A Standard of Elegance

By Janet Steinberg

“It’s a world-class resort.”  “It’s a world-class hotel.” How many times have you read, or said, these words?  “World-class’ is perhaps the most overworked word in the travel world’s vocabulary,
What actually makes a great world-class hotel?  More than well-designed bricks, glass, and steel, more than “location, location, location”, the quintessential world-class hotel exudes distinctive character, unique personality, consistently superb service and the ability to stand the test of time.  The true world-class hotel will have you saying “I must return”.
Come along with me as we return to some of my favorite world-class hotels.

ALVEAR PALACE: One of the grandest hotels in all of South America, and voted one of the best hotels in the world, the Alvear Palace is the jewel in Buenos Aires’ crown.  Located in Recoleta, Buenos Aires’ most stylish neighborhood, the Alvear Palace is in a class of its own. A true palace and undisputed symbol of the Belle Époque, the Alvear Palace Hotel formally opened its doors in 1932.

This classic hotel is recognized worldwide for its unparalleled combination of elegance, hospitality, personalized service, and high technology.  Guests, mingling with famous personalities regularly fill the hotel lobby with a warm and memorable atmosphere. 
The majestic rooms and suites, as well as the lobby and other public areas, reflect the style of Louis XIV and Louis XVI. The historical furnishings, crystal chandeliers, golden walls and works of art transport visitors to another era and realm of elegance.
The hotel’s La Bourgogne, offering exquisite French cuisine, is considered the best restaurant in Buenos Aires and the only Relais Gourmand in Latin America. The Lobby Bar, a meeting point for members of Buenos Aires’ high society, is a cultural classic, named by the local government as “the notable Bar of the City of Buenos Aires.”  The new Cigar Bar, inspired by Art Deco design, was conceived for discerning connoisseurs.

CIPRIANI HOTEL/PALAZZO VENDRAMIN:  Entering the Cipriani Hotel, in Venice Italy, is like entering the elegant country estate of a gracious Italian family. The Cipriani (pronounced CHIP-ree-ani) is one of the few remaining hotels that still offer personal attention, unhurried luxury, tranquility, and service so efficient and so effortless that you hardly notice it.  It also offers the rare pleasure of having your face taken as your signature.
This paradise of romantic fountains encircled by enchanted gardens, the mysterious light of a lagoon, cerulean waters, green lawns, white awnings, and sea gulls, is a resort complete with Olympic size swimming pool, tennis court, health facilities, and a yacht harbor.
The restored 15th century Palazzo Vendramin, linked to the Hotel Cipriani through an ancient courtyard and flowered loggia, offers a sense of privacy and luxury that I have never before experienced anywhere in the world.
This tranquil oasis in the bustling city of Venice is la dolce vita…the sweet life. It is the perfect in perfection…the serene in serenity…the glitter in glitterati.  In this less than perfect world, perfection is the Hotel Cipriani.

View of Palazzo Vedramin Garden from Suite

Palazzo Vendramin/Cipriani Pool – Venice, Italy

Palazzo Vendramin Butler – Venice, Italy

TO BE CONTINUED………………………..