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7th February 2013 - Set to position Villa San Michele as one of the very best hotels for families in and around Florence, this May will see the launch of the ‘Smile Club’, a boutique and tailored facility for children at the property. The children’s club will be a first for the hotel, an already a popular retreat for families, who are attracted by the extensive gardens offering unparalleled views over Florence, swimming pool, delicious cuisine and proximity to the city.

Housed in a former chapel with terrace, in a quiet part of the hotel grounds, the ‘Smile Club’ will be a complimentary service for young guests aged 4 – 12 years. Qualified staff will oversee a carefully planned programme of activities to including; jewellery making, pizza and cookie baking, Italian lessons, Florentine crafts, treasure hunts and nature trails, all designed to immerse children into Italy’s rich and vibrant culture. 

Open from May – September, Monday to Saturday from 10.30 to 17.00, Villa San Michele’s ‘Smile Club’ will cater for a maximum of 10 children at any one time. The small group size will ensure that each and every child receives the uttermost attention while also preserving the tranquil and sophisticated environment which the hotel is famous for. For those children who can’t bear to tear themselves away for lunch, a fresh and healthy meal will be served at a small additional cost. Tasty light snacks and refreshments will also be available through-out the day. 

Villa San Michele will offer a complete family experience. Complementing the new children’s club, a dedicated Kid’s Concierge will be on hand to help plan activities, advise on kid friendly restaurants or the best place in Florence to buy mouth-watering ice cream, treats or toys.   

Upon arrival children will receive a welcome booklet with details of the ‘Smile Club’ and an outline of the week’s events. In-room guests will find; mini slippers, bathrobes, puzzles, a complimentary Rory The Lion soft toy (the hotel’s family mascot) and milk and biscuits upon arrival, all combining to ensure a seamless stay for both adults and children alike. Babies are also catered for with cots and bottle facilities available and even the fussiest of eaters will be happy with the appetising children’s menus available in-room, by the pool or in the more formal Loggia Restaurant. Babysitting is also available on request. 

Villa San Michele Treasure Hunt
An adventure for the whole family to enjoy, children and parents can discover Florence with a lively and professional guide who will lead guests on a treasure hunt around Florence’s most famous museums, the Uffizi Museum and the Palazzo Vecchio Museum. Fun quizzes and games will lead children from one treasure to the next. The minimum length of the tour is three hours and the aim is to encourage children (and adults!) to learn about the abundant history and art in Florence while having fun. The cost of the Treasure Hunt is 270 Euro (approx. £230) for three hours, plus entrance into the museums. 

Young Chefs Academy 
The renowned cookery school at the hotel is offering children a chance to develop their culinary interests through special classes with the hotel’s chef, Attilio, who will go through the basics of Italian cuisine and pasta making, even picking some of the ingredients from the hotels own herb garden. As part of their class children will receive a cookery school apron, chef’s hat and folder with the recipes so they can recreate the dishes at home. The ‘Young Chefs Academy’ is available from June – August for a minimum of four children, aged between 6 – 14 years, costing 150 Euro (approx £128) per child.

Also available are exclusive private cooking lessons for the whole family to enjoy together and picnics in the ‘enchanted’ forest above the hotel’s pool, with special Tuscan wine and cheese for the parents and savoury flatbreads for kids.

A three night family package at Villa San Michele starts from 2,755 Euro (approx. £2,372) based on a family of four (two adults and two children) sharing two Double Superior Rooms. Price includes breakfast, four hours babysitting, dinner for parents on night they choose babysitting, pizza making lesson for children, complimentary second room for children under the age of 14. For further details or to make a booking please visit www.villasanmichele.com or call the Orient-Express Hotels Ltd reservations team on 0845 077 2222. 

- Ends -

About Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. 
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. is a luxury hotel company and sophisticated adventure travel operator which seeks to deliver memorable experiences that are the ultimate expression of each destination's authentic culture.   The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly thereafter recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities.   Today the Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. brand embraces 46 hotel, cruise and luxury rail businesses in 22 countries, including distinctive properties such as Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, Hotel Ritz Madrid, Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and Maroma Resort and Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya.  The Company also operates six luxury tourist trains, three river cruise operations and one of New York’s most iconic restaurants.  www.orient-express.com

For further information, please contact Sara Mirza or Emily Wilson at Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. on 0203 117 1376 or sara.mirza@orient-express.com, Emily.wilson@orient-express.com

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