Authentic has become a travel buzzword in recent years, as visitors increasingly seek unique and immersive experiences, the quest for what are true renovation itineraries as travelers re-evaluate what it is. must see and do, where to dine and, just as important, where to go. to stay. This quest for authenticity has meant, among other changes in travelers’ tastes, a renewed interest in hotels with strong ties to their local cultures, which can include historic structures and heritage properties, often owned in a way. independent.
If you are planning to travel to Italy in 2022 (or sooner), you can find some of the most enchanting sites of these sites by checking out the hotels that are part of the Autentico (authentic means authentic in Italian). Founded in 2015 by Beatriz Gimeno and Mario Cardone, who held management positions at iconic properties like Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole and Termi Manzi in Ischia, the 18-member network now includes locations ranging from the Italian Alps to coastal havens. like Amalfi and Sardinia. “We decided to form a group of properties that share certain values and characteristics,” explains Gimeno, explaining why she and Cardone launched Autentico. (The company provides sales and marketing representation to its members.)
Hotels must be owned by a family to be part of Autentico, says Gimeno. “In Italy, the majority are. But many don’t have the time to sell or promote themselves. Through our experience with luxury properties, we understood how these hotels work.
Properties should also offer a luxury level service (higher five-star or 4-star rating), a good location and wellness or fitness facilities, as well as slightly more intangible assets, such as the possibility of making customers feel at home and offering what Gimeno describes as a “wow experience”.
What impresses a guest varies, of course, and many hotels can put together memorable experiences, but Autentico members come up with some tempting deals. With a stay at the new five-star Borgo Santandrea on the Amalfi Coast, you can spend an afternoon on the property’s private sandy beach (a nice bonus as some of the coast’s beaches are pebble) after taking a boat to the Grotta dello Smeraldo. If you go to Relais Il Falconiere & Spa in Cortona, Tuscany, a 17th century winery and home of the Baracchi family, winemakers for five generations, you can take a cooking class with Silvia Baracchi, an accomplished chef whose restaurant has recently received a Michelin star. In Genoa, while staying at the Grand Hotel Savoia, the hotel could organize a very special afternoon tea – with a marquess at Palazzo Cattaneo-Adorno, one of the Rolli palaces designated as a World Heritage Site.
In addition to offering a range of urban and rural destinations, Autentico offers a choice of small and large properties. For example, the Martius Private Suites in Rome has eight accommodation units, while the Grand Hotel Savoia in Genoa has 117 rooms. Autentico’s newest member, the 19th-century Grand Hotel et Di Milan, is one of the largest hotels in the collection, with 95 rooms and suites and a multi-level history that reflects the city’s rich cultural heritage. . The location can’t be beat – it’s a short walk from the Quadrilatero d’Oro, or Golden Quadrilateral shopping district, full of shops from the best Italian labels, the famous Galleria and Teatro La Scala. With such proximity to the grand opera, it’s no surprise that composer Giusppe Verdi and legendary soprano Maria Callas stayed here.
Before the pandemic, Gimeno said the majority of Autentico’s clientele came from abroad. This year, she said hotels had “a lot of domestic customers, as well as customers from Central and Eastern Europe and France. The figures were good for European travelers, as many of them were able to come by car, ”she explains. But she was also happy to see that the hotels had “more Americans than expected, who traveled to the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany and Rome.” In general, it was a good summer, even for city halls, with some establishments reaching the records they set in 2019. ”
To help further personalize the guest experience, Gimeno says that Autentico is working on a set of routes that take into account the different locations of the hotel. “We call them inspirations,” she says. “They can be changed according to the needs of the traveler. Soon we will be launching the routes of the winter season in cities and mountains.
Gimeno says that in the future Autentico’s goal is to remain a manageable size. “We don’t want it to be too big,” she said. The maximum (20 to 25 properties) would be ideal. We want to be big enough but small enough to provide great destination services.