Arrival/Check-In: The five-star Brufani Palace is arguably the top hotel in Italy’s Umbria region, perched on the “balcony” of Perugia, with cinematic views of the city’s medieval rooftops and the undulating countryside beyond. Perhaps because it was low season the desk staff didn’t have anything better to do, but when I arrived it appeared as if they’d been preparing for the moment all morning. Two people with a better command of English than I had at the time (it’d been a rough trip) attended to me, handing me paperwork, keys, a WiFi card and messages in a flurry of action before I was escorted to my room, where I was graciously left alone. (20/20)
Guest Quarters: My junior suite was elegant Old Europe décor all the way. Reds and golds, dark wood, tapestry wallpaper, art, high ceilings, period lighting fixtures and a chandelier (of course) dominated the room. The bed was mildly disappointing in both thread count and comfort, but the soundproofing was amazing, considering the building’s classic structure. The green-gray marble bathroom was adequate and spotless, with admirably strong water pressure and a hydro-massage bathtub. My pet peeve for absent in-room coffee-making implements was tweaked; then immediately assuaged by the complimentary bottle of wine and chocolate. (13/15)
Services/Amenities: The Brufani Palace has a small, but distinctive indoor pool with a glass floor revealing Etruscan ruins below. It’s a beauty to behold, but the water temperature was a few degrees below my fairly generous comfort zone and the Jacuzzi built into one side blasted out water with fire-hose intensity.With no footing to use as leverage, it was nearly impossible to keep from being propelled across the pool. Moreover it hurt, and not in a good way. In one crowded corner, was the meager fitness area, consisting of a treadmill, a bike and a small rack of free weights. The steam bath and sauna were small, but acceptable. The “business center” consisted of a single, ailing computer, printer and fax in the basement, with no attendants. On a positive note, the WiFi ($4 per hour) was robust throughout the hotel and there’s an excellent onsite restaurant and bar, with alert service and a painstakingly crafted wine menu. Also, this is the only hotel in congested central Perugia with off-street parking. (35/45)
The Experience: The aggravating pool/Jacuzzi incident aside, the Brufani is undeniably superior. The ambiance, décor, service and attention to detail are superb. The staff is wonderful; willing to break their necks to help you before you’ve even fully realized that you need help. And the bartender makes the best mojitos outside of Cuba. (19/20)
Total score: 87/100
HOTEL BRUFANI PALACE
Piazza Italia 12
tel 39 07 5573 2541, fax 39 07 5572 0210
FXExpress Traveler of the Year Contest 2023
Without visiting, it’d be easy to throw Chicago into any number of categories. Everyone thinks they know Chicago; after all, it’s the third-largest city in America, the most prestigious foodie city in the country, the city of jazz, a comedian’s playground, an architect’s dream, a writer’s paradise. The list goes on. Only when walking the streets themselves do you realize there’s nothing categorical about the Windy City, especially as it continues to evolve.
PHOTO: © ADRIAN OLSTAD
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
The Lanesborough, one of London’s most luxurious properties and part of Oetker Collection, offers a romantic afternoon tea experience alongside a hotel stay just in time for Valentine’s Day. Available Feb. 11, 12 and 14, Valentine’s Afternoon Tea features Rosé Champagne and a rose cake to share with that special someone.
Copa Airlines is celebrating its 75th anniversary by showcasing a Boeing 737-800 NG in an aircraft livery that harkened back to the airline’s look in the 1990s. During that time, Copa Airlines launched an expansion of their network to become the Hub of the Americas®, changing the way to travel to and connect in our Continent.
A deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria Feb. 6, with more than 11,000 fatalities thus far reported. That number is expected to grow as rescue operations continue.