We think we've found a hotel that Kim Kardashian probably won't be booking anytime soon... The luxury Hotel Byron in Italy has reportedly issued a ban on selfies.
The five-star hotspot in Tuscany is a favourite with other stars, however, and has decided to wage war on selfies in a bid to protect those treasured celebrity guests and their privacy.
The upmarket hotel, in the coastal resort of Forte dei Marmi, has played host to the likes of Naomi Campbell, Daniel Craig and Donatella Versace.
Its manager, the suitably named Mr Salvatore Madonna, says celebrities are becoming increasingly vexed about the idea of other guests capturing them in the backdrop of their own selfie, and sharing the pictures on social media.
The hotel has now posted signs banning selfies across the hotel, including in its gardens, pool, and restaurant.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Madonna reportedly said it was supermodel Naomi Campbell who first voiced her concerns about inadvertently ending up in someone's holiday selfie.
He said: "She wanted us to confiscate the mobile phones of all our guests, but I explained that I was not able to do that.
He then decided, however, to impose the ban on selfies. He added: "We are not going to be all Taliban about this. If a couple or a family take a selfie and there is no one famous behind them, we won't say anything. But (celebrity guests) come here for peace and privacy and we do our best to provide it for them."
The Independent reports that the ban also applies to celebrities themselves.
Guests must now sign a "good taste" agreement upon arrival, stipulating leaving selfie sticks at reception, and turning off mobile phones at dinner.
According to the paper, Salvatore added: "The ban is designed not just to protect the image of celebrities. Above all, the intention is to limit their excessive use and to encourage respect for other people."
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Italy holidays 2015: What's new and exciting?
Luxury Italy hotel bans selfies to 'protect' celebrity guests
This spring, adventure company Exodus is running a new walking tour of the beautiful Cinque Terre and Portofino, providing the perfect opportunity to seesome of Italy's most beautiful coastline at snail's pace.The tour includes a section of the famous Ligurian Blue Path which takes you through terraced vineyards and olive groves on old mule tracks. From £999 per person, including flights, tour leader and accommodation in the seaside town of Moneglia. First departure: 15 May 2015.
Citalia is featuring the four star Rosa Marina in Puglia for the first time. A great option for families, this resort offers a rarity in Italy: an all-inclusive option. The private sandy beach is just 300 metres away and can be reached by a charming little train or walk through the picturesque gardens. A week for a family of three starts from £1,399 including A 20 per cent early booking discount, flights and breakfast.
The five-star Hotel Villa Michelangelo in Vicenza has a treat in store for wine buffs with a new tasting package. Sample all sorts of delicacies from the Veneto region, from excellent Merlot, Red Tai and Black Pinot to DOP cheese including Grana Padano and the region’s popular extra virgin Euganei-Berici olive oil. An overnight stay package includes a gourmet tasting meal for two with accompanying regional wines from £212.
Take to two wheels and cycle from Pisa to Florence with Explore, on an easy eight-day tour through the Tuscan landscapes. Pedal through the heart of Pisa, past the leaning tower, follow the Serchio River to the charming town of Lucca and discover the small village of Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo. Departures from 1 March to November 2015 from £655.
The Grand Hotel Parkerin Naples is luring guests with a promising new star-gazing package this year. E accendiamo le stelle (or 'turn the stars on’) will allow guests to take in the glory of the starry vault on Naples Bay in complete darkness (all lights will be off), with telescopes provided. Watch out for a flurry of shooting stars called ‘Nessun Dorma’ ('none shall sleep') during these special nights. June-September prices start at £485 for two nights. Visit slh.com.
Italian specialist To Tuscanyhas added more than 100 properties to its collection for 2015. Check out Sesta Di Mezzo 10, a villa in its own grounds near Gaiole in Chianti which sleeps up to 12 and boasts beautiful rural views and a large pool. It has good availability for spring/summer 2015, with a week starting from £4,259. To Tuscany also has a range of value-for-money smaller properties that are well worth checking out.
The trendy Falkensteiner Hotel and Spa Jesolo is all set to open in March, bringing a touch of designer chic and glamour to this popular resort on Italy’s Adriatic coast.The hotel design claims to be "an enchanting homage to the glorious Italian seaside resorts of yesteryear, bringingthe glamour and flair of Miami to the Adriatic," and will boast indoor and outdoor pools and beach house, and spa, all created under the watchful eye of top designers.
A stylish trullo in Puglia is one of several new properties offered by hand-picked accommodation website Further Afield. The newly renovated Trullo Terrabronzato, pictured, near the ancient town of Cisternino, is a traditional 17th century Puglian dwelling complete with private pool and surrounded by olive groves and orchards. Prices from £1,500 per week. Sleeps up to six.
Exploreis featuring an Amalfi Coast Trail for 2015. This easy-to-moderate graded walking tour, which costs from £500 per person, will have you hiking clifftops and coves on the Sorrento peninsula and exploring the backstreets of Amalfi while admiring the beautiful scenery of the Bay of Naples. Other Italian walks worth checking out include a Dolomites Hiking trip, which offers eight days of moderate-to-challenging walking from £715 per person.
Citalia’s Italian cities new programme sees the addition of the five-star St Regis San Clemente Palace in Venice. Located on its own 17-acre private island, this former 17th century monastery has been beautifully renovated. The resort offers complimentary private transfer to the main Piazza San Marco, A four night stay for two starts £965 per person including one free night.
Luxury Italy hotel bans selfies to 'protect' celebrity guests
Dating back to the year 998, Castello di Casole is an all-suite castle set amidst 4,200 Tuscan countryside. A member of the Preferred Hotel Group, the private estate's 41 suites range in size and style to accommodate the unique needs and tastes of guests, and feature fabrics, fixtures and furnishings from the most acclaimed designers in Italy. In addition to a luxury spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre and fine dining outlets, the hotel offers guests, especially travelling families, an inspirational range of activities, including Italian language classes with local teachers and pizza making and ceramic painting workshops. Guests shouldn't miss exploring the local countryside by bike or relaxing by the pristine pool terrace.
A stunning five-star hotel in the village of Ravello on Italy's famed Amalfi coast, Palazzo Avino was built in a 12th century private villa and is perched high on the cliffs 1,000ft above the Mediterranean. Part of the Preferred Hotel Group, it boasts Michelin-starred restaurant Rossellinis, 32 rooms and 11 suites, as well as a staff to guest ratio of 2 to 1, a private beach club offering full sea access and even a limousine and helicopter service. During their stay, guests are encouraged to explore the area's natural beauty, rugged and dramatic cliffs, and clear waters.
Originally designed in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi, the architect of the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, The St. Regis Florence, formerly the Grand Hotel, was the first luxury hotel in Florence and is considered to be one of the most significant buildings in the city for its artistic and historical value. The hotel features 81 luxury rooms and 19 suites, including a spectacular designer suite by Bottega Veneta. Reflecting Florence’s rich artistic heritage, all the hotel’s rooms and suites feature individually hand-carved gold leaf plaques including one of three different colour palettes - Medici, Florentine and Renaissance. With each design concept offering a unique selection of custom designed furniture, paintings, frescos and crystal chandeliers, the hotel creates a sophisticated sense of relaxed opulence. In honour of Florence and its traditions, every room is named after noted Italian artists, benefactors and nobility.
Set in the heart of the romantic city of Verona, Palazzo Victoria offers discerning travellers a luxe and intimate city centre bolthole. Built on Medieval and Roman ruins which have been carefully preserved and featured throughout the property, the hotel blends its rich heritage with seamless service, first-rate technology and bespoke amenities. The internal garden complete with columns and courtyard furniture gives Palazzo Victoria an al-fresco ambience, and the Victoria Club - the hotel’s vibrant concept bar – offers a vast selection of cocktails, wines and apéritifs to be enjoyed against a backdrop of Veronese décor and live jazz music.
Located on the Italian Riviera and seen as one of the most luxurious hotels in Italy, Hotel Splendido, part of the Belmond Collection, is set in the hills of the picture perfect Portofino harbour and boasts panoramic views over the town and bay. The hotel has 69 rooms and suites, and one part of the hotel is a former 16th century monastery. All rooms are sumptuously decorated, many with private terraces looking out onto the Riviera. Guests can relax in the saltwater heated swimming pool, rent the hotel's private motorboat or indulge in the various spa treatments.
Experience spa heaven at Adler Thermae in Tuscany, which combines nature with modern architecture, Italian nonchalance and international luxury for a stylish-casual holiday atmosphere. Home to thermal water charged with healing powers, the resort offers guests indoor and outdoor thermal pools, a freshwater sports pool and a children's pool with thermal water. It's the ideal place to relax and soak up the natural setting on a spa break.
Cristallo Hotel Spa & Golf is a historical hotel situated in the picturesque town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy’s top mountain resort, and beautifully positioned in the breathtaking UNESCO World Natural Heritage Dolomites. The hotel has 75 bedrooms and offers a wide range of activities and facilities including a huge beauty and wellness area, a dedicated fitness club, kids' facilities and four stunning restaurants serving gourmet dining and traditional Cortina cuisine.
Built in 1568, the iconic Villa d’Este is a legendary and elegant hotel favoured by royalty, Hollywood starlets, musicians, writers and discerning travellers. Situated on the shores of Lake Como, and surrounded by 25 acres of verdant park land and renowned beautiful gardens, the hotel offers a romantic and unique setting. The 152 guest rooms are individual in size and décor, furnished with a combination of exquisite antiques and modern amenities. The Villa d’Este Sporting Club offers a fabulous selection of in-door and outdoor activities including a heated pool floating on the lake. While for dining guests can choose from three elegant restaurants.
Facing the majestic Santa Maria della Salute and steps from Piazza San Marco and La Fenice Theatre, The Gritti Palace was transformed into its current Gothic shape in 1475 and became the private residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti, in 1525. In the centuries that followed, it was home to other noble families before being converted into a luxury hotel in 1895. The luxury hotel features 61 rooms and 21 sumptuous suites, including suites with impressive canal views. The unique two-story Redentore Terrazza Suite boasts an intimate reception room, a spacious bedroom, a living room with dining area, and a spectacular rooftop terrace featuring a spa pool, entertaining spaces and extraordinary panoramic views of the lagoon and the city.
A place of unmatched beauty where time stands still in unrelenting Italian tradition, Borgo Egnazia is based on an traditional Italian village and consists of luxury hotel rooms, individual town houses packed full of Italian charm and large private self-catering villas. The design of the accommodation and interior is inspired by nearby hillside towns and blends in perfectly with the surrounding nature of Puglia. With an indoor pool, exclusive spa experiences, an 18-hole golf course and wonderful hikes along the Apulian coastline to charming Polignano, guests - and especially families - are spoilt for choice. Borgo Egnazia owns a private beach club offering different watersport options, including kite-surfing for the adventurous, as well as sailing in laser class dinghies and canoeing.
Located on the famous Amalfi drive, just a few minutes away from the charming town of Amalfi, Hotel Santa Caterina enjoys a panoramic coastal setting of incomparable beauty. The hotel is nestled in the coast line and includes an extensive property, which begins along the Amalfi drive and stretches down to the water on a series of landscaped natural terraces. The 67 rooms and suites are individually decorated, incorporating antique hand-painted majolica floor tiles and classic Italian interior design, while reflecting the traditional Mediterranean architecture. Private balconies and terraces offer jaw-dropping vistas of the Mediterranean Sea or botanical gardens of the hotel. There is a private Beach Club with a large pool located at sea level which guests can reach through a glass elevator, offering a grand view over the Mediterranean sea and the coastline. It is one of the very few five-star hotels on the Amalfi coast where guests have private, direct access to the sea.
This meticulously restored 15th-century villa turned luxury retreat boasts lavishly decorated interiors with marble fireplaces, plush leather furniture and Renaissance-inspired artwork. Trendy lovers of Tuscany can enjoy handmade Tuscan linens, sit-down rain showers, plasma televisions and in-room bars at Il Salviatino. The expansive villa suites include private conservatories, rooftop Jacuzzis and sunken stone baths. Guests can indulge in daytime extravagances such as spa treatments and fireside Champagne toasts, while at night, they can enjoy excursions to stylish hotspots in the Florence city centre, just a quick drive away.
Owned by film director Francis Ford Coppola, Palazzo Margherita in the little-known town of Bernalda, Basilicata, is a converted 19th century palazzo which offers a luxurious yet authentic Italian experience for guests to enjoy palatial comfort. Dining at the hotel is a unique experience, inspired by regional Italian cuisine and prepared by chefs versed in the traditions of home cooking. The interior gardens feature lush, semi-tropical plantings, a magnificent fountain and a private swimming pool, and in the evenings the Palazzo’s salon becomes a private screening theatre where you can enjoy Francis’ personally-curated collection of 300 classic Italian films and documentaries.
Located in the historical centre of Florence, just a few steps from the Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signoria, the Cathedral and Palazzo Pitti, Hotel Continentale is a glamorous boutique design hotel which revisits the vibrant style and spirit of the '50s. The newest feature is the roof terrace La Terrazza Continentale is stylish and modern with beautiful soft colours and wood flooring, heated benches and a stunning open fire, allowing the terrace to stay open all year, with breath-taking views overlooking the River Arno and the Ponte Vecchio. The hotel has a beautiful small city spa, White Iris Beauty, located in the Medieval Tower and consisting of three treatment rooms.
A former watchtower for the Knights of Malta dating back to the 15th century, Masseria San Domenico is a family owned five-star deluxe resort that champions the timeless benefits of thalassotherapy and the healthy attributes of classical Mediterranean diet. Located among centurion olive groves in picturesque Puglia, just 500m from the Adriatic coast, the lovingly restored Masseria San Domenico offers boutique-style intimacy with first class facilities. It features 47 rooms and suites and a pioneering Thalassotherapy Spa, as well as a lovely beach, two tennis courts, a modern gym and a challenging 18-hole golf course.
Gran Meliá Rome is set on the banks of the River Tiber, at the heart of the cultural and entertainment attractions of Rome. It features 116 bedrooms laid out over eight floors, each featuring a different artistic theme following masterpieces by The Grand Masters, whose originals are exhibited at the gallery in Villa Borghese. It is housed in the historical Villa Agrippina, which once belonged to the Roman empress, mother of the Emperor Nero. The rich history blends seamlessly with elegant interiors which balance traditional luxury with sophisticated avant garde flair. The hotel boasts extensive landscaped gardens, impressive pools and a YHI Wellness centre, as well as the RedLevel floor, offering suites with panoramic views, terrace and private whirlpools.
Run by the same family since 1834, Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is one of Italy’s finest hotels, where each room is filled with history and extremely rare art, as well as furniture from Belle Epoque to Art Nouveau and original fin-de-siècle ceilings. Set in a unique location in Sorrento, overlooking the Gulf of Naples, the luxury hotel offers the charming Bar Vittoria with breathtaking views and two restaurants: Terrazza Bosquet Seafront Restaurant and L’Orangerie poolside bar and restaurant. There is a stunning white marble swimming pool with Jacuzzi and five acres of lush Mediterranean garden made for pleasant walks in the shade.
Ideal for couples looking for a romantic seaside escape, Hotel Capo d’Orso is set on the Sardinian island of La Maddalena. The exclusive hotel boasts private surroundings, providing an idyllic getaway for couples and honeymooners seeking a relaxing break with high quality service and facilities. Soak up the Sardinian sun on the hotel’s own beachside jetty, share a sundowner cocktail on the terrace overlooking the sea and indulge in alfresco dining surrounded by wild olive groves and juniper. Guests can savour Sardinian cuisine in the hotel's two restaurants and facilities include an open-air gym, diving centre, inflatable boat rental, tennis and horseriding.
A stone’s throw from Florence’s magnificent Duomo, Hotel Brunelleschi enjoys one of the best locations in the city, with many of its 96 rooms and suites benefiting from stunning views over the city’s iconic landmarks. The decadent Tower Suite sits atop the oldest building in town, a brick stronghold constructed in the sixth century to defend Florence from the Goths. Onate mirrors, chandeliers and oak floors create a sleek, intimate yet historic atmosphere. With most of the major museums and galleries within walking distance, there’s plenty of time to sample the chef's award-winning homemade ice-cream or flick through Dan Brown’s books Da Vinci Code and Inferno, which reference the hotel in their final pages. Chef Simone Bertaccini proposes pure flavours of Italy in the chic Santa Elisabetta Restaurant, while the Osteria della Pagliazza serves a rich list of traditional Tuscan recipes, which can be savoured alfresco on the piazza during the summer months.
Dating back to 1910, Grand Hotel Tremezzo is one of the oldest luxury hotels on Lake Como. It commands one of the most enchanting positions on the lake, with exquisite panoramic views of the town of Bellagio, the Riviera delle Azalle and the stunning Grigne Mountains. Art Nouveau in style and decoration, the historic hotel has 92 rooms and suites, each offering breathtaking views of the stunning surroundings. The exclusive Rooftop Floor is stylishly designed by Italian designer Venelli Kramer and the lavishly-appointed suites each come with their own private panoramic terraces, outdoor heated Jacuzzis and butler service. The hotel has three swimming pools: Water On the Water – a floating pool just in front of the private beach, Flowers Pool – a pool surrounded by its own delightful private gardens and the indoor T Spa Infinity Pool. Renowned Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi oversees the five upscale restaurants.