Portofino, Venice, Ramatuelle and Mykonos are all on the summer wishlist
It’s the time to dream continental dreams again. The President of the European Commission recently announced that vaccinated Americans will be able to travel to the 27 EU member states this summer, bringing a thrill to the hearts of jetsetters across America.
While the details of The President’s declaration are unclear—like, when the plan will take full effect or what the terms around travel will be—the announcement brings a spark of hope towards a return to normal life and to careless Euro summer holidays that brought magic to so many summers past. Even though the full plan is not yet in place, the fantasy of travel still abounds and so we compiled a handful of our favorite spots to envision ourselves soaking up the European summer.
Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino
Fresh off a complete redesign led by Paris-based designers FESTEN Architecture, the 14-room Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino is an exclusive haven tucked away yet still in the middle of it all. With prime placement next to the azure waters of Portofino Harbor on one end and the town’s main piazza on the other, its location along with its intimate, guesthouse-sized building allows the hotel to enjoy a position of rare exclusivity right within the beating heart of Portofino. Among the perks of staying at the Splendido Mare are its new dining destination, DaV Mare (created by the Cerea family’s Da Vittorio Group known for their 3 Michelin-starred Da Vittorio restaurant), excursions on a traditional Linguarian boat, or days spent at the beach on complimentary, reserved sunbeds at Bagni Fiore in Paraggi, which is considered to be the most exclusive beach in Northern Italy.
Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino
Beyond the winding canals of the City of Water, across from the mainland of Venice, at the end of a private dock and on the island of Guidecca lives the iconic Hotel Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice. Only a 3-minute trip across the water back to the main district of town, this hotel is the place to stay while in Venice. The magic begins once guests step off the dock where they are greeted by the property’s enchanting gardens, through which they walk to arrive at the hotel’s floating terrace called Cip’s Club. Afterward, if fine dining is on the agenda, guests are invited to indulge at the Michelin-starred Oro Restaurant for contemporary Italian cuisine created with locally-sourced ingredients from the hotel’s own farm and other nearby islands. The pool at the Hotel Cipriani is the only Olympic-size pool in Venice and offers guests the opportunity to relax and bask in the Venetian sun. Although it is the hotel’s access to experiences that make it even more worth the while with exclusive before and after hours access to famous sites and private excursions to under-the-radar towns. Or perhaps a day aboard the Edipo Re, a meticulously restored, 16-meter vintage 1960s sailboat owned by The Belmond, will create the perfect Venetian experience. Or perhaps perfection will be found at breakfast in the tower of Palazzo Contarini de Bovolo to watch the sun rise over the city. At the very The EU is Opening to Vaccinated Americans and This is Where We Want to Go Portofino, Venice, Stleast, be sure to indulge in a Bellini cocktail made of peach juice and prosecco, invented by the hotel’s namesake and founder, Giuseppe Cipriani.
Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice
South of France
South of France
It’s the land of fields of lavender, the provenance of the world’s best rosé and the place a million dreams are made of—it’s the South of France. A hotspot on the international jetset calendar from Biarittz to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, this ritzy riviera has been known to attract throngs of visitors to its shores and towns in summer. Which is why La Reserve Ramatuelle, situated on a secluded hilltop property just 15 minutes from St. Tropez, is the perfect place from which to enjoy the glamorous city at will. On May 12, the hotel will have concluded a renovation completed at the hands of the interior design legend, Jacques Garcis, who was inspired by the time when creative geniuses like Picasso, Cocteau, and Picault imbued their electric essences over the French Riviera in the 50s and 60s. The 28-room, 14-villa property is beloved for how the borders between the interiors and exteriors of the guest rooms are completely blurred due to the floor-to-ceiling windows that open to expansive gardens, private pools (in some cases) and surreal views over the Côte d’Azur. If the beach is what guests want, then beach is what they shall get as the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to its Phillipe Starck-designed, open-air, beach club, La Réserve à la Plage, done in wood and rattan décor and radiates a bohemian atmosphere that is an authentic extension of the coastal Mediterranean locale.
La Réserve, Ramatuelle
Greece is fully open and is welcoming international tourists with open arms. For a sublime yet modern take on a Mykonos holiday, consider the new Kalesma Mykonos. Built into a small hill with sweeping views of the sea, the property melds creativity with tradition. To create this effect, the Greek designers, Studio Bonarchi and K-Studio (who are known for their work on the Scorpios Beach Club) brought in the height of contemporary design and molded it perfectly to fit an authentic Cycladic look to result in a hotel experience that is novel and modern yet very true to local aesthetics and vibe. The designers used Rick Owen furniture in the lobby and placed custom artwork in the 25 rooms, including pieces by Serbian artist Aleksander Vac. In a nod to the mythical history of the region that includes Apollo and his keeping of horses there, the designers installed horsehair sconces and horse statues around the property. While the design is contemporary, it takes its cues from restraint and the result is a property that is clean, geometric, spectacular and indulgent all at once. The best part—the property has been in the proprietor’s family for over a century and they pride in sharing their genuine local’s take on the area including knowledge of off-the-beaten path sites.