The 13 Best Luxury Hotels in Florence, Italy

Florence's friendly locals and oodles of history will keep visitors on their toes
Florence's friendly locals and oodles of history will keep visitors on their toes | © Manolo Gargano / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Grace Beard
Assistant Editor25 November 2020

A converted monastery in the Fiesole hills; a Renaissance villa overlooking the Boboli Gardens; a period townhouse on the banks of the Arno – Florence’s luxury hotels are destinations in their own right. Here’s where to check in for a once-in-a-lifetime stay in the Tuscan capital.

Belmond Villa San Michele

Hotel, Villa
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Guest room at Belmond Villa San Michele
Belmond Villa San Michele is a former medieval friary | Courtesy of Belmond Villa San Michele / Hotels.com
The view of the Florence skyline on the drive up to Villa San Michele is enough to bowl anyone over, but nothing can prepare you for the experience of arriving at this luxurious former monastery in the Fiesole hills. The main building, which boasts a facade attributed to Michelangelo, overlooks a spectacular panorama of Florence that’s foregrounded by cypress-lined roads and backdropped by the Chianti hills. Spacious suites lead directly out onto immaculately manicured Italian gardens, while the private Limonaia suite and villa comes with three bedrooms and its own garden, complete with plunge pool and waterfall.
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Hotel Lungarno

Boutique Hotel
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Rooftop at Hotel Lungarno
Hotel Lungarno is located on the Arno’s south bank next to the Ponte Vecchio | Courtesy of Hotel Lungarno / Hotels.com

If you want to stay in the heart of the city, you won’t do much better than Hotel Lungarno. This opulent five-star hotel, housed in a period townhouse, sits squarely between Ponte Santa Trinita and the famous Ponte Vecchio, with many of its 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.

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Villa Cora

Hotel, Villa
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Ceiling frescoes and four-poster beds at Villa Cora
Ceiling frescoes and four-poster beds at Villa Cora | Courtesy of Villa Cora / Hotels.com

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 hotel is situated in Florence’s 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.

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Portrait Firenze

Hotel
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Understated elegance at Portrait Firenze
Understated elegance in a suite at Portrait Firenze | Courtesy of Portrait Firenze / Hotels.com

Another luxurious property from the Lungarno Collection, Portrait Firenze sits directly across the river from Hotel Lungarno and is a short stroll from the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and many more of the city’s most famous attractions. From the marble bathrooms to the retro photographs, fans of interior design will appreciate the understated elegance of each suite, the work of Florentine architect and designer Michele Bönan.

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The St Regis Florence

Hotel
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The St Regis Florence
The St Regis hotel in Florence is within walking distance of the Uffizi Gallery | Courtesy of The St Regis Florence / Hotels.com

On the northern bank of the Arno lies this Renaissance palace turned grand luxury hotel. Each room is fit for royalty, bedecked with chandeliers, gilt furniture and four-poster beds with opulent canopies. Its Michelin-starred restaurant, Winter Garden, plates up gourmet cuisine under a gorgeous stained-glass ceiling, and guests 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.

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AdAstra

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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Each room at AdAstra is uniquely decorated
Each room at AdAstra is uniquely decorated | Courtesy of AdAstra / Hotels.com

Guests will feel as if they are house-sitting for aristocracy at this palatial bed and breakfast overlooking the Torrigiani Gardens. With only 14 rooms, and the large gardens closed to the public, there’s a feeling of exclusivity – not to mention tranquillity – when staying at AdAstra. Venture outside the garden walls, though, and you’ll find yourself in Oltrarno, one of Florence’s liveliest neighbourhoods. Each room has a unique colour scheme and comes with a free-standing bath.

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Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

Hotel, Luxury
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Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Firenze / Expedia

The Four Seasons Hotel is a verdant hideaway in the northeast of Florence. The hotel’s two buildings – 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 hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Il Palagio, serving regional classics.

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The Westin Excelsior

Hotel
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The Westin Excelsior
Stay in a real Renaissance palace at The Westin Excelsior | Courtesy of The Westin Excelsior / Hotels.com
Facing the St Regis, across the Piazza Ognissanti, The Westin Excelsior can equal its neighbour for history. The 15th-century palace was once owned by Caroline Bonaparte – sister of Napoleon – before its conversion into a hotel in 1927. Now guests 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.
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  • Grand Hotel Minerva

    Hotel
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    Courtesy of Grand Hotel Minerva / Expedia
    Bordering the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, this luxury boutique offers a contemporary stay in the heart of ancient Florence. Its 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 guests want to spend most of their time. Here you’ll find a dipping pool, snack bar and views across the city.
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    Helvetia & Bristol Firenze‚ A Starhotels Collezione

    Hotel
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    Courtesy of Helvetia & Bristol Firenze – Starhotels Collezione / Expedia | Courtesy of Helvetia & Bristol Firenze – Starhotels Collezione / Expedia
    Near Via Tornabuoni, Florence’s most exclusive shopping street, Helvetia & Bristol Firenze is a fashionista’s dream. Nearby are outlets from Italy’s most famous labels: Gucci, Prada, Armani and Versace. Carrying bags across the city can be hard work. Luckily, this luxury hotel offers comforting rooms furnished with antiques and large, check-out-my-new-ensemble mirrors. It’s also a short stroll from the Duomo, should you tire of retail therapy.
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    Hotel Brunelleschi

    Hotel
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    Courtesy of Hotel Brunelleschi / Expedia
    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 has its own museum, Museo della Pagliazza, showcasing Roman and medieval discoveries made on the site. Its optimal location, a short walk from the Duomo, also makes it an easy base for exploring the city. In the evening, dine at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Santa Elisabetta, which serves minimalist dishes befitting the great art city of Florence.
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    Hotel Torre di Bellosguardo

    Hotel
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    Courtesy of Torre di Bellosguardo / Expedia
    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.

    Hotel Savoy

    Hotel
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    Hotel Savoy, Firenze
    Stay in five-star luxury at Hotel Savoy, Firenze | Courtesy of Hotel Savoy, Firenze / Hotels.com
    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.
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    Additional reporting by Sheree Hooker

    These recommendations were updated on November 25, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.