
Last year’s winner in the Best hotel pool category, this former monastery’s infinity pool overlooking the Bay of Salerno with stunning views from Positano to Ravello still got its deserved place in the 2015 awards list.
14. Continentale, Florence
Elected among the Hottest Hotel bars in the world, La Terrazza’s offers beautiful views over Florence with the Ponte Vecchio on the right, Giotto’s Campanile on the left.
What we like about Mr&Mrs Smith approach is that they are quite different from any other website of that kind and that their descriptions are really accurate (they only include their favorites). Particularly useful is that they tell you which room or suite to ask for, which table to book at the hotel restaurant, what to pack, plus a few extra tips or details, for example on the dress code, accessibility, or even where to have your afternoon tea.
We’ve used the website once for one of our trips to Sicily and the agriturismo we found on their website was up to or even exceeded our expectations. The only reason we haven’t used their website more often is that they do not always have hotels in the destinations we’re heading to (even though I see that they have been adding more and more destinations in Italy), or that the price tag of the available hotels at our time of booking was above what we were prepared to spend. For more info, see: Mr&Mrs Smith hotels in Italy.