A select group of Australian travel advisors ventured to Europe recently for the first educational hosted by the new luxury offering on Italy’s Amalfi Coast – Borgo Santandrea.
After two nights at Borgo Santandrea, the group ventured by ferry to Ischia, the lesser-known Italian island to unlock San Montano Resort & Spa, then flew from Naples to Nice to conclude their experience in the iconic Hotel Belles Rives on the French Riviera.
Borgo Santandrea, Amalfi
Borgo Santandrea opened in 2022 and has quickly become an icon of the Amalfi Coast.
Occupying a privileged position, nestled 90 metres above sea level, the resort-style hotel features 29 rooms and 16 suites that offer uninterrupted views of one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Borgo Santandrea overlooks the centuries-old fishing village of Conca de Marini, and is just a few minutes from Amalfi. The one-of-a-kind property also features a private beach for guests, complete with beach club and pier for complimentary boat transfers to Amalfi.
While staying at this incredible hotel, the travel advisors enjoyed a ceramic-making class in Amalfi, by the designer of many of the pieces which adorn the hotel rooms and restaurants.
The group were in the excellent hands of GM Maurizio Orlacchio and Director of Sales Antonella Gatto. But perhaps the most popular member of the Borgo
Santandrea team was chef Crescenzo Scotti – a highlight of a stay at this property is without question the breakfast, along with the degustation menu at La Libreria, a gourmet restaurant.
Ischia was voted by Travel + Leisure as the World’s Best Island in 2022, and in even better news, the building regulations are extremely restricted, so visitors will not see an influx of new hotels on the volcanic island, known for thermal springs, health retreats, hiking and wineries.
It remains a much more relaxed and quiet alternative to Amalfi, or its more famous neighbour, Capri. San Montano Resort & Spa was the luxe launchpad for the group to explore the island, including visits to Ischia Ponte’s Old Town, Aragonese Castle & La Mortella Gardens.
A visit to one of the many local wineries for lunch was a hit, and the group made sure there was time to enjoy the resort’s thermal pools!
Hotel Belles Rives, Antibes Juan-les-Pins, French Riviera
The last stop on the journey was the legendary Hotel Belles Rives on the French Riviera, after a ferry from Ischia to Naples, then flying to Nice.
The Belles Rives is laden with history and played a large role in forming what the Riviera has become today. Nods to the property’s storied history are found throughout, notably the newly renovated Fitzgerald’s Bar – named after tenants of the property before it became a hotel in 1920 – F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
The group enlisted the expertise of luxury DMC and small group tour operator Andy Swann Voyage for a tour on Antibes, which included visits to the Provincial Market and Picasso Museum – located in Grimaldi Castle – which housed the prolific artist’s studio in 1946.
The charming Francois Gelly, Director of Sales at the Belles Rives was on hand to ensure the group enjoyed every minute of their Riviera stay, including a celebratory dinner on the terrace at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant – La Passagere.
For further enquiries on the properties, contact Craig Farrell at La Collection: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0437788661.
Lead image: Participants at Hotel Belles Rives, from left to right, are: Craig Farrell, La Collection; Lena Nielson, Smartflyer; Sally Cornell, Jigsaw Travel; Francois Gelly, Belles Rives; Jennie Lemon, Travelcall; Gabrielle Thackray, Wentworth Travel; Phil Smethurst, Bicton Travel and Skye Kirne, Skye Travel.
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