April 1, 2010 "“ Orient-Express is pleased to announce the re-opening of the brand's Italian properties "“ Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Villa San Michele in Florence, and Hotel Caruso in Ravello. The hotels close each year at the end of October for renovations, re-opening at the beginning of April to welcome guests back to the timeless, beautiful properties, set against this picturesque backdrop of Italy's dramatic landscapes.
The 2010 season will also see the introduction of Orient-Express's exciting new additions to its Italian portfolio with the re-opening of Villa Sant'Andrea and Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina, Sicily. Upon acquisition, both historic properties were closed to upgrade key facilities, and will reopen to Orient-Express standards in late Spring 2010.
In honor of the re-opening of these six iconic hotels, Orient-Express has developed a package which allows guests to experience each Italian property at one flat rate. The Grand Tour package allows guests to purchase seven nights at any combination of the six hotels and build an itinerary to fit any schedule. When guests book at one of the new Sicilian properties, they will receive a guaranteed upgrade to a Junior Suite during their stay. Rates for this package start at Euro 4,830 for a double room (approximately USD $6,503*).
Each hotel offers innovative and enticing packages, such as the "Art of Seduction" classes offered exclusively at Hotel Caruso. Back by popular demand, this package features 'Dolce Vita Seduction' classes with Dr. Michele Fiorentino and 'Serenading' lessons with MÂ° Piero Flauto, local masters in the art of romance. Classes range from Euro 500 "“ 1,000 per person (approximately USD $673 – $1,346*).
The Villa San Michele Cookery School, geared towards aspiring chefs and gourmets, invites guests to participate in unique classes such as "A Symphony of Pastas for Three Authors". This class allows guests to discover the secrets of pasta "“ an Italian art in and of itself "“ and how to accompany pasta with a variety of ingredients. Executive Chefs from each of the Italian properties will help participants learn the varieties of pasta and how best to use them in both traditional and innovative recipes. Package rates are inclusive of three nights, regional wines, three lessons, and all necessary materials/ingredients. Rates start at Euro 1,914 (approximately USD $2,574) per person in a superior double room.