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Orient-Express’ Four Italian Hotels Reopen

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Orient-Express has re-opened its collection of four Italian hotels for the 2009 season; each with a rejuvenated new element from refurbished rooms, to stylish new pool bar and spa treatments to uplift the senses.

In 2008, the legendary Hotel Cipriani by Orient-Express celebrated its 50th anniversary and started a three-phase renovation project, which included the refurbishment of bedrooms in the Redentore and San Giorgio wings. For 2009, a further 14 rooms have been refurbished in the San Marco wing, with views of the Antique Gardens of the property. The décor features traditional Venetian artisan crafts such as hand-made stuccos, Murano glass and fabrics by Fortuny and Rubelli. Bathrooms feature walk-in showers, Carrara marble and Byzantine-Venetian style mosaics.

Hotel Cipriani’s Casanova Wellness Centre has also been enlarged, featuring a new Sauna and Hammam, a couples massage room, an improved gym and a new hair salon. Bar Gabbiano, located next to the hotel’s famous swimming pool, has been transformed into the heart of the hotel, where guests and local Venetians can meet during summer evenings to enjoy live music and a lively atmosphere.

Many recognize the breathtaking vista from the swimming pool at Hotel Caruso by Orient-Express in Ravello, with its panoramic views across the Amalfi Coast. The experience is even more enjoyable this year as the hotel has introduced a new ‘pool concierge’ service. The service includes use of an ipod filled with music, fresh fruit and Evian water vaporizers. If guests feel the need for further relaxation, the new ‘Scent of Citrus’ spa treatment will help sooth the senses. It is a two hour treatment which begins with a reviving foot bath with essences of pink grapefruit and rosemary, followed by an all over body exfoliation with olive stones, neroli and bergamot. Oils and creams made with lavender, sandalwood and orange blossoms are then gently massaged into the skin using deep massage techniques, helping to restore the skin's natural balance and drain away toxins.

Villa San Michele by Orient-Express in Florence will continue to offer an array of cooking packages in the hotel’s impressive air conditioned cooking school, including ‘A Pasta Symphony for Three Authors’, ‘The Children’s Cooking School’ and regular lessons on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. New for 2009, the sommelier at Villa San Michele will offer wine tastings in the cellar on Wednesday and Friday, giving guests the opportunity to sample some of the best Tuscan wines.

Hotel Splendido by Orient-Express in Portofino has introduced a new spa treatment this year, incorporating the scents and essences of the lush nature surrounding the hotel. The ‘Splendido's Dream’ is a two hour ritual starting with a reviving foot bath with essences of chamomile and rosemary, followed by a de-stressing massage with lavender and rose. The body is then cocooned in an exfoliating treatment with aloe vera and olive stones, followed by a deep massage with geranium that helps to balance the body and lift the mood, while nourishing and regenerating the skin.

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