Beautiful hotels, but not necessarily luxurious, at least not in the more conventional sense of the term. Because, even for Michelin inspectors, the real added value is no longer the opulence of wealth, but the warmth of authenticity. This is therefore precisely the first criterion with which the 146 hotels awarded the prize were selected. first Italian Michelin guide dedicated to hotels.

A prize for truly special places

This was explained during an awards ceremony held at Luigi Rovati Foundation of MilanAnd Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide. “We also want to push our customers to places that are off the beaten track. We have many places that deserve to be known, we want to help make them more attractive,” he explained, stressing that the inspectors tried to reward that “something extra” capable of making this place truly unique and special, what Poullennec defined “the factor of uniqueness in the approach”.

The criteria for receiving the new Michelin Key

In the new Michelin Guide dedicated to the hotel industry, the recognition which takes the role of the now well-known “star” which has long rewarded the best catering is the “key”: it is the symbol of the most beautiful places to stay, divided, as is the case for restaurants, into three different categories. One key for places that offer a “special stay”, two for an “exceptional stay”, three for a “unique stay”.

Improving the culture of hospitality

The criteria with which Michelin inspectors selected the 146 addresses there are five included in the first Michelin guide of its kind, just as is the case for restaurants. “It’s still a work in progress,” Poullennec is keen to explain, making a comparison with the best-known guide dedicated to the best restaurants in Italy and the world, now a universal criterion for evaluating the best gastronomic addresses.

“Every day we find and will find new places that will enter our selection, and often we will find others that will be deleted: everything is done so that we promote the really best places. We seriously believe that there are different cultures of hospitality and we want to try to highlight them all. »

That extra touch that makes a stay memorable

The five elements that contribute to the evaluation of award-winning restaurants are – explains Poullennec – “universal”: the first is that hotels are not simple addresses, but an invitation to discover the destination. “We want them to be a door to understanding the place where they are, they must have a link with the territory,” explains Poullennec.

The second is that they reflect excellence in terms of architecture and interior design: “it doesn't matter whether they have WiFi or the size of the TV in the room. The important thing is the human touch which allows you to personalize the environment and the furniture.”

Then come “the quality and solidity of the service, comfort and maintenance” and the “consistency between the price and the experience offered”. Finally, the last criterion is singularity which reflects personality and authenticity. “What makes a hotel truly memorable,” summarizes Poullennec.

A moment from the awards ceremony, which took place in Milan

The 146 Italian hotels awarded the Michelin Key

In total, 146 hotels have received the Michelin Key. Most (107) receives one key, while in 31 they receive two keys. Instead I'm alone eight hotels that meet in the Michelin Olympus hotel in this first edition of the Guide: a handful of addresses receive three keys, of which – as expected – also Casa Maria Luigia, the structure created by chef Massimo Bottura and his wife Lara Gilmorewho received this recognition visibly moved.

Sea view, on the hills, in the aristocratic palaces: the structures

The others are the JK Place Capri, an elegant beachfront boutique hotel, located on a cliff overlooking the harbor of Marina Grande; THE St. Peter of Positanoperched on a cliff on the Amalfi Coast; Court of Majesty, a charming hotel in the medieval village of Civita di Bagnoregio; THE Reschio Castle, in Lisciano Niccone, located in a vast estate among the picturesque hills of Umbria; THE Castiglion Del Bosco in rosewoodin Montalcino, in an agricultural estate of 2000 hectares which also includes a cellar and a Michelin-starred restaurant and theAman Venice, a meticulously preserved Renaissance palace in Venice. Also in the same city Palais Vendramina 15th century aristocratic residence inserted in the Cipriani Hotel, Belmond, receives the award Three Michelin keys.

One of the most awarded regions is Tuscany (Getty)

The most awarded regions

In the Michelin Keys ranking by region, Tuscany stands out with 32 hotels (1 three Keys, 7 two Keys, 24 one Key), followed by Campania with 18 (2 three Keys, 5 two Keys, 11 one Key), while on the third step of the podium we find Lazio with 17 hotels ( 1 three Keys Keys, 2 two keys, 14 one key). At the foot of the podium are Lombardy (7 due Chiavi, 9 una Chiave) and Trentino Alto Adige (4 due Chiavi, 12 una Chiave) tied with 16 awarded hotels.

It is also worth mentioning the city of Venice, which includes two of the eight hotels awarded three Michelin keys.

After France, the United States (Atlanta, California, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, New York, Washington DC), Spain and Italy, the Michelin Keys will be announced in Japan on July 4, 2024. Other destinations will follow throughout the year.

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