An 18th century Venetian-style villa sits atop a hill, surrounded by vineyards, in the heart of the Valpolicella, in apparently arcadian seclusion. It’s a masquerade. It’s actually a well-stocked museum of contemporary art and design, with works by many of the world’s best-known names. It’s a masquerade. It’s actually a luxury hotel complete with restaurants, spa and events facilities.
Confused? When you visit you’ll be staggered.
Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà is all these, in a clanging, jolting medley. The villa, part of which dates back to the 15th century but which took on its present form under the architect Ignazio Pellegrini in the 18th, has been restored and revisited by Byblos, better known as a creative, even artistic, fashion brand. Under the guidance of architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, the elegant original rooms, lavishly panelled and frescoed, are furnished using the latest designs from Byblos Casa, and exuberantly decorated with sometimes disconcerting artwork by artists of international fame, of the ilk of Damien Hirst, Sol Le Witt, Yasumasa Morimura and Anish Kapoor.
This unique and exclusive establishment, naturally boasting five stars, lies around 15 minutes’ drive from Verona. It offers huge luxury suites, more demure doubles and lots in between. ‘Atelier’ is the name of its gourmet restaurant. The cellar holds more than 300 labels and hosts tastings. The Espace Byblos spa tempts you to its pool and other de-stressing treatments and fitness facilities. And the classical halls (with Art) of the villa are available for meetings and special events.
Look out for offers and packages from Villa Amistà, which is currently combining short stays with a wine tour, opera at the Arena, a Ferrari at your disposal (to be returned with your room key), shopping trips or a helicopter ride!
Inventive hospitality you’ll not soon forget.