Milan-fashion set, sexy-Capulets, summer-opera crowd
Reason to Stay
Opulent location, holistic spa, designer-hotel
Located 5-miles from central Verona, a dilapidated fifteenth Century Venetian-villa is resurrected into a museum-quality playground for design aficionados by Byblos-fashion heir Dino Facchini. Allowing guests to "let loose amongst modern design," the five-star hotel takes prized furnishings and artwork from Proust, Salvador Dali and Cindy Sherman and mixes them into the everyday furnishings of the hotel. Like staying with aristocratic family or landing an Italian-billionaire-boyfriend, the stately hotel features a gated entrance and long drive leading to the baronial structure. Perched over the main lobby, a gargantuan Venetian-chandelier hangs from elaborate painted ceilings above drawing rooms that would make Andy Warhol beam proud. Surrounding the main hotel are opulent gardens including chapel, health spa (Istituto Dominique and Henri Chenot), expansive lawn-area offering regal-blue swimming pool and formal fountains.
Offering seventy rooms and suites in the main villa, the hotel is far more Marie Antoinette than quiet the country chateau one might expect. The room interiors, designed by Facchini and Alessandro Mendini, interpret furniture, fabrics and drapery popular during the 16th and 17th centuries with a modern spin. Keeping with the original architecture of the villa, guest rooms (except suites) are spacious, but by no means large. Boldly colored fabrics, abstract lighting fixtures and oblong furnishings create a Seuss-like experience that enlivens the historical rooms and bathrooms. No two-guest rooms are alike, each offering design pieces from the owner's private collection. It is actually possible to sit atop a Saarinen chair attempting to understand a Luigi Ontani portrait while eating truffled-potatoes scooped-up with a Gio Ponti fork --without ever leaving your room.
Room 50, the Byblos Suite
Historical Location, Designer Hotel
Pool, Spa, Restaurant, Fashion Boutique