Are you planning a trip to Florence this summer? In recent years, a fair number of boutique hotels have sprung up around the city, many of them in restored palaces. Here, we highlight four hotels that have been recommended by our readers – the first two of them are historic and romantic in ways you can only dream of, with heirloom antiques and fabulous views, another is just outside the city, escaping the heat and crush of the crowds. The last hotel offers great value as well as an unbeatable central location.
Although this hotel is on a designer shopping street, and close to attractions such as the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi, it’s not located in a noisy area. Rooms are individually decorated, some of them with beautiful wall and ceiling frescoes (above), but they are all furnished with period antiques and Murano wall lights. A big plus is the roof terrace, which has a bar and restaurant in the summer months.
Originally a convent – the bar is converted from a 15th century confessional – this luxury hotel is furnished with original paintings and sculptures from the owner’s family’s collection. Several of the individually furnished rooms have balconies overlooking a garden; if your budget allows treat yourself to the impressively large suite (above), which has a Jacuzzi bath and seating area. The hotel is located in the Borgo Pinti area in the centre of Florence, a short walk from the Piazza Duomo.
Combine the best of both worlds here – the centre of Florence is 1.5 miles away, and easily accessible by a short bus ride, but this 1930s villa hotel is far from the crowds, and offers a swimming pool, tennis court, landscaped gardens, and great view of the city. The hotel’s design and décor is practical rather than historic, but the trade off of tranquillity and space make it worth it. Add to it attentive staff, a good breakfast and a bar serving snacks, and there’s no wonder this is a Good Hotel Guide favourite.
There’s no compromise on location with this 16th century former palace, but the Relais Uffizi’s rates are reasonable. Located next to the Uffizi Gallery and a few steps from the Ponte Vecchio, the rooms here are simply furnished in pastel shades and with Tuscan-style furniture; some rooms have wrought iron beds, other romantic canopies. Highlights are the reception/lounge, which has great views of the bustle of Piazza della Signoria, and the hotel’s informal, intimate atmosphere.