Florence doesn’t need any introduction or a list of things to do. However, its top hotels offer some very interesting and diverse suite experiences.
Like most things in life, there are tradeoffs. Do you want an expansive palace or something more intimate with your own private garden and plunge pool? What about a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city?
The choice is yours as we review the top suites of this favorite Italian city in this week’s main feature.
1. Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Forbes Travel Guide reports, “You’d never guess that the unassuming walls of Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, which lies just outside of Florence’s city center, hide a sumptuous Renaissance-era palace. But upon entering hotel, you’ll find a big hint, an enclosed loggia circled with a frieze that dates back to after 1473. Sit on one of the plush sofas to admire the 12 bas-relief sections depicting mythological stories with a statue towering in the middle of the light-filled space. The artistic touches aren’t limited to the palatial loggia — the entire hotel is like a museum with restored frescoes, bas-reliefs, stuccoes, and silk wallpaper at every turn. The city’s largest private garden also is nestled within the heart of the property. Walk the paths to see the lush lawns framed by yew, thuja and Mandarin orange trees as well as wildflowers. You’ll also discover the 91-foot-long pool, fountains, an Ionic temple, a pavilion and a number of original sculptures, including contemporary artist Ugo Riva’s Il Paradiso Perduto, a bronze and iron work depicting a pair of forlorn angels.”
Conde Nast Traveler adds, “Rooms reside in two buildings: The Palazzo della Gherardesca, a converted 15th-century palace; or the Villa, a former 16th-century convent, now a 37-room hotel-within-a-hotel, with its own concierge. Decor is modernized class with period furnishings, rich brocades, and lovely ceramic floor tiles. Color scheme is light greens and yellows, and bathrooms are luminous and spacious, plenty of white marble. Some rooms feature original palazzo elements including frescoes, bas-reliefs, skylights, fireplaces, and friezes.”
Pool Garden Suite
Far from the largest suite, the 893-sq.ft. Pool Garden Suite is a stand-alone villa with a private plunge pool and your own garden, ideal for al fresco dining and drinks.
More suites at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze.
2. Hotel Savoy, a Rocco Forte Hotel
Forbes Travel Guide says, “Considered the grande dame of Florentine hotels, Hotel Savoy, a Rocco Forte Hotel embodies the personality of the Tuscan capital. The enchanting 1893 property combines impeccable grandeur with sophisticated contemporary design, and its 2018 renovation further exemplifies the hotel’s commitment to stellar detail.”
The Telegraph adds, The Savoy sees the first-time collaboration between Olga Polizzi, Director of Design for Rocco Forte Hotels and Laudemia Pucci, daughter of the legendary designer Emilio Pucci. Pucci’s influence is immediately apparent in the lobby where jazzy fabrics in typically bright colors jump out at you against cool, white paintwork and a pale marble floor. A specially designed Pucci scarf, in fuchsia and bright blue, features on the tabletops of the restaurant terrace. Beyond the lobby area, the hotel has a more classic feel which Polizzi has ratcheted up with the use of gorgeous Italian fabrics, locally crafted cabinets, and custom-made soft furnishings.”
Duomo Presidential Suite
The 1,636-sq.ft. Duomo Presidential Suite can be connected with a Premium Room and a Junior Suite to create the three-bedroom suite. The top suite features large windows with views of Brunelleschi’s Duomo. The sitting room features chic bronze tables and gold leaf mirrors by Il Bronzetto, bespoke bookcases from Castorina, and Timorous Beastie-covered cushions. There’s a separate dining room for entertaining.
More suites at Hotel Savoy Florence.
3. Portrait Firenze — Lungarno Collection
The Telegraph says, “An exceptional hotel with a centralissima location and a discreetly luxurious atmosphere, Portrait Firenze’s sleek and sophisticated design will appeal to style hounds, but the space in the suites and the in-room kitchens make it an attractive choice for families too.”
Forbes Travel Guide adds, “Portrait Firenze is the latest hotel in the Lungarno Collection, the stylish, intimate and chic boutique hotels owned by Italy’s Ferragamo family. This one, like a couple of its sister hotels, is located near the iconic Ponte Vecchio and is within walking distance of Florence’s major sites. It’s also impossibly chic, attracting celebrities like Ron Howard and Tom Cruise. There is no reception area, just an elegant lounge area dressed in cream and gray peppered with original vintage pieces of art — it’s a contemporary homage to the 1950s dolce vita lifestyle. Florence architect Michele Bonan designed the spaces and rooms with lavish materials and cool, mid-century furnishings. It certainly feels like your own private address, close to much of what makes Florence so spectacular (including the shopping). Service is highly tailored to each guest, with a personal cocktail upon arrival and personalized shopping recommendations and cultural tours.”
Ponte Vecchio Suite
Located on the 6th floor, the 1,292-sq.ft. suite has an additional 430-sq.ft. terrace overlooking the Arno. It has two bedrooms at either end, two large bathrooms, and a spacious lounge and dining area in the middle a lounge opening off from the main living room.
More suites at Portrait Firenze.
4. The St. Regis Florence
Forbes Travel Guide notes, “Located along Florence’s Arno River in a 15th-century, Renaissance-era palace designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, The St. Regis Florence holds an impressive spot in the city’s historical center on Piazza Ognissanti. Mingle with low-profile celebs and play chess in the charming library or sip Brunello Bloody Marys (the hotel’s signature drink) in the classic, regal atmosphere. The St. Regis is often the location of over-the-top weddings held in the unabashedly ornate ballroom, Salone delle Feste. A traditional Italian meal can be had in the elegant restaurant, which has frescoes, pillars, and a vaulted ceiling of painted glass.”
Top rated by Travel + Leisure, it says, “This grand property on the banks of the Arno is located inside a 15th-century palazzo designed by Filippo Brunelleschi — remembered by history for such works as the Pazzi Chapel and the distinctive Duomo of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral. In the St. Regis’s 80 rooms and 19 suites (including one designed by Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier) visitors will find jewel-toned textiles, plush headboards, rococo mirrors and chandeliers, and countless other ultra-Italian touches. Managed by St. Regis since 2011, the palazzo has actually operated as a hotel since the 19th century, playing host to visiting figures, including Queen Victoria.”
The 2,152-sq.ft. Presidential Suite is located in front of the Renaissance Palace with a view of the Arno River and the city’s famous skyline.
More suites at The St. Regis Florence.
5. Hotel Helvetia & Bristol
The Telegraph writes, “The Helvetia & Bristol opened in the late 1800s; illustrious past guests include the likes of Igor Stravinsky, Bertrand Russell and Eleanora Duse, who more or less moved in. Filled with antiques, old master paintings and prints, and fine fabrics, it preserves an air of Old Florence, but with a decidedly hip, perky edge. The lovely entrance hall-cum-salon has Old Master paintings and a vast pietra serena camino where a fire crackles in cool weather while the belle époque Winter Garden, where breakfast is served, is all potted palms, wing-back chairs, stained glass and mirrors, floral ‘chinoiserie’ wallpaper and retro hues, harking back to more genteel times. In 2021, the hotel expanded into the adjacent Banca di Roma building, adding what is now known as the Bristol wing (the original building being the Helvetia); additional rooms and suites, a bar and gourmet restaurant and the fabulous spa.”
Conde Nast Traveler writes, “The 64 rooms in the original hotel (now known as the ‘Helvetia’) are all about tasteful opulence, so expect fine antique furnishings and pictures, glorious fabrics in rich colors by Rubelli and the Antico Setificio Fiorentina, exquisite wallpapers, and magnificent white and gray Carrara marble bathrooms. The beautiful hand-crafted oak floors keep it from being too heavy.
The new rooms designed by Anoushka Hempel in the ‘Bristol’ wing, are more pared back and contemporary in style, symphonies in shades of gray featuring silks, linens, velvet, lots of mirrors and more gorgeous pale oak floors. Many of the fixtures and fittings have been custom-made by local artisans; wrought iron four-posters, brass lamps, glass lanterns, intarsia tables and monumental mirrors framed in Carrara marble.”
Presidential Suite Bristol
The 1,076-sq.ft. Anouska Hempel-designed Presidential Suite features a large living room with velvet sofas, marble finishes, and a large fireplace. The four-poster beds have been fashioned in antique-finish mirror paneling or wrought iron by Italian craftsmen, and the fabrics and curtains in fine Italian silk shantung frame the setting. Especially impressive is the master bathroom, featuring a central Devon & Devon bathtub opposite the fireplace, a Turkish bath, and a shower.
More suites at Hotel Helvetia & Bristol.
6. The Place Firenze
The Telegraph says, “The Place occupies a tall, elegant townhouse in the center of Florence, just south of Santa Maria Novella Station. With its immaculate interiors, cocooning atmosphere, and exceptional service, it’s the perfect Florentine pied-à-terre. The buzzy terrace bar is a cool hangout on sultry summer evenings.”
Forbes Travel Guide adds, “Each of the 20 rooms reflects Bonan’s sleek-meets-classic design philosophy with an emphasis on high-quality materials and textures and a muted color scheme — imagine ebony floors, white walls, ornate crown moldings, beautiful, flecked marble and high-thread count sheets. Staying in one of the rooms really does feel like home. Master Rooms have four-poster beds; cashmere throws from nearby town Prato and pink chairs; a fresh bouquet of flowers awaits you on arrival.”
The Duomo Rooftop Loft
Located on the top floor, with city views, the 430-sq.ft. loft is split-level. The entrance floor features a designer desk, wardrobe, double bed, and large full-size wall mirror. Upstairs, the panoramic bathroom offers views of Florence – plus a separate shower and double sink. A private balcony overlooks Brunelleschi’s cathedral dome.
More suites at The Palace Firenze.
7. Hotel Lungarno
The Telegraph writes, “This is the flagship hotel of Florentine fashion heir Leonardo Ferragamo’s Lungarno Collection, and the most traditional of the group. It offers an unbeatable location just steps from the Ponte Vecchio, five-star service, magnificent river views, and gourmet dining.”
Forbes Travel Guide notes, “The Florence hotel has possibly the best views in the city and definitely one of the best locations on the south banks of the Arno. Each spacious accommodation offers stunning views of either the Ponte Vecchio or historic Florence. For those looking for something more medieval, book one of the rooms in the 13th-century Marsili Tower, which has exposed original bricks wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, and canopy beds.”
Rooftop Terrace Suite
The two-floor Rooftop Terrace Suite offers incredible views of Florence with a 538-sq.ft. terrace. The suite consists of two bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, divided by a common living room featuring an additional balcony overlooking Palazzo Pitti, and the Florentine Oltrarno.
More suites at Hotel Lungarno.