Come Along with Me to Italy as I Explore with #spglife

I’ve been to Italy before, but I’ve never been to Italy like I will be going to Italy starting this weekend with Starwood and their Starwood Preferred Guest [SPG] member program. SPG just released the 2014 SPG® Member Favorite Hotels & Resorts List — based on SPG Ratings & Reviews and hotel feedback surveys from members around the world — and I will be visiting three of the properties that were awarded with places on that list.

As I travel, I will be learning more about the SPG® Member Favorite Hotels & Resorts List.

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*** The properties I will be a guest in are featured on the SPG® Member Favorite Hotels & Resorts List in the category of The Ultimate 10. ***

Other categories include Best Golf Getaways, Best Beach & Island Retreats, Best Winter Escapes, Best Family Adventures, Best City Experiences, Best Exotic Excursions, Best Small Luxuries, New & Noteworthy, Top 10 China and Top 10 USA Resorts. For a complete list of the winners, visit the site SPG® Member Favorite Hotels & Resorts List.

For my trip, I will start at the Westin Excelsior in Florence for two nights before checking in for a stay at the St. Regis.

Afterward, I will take a First Class train to Venice where I will check in to the The Gritti Palace.


All throughout my trip I will be showing you what it looks like to be a Member of the SPG program, sharing content under the #spglife hashtag as I do. And I am looking forward to doing this because I am an SPG member myself, a program that is one of the few I try to be loyal to when I travel personally.

The SPG® Member Favorite Hotels & Resorts List highlights the hotels and resorts within the Starwood family that have been voted “the best of the best” by SPG members from around the globe. This year’s list includes 67 of Starwood’s nearly 1,200 hotels and resorts. [Including the three I will visit.] This year, the voting structure leveraged all of the unedited Ratings & Reviews so more than 1.1 million SPG members contributed to the list.

As I’ve been to Florence before, and I’ve stayed at Westin hotels before, I think I know a little bit of what I can expect for the first part of my trip. However, this stay at the St. Regis will be my first ever and as I’ve not yet had the pleasure of visiting Venice, everything about that portion of the trip will be entirely new and fun for me to discover so that I can then share it with you.


What can I share that you would be most interested in knowing about SPG and their SPG® Member Favorite Hotels & Resorts List?

Have you been to these properties, or these cities before, and can you share with me any tips that you think are not to be missed?

I’ll have two full reports to publish when the trip concludes but while I am on the road, be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and via the hashtag #spglife so you don’t miss any part of what is sure to be an incredible experience!

Exterior hotel photo of St. Regis copyright Starwood and SPG. (Can’t wait to have my own photos to share with you!) The other, general, Italy photos were all taken by me, during previous trips.

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  • NoelleNotNoel

    Looking forward to all your posts from this trip, but especially Venice. That city really holds my curiosity the most, I look forward to the day I visit it myself.

    • Kirsten Alana

      Thanks Noelle! I hope you enjoyed all the social posts, blog posts about the experience will publish here by the end of the week! :)

  • Leigh Powell Hines

    This will be exciting.

    • Kirsten Alana

      I think so!! It’s the first time I’ve ever taken a trip only to review hotels, well more than one. And in one of my favorite countries. I can’t wait to see what these properties are like.

      • Leigh Powell Hines

        Considering what I love to write about then that will be the BEST trip ever. :)


  • Jenna Francisco

    I’ve always been curious about historic luxury hotels in Italy like these. Looking forward to your photos and reports as I plan a possible trip to Italy next year.

    • Kirsten Alana

      I have always been as well, Jenna! I definitely prefer historical properties over modern ones as a standard and the stories and details are what I find so fascinating. I’m glad I could visit these properties and then share them with people like you and I hope I’ll have a lot of great tips to share for your future trips when I am done :) Cheers!