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New Hotels in Italy, California Target the Luxury Traveler

July 28, 2002|Jane Engle

Two intimate Italian villas, one in Venice, Italy, and one thousands of miles away in (surprise) Paso Robles, Calif., have opened with the same goal: to attract the luxury traveler.

In Venice, the 14-room Palazzo Sant' Angelo Sul Canal Grande is one of the city's few hotels with its main entrance on the Grand Canal and a private boat dock for guests. Built as a three-story, private palazzo in the 1940s, it was converted into a hotel by Italy's Sina Hotels company, a spokeswoman said.

Rooms, decorated in 18th century style with red and gold silk wall coverings, have modern technology: dataports, fax machines and satellite TV. Marble bathrooms include spa tubs.

The hotel is at San Marco 3488-3489. Room rates begin at about $210 (or $180 if booked on the Internet). (800) 448-8355, www.palazzosantangelo.com.

In Paso Robles, the eight-room Villa Toscana, which owners say is modeled after an Italian estate, opened this weekend at Martin & Weyrich Winery Estate Vineyards. Rooms include spa tubs, sitting rooms and balconies with views of the vineyards and countryside, plus beds outfitted with 700-thread count Italian linens. The largest is 3,500 square feet, with two bedrooms.

As one would expect in wine country, food is a major focus. There is a private restaurant on site, exclusive to guests. Room rates, from $320 to $1,600, include full breakfast, afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres and a bottle of wine upon arrival. (805) 238-5600, www.myvillatoscana.com.

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