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Summit Hotels, Relais & Chateaux - France & Italy

Summit Hotels, Relais & Chateaux - France & Italy

Old Feb 1st, 2001, 12:35 PM
  #1  
Steve S.
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Summit Hotels, Relais & Chateaux - France & Italy

Doing my research for a 2 week trip to Southern France and Tuscany in Italy. Came across two groups so far: Summit Hotels, Relais & Chateaux.

I am looking for the cleanest, brightest, most spectacular accomodations. Money is not really an object here. My wife and I work all year so we can pamper ourselves for two weeks.

Can anyone recommend either of these two groups or perhaps other groups or individual accomodations that would work for a couple of 55 year olds.

THANKS!!
Steve
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 01:05 PM
  #2  
Patrick
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have stayed in several Summit Hotels which have mainly been nice, but not usually with a lot of "character". The only negative I have ever heard about the Relais & Chateaux hotels is that they are too expensive. Since this is not a concern with you, I'd stick with them if you want the comfort of dealing with a "chain". I can't imagine that you wouldn't be happy. But as some of them have a variety of accomodations, I would suggest you make it clear you want the nicest and/or largest rooms or suites.
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 01:14 PM
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Ann
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We have often used Relais & Chateaux when we want something special in France. They are all very individual places, but so far we have never been disappointed. They are undoubtedly expensive but we think they are worth it.
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 01:23 PM
  #4  
jan
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Steve, We have used the Relais & Chateaux group several times and have always enjoyed our accomodations. Not like using a chain because every place we have stayed in is quite individual but always very nice. Although the rates are usually on the high side we have always felt it was worth it. jwg
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 06:23 PM
  #5  
Tom
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We are trying a couple in Italy that come highly recommended (Il Falconaire and La Collegiata). Also found an interesting one at www.designhotels.com called Villa Fontelungo near Cortona.
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 06:24 PM
  #6  
Tom
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Oops - Relais Chateaux.
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 06:57 PM
  #7  
Rex
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Add also www.slh.com and www.grandes-etapes-francaises.com - - it may be that all ten of the properties in the Grandes Etapes are members of either Relais Chateaux or SLH. they are not mutually exclusive collections.

 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 07:23 PM
  #8  
Nancy
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Hi Steve,
I am also researching a trip to Tuscany. I would definately check out the Relais & Chateux website. I've stayed at some of their accomodations in the past and have found them to be top notch. The two we are considering for Tuscany are La Suvera and La Massa.

Happy Hunting!
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 10:23 PM
  #9  
Anna
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Definitely Relais et Chateaux! Summit properties can be a little haphazard, but R&C ones are always more intimate, with excellent food etc. Do take care on the size of your room - this can vary enormously. We tend to avoid booking the bottom category, you can often find yourselves in rooms that are filled with character, but tiny.

in the South of France, properties like La Reserve de Beaulieu and Chateau Eza are stunning! Desperately trying to get a room in the San Pietro (Amalfi Coast) in May, no luck yet, but I hear wonderful things about it! Enjoy!
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 10:23 PM
  #10  
Anna
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Definitely Relais et Chateaux! Summit properties can be a little haphazard, but R&C ones are always more intimate, with excellent food etc. Do take care on the size of your room - this can vary enormously. We tend to avoid booking the bottom category, you can often find yourselves in rooms that are filled with character, but tiny.

in the South of France, properties like La Reserve de Beaulieu and Chateau Eza are stunning! Desperately trying to get a room in the San Pietro (Amalfi Coast) in May, no luck yet, but I hear wonderful things about it! Enjoy!
 
Old Feb 2nd, 2001, 01:34 AM
  #11  
Mike
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I use Relais regularly, but I know nothing of Summit.

Relais is a marketing organisation rather than a chain - the hotels are independently owned. Fees for membership of R&C are very high (several $000 pa, I believe), which must influence the membership profile. In France particularly, a significant number of Michelin two and three star establishments are members - I would guess at half.

Use the website www.relaisetchateaux.fr to narrow down your selection. You could use www.michelin-travel.com and www.gaultmillau.fr as a further aid. I guess you will be familiar with Michelin - suffice it to say that their property descriptions are terse, but (I think) reliable. Gault Millau is much more garrulous and opinionated - it is widely respected in France, the "other" Michelin if you like. My French is 20 year old schoolboy standard, and I understand about 50%+, but it's still useful for me.

I guess you are doing Provence then Italy, and I can't help with specific property recommendations in that area. In SW France, I think you should look at Michel Bras (certainly in there fighting at the moment for the "best cook in France" championship belt) and my personal favourite, Les Loges de L'Aubergade, which Gault Millau slated last year; however, I had the single most inspiring meal of my life there (by some margin), deft, witty, supremely original, vibrantly tasty, and served with great charm and friendliness (a few years ago). Both hotels fall smack bang on "clean, bright" target as well, as long as you like modern rather than traditional furnishings. Les Loges is more intimate, in the middle of a rather dowdy village, but is an exciting combination of old and new.

Another controversial candidate would be Saint James - a very interesting property.

Last year I used SLH (in combination with this forum!!) for Northern Italy. Hindsight would take me to Il Sole di Ranco - see a post by Jan (?) from about Oct. I would have to say that the chosen hotel was good. I would also have to add that the best properties in R&C are definitely better.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2001, 03:12 PM
  #12  
Wendy
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My husband and I will be in the south of France during June.The Relais & Chateaux properties sound great.I would love to read all comments about any of these hotels in detail.What are the actual prices for a room per day?
Thank You ,Wendy
 
Old Feb 7th, 2001, 03:19 PM
  #13  
Rex
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Someone will criticize me for not giving you the room rate per day for every room in every R&C property, but you can browse for yourself at www.relaischateaux.com, Wendy.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2001, 04:48 PM
  #14  
Lori
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Highly recommend Relais & Chateaux. We've stayed at more than 60 of their hotels from the US and throughout Europe and have not been disappointed. We've stayed at some mentioned in the responses above---La Collegiata outside of San Gimignano was simply outstanding. They are a fairly recent edition to Relais & Chateaux. Il Sole di Ranco on Lago Maggiore is much more simpler--but the people couldn't be nicer (the chef's wife and family run the hotel). One of our favorites is Borgo Paraelios about an hour north of Rome--just like staying in some old Italian count's home. A driver will take you to/from Rome.

In Southern France, we've stayed at Oustau de Baumaniere (outstanding chef and the views of Les Baux at night are breathtaking), Chateau de la Chevre d'Or, and Chateau Rochegude. All were very nice, although the Chevre d'Or was a little off on our last visit. We also dined at Chateau Eza which was mentioned above, but it was not a Relais & Chateaux unless it was added in the 2001 edition. Restaurant had spectacular view--probably a little better than Chevre d'Or's.
 

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