Italian hoteliers, restaurateurs and interior designers are particularly adept at blending ancient, Baroque and contemporary decorative elements with approachable, adaptable and comfortable results. NH Hotel Group, based in Spain, reflects its knack for refined-yet-easygoing lodging with the recently upgraded Hotel NH Torino Santo Stefano.
Overlooking Turin’s Quadrilatero Roman district, Hotel NH Torino Santo Stefano is minutes away from some of its most important cultural attractions, fine restaurants and family fun. These landmarks include the Palatine Gate, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, the Turin Royal Palace and the many gelato and chocolate shops that seem to string the city center together.
While some higher-end Italian hotels offer playful nods in their design to Italy’s national history, the designers involved with the original 2006 design and the remodel went a few steps further to make the hotel’s ambiance uniquely Turin. The circling wood stairs of the lobby’s five-story central atrium takes inspiration from the Mole Antonelliana/National Museum of Cinema. The color scheme borrows from masserias (country farmhouses) and is offset by Mid Century-styled lighting fixtures. Industrial chic accents, furniture and shelving is offset by a glass ceiling letting warm natural light in over the top floor.
This collage of Italian architectural history continues within many of the hotel’s 134 soundproofed guestrooms. While standard, less expensive rooms suited for solo travelers are functional, if not totally fashionable like the public areas, the larger rooms and suites are better suited for small family groups. Superior XL attic-style rooms on the fifth floor, for example, have wood-beam ceilings and views of Basilica San Maurizio and other noteworthy structures. In general, rooms are spacious and attired with rustic wood furniture, hardwood floors, desks, minibars, stylish upholstered armchairs and button-tufted benches. One top-tier room has its own workout area. All guestroom bathrooms are bright, airy and furnished with farmhouse sinks, toilets, bidets, standing showers and tubs in some cases.
Outdoor sitting and dining areas on the ground floor include a gazebo, modern white chairs and covered walkways, which connect it (visually and literally) to the hotel restaurant. The crown jewel, the fifth-floor roof terrace, boasts panoramic views presenting Turin as an eternal city in its own right — sorry, Rome.
Guests enjoy complimentary breakfast (aromas included), with tables stocked with charcuterie, cheeses, pastries, breads and fresh fruit, along with made-to-order eggs and a special kids’ menu. Other services at the pet-friendly hotel include free WiFi, babysitting, bike rentals, laundry, dry cleaning and airport transfers for an extra fee.
While limited indoor parking is available for a fee, the hotel is perfectly situated for a relaxed, car-free stay. Bus and tram stops are about a block away from the hotel. Main train stations Porta Nuova and Porta Susa may be too long of a walk for those traveling with children, but they are accessible via a 15-minute ride on public transportation. Weekend perks include extended breakfast hours and free late Sunday checkout.
Chances are you know South Beach or have heard about the southernmost section of Miami Beach — 23rd Street to South Pointe Park. It’s the historic Art Deco district with stunning white and pastel buildings lining Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and beyond.
Tucked into the central coast of California is a trail of history waiting to be found by your kids. The Highway 1 Discovery Route through San Luis Obispo County snakes along the winnowy Pacific Coast Highway, CA-1, between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The more than 100 miles of mostly protected coastline begins after a four-hour drive from San Francisco at Ragged Point, or about three hours from Los Angeles at Nipomo. The trail features 10 cities, connected by cliffs, carved by a moody ocean, and a slower pace of life. There are plenty of reasons to stop and walk into the past, preserved by those whose hearts still live there. Nature lovers will linger on the many trails to hike and picnic areas. We drove from Los Angeles with two 9-year-old boys to explore this part of the state.
Raising a budding Julia Child or Jacques Pépin? Or just looking for a more interactive family activity? Register your family (or kids) for a cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America.
If walking through a winter wonderland is still on your family’s list of things to do this season, Maine can definitely help check that box. By this time of year, Maine is almost certainly covered with snow and awaiting the arrival of winter lovers and outdoor adventurers alike.