A converted monastery in the Fiesole hills. A Renaissance villa overlooking the Boboli Gardens. A period townhouse on the banks of the Arno. Luxury hotels in Florence, Italy are destinations in their own right. These are the top 5-star hotels in Florence for a taste of Tuscan opulence, bookable with Culture Trip.
If you want to stay in the heart of the city, as well as at one of the best luxury hotels in all of Italy, then you won’t do much better than Hotel Lungarno. This opulent five-star Florence hotel, housed in a period townhouse, sits squarely between Ponte Santa Trinita and the famous Ponte Vecchio, with many rooms directly facing the Arno River. At this, the flagship hotel of the Lungarno Collection – a chain of boutique hotels from the family of Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo – each room and lobby is suitably stylish, with walls decked with fine art from the family’s private collection. The hotel also boasts a Michelin-star restaurant, Borgo San Jacopo.
Another luxurious property from the Lungarno Collection, Portrait Firenze sits directly across the river from Hotel Lungarno. It’s also only a short stroll from the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and many more of the most famous attractions around. From the marble bathrooms to the retro photographs, fans of interior design will appreciate the understated elegance of each suite, which are the work of Florentine architect and designer Michele Bönan.
For a taste of the Tuscan countryside without leaving the city, Villa Cora is the perfect place to stay. Housed in a 19th-century Renaissance villa, the 5-star hotel is situated in the buzzing Oltrarno neighbourhood, just a 10-minute walk from the historic Boboli Gardens. Inside, cloisters and various suites are adorned with trompe-l’œil frescoes, while guests looking to enjoy the Florentine sunshine can explore the surrounding Italian gardens or take a dip in the huge outdoor pool.
On the northern bank of the Arno lies this Renaissance palace turned grand luxury hotel in Florence. Each room is fit for royalty, bedecked with chandeliers, gilt furniture and four-poster beds with opulent canopies. The Michelin-starred restaurant, Winter Garden, plates up gourmet cuisine under a gorgeous stained-glass ceiling, and you can also enjoy the library and Clarins spa. While all the bedrooms are as luxurious as you’d expect, try to nab a river-view room – the vistas toward the Ponte Vecchio are superb.
At AdAstra, you will feel like you’re house-sitting for aristocracy at this palatial bed and breakfast overlooking the Torrigiani Gardens. With only 14 rooms (each with a unique colour scheme and free-standing bath), and the large gardens closed to the public, there’s a feeling of exclusivity here. Venture outside the garden walls, and you’ll find yourself in the lively and trendy Oltrarno neighbourhood.
The Four Seasons is a verdant hideaway in the northeast of Florence. The two buildings that make up the hotel – a Renaissance palazzo and a 16th-century convent – are hugged by the largest private gardens in the city, offering a relaxing breather from the tourist crowds. For a truly decadent stay, opt for the Presidential or Royal suite; both come decked out with antique furniture, chandeliers and frescoed ceilings. Then, eat at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Il Palagio, serving regional classics.
Facing the St Regis, across the Piazza Ognissanti, the Westin Excelsior is steeped in history. The 15th-century palace was once owned by Caroline Bonaparte – sister of Napoleon – before being converted into a hotel in 1927. Now, you stay in high-ceilinged rooms, furnished with Florentine antiques. On the roof, a glass-enclosed restaurant offers signature cocktails, traditional tastes and 360-views of the city.
Bordering the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, this luxury boutique offers a contemporary stay in the heart of ancient Florence. The 97 modern rooms, curated by architect Piera Tempesti Benelli, include works from the art galleries of Florence and Pietrasanta. It’s the roof, however, where you’ll want to spend most of your time. There’s a dipping pool and snack bar, and views across the city.
Incorporating a 6th-century Byzantine tower and medieval church, the history of Florence is built into the very foundations of Hotel Brunelleschi. This luxury hotel even has a museum, Museo della Pagliazza, showcasing Roman and medieval discoveries made on the site. The optimal location, a short walk from the Duomo, also makes it an easy base for exploring the city. In the evening, dine at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Santa Elisabetta, which serves minimalist dishes befitting the great art city of Florence.
Located in the green Florentine hills, Torre di Bellosguardo shuns the city centre for the quiet of the countryside. A cypress-lined avenue guides new arrivals to the entrance, where a statue of Charity by sculptor Pietro Francavilla awaits. Splendour continues throughout, particularly in the clipped gardens where hidden passageways and secret nooks can be explored. Food enthusiasts should join lady of the house and enthusiastic chef, Ana Franchetti, on one of her garden-to-table cooking lessons.
Halfway between the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo, the Hotel Savoy offers a divine place to lay your head. The rooms were tastefully put together by British designer Olga Polizzi, incorporating Tuscan silks and local artwork and furniture. As you might expect from an Italian getaway, its soul is found in the restaurant. The menu at Irene offers Tuscan dishes, created from ingredients foraged in the surrounding countryside or bought in the nearby markets.
Looking for more top hotels in Florence? Discover our guides to the best hotels in Florence, and the best boutique hotels in Florence. Add to your itinerary by seeing these great reasons why everyone should visit Florence, then end the day with a soothing drink at one of the best bars in Florence. Not sure where to eat? Check out this local tour guide’s favourite restaurants in Florence.
Additional reporting by Sheree Hooker.
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