“A 16th-century palazzo in the heart of Florence with vast suites, elegant salons, a panoramic roof terrace and discreet old-world service”
Spread over three floors, all 13 suites are splendid, with excellent spoiling touches: eco-friendly toiletries, scented soaps (choose your preferred scent at check-in and the housekeeper will keep you topped up); a selection of CDs including some opera music; and the Exclusive Suites have a tablet or laptop for you to borrow.
The Junior Suite (or Fresco suite) has stunning pastel wall-paintings of rustic hunting scenes. It's the smallest room, but still amply large enough for a sofa and armchairs around a coffee table, plus a reading desk and a small private courtyard. The Classic Suites are more muted and contemporary, with magnolia walls and block-print fabrics.
We stayed in one of the Exclusive Suites, which are spread over the first and second floors. Think Oriental rugs on quarry-tiled floors, high ceilings adorned with fleur-de-lis motifs, gold brocaded bedspreads and armchairs, old prints of Florence, a glass tabletop on a faux-Doric column head. Alongside the huge stone hearth is a round dining table where, should you so desire, a butler can serve you dinner.
Most of the bathrooms have both bathtub and shower cubicle; room can interconnect to create Family Suites.
Breakfast is served in yet another lofty, elegant hall, this one bedecked with potted poinsettias and crowned with a crystal chandelier. A long buffet offers fresh patisseries, cold cuts, cheeses, yoghurts, cereals, fruit, juices, cakes, even champagne. White-gloved butlers bring cooked meats, eggs and toast to your candelit table.
For lunch, or indeed at any time of day, snacks and light meals - simple pasta dishes, omelettes, ice cream - are available on the roof terrace or brought to your room. The roof terrace also becomes an evening bar during summertime - a perfect place for a prosecco or a cocktail while the sun sets over the rooftops of Florence.
If you’re feeling romantic - or lazy - at dinnertime, you can pre-order dinner from a wide variety of menus, brought to your suite by a butler and served at a candlelit, silver-laid table. If you’re dining out, there’s everything, from authentic Tuscan to what you might call ‘nuova cucina’ and even sushi. Towards the Boboli Gardens is the informal but excellent Trattoria Quattro Leoni, while just across the Carraia bridge, Trattoria Parione serves superb homemade pasta.
Well-behaved children are welcome (this is a luxury palazzo), though the hotel feels more like a romantic retreat.
Babies (0-1 years)
There are 2 types of Family Suite, which are created by joining an Exclusive Suite or a Classic Suite with a smaller double via a living room. The 2-Bedroom Exclusive Suite has 2 ensuite bathrooms (shower and/or tub) and space for a baby cot. The 2-Bedroom Classic Suite has 1 ensuite bathroom (shower) and space for an extra bed and baby cot.
English-speaking babysitters are available on request.
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking