Travel 3 minutes 07 May 2024

10 Key Hotels with 10 Rooms or Less in Italy

Our smallest Key hotels across Italy are overflowing with passion and personality.

In 2024, the MICHELIN Guide announced its very first Key selections — a brand new distinction that recognizes the most outstanding hotels in the world. Of course, the world's most famous, storied palaces and sprawling retreats have gained their share of Keys. But the distinction isn't just about size and grandeur.

In Italy, for instance, some of the most distinctive hotels in our selection are downright tiny. The most intimate hotels are often owner-operated, and that often means they're full of passion and overflowing with unique personality.

In the 10 hotels below — each with 10 rooms or less — you'll find design choices and luxe details that, by definition, you'll find nowhere else in the world. A hotel this size is like a boutique store as much as a boutique hotel, its product a handcrafted experience considered just for the space and setting. 

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Each hotel below gained at least One MICHELIN Key for outstanding quality.

Corte della Maestà

Civita di Bagnoregio — 4 rooms

It’s difficult to imagine a lovelier getaway in such convenient proximity to Rome. Arriving in the evening is particularly enchanting: glowing candles in heavy glass lanterns light your way through the ivy-framed doorway and into the arched stone passageways and brick-lined spaces of the old residence, where frescoes cover the ceilings and a fire burns inside an antique fireplace. There are just four rooms, all with views, each lovingly restored and furnished with the owner’s collection of original art and antiques.

Book Corte della Maestà with The MICHELIN Guide →

 Velona’s Jungle Luxury Suites

Florence - 4 rooms

If we had a nickel for every pocket-sized jungle-themed luxury boutique hotel we’ve seen over the years, we’d have a grand total of five cents. Velona’s Jungle Luxury Suites is the only one of its kind, and much of that has to do with Velona himself. That’s Pasquale Velona, antique dealer and dear departed grandfather of the proprietor, Veronica Grechi — this hotel, just to the west of Florence’s busy city center, clearly contains generations’ worth of details.

Book Velona’s Jungle Luxury Suites with The MICHELIN Guide  →

Vivere Suites and Rooms

Arco — 6 rooms

Six simple modernist suites — four with kitchens, two juniors without — are the entirety of the hotel, and they showcase contemporary Italian luxury living at its most stylish. Once you’ve adjusted for the style, however, the idea of the place is familiar enough — the classic virtues of hospitality are the same as they ever were. Privacy is in plentiful supply, the accommodations are comfortable and exquisitely crafted, and a hotel this small can’t help but maintain a very personal approach to service.

Book Vivere Suites and Rooms with The Michelin Guide →


Cutrofiano — 6 rooms

It’s an unusually cosmopolitan story: set in Grecìa Salentina, an enclave of Greek descent in the tip of the heel of Puglia, Critabianca was established as a farmhouse in the 14th century, and then transformed into an aristocratic residence by a French nobleman during a period of 18th-century Bourbon rule. Today it’s a classic country-house hotel, and a perfect introduction to the charms of southern Italian life, convenient to the beaches and to towns like Gallipoli, Otranto, and Lecce.

Book Critabianca with The MICHELIN Guide →

Vico Milano

Milan — 7 rooms

The first wave of Milanese boutique hotels were grand gestures, tasked with representing Italy’s design capital to the world. Vico Milano, by contrast, is a more personal vision, a small-scale hideaway by a family that also owns the Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany. More personal, yes, but no less stylish — its public spaces are dazzling, filled with design furniture and contemporary art, while its seven rooms and suites are handsome in a more relaxed way, delicately balanced between sparse simplicity and organic warmth.

Book Vico Milano with The MICHELIN Guide →

Siena House

Torrita di Siena — 6 rooms

As a description, of course, Siena House is perfectly accurate. With just two double rooms and two two-bedroom suites, it’s certainly on the scale of a guest house rather than a hotel. Stylistically, it’s certainly distinctive, marrying contemporary Italian design with an impressive collection of modern art. And its location, near Montepulciano in the province of Siena, is a foodie’s paradise and an oenophile’s dream.

Book Siena House with The MICHELIN Guide →

@Conti di Bonifacio
@Conti di Bonifacio

Conti di San Bonifacio

Gavorrano — 7 rooms

Conti di San Bonifacio is a beautifully renovated seven-room farmhouse on a hill, surrounded by several hundred acres of vineyards, olive groves and rolling woods. Anywhere but Tuscany, that might be enough, the hotelier’s work done and the guests lining up to take their heavy doses of endorphins. Here amidst one of the world’s great concentrations of impossibly pleasurable hotels, however, it takes something more — like bathrooms carved from marble and bedrooms draped in furs, say.

Book Conti di San Bonifacio with The MICHELIN Guide →

Palazzo Margherita

Bernalda — 9 rooms

Francis Ford Coppola leaves his stamp on more than movies: wine, restaurants, literary magazines, and of course hotels carry the Coppola name as well. In the case of Palazzo Margherita, however, it’s more than a matter of defining his personal taste for a public audience. This 19th-century palazzo has deeply personal significance to the famed director, located as it is in the little-known southern Italian village of Bernalda, the birthplace of his grandfather, Agostino Coppola.

Book Palazzo Margherita with The MICHELIN Guide →

Casa Clàt

Cagliari — 9 rooms

In the heart of Cagliari, mere minutes by foot from the marina quarter, is a luxury boutique hotel that shows an uncommonly refined side of the Sardinian capital. Casa Clàt’s nine suites were designed by the Sardinian-based artist Giorgio Casu, and while they’re correspondingly stylish and urbane, the style isn’t an off-the shelf Milanese luxury look, but a unique creation that spans multiple eras and incorporates the work of many other Sardinian artists, designers, and craftspeople.

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Seven Rooms Villadorata

Noto, Italia - 9 stanze

Fit for a prince: the 18th-century palazzo that houses Seven Rooms Villadorata (“golden villa”) was once the home of royalty. Set in the historic heart of the Sicilian town of Noto, it’s the kind of place that could easily feel overly formal or grandiose. But the owner has gone to great lengths to make this palatial Baroque-style residence feel warm and personable in addition to being, well, drop-dead gorgeous. Frescoed ceilings, stately columns, furnishings by the best Italian designers, check, check and check. But thanks to smart planning and attention to detail, there are also countless quaint and cozy spaces waiting to be discovered.

Book Seven Rooms Villadorata with The MICHELIN Guide →


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