The Place Firenze

Florence, Italy Book from Book from £496 per night

Florence’s stand-out boutique hotel has trend-setting style, service and a sought-after address on the Piazza Santa Maria Novella
We first visited this hotel on the opening day of its original incarnation as J K Place, back in 2003. We loved the house-party ambiance and the discreet front row location on Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Since then, it has evolved several times - including, in 2021, a change of name (but the same excellent general manager) - and we have revisited it repeatedly, and happily. So we can only agree with the bold claims of their new name: it remains the boutique hotel for Florentine initiates, small, smart and achingly stylish.

For all its designer-labelled rooms and its state-of-the-art technology, the atmosphere is intimate, the staff unfailingly kind. The soothing creams and stylish bedroom décor contrast with the warm hues of the fireplace room and the glowing pink of the cocktail bar. The building itself is part historic palazzo and part modern townhouse, the 2 halves coming together around a broad lightwell, which drops to an airy, glass-covered dining room. It’s a successful synergy which staff work tirelessly to maintain.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The young staff are friendly, on the ball and impeccably turned out
  • Lovely location on Piazza Santa Maria Novella, near restaurants, museums and the designer delights of Via Tornabuoni
  • The smart rooms have calm décor, with good soundproofing, great bathroom fittings, and lots of gadgets
  • The suites are large; most have superb views
  • There's a chic lounge-style dining area, plus a rooftop bar and flash Pink Room for cocktails

Lows

  • It’s expensive, but rates include welcome drinks, fruit, snacks and soft drinks, newspapers, WiFi - and there are frequent discounts, too
  • Some of the cheaper rooms are quite small, with limited views
  • The hotel is discreetly signed and can be hard to find without directions, but that's the point: everything is designed to make guests feel exclusive
  • We have yet to visit following the recent restyle of the common areas and restaurant

Best time to go

The Place is open continually, and Florence is a city with something happening at all times of the year. Perhaps the time to avoid is the height of summer (July and August) when it gets very hot and most Tuscan life takes to the hills. Late March, April, September and October are the busiest times. Winter (mid-November to mid-March) is quiet, with just a few ‘indoor tourists’ - art-lovers, fashion buyers, friends and parents of those studying here. Prices are lower during winter and midsummer.

Our top tips

Don't worry about bringing a guide book - staff will give you a copy of an "Essential Guide to Florence", with some great tips on eating, shopping and sightseeing.

Visit the church of Santa Maria Novella at 9am to beat the (relatively sparse) crowds.

Great for...

City Style
Romantic
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 20 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

The 20 rooms are spread over the upper floors, reached by a well-concealed elevator or a broad, winding stairwell. They vary in size and layout, but all share the same soothing, neutral décor: thick cream curtains, grey carpets, chrome lamps, glass-topped tables, soft abstracts on the walls - a very harmonious effect, carefully woven together by architect Michele Bönan, who also designed many of the beds and sofas.

They also share the same basic equipment: LED Satellite TV, WiFi, minibars with complimentary soft drinks and snacks; and, in the bathrooms, large shower heads, heated towel rails, shaving mirrors, fluffy towels, robes and slippers. It’s a cosseting experience from head to toe - perfect after a hard day’s sightseeing or shopping.

We were lucky enough to stay in one of the top-of-the-pile Santa Maria Novella Master Rooms, a magnificent space (50 sq.m) immediately above the entrance, with 3 tall windows and a small balcony over the piazza. At one end sat a four-poster bed, at the other a sofa, armchairs and coffee table, while a crystal chandelier overhead set off the modern table lamps.

The duplex Duomo Rooftop Loft is on the top (fourth) floor, with a spacious and panoramic bathroom and private terrace upstairs, and a darker (but more private) bedroom downstairs. The views over Florence’s rooftops to the Duomo are superb. Also split-level is the Panoramic Loft, which has a sitting room and shower room downstairs, and a double bedroom and main bathroom upstairs - perfect for a small family. Most other suites look onto the inner courtyard, but are equally spacious.

The Junior Suite is large enough for 3 people and overlooks the piazza, while Deluxe Rooms are smaller with views onto the inner courtyard. The Superior and Classic Rooms are smaller still, with limited views and/or access via the gallery-landing. Some are what you would call cosy, but all are fully equipped for a pampering shower and a good night’s sleep, which is what matters.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is served in the ground-floor dining room; or a selection can be brought to your room on a silver tray. Choose from fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurts, croissants, juices and a wide array of teas and coffees, plus hot dishes like eggs any style, pancakes and porridge.

The hotel’s restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. It’s a monochrome space decked out rather like a modern members’ club, with white armchairs and chrome angle-poise lamps. The menu of classic international dishes and seasonal Italian fare changes regularly; dishes might include Caprese salad, beef fillet, totelli pasta and vegetable tartare. Now, you can also sit outside on the Terrace on the piazza, marvelling at the facade of Santa Maria Novella while you sip your cappuccino and gelato.

Afternoon tea with homemade cake is also on offer at The Place, best enjoyed fireside. For cocktails head up to the bijou roof terrace or to the Pink Room with its low sofas and funky coloured lighting.

In the neighbourhood, we loved the legendary I Latini on via del Palchetti (shared tables, vast portions of pasta, cold meats, Tuscan soups and steaks); while Claudio - and many guests - recommend Trattoria Parione ("art on a plate") and Buca Mario on Piazza degli Ottavianni (homemade pasta, T-bone steak, filets of sea bass or salmon, great wines).

For a full list of recommended restaurants in Florence, see our city guide.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Sip cocktails on the rooftop terrace with glimpses of the Duomo; or, for front-row views of Santa Maria Novella's geometrically marbled façade, order cappuccino and gelato on the hotel's piazza-front seating
  • Don't forget to pop into the church of Santa Maria - much quieter than the Duomo, but still impressive with 500-year-old stained glass, trompe-l'oeil frescoes and relaxing cloisters; and just behind it is the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica, where heady perfumes and pot-pourris have been produced for over 400 years (originally by the Dominican friars)
  • Shoe-fetishists should head to the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo on via Tornabuoni, Florence's prime shopping street; exhibits include rhinestone stilettos tailormade for Marilyn Monroe, ballet pumps worn by Audrey Hepburn, and Judy Garland's vast rainbow platforms
  • Equally trend-setting is the Gucci museum on Piazza della Signoria: a fantastically restored, 3-storey palazzo dedicated to Florentine fashion, with a cool café too
  • First-timers to Florence should climb to the top of the Duomo for a bird’s eye view of the city (expect queues in season); pre-book tickets for the ultimate Renaissance picture collection in the Uffizi gallery; and amble over the Ponte Vecchio at sunset, admiring the gleaming silver of the river Arno and of the jewellery stalls
  • Culture vultures can choose from dozens more museums in the Palazzo Pitti, the Bargello, and any number of sculpture-filled piazzas
  • Urban ramblers should cross the river to explore the medieval streets of the Oltrarno (south bank), traditionally home to Florence's milliners, silk-weavers and leather-makers - many of whom are still in business

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome at The Place Firenze and under 12s are free in their parents' room. There is a supplement for over 12s in a standard extra bed. The hotel makes an effort to welcome babies and toddlers, but be aware that the rooms are quite smart, with designer furnishings and light-coloured fabrics.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting can be arranged on request.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and strollers can be provided

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Location

The Place Firenze is set in a sought-after location on the Piazza Santa Maria Novella in the heart of Florence.

By Air
There are some flights to Florence Peretola Airport. However, most people fly to Pisa Galileo. Rome and Milan airports are about 3 hours from Florence. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

From the Airport
Taxis from Florence Peretola will cost around €25. The journey takes around 40 minutes depending on traffic. Or there’s a shuttle service.

By Train
Santa Maria Novella central station is a couple of streets away from the hotel. It's served by regular trains from Rome and elsewhere in Italy.

By Car
You won't need a car if this is just a city visit, but if you want to hire one for a wider tour of the region see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent when you confirm your booking.

More on getting to Italy and getting around

Airports:

  • Florence Peretola 5.0 km FLR
  • Pisa Galileo 80.0 km PSA

Other:

  • Beach 70.0 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Rates for The Place Firenze

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