“A 16th-century palazzo in the heart of Florence with vast suites, elegant salons, a panoramic roof terrace and discreet old-world service”
Climb to the rooftop loggia of the four-storey palazzo and you gaze over the whole of central Florence, a jumble of red roofs cut by the silvery-blue Arno and punctuated by the domes of San Frediano and the massive cathedral. It’s a grand feeling, being in the centre of town, yet a world away from the hubbub.
- It feels more like a private palazzo than a hotel - and in places you could almost be in a museum (fittingly, it used to be an antique gallery)
- Delightful small touches: white-gloved waiters and champagne at breakfast, opera CDs to play in your suite, a choice of soap fragrances
- 5* service - nothing is too much trouble, and staff are charming
- Each suite has a huge bedroom and sitting room
- You're in the heart of Florence's 'rive gauche', 2 mins from the River Arno and 10 mins from the Duomo
- We found some suites a little dark, with internal views (though this keeps them quiet)
- Street-facing suites get a little traffic noise
- WiFi signal is weak in some rooms
- This amount of opulence and space does not come cheap!
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Snooker Table
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; 2 rooms can interconnect to create a Family Suite.
- Air conditioning
- Cd player
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Dvd player
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Safe box
- Satellite tv
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.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Amble over the Ponte Vecchio at sunset, admiring the silvery river Arno or the golden sparkle of jewellers’ shops
- Then lose yourself in the medieval streets of the Oltrarno, traditionally home to Florence's milliners, silk-weavers and leather-makers - many of whom are still in business
- Via Tornabuoni is a fashionista's dream: Florence's shops are among the world's most covetable. And in Via della Scala is one of the world's oldest pharmacists, Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, replendent with frescoes and chandeliers; buy some of its exquisite potpourris
- Gawp at the tri-coloured marble façade of the Duomo and its adjacent baptistery and bell-tower, but visit out of season if you want to climb to the top - the queues go round the block
- Spend at least half a day in the ultimate Renaissance picture collection, the Uffizi (but book in advance via reception, highly recommended)
- Far less known are the beautiful frescoes lining the shady cloister of the Chiesa dei Ognissanti
- Culture vultures can choose from 6 more museums in the Palazzo Pitti, and any number of sculpture-filled piazzas
- Ride through the city in a horse-drawn carriage, stopping to choose an ice-cream from the hundreds of flavours
- Get some fresh air in the Boboli gardens or the Forte di Belvedere, a 10-minute walk from the palazzo
- The famous Ugolino golf course is only 15 minutes away by car
- Or relax on the roof terrace with a good book, enjoying the views over the adjacent church of San Frediano; or playing pool in the palazzo’s billiard room
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Wine tasting
Activities on site or nearby include:
Children are welcomed to this luxury palazzo with cookies and milk in-suite, though the hotel feels more like a romantic retreat. There are concierge services for families too. If staying in the Family Suite, you get the use of a laptop or tablet
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Family Exclusive Suite is a combination of Exclusive Suite Giuseppe connected to a smaller double with a living room between both; an extra bed and baby cot can be added too. Each room has an ensuite bathroom (shower and/or tub)
English-speaking babysitters available on request
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities nearby:
- Tours of Florence can be arranged for families by the concierge
Families Should Know:
Suites can be child-proofed on request
- Airport: 40 minutes
- Shops: 1 minute
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