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Check in to the Sumptuous Sina Brufani on Your Trip to Italy

At 140 years old, Sina Brufani captures Perugia’s history in a 5 star hotel setting

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By Condé Nast Traveller Middle East | July 3, 2024 | Travel Leisure

Why book? To wrap yourself in the sumptuous time capsule of Perugia’s peerless grand dame—very few are doing it like this anymore.

Set the scene Right on the Piazza Italia in Perugia’s historical centre, the hotel sits in a plum position from which to descend on the city and its compounding history. You’ve got the prime vista in that square, and just across the street from the front doors is an escalator that’ll take you down, down, down into what seems at first to be (and is, in part) a metro station.

But this isn’t any old metro station—it’s much older, a cascading network of tunnels known variously as Underground Perugia and Rocca Paolina. The Renaissance fortress brought much of the city underground in the mid-fourteenth century under the orders of the Pope, who wanted to bury Perugia as punishment for their failure to pay his salt tax. It is now open for the public to explore.

The backstory Namesake Giacomo Brufani struck off from his humble farming family in 1884 to open the hotel, which has since become a cornerstone of the Italian-owned and operated Sina Hotels group and played host to such esteemed guests as the Queen Mother of England and Anthony Hopkins. This year marks the hotel’s 140th anniversary.

The rooms Antique to the max, these rooms will stress out the weak and the minimalist with all of their wallpapers and fabrics and oil paintings. My second-floor suite opens to a mirrored vestibule with built-in wardrobe behind the glass—through an archway is the living room, with a full seating area including a velvet sofa and marble-topped coffee table. A set of parquet doors get me to the bedroom, flanked on either side by, again, antique side tables.

Food and drink Collins Restaurant is the place to dine onsite—it’s super classic, clad in dark wood with a black marble bar. I had a fabulous martini here, but my appetite was reserved for the myriad pleasures of the anniversary party’s buffet and so I cannot speak to the food.

The neighbourhood/area See above—you could not have a better home base from which to explore historic Perugia.

The service is Decidedly unstuffy despite the surroundings — some might call it informal, but there is no doubt that all of the staff are warm and well-intentioned.

The spa Like the Rocca Paolina across the street, the best of Sina Brufani lies far beneath the ground. On a subterranean level, you’ll find the sauna, steam room, and one of the coolest pools I have ever had the pleasure of swimming in. In addition to brick walls, arches, and vaulted ceilings overhead, there are glass panels on the floor of both the deck and the pool itself revealing Etruscan ruins beneath. I spent a lot of time there.

For families While not the most kid-friendly hotel per se, the subterranean pool is a welcome addition for anyone with kids to tucker out. There are also connecting rooms as well as a 50% discount on the charge for adding a third person to a room if they are a child, with babies and toddlers younger than three staying for free with breakfast included.

Accessibility Multiple elevators access the hotel’s five stories, and there are ADA-compliant rooms and restrooms.

This story originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller.