I revel in the chance to truly dress up in my beloved designer clothes and fabulous Christian Louboutin’s and not feel like I’m trying too hard to impress, or perhaps just a little out of place. Often you find no matter the star of the hotel if it’s not in a chic European city then glamorous style and sophistication is completely lost on some guests. So, it’s a delight to find a true five-star hotel that perfectly combines a bit of old-world Hollywood glamour with faultless Italian style and finesse, and the Grand Hotel & La Pace has this in spades. This royal jewel in the spa town of Montecatini Terme is truly one of the most beautiful hotels in the world, surrounded by a centuries-old park, it’s no wonder the whole world wants to visit this magical place where history meets the Italian tradition of great hospitality.
Bathed in sunshine, the Sicilian lemon façade of this grand hotel oozes class; its elegant tall windows with Juliette balconies surrounded by luscious green fronds of palms would not look out of place on the 1950’s silver screen. And unsurprisingly many film stars and royalty have stayed here including Prince Ranieri and Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, the former Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson, and many more. A regular guest at this grandiose establishment was a fabulous French designer: Christian Dior, who sadly also died here, and in memory of him, the hotel has created the beautiful new Dior Suite, which offers the ultimate in style and luxury with finishes and color schemes unique to him.
As you enter the hotel you are met with an ostentatious and ornate reception area with charming staff ready to escort you to your room, nothing is too much trouble. The Grand Hotel & La Pace has 87 rooms and 23 suites each with its own style and charm. Choose between a Classic, Deluxe, or Family Room or a more luxurious Junior, Senior, Dior, Executive or Presidential Suite. As you would imagine all the rooms and suites offer the last word in style and glamour, from gilt-edged … well everything, to sparkling crystal chandeliers, fairytale four-posters, and rich fabrics and drapes as well as more modern style rooms with vibrant color schemes and striking design, every detail has been chosen to ensure perfect harmony between style and comfort.
The Grand Hotel & La Pace has a beautiful outdoor pool, split into two sections that surround a central Jacuzzi, as well as a tennis court and the whole property is surrounded by a huge private park, a real oasis of peace and relaxation. If you are seeking rest and rejuvenation then the newly built “La Pace Balance Spa” on the first floor offers you 800 sq.m. of tranquillity with a heated indoor pool, seven luxurious treatment rooms, a spa suite for couples treatments, Rasul Chamber, relax lounges, fitness center and separate exercise room for aerobics and stretching. In addition to these excellent facilities, the hotel can cater to your business needs with six meeting rooms that can host up to 350 people and it can put together the event of your dreams in its majestic frescoed halls or in the enchanting private park. The hotel also offers: spacious private parking; 24-hour concierge, 24-hour security safe, 24-hour room service, VIP services (including private luxury car hire), babysitting and childcare services, personal trainer, bike rentals, personal shopping service, and your four-legged friends are even welcome here too!
The hotel’s restaurants and bars are found within elegant halls and they each offer sophisticated cuisine, authentic Italian flavors, and the very best ingredients. Le Magnolie Restaurant creates exquisite Tuscan and International dishes paired with prestigious wines from the region. The more casual Grill Restaurant offers an alfresco Italian barbeque dining experience beside the pool while Cafè Liberty, the hotel’s American bar, offers delicious light refreshments and snacks or you can simply enjoy bubbles or a delicious glass of cool, crisp white in the sunshine at the poolside bar. Outside the hotel, you can also walk to a number of great restaurants in Montecatini Terme and the hotel is more than happy to make recommendations according to your preferences. Dining tip: enjoy delicious Italian cuisine and hospitality at Enoteca da Giovanni and Cascina.
The hotel is quite a tourist destination in itself, combining a story of history and art as two important art nouveau maestros created the stunning frescos and architectural styles throughout this structure that was designed and built-in 1870. Nearby you will find plenty of fascinating sights including Florence (which is a 30-minute taxi ride away for just €30 EUR), Lucca, Vinci and the Montecatini Spa, known for the healing properties of its famous waters (tip: the hotel offers special treatment packages at the spa, just ask for details) and the picturesque village of Montecatini Alto is just a few minutes in a funicular away. There’s excellent shopping to enjoy in the area and if you want to play a few rounds during your stay, the hotel offers its guests a 40% discount at the Montecatini Golf Club.
So if you like grand, Italian style mixed with beautiful people-watching in glamorous surroundings then the Grand Hotel & La Pace is the perfect destination for you, its upscale luxury and comfort with impeccable hospitality and service will leave you wanting for nothing. The surrounding large green spaces make it perfect for a family holiday as well as a couples’ escape and its location makes it the perfect base to explore this historic and beautiful area – need I say any more?
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