Steve’s Picks for Luxury Stays in Italy & Greece

By Steven Wright

Hotel Castello de Casole
(opening July 1)

Be one of the first to stay in this fabulously restored 10th century castle in the heart of Tuscany between Florence and Sienna in Casole d’Elsa. Located on a 4,200 acre estate, the main hotel offers Junior and1 bedroom suites, spa services, restaurants and a fire baked pizzeria. They feature wines and olive oil made on site, there is a game reserve where you can observe wild bores and even hunt for truffles. The estate also features an outdoor amphitheatre, pools and outdoor terraces. There is great opportunity for mountain biking on any number of trails, or take a cooking class, pottery class and language class on site. The hotel has a personal shopper on site that can bee booked for shopping trips to Florence or Sienna, even the Gucci and other luxury brand outlets. Private transfers can be arranged from Florence or Sienna.

The out buildings on the estate are available for a more intimate experience, they feature 1 bedroom suites with private gardens, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and 4 and 5 bedroom villas. The Limonaia Suites are 2 story 1 bedroom suites with their own private garden terrace, the contemporary Oliveto Suites are more like a private 1 bedroom apartment overlooking the olive groves and vineyards with their own large private terrace. The apartments and villas have access to all the amenities of the main hotel, but are spread over the property offering a very exclusive experience.

Canaves Oia Hotel & Canaves Oia Suites

Set on the cliffs of Oia Village in Santorini, Greece, overlooking the Caldera and volcano. Canaves offers two properties, the modern and contemporary recently renevated Canaves Oia Hotel and the more traditional Canaves Oia Suites. Most of the rooms and suites have a private veranda, all overlooking the Caldera, some feature outdoor jacuzzi tubs while others have their own private pool. There are Superior Doubles ,Junior Suites and Superior Suites for 2 and 4 people. For the ultimate stay book the Honeymoon Suites that feature their own pool. Both of the properties have their own pools, the Canaves Oia Suites is the only hotel in Santorini to offer elevator service. The hotel features wines from the local vineyards, and the opportunity for room service to be sent to your private terrace. Canaves Oia is an amazing location for destination weddings and offers special packages. The property is open from April-October.

Explore the famous beaches, the volcano and the Caldera on a semi private or private catamaran yacht tours on Santorini’s hot springs and therapeutic waters. Whether you prefer to spend half the day in the sun or opt for a romantic sunset cruise this is a highlight of any trip. If you are looking to explore more of the Greek islands there is a Ferretti Motor yacht “Alexandros” available for your group, family, wedding or private excursion.

Armani Hotel Milano

After the success of the Armani Hotel Dubai in the Berj Kalifa, Georgio Armani opens his second hotel in the heart of Italy’s fashion capital Milan. The building is home to the Armani PrivĂ© boutique and Armani/Nobu Japanese restaurant. The hotel features 2 room styles and 5 suites styles, each with the Armani signature style including a neutral palate and items chose for their sculptural, aesthetic and sensual qualities. The Armani/Ristorante offers Italian cuisine, drawing from the rich gastronomy of the country and the Armani/Lounge gives you the opportunity to relax over cocktails while enjoying some great music. Both feature large windows with panoramic views of rooftops and terraces of the great city of Milan.

Armani’s Lifestyle Manager will help you with everything you could possibly need to enjoy your stay on site, and can also help with transfers, tours and other excursions. They can also get you an appointment in the Armani / Spa with its steam and sauna experience, then retreat to the relaxation pool with its louvered windows, roof and walls. Stay in ultimate style with Armani Hotel Milano.

The Haven – 3 Bedroom Garden Villa, Norwegian Jade

See both Italy and Greece aboard the Norwegian Jade in their exclusive The Haven – 3 Bedroom Garden Villa. The suite features 3 bedrooms each with a king or queen sized bed, large living room with a baby grand piano and your own private garden terrace equipped with your own hot tub and private dining area, and 3 1/2 bathrooms. The suite includes 24 hour butler and concierge service, priority boarding and VIP seating at restaurants and entertainment venues on board. The Haven guests have access to the exclusive courtyard, a private enclave at the top of the ship, outside all The Haven suites. The courtyard features areas for lounging, relaxing, and dining, with its own swimming pool, fitness area and hot tubs.

As with all Norwegian Freestyle Cruising, there are a number of restaurants on board and give you the flexibility to dine on your schedule, or order your meals in the exclusive courtyard or indulge in privacy having your meals on your private garden terrace. The concierge will make arrangements for all of your entertainment and shore excursions, and even set you up for a relaxing day at the on board spa. Cruising will never be the same.

Contact me to book your luxury stay in Europe – there has never been a better time to visit!