Italy has the highest number of hotels in the 2013 ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ Gold List of the best places to stay in Europe.
‘Condé Nast Traveler’ is an American luxury travel magazine. Its Gold List constitutes ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ readers’ picks of the world’s best hotels and resorts. Italy has 23 hotels featured in the list, which is the highest number of any country in Europe.
Nearly 47,000 ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ readers, an unprecedented number, produced an independent final selection of the very best by participating in the title’s annual Readers’ Choice Survey. Readers score hotels and resorts out of 100 on their rooms, service, food, location, design and activities.
In addition, the Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi, Westin Excelsior in Florence, Villa D’Este in Lake Como, Il San Pietro and Le Sirenuse in Positano, Palazzo Avino in Ravello, Hotel Hassler and Westin Excelsior in Rome, Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, and Venice’s Bauer Il Palazzo and Londra Palace all feature in the ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ Platinum Circle. The Platinum Circle lists hotels and resorts that have made the Gold List every year for the past five years running.
Of the Italian hotels featured, the Hotel Caesar Augustus in Capri scored highest among ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ readers, achieving an overall score of 98.6. The magazine describes the former Russian prince’s mansion “perfect-scoring location” perched 1,000 feet above the Bay of Naples as having “amazing views from anywhere on the well-maintained grounds.” All the hotel’s “perfect-scoring rooms have down duvets, linen sheets, marble bathrooms with double sinks, and private balconies”. However, the title suggests getting one of the five specialty suites, such as the Caesar that has arches, columns and a bust of Augustus. ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ also praises the hotel’s bi-level infinity pool, which “seems to drop into the sea. What a stunning sight.”
The Palazzo Avino in Ravello is close behind the Hotel Caesar Augustus in the estimation of ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ readers, achieving an overall score of 98.5. The 12th-century and Baroque former palace got three perfect scores. ‘Condé Nast Traveler quotes one reader as saying: “If I could go to only one place again in my life, it would be here. Everything was perfect!” The hotel’s rooms are fitted in handcrafted Vietri tiles, 18th-century Italian antiques, brass accessories and Frette linens. The title gives special mentions to the hotel’s two Michelin-star Rossellinis Restaurant, and its Caffé dell’Arte that serves regional cuisine.