What began as a gratifying challenge for Roberto Polito, founder of luxury Italian hotel company Baglioni Hotel Group, later became his life’s work. Polito opened the group’s first property, Hotel Cala del Porto, in Punta Ala, Tuscany in 1974 with his wife Lisa, and together they developed a collection, Baglioni Hotels, centered around one mission—guaranteeing unforgettable experiences. More than 40 years later, that commitment to every hotel guest that passes through one of the group’s five-star properties in Milan, Venice, Florence, Punta Ala, Rome, Aix-en-Provence, Champillon Epernay, Saint Paul de Vence and London is now the undertaking of his son Guido Polito, who is currently the CEO of Baglioni Hotels. Keeping in mind his father’s goal of providing guests with “a unique concept of hospitality,” Guido has refocused the brand to “put a greater emphasis on guest’s hotel experience” by “promising a one-of-a-kind experience of the highest value,” he says. Baglioni Hotels calls this “journey in the Italian style through its culture and various traditions,” the unforgettable Italian touch.
“Our hotels are like our homes,” says Guido. “They are elegant and discreet yet open and alive.”
Baglioni Hotel Luna, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and Fine Hotels & Resorts, sits in the heart of Venice near Piazza San Marco facing the San Marco Basin and the island of San Giorgio. In the 12th century, the building was used as a home/shelter by the Knight’s Templar—Christian military men who fought during the Crusades. Today, gondolas and water taxis bring guests up to the entrance of the classically Venetian-styled 91-room hotel, which is festooned with original artwork from the Renaissance period. Within the guestrooms, rich brocades, antique furniture and crystal chandeliers harmonize with beige- and pastel-colored walls. The property’s Canova Restaurant offers a blend of traditional Venetian cooking mixed with regional specialties in a cozy setting with seating for up to 65 guests. Rates start at $272 per night and include daily breakfast, complimentary WiFi and a $93 resort credit. Guests who book three nights by April 28, 2016 receive a complimentary third night.
Le Saint Paul, a member of Relais & Chateaux, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France rests on a pedestrian street in the commune’s artist’s village where painting and sculpture galleries line the small village lanes. The 16th century house near the French Riviera features 22 country-style rooms and suites individually decorated with antiques. Guests staying in a Baglioni Suite can enjoy views of the sea from their personal terrace. The hotel’s restaurant serves contemporary Mediterranean cuisine indoors in a dining room decorated with fresco paintings, and regional dishes are served on an outdoor, flowered terrace, and plush indoor lounges are ideal for sipping tea by an open fire. Rates start at $240 per night and include complimentary WiFi.
The group’s newest property, The Baglioni Hotel London, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, balances tradition and modernity in a historically significant location opposite Hyde Park by Kensington Palace. The property’s baroque adornments and contemporary touches are the Baglioni Group’s response to guests’ increasing demand for trendier accommodations. For instance, the 67-guestroom hotel’s most exclusive room, The Royal Suite, boasts more than 2,500 sq. ft. of living accommodations, plus three bedrooms, four bathrooms, two lounges, a fireplace and a large terrace with views of Hyde Park. Guests staying in the Royal Suite receive complimentary breakfast, butler service and access to a chauffeur-driven Maserati, which is available for guests to take around the city upon request. In addition to the property’s elegant Brunello Restaurant, which serves Mediterranean cuisine by Murano glass candelabras to guests seated in gold velvet armchairs, The Baglioni Hotel London also offers massages, facials and body treatments at the hotel’s Baglioni SPA. Rates for the Royal Suite start at $6,525 per night; regular room rates start at $300 per night and include complimentary WiFi. Guests who book three nights by March 31, 2016 receive a complimentary third night.
Baglioni Hotels’ next property, The Baglioni Marrakech, is scheduled to open at the end of next year. The 80-guestroom boutique hotel and residence is just one of many new hotels on the horizon for the brand, which plans to expand overseas into cities such as Paris, New York and Miami.
“Rome” If You Want To
“Each of our hotels provides a true sense of place where guests may experience local customs and traditions, such as cooking classes with our Italian chefs where they discover the distinct culinary delights of each Italian region, and tours tailor-made to bring the magic of each destination to life,” says Guido. “Thanks to Baglioni’s exclusive partnership with Dream&Charme, we offer guests incredible access to the best of Italian culture.”
The 6-night Baglioni Tour allows guests the opportunity to experience five Baglioni Hotel properties in Milan (Baglioni Hotel Carlton), Venice (Baglioni Hotel Luna), Florence (Relais Santa Croce), Punta Ala (Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto) and Rome (Baglioni Hotel Regina). Each property offers Signature Experiences unique to the destination. For example, in Venice guests take a private tour of 16th century estates, including Doge’s Palace and its Piombi attic prison and Bridge of Sighs. Later guests enjoy dinner in the palatial home of an Italian aristocratic family along the Grand Canal. Milan’s Signature Experience delves into the history of Italian design with a private tour of one of the city’s notable design showrooms. While in Florence, guests go on a guided wine tour and tasting at a Tuscan vineyard and then attend an Italian cooking class. However, Punta Ala’s wine experience goes one step further. After spending the afternoon with exclusive wine maker Rocca di Frassinello, guests blend their own bottle of wine that they will receive when they return home. In Rome, guests dine on dishes prepared by an Italian Michelin-starred chef in a private noble residence. Dinner is served with wines selected by an Italian sommelier. Rates in a Deluxe Double Room start at $2,283 per night and include daily breakfast, a welcome cocktail, a $55 credit per property and a farewell gift.
For guests looking to explore Rome at a faster pace, Baglioni Hotel Regina and Red Travel offer a Rome & Mille Miglia Ferrari Tour starting at $4,567, which includes two nights in a jr. suite or suite. The 1-day tour puts guests behind the wheel of the latest Ferrari models for a portion of a ride through Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany, Italy on an individually created itinerary. Rates start at $4,567.
Agents Make All the Difference
“Travel agents represent one of the most important sources of reservations for Baglioni Hotels, particularly in the United States, at around 30 percent of bookings,” says Guido. “We focus our efforts on cooperating with agents to satisfy their clients, who in turn are our guests.”
To facilitate this relationship, Baglioni Hotels, a member of Virtuoso, set in motion a number of initiatives to make agents’ lives easier. In addition to being able to choose a pre-packed Baglioni tour, agents can expedite the reservation process by creating a unique account where they can book and customize their clients’ stay. Baglioni Hotels also organizes FAMs and trainings, in addition to hosting webinars, for agents to learn about and experience the properties first-hand. “For us, the human relation is the key factor in maintaining a durable and fruitful relationship with agents, based on trust,” says Guido. Agents receive 15 percent commission on all suite bookings at any Baglioni Hotel now through Dec. 31, 2015 for travel until March 31, 2016 using the promo code S6. For more information, visit baglionihotels.com.