Starwood Preferred Guest - Luxury Collection in Greece or Italy???
May 16, 01, 9:10 am
The Mrs. and I are planning a vacation for later this year (We need to use up my Two Free Weekends http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/biggrin.gif) and we are looking at a couple of Luxury Collection Properties.
So far we have been seduced by the descriptions of the Santa Marina Hotel in Mykonos and the Villa Vedema Hotel in Santorini.
If we don't end up in Greece, the pictures and descriptions of the Cervo Hotel, Hotel Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Romazzino and the Hotel Pitrizza in Sardinia/Costa Smeralda, Italy look absolutely fantastic http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cool.gif
Has anyone stayed at any of these properties? Are they really as nice as they seem? What else is there to do around these properties besides lounging on the sand and working on our risk of Melanoma?
We will be traveling with the Pupster who will be around 10 months old at the time so any infant concerns (access to Diapers/Nappies, proximity to the airport/train station for ease of travel with baby stuff, etc.) are expecially appreciated. Thanks for any tips and/or suggestions.
The Villa Vedema in Santorini is nice, but not the best location. I opted to pay for an independent hotel(Homeric Poems) on the caldera overlooking the sunset and dormant volcano. It sits in walking distance of Fira.
Here's my trip report from last summer about the Hotel Romazzino. You might also consider Calle De Volpe; the only negative about that hotel is that you take a boat to the Romazzino's beach. THe architecture of the C de V was amazing, however.
The Hotel Romazzino was nestled in a beautiful setting along the Costa Smeralda. The gardens surrounding the hotel were lush and the emerald-green waters surreal. I've visited many beaches in Hawaii and the Caribbean, but the waters in Sardinia are way beyond compare. The room itself was kind of simple; but in fairness, they are described as simple on the Web site. The setting more than made up for it, though. All the rooms, even the supposed "Garden View" rooms have views of the ocean. The level of service was amazing, and the staff were all warm and friendly. The health club had all new equipment and a basket of luscious fruit so you could replace your glycogen stores after a workout. One word of warning: If you are paying for the room, the rates include meals. If you are using Starwood points, however (as we did) it will cost you $450 a day for meals (no beverages included). Ouch! We opted to use the hotel's mountain bikes (complimentary) and eat at a wonderful pizzeria that was a 10-minute bike ride away. The other days we rented a car and sampled area restaurants.
You should also know that I picked this hotel based on the answer posed to a Starwood Concierge: "What do you think is the nicest hotel in the Starwood chain?"
The hotels on Costa Smerelda were his immediate answer...
May 16, 01, 6:53 pm
Originally posted by lkuby:
If you are using Starwood points, however (as we did) it will cost you $450 a day for meals (no beverages included). Ouch!
$450/day!!!! Not that it would make a difference, but is $450/day per person or per room. Either way, $450/day for food is well beyond our budget for daily caloric intake. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/eek.gif http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/eek.gif
Originally posted by lkuby:
..and eat at a wonderful pizzeria that was a 10-minute bike ride away. The other days we rented a car and sampled area restaurants.
What were prices like eating away from the hotel? Were they also in the $450/day league, or something more attainable for us mere financial mortals? Price ranges would be helpful in planning our budget.
[This message has been edited by onedog (edited 05-16-2001).]
We were totally flabbergasted by the $450 a day. For most of their guests, meals are included; if you're there on Starpoints meals are not included. But like I said, we found wonderful, inexpenisve alternatives, including a lovely pizzeria (pasta, seafood, the works) that was a 10-minute drive away. There were lots and lots of restaurants in all price ranges a 10-15 minute drive away.
Don't let the meal situation at the hotel turn your eye away from the unparalled beauty of the place. And I cannot speak more highly about the level of service at the hotel!
May 18, 01, 4:48 pm
I stayed at the Santa Marina property in Mykonos last summer and would would rate it about a 3 star property by US standards.
We took the new 2 BR Villas w/pool(there were 4 of us). They were a little inconvenient and oddly constructed.
The Hotel is far enough out of town that it is fairly quiet for sleeping (I've stayed in town and the noise can be unbearable)yet fairly accessible to town by cab or hotel shuttle bus(about 20 min drive-definitely not a walk). I don't know of a better resort property on Mykonos but I won't give Santa Marina rave reviews either. My impression was that this is a property that comes across much better on the internet and in brochures.
(Sardinia is very beautiful and VERY expensive)
[This message has been edited by Leisuremiles (edited 05-18-2001).]
May 19, 01, 8:03 pm
I was lucky enough to stay at the Pitrizzia in Sardinia for two weeks in August/Sep of last year. I used points for one week and paid for the second. The hotel has only 50 or so rooms and it is elegant and cloistered. The food is phenomenal in the $450 a day for two includes all meals (NO drinks or gratuities included in this deal). Being a New Yorker, from Manhattan I am accustomed to spending the money on good food so I didn't have a problem with this. The second week with meals though did cost about $1400 per night for two of us without the star points. You will wait for nothing though as the service is among the finest in the world. This hotel IS a fabulous property if you can afford it.
The room looked out on the Water and we chartered a boat for a few days ($600 per day including captain and fuel). This was amazing as you can jet up to Corsica and various hidden coves and bays.
Starwoods hotels on Sardinia dont really care about the preferred guest program as people pay whatever they are charged and rooms in season are rarely empty. Bookings here are often made a year in advance and paid for as well. As a matter of fact, the Pitrizzia reserves two rooms overlooking the access road for it's starwood award guests! I would not suggest using your points here. But if you've got the money it is a great property.
Enjoy your Trip wherever you end up!