10 key hotels with 10 rooms or less in Italy

In 2024, the MICHELIN Guide announced its very first Key Selections, a brand new distinction which rewards the most remarkable hotels in the world. Of course, the world’s most famous and richest palaces and sprawling retreats have earned their share of the Keys. But the distinction is not only about size and grandeur.

In Italy, for example, some of the most striking hotels in our selection are downright tiny. The most intimate hotels are often owner-run, which often means they are full of passion and brimming with unique personality.

At the 10 hotels below, each with 10 rooms or fewer, you’ll find design choices and luxurious details that, by definition, you won’t find anywhere else in the world. A hotel of this size feels as much like a boutique as it does a boutique hotel, its product an artisanal experience considered purely for the space and setting.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Each hotel below has obtained at least one MICHELIN key for its exceptional quality.

Courtyard of the Maestà

Civita di Bagnoregio — 4 rooms

It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful getaway close to Rome. Arriving in the evening is particularly enchanting: candles lit in heavy glass lanterns light your way through the ivy-framed doorway and into the arched stone passages and brick-lined spaces of the former residence, where frescoes cover the ceilings and a fire burns inside an old fireplace. There are just four rooms, all with views, each lovingly restored and furnished with the owner’s collection of original artwork and antiques.

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Velona Luxury Jungle Suites

Florence- 4 bedrooms

If we had a nickel for every luxury jungle-themed boutique hotel we’ve seen over the years, we’d have a total of five cents. The Jungle Luxury Suites at Velona are the only ones of their kind, and much of that is due to Velona itself. This is Pasquale Velona, ​​antique dealer and deceased grandfather of the owner, Veronica Greci. This hotel, located just west of Florence’s bustling city center, clearly contains details from several generations.

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

Vivere Suites and Rooms

Arco — 6 bedrooms

Six simple modernist suites – four with kitchens, two juniors without – make up the entire hotel and present contemporary Italian luxury at its most elegant. However, once you adapt the style, the idea of ​​the place is quite familiar: the classic virtues of hospitality are the same as ever. Privacy is abundant, rooms are comfortable and superbly designed, and such a small hotel 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: located in Grecìa Salentina, an enclave of Greek origin at the tip of Puglia’s heel, Critabianca was established as a farmhouse in the 14th century, then transformed into an aristocratic residence by a French nobleman for a period from the reign of the Bourbons to the 18th century. Today it is a classic country hotel and a perfect introduction to the charms of southern Italian life, close to beaches and towns like Gallipoli, Otranto and Lecce.

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Vico Milan

Milan — 7 rooms

The first wave of Milan boutique hotels was a grandiose gesture, responsible for representing the Italian design capital to the world. Vico Milano, on the other hand, is a more personal vision, a small-scale hideaway created by a family that also owns Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany. More personal, yes, but no less elegant: its public spaces are dazzling, filled with designer furniture and contemporary art, while its seven rooms and suites are elegant in a more relaxed way, delicately balanced between stripped-down simplicity and organic warmth .

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House of Siena

Torrita di Siena — 6 rooms

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

Book Maison de Sienne with the MICHELIN Guide →

@Conti de Bonifacio
@Conti de Bonifacio

@Conti de Bonifacio

Conti of San Bonifacio

Gavorrano — 7 rooms

Conti di San Bonifacio is a beautifully renovated seven-room farmhouse set on a hillside, surrounded by several hundred hectares of vineyards, olive groves and rolling woods. Anywhere but Tuscany might be enough, the hotelier’s job done and guests lining up to get their big doses of endorphins. Here, in the midst of one of the largest concentrations of incredibly nice hotels in the world, however, something more is needed – like bathrooms carved from marble and rooms draped in furs, for example.

Reserve Conti di San Bonifacio with the MICHELIN Guide →

Marguerite Palace

Bernalda — 9 rooms

Francis Ford Coppola does not only leave his mark on films: wine, restaurants, literary magazines and of course hotels also bear Coppola’s name. In the case of Palazzo Margherita, however, it’s not just about defining one’s personal tastes for a public audience. This 19th-century palace has a deeply personal meaning for the famous director, located in the little-known village of Bernalda in southern Italy, the birthplace of his grandfather, Agostino Coppola.

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Casa Clat

Cagliari — 9 rooms

In the heart of Cagliari, a few minutes’ walk from the marina district, lies a luxury boutique hotel that shows an unusually refined side of the Sardinian capital. Casa Clàt’s nine suites were designed by Sardinian artist Giorgio Casu and, although they are equally elegant and urban, the style is not a standard Milanese luxury look, but a unique creation that extends spanning several eras and incorporates the work of many other Sardinian artists, designers and artisans.

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Seven Rooms Villadorata

Noto, Italy – 9 stanzas

Fit for a prince: The 18th-century palace that houses Seven Rooms Villadorata (“golden villa”) was once the home of royalty. Located in the historic heart of the Sicilian town of Noto, it’s the kind of place that could easily seem too formal or grandiose. But the owner has gone to great lengths to ensure that this sumptuous Baroque-style residence is warm and pleasant as well as breathtakingly beautiful. Frescoed ceilings, majestic columns, furniture from the best Italian designers, check, check and check. But with 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 →