• Borgo Ignazia Hotel, Puglia, Italy

    Best Luxury Hotels in the World for R&R

    <p>After you’ve hung the decorations, wrapped the presents, cooked the food and entertained all your guests – it’ll be time for you to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/reservations/" target="_blank">book some much-needed R&amp;R</a>. In the meantime, while you’re currently in full holiday-mode, just think... the rush will be over in a few more weeks and you can be lounging poolside (or bar-side) at one of these six luxury accommodations while on a handcrafted trip of a lifetime.   <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Skalakot" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002EiTZ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rmc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Skalakot - Iceland</a></b><br>With white gables that echo the nearby mountains, this <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">family-owned manor</a> hotel is a cozy and luxurious retreat. Rooms are decorated in true Icelandic style. The exceptional restaurant features local specialties from Arctic char to homemade bread. Now, this is getting away from it all. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Hotel Sahrai" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002EiTZ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rmh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Hotel Sahrai - Morocco</a></b><br>On a hill between the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Fes Medina</a> and the New Town, this boutique hotel has unparalleled views. Light-flooded rooms are decorated with a contemporary twist on Moroccan design. Facilities include an infinity pool, fitness center and Givenchy spa – perfect for your well-deserved, post-holiday pampering.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/apulia/" target="_blank"><img alt="Borgo Egnazia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002EiTZ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rmm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/apulia/" target="_blank">Borgo Egnazia – Italy</a></b><br>Apulia is where the high-profile stars go to escape and decompress, and<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/apulia/" target="_blank"> Borgo Egnazia </a>is the perfect stay. A whitewashed seaside compound, this chic property is designed as a Mediterranean village. Elegant rooms decorated in shades of white amplify Apulia’s sun. The property offers indoor and outdoor pools, a terrific spa and a range of dining options.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Iguana Crossing" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002EiTZ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rmr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Iguana Crossing - Galapagos</a></b><br>What better way to relax than with an <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">ocean-front room</a> in paradise? There’s nothing but National Park (with a live volcano) out the back. This hotel is cool, very close to nature and eco-minded. Amenities include a swimming pool, a roof-deck Jacuzzi and its own excellent restaurant.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Inkaterra Machu Picchu" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002EiTZ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rmw" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Inkaterra Machu Picchu – Peru</a></b><br>Set among 13 acres of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">tropical gardens</a> featuring over 140 species of orchids, this hotel proudly 100% carbon neutral. Spacious rooms are situated in unique hillside casitas and feature lovely tile floors, carved wood furniture, and luxurious bathrooms.<br> <br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank"><img alt="Amarvilas" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002EiTZ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rn6" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank">Oberoi Amarvilas – India</a></b><br>Just 600 meters from the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank">Taj Mahal</a>, all rooms and public areas in this fine resort offer breathtaking views. Inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, it has been ranked in the top 10 hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure.</p>

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  • Castle on the water in Loire, France

    Sometimes good enough just isn't

    <p>The setting was idyllic. There we were, lounging on the deck of our luxury barge during the first leg of our weeklong Classic Journey to the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/loire/" target="_blank">Loire Valley and Burgundy</a> Canal in France. Yet even as we happily chatted away with our friends who own the barge, we couldn’t leave well enough alone.</p> <p>Lulled by our leisurely pace, we observed that the two suites on board were so welcoming, it would be great if all the cabins could be suites. Our hosts chuckled and said, “Yes, that’s an interesting idea.” Not long after we returned home, we received a thank-you note for putting the idea into their minds, along with an announcement that-<i>voila!</i> -all the cabins were being converted into suites. (Who knew our opinion carried so much clout?)</p> <p>What it means for guests on our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/loire/" target="_blank">Loire’s Chateaux &amp; Burgundy’s Canals Cultural Walking Adventure</a> is this: without any increase in price, our three-night canal cruise is now an all-suite experience. Each meal prepared by our personal floating chef is included, as is the open bar. And our experience is no less <i>luxe</i> in Loire, where Classic Journeys guests take up residence for three nights at a graceful riverside chateau, each room overlooking lovely gardens and the Chateau d’Amboise that towers over the town.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/loire/" target="_blank"><img alt="Manoir les Minimes" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7pF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002tZv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>If you’ve ever spoken with me personally about our walking trips, you know I love to wax eloquent about our accommodations. But in Loire and Burgundy, our cultural, historic and culinary explorations are every bit as memorable.</p> <p><br>Over the course of our 7-day canal-boating and walking tour, we enjoy a wine tasting in the cellar of a former monastery, visit fortified villages like Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, and follow a path along the water’s edge to Chenonceaux-arguably the most magnificent and romantic of all chateaux. Bicycles stowed on board the barge allow us to go ashore for rides into the surrounding countryside and along the towpath, complementing the guided walks we take each day. And last but certainly not least, we savor the fresh ingredients from this bountiful region known as <i>The Garden of France</i>.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/loire/" target="_blank">Loire and Burgundy vacation </a>is proof that even great things become better on a Classic Journey. If you’ve had an occasion where a travel suggestion of yours was taken to heart, drop me an e-mail at <a href="mailto:blog@classicjourneys.com" target="_blank">blog@classicjourneys.com</a>. And if you’d like more information about our trip to Loire &amp; Burgundy, please <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/loire/" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p>

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  • Grand Hotel Miramare, Tuscany, Italy

    Italy's Grand Hotel Miramare

    Built in 1903, the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">Grand Hotel Miramare</a> was one of the first luxury hotels on the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">Italian Riviera</a>. Over a century later, the Miramare has maintained its splendor and is still the epitome of Italian elegance. We explored this historic structure with friend and Resident Manager, Paolo Panzeri, who has worked at the hotel for over 30 years. As we strolled the property, Paolo shared stories of the building’s history, amenities, and exclusive features.<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXeP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>The History</b><br>Paolo started our tour by explaining the property’s interesting history. It all started with Giacomo Costa, who turned his private residence into a hotel. Thanks to the management of Kuoni-Stoppani (founders of the renowned Swiss travel agency), the hotel became a popular destination for the glitterati of the time. We’re talking people like Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh who honeymooned here in the 1940’s!<img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXeU" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Although the hotel has recently been remodeled, it has maintained its original look and feel. The initial fresco has been refined, along with the gorgeous façade, lovely parquet floors, and stucco walls. So, although it has all the modern conveniences such as air conditioning, satellite TV, and free internet… it still has that same Italian grandeur from 100 years ago.<br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXeZ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>The Rooms</b><br>The Mirarmare has 78 rooms, deluxe suites and classic suites, some with balconies overlooking the Golfo del Tiguillo, and others that gaze upon the beautiful garden. Pastel colors decorate each room, along with recently restored stucco work that mimics the original interiors. Regardless if your room overlooks the sea or the newly landscaped garden – you’ll enjoy luxurious comfort with incredible views.  <br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXej" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXet" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>If you happen to stay in suite 105, you’re in for a treat! For it was in this room that Guglielmo Marconi made history by transmitting telegraphic radio and telephonic radio signals in 1933. Marconi made the hotel his headquarters, and the Miramare named his room “The Marconi Suite” as a result.<br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXfS" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>The Pool</b><br>The pool is a showstopper. Temperature controlled and filled with seawater, it’s something you must take advantage of! Paolo jokingly said they put a shark in there to prove to guests it’s truly salt water… so be sure to look twice before diving in. With sunbeds, umbrellas, towels, tremendous views of the Mediterranean and undivided attention from hotel staff – there’s really no need to leave!  Grab yourself an Aperol Spritz, sit back and relax poolside.<br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXey" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXf3" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>The Restaurant</b><br>The hotel’s restaurant, Vistamare, serves traditional Ligurian cuisine with a contemporary twist. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner in the newly restored dining room. Or, sit on the panoramic terrace with its magnificent front row views or the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">Mediterranean</a>. Either way, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.<br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXf8" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXfD" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>The Garden </b><br>Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the hotel’s newly landscaped garden. You’ll wander through towering palms and maritime pines, a rainbow-colored assortment of blooms, and lush shrubberies.  The path gently guides you to a stunning vista, overlooking the hotel grounds, the sea, and the surrounding seaside village of<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank"> Santa Margherita</a>.<br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXfI" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000002Ix1p&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000pXfN" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>If you&#39;d like to explore the Italian Riviera, join our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">Tuscany and the Cinque Terre Culture + Walking tour</a>. You&#39;ll wine taste on the grounds of a castle, explore the cobblestone streets of towering hill towns in the heart of Tuscany, traverse a spectacular coastal trail connecting pastel villages of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">the Cinque Terre</a>, jump to the head of the line to see Michelangelo’s <i>David</i>, all while relaxing in luxury accommodations like the Grand Hotel Miramare!

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