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.
Niagara Parks Power Station offers visitors a unique, interactive experience. Located on the Canadian side of the Niagara River, the once-dormant power station features all-day attractions where visitors learn how the hydropower station used the power of Niagara Falls to generate electricity.
Although some people consider Virginia Beach a summer destination, it thrives in the fall as well. This autumn, Virginia Beach is pulling out all the stops to become a prime destination for the season. Check out the list of offerings.
Through Oct. 15, Key West Attractions Association spearheads the Kids Free Florida Keys program, offering free admission and opportunities for children age 12 and younger. Parents, grandparents, extended families and their kiddos can explore Florida Keys attractions, tours, watersports and more with this value-added program.
Sign the family up for a volunteer project while on vacation to create new memories, help others and make the world a better place. Consider one of these organizations for your next family vacation.