I must say that this fam has been the best organized, the most attentive to, and caring of, the agents on this trip. I have been on many fams in the over 25 years I have been in the industry, and without a doubt, this has been the best. We were taken to wineries, guided tours, everything that would give us the flavor of where we were, most valuable, since we can share these experiences with our clients. And of course.... the properties were the most amazing - each its own personality, each one a perfect place. Kurtz Ahlers has great properties worldwide (check their website) and, as you can see from the well organized fam, they sure do care about their agents.
PALAZZO VICTORIA - VERONA
Once a Roman Palazzo (there are still tiled floors from the Palazzo - as well as remains of Roman street which can be seen through glass from the main level, or to which one can go down to. (Their meeting room is just off this area). On arrival, one walks in and finds a very discreet check-in (the inner works behind doors) with great smiling and efficient reception The hotel itself is an amazing mix of the coolest Italian modern (out of a magazine) white leather couches and enormous white leather chairs, subtle lighting... The rooms and suites, each different, in traditional decor, Windows that open (wonderful in weather as we had - cool evenings - all very quiet) Efficient bathrooms. My favorite suite was one of their honeymoon suites with balcony with bed juxtaposition-ed to face the balcony.... I can just imagine breakfast in bed there ..... Dining at hotel was an experience in itself. Great location, walking distance to everything. Any time of the year would be lovely, but during Spring-Summer season Verona has Opera performances in the Roman Colosseum - our clients should experience this. Valpolicella wineries close by - we had great wine tasting at the Allegria winery. They treated us like royalty with the best wine tasting! One can fly in/out of Milano and can also fly in/out of Venice.
IL SALVIATINO - FIESOLE
A short train ride from Verona to Florence. Il Salviatino picked us up and took us up to the Fiesole hills.
What amazing views from there over Florence. Il Salviatino is a gem. Each room and suite so different
from each other. I had a garden room with sliding doors to the lovely gardens. One of the agents had a suite with wrap-around enormous terrace - bedroom main level and the sitting room up a circular staircase. There was a suite with painted, coffered ceilings - everything from the original palace - all local stones and materials. Terrific bathrooms (some have tubs - if having a tub is important we can request) The shower stall and the w/c stall doors made of translucent glass - wonderful bath products and great towels. Dining here is also an experience. The food and service exquisite. Il Salviatino has a lovely spa with delightful masseuses. The pool is located right outside the spa, great for relaxing before or after a great massage. Check-in so discreet only an elegant desk with a laptop where the most delightful staff sits at all times and each request is met with a smile, a real smile, and you can consider it done. From Il Salviatino one can tour the Chianti wineries. Here we also had a great, special lunch served to us with the different wine pairings. Il Salviatino has shuttle into Florence - great way to do Florence.... go into the city, walk, shop, tour, and then return to the fresh air up on the hill.,
HOTEL ARMANI - MILANO
And we move on to what I would say is the epitome of the Milano experience. Not one detail overlooked.
Each detail - be it pillows (...and what pillows...) place settings, everything your hand touches or your eyes see pewter had to be approved by Mr. Armani. The colors are the most soothing - different tones of gray - from silver to pearl to pewter grays and touches of Armani black. ,Fabulous spa with relaxation room overlooking Milano. There is a relaxation pool as well. All so quiet... Also several private steam bath rooms and saunas. The doors are mirrored and once inside it turns into glass, and you can be sitting enjoying your sauna while, again here, you are looking over the roofs of Milano. The spa is on the 8th floor. Dining (on the 7th floor) is another amazing experience! The food, the wines, the sophisticated ambiance is one and only. And to watch the so elegant Milanese - all so slim - how do they do it???? you can sit (and drink) all night and never be bored....
Security could not be better. Reception is on the 7th floor. Elevator will not move if the Concierge does
not swipe his key, or if you are already checked in, you swipe your own key. On the ground level there are some couches and the Concierge is there to assist you and instruct you on procedures to go up to the lobby and your room. Even their smallest room is large, and larger than any such category in Milano. I had a fabulous suite with windows overlooking Milanese flats - some rooms/suites overlook the Duomo - some inside courtyard - and so on. Talk about state-of-the art at your feet... The best is the TV monitor from which you can also adjust the temperature, open/close the curtains, the shades.... you don't have to move - all you have to do is sit and press a button... You can drink with one hand and push buttons with the other....
The bathrooms are amazing. Big bathtub and the w/c as well as the enormous shower stall have floor to ceiling mirrored doors and when you go in - voila - it is glass and you can shower looking out at the apartments across the way (don't forget to have curtains/shades open....). The rain shower has a power
I have never experienced - never wanted to leave that shower... The bath products fabulous and last but not least.... you know the proverbial, ugly, plastic shower cap? Not at Armani's my friend. I am sure the gods of fashion and style would have NEVER forgiven Mr. Armani if he had done such thing.... his shower caps are water-proof fabric.... Armani black of course.... Actually, I played around with mine and it would make a cute beret if one perhaps added a little (Armani silver) feather... maybe a touch of red?
I have names/contacts which I will gladly share if you need VIP'ing etc.
Travel Exchange - A Virtuoso Agency
2 Sconset Square
Westport, Ct. 06880