Oyster knows what luxury travelers look for in hotels. When we review luxury properties in person around the world, we evaluate how every feature stacks up against the competition, from the rooms to the pools to the restaurants. So if you’re planning a posh getaway and need a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at our expert top picks for luxury in Florence and get inspired!
One of Florence's iconic hotels, The St. Regis oozes elegance and old-world charm. Housed in a historic palace designed by Filippo Brunelleschi of Duomo fame, the hotel evokes the city's artistic splendor in its magnificent interiors. Guest rooms and public spaces are bedecked with elements like coffered ceilings, gilt mirrors, frescoes, and chandeliers. In-room amenities include big flat-screen TVs, Bose stereos with iPod docks, ultra-comfy beds, and marble bathrooms. The St. Regis prides itself on its impeccable service standards and features multilingual concierge staff, plus butler service for suites. Property facilities include a superb Tuscan restaurant and small day spa. Situated in an elegant area on the north bank of the Arno, the hotel is within a 10-minute stroll of the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, Santa Maria Novella train station, and Ponte Vecchio Bridge.
The five-pearl J.K. Place Firenze offers a superb central location in the Santa Maria Novella Square and near the city's major attractions. The intimate 20-room property feels more like an ultra-posh guest house than a hotel, with coffered ceilings and artwork draping the hallways. Its elegant guest rooms are equally sophisticated, though some run small, but they're outfitted with modern amenities and marble bathrooms, and some have terraces and views of the square. There's no spa or gym on-site, but a chic lounge serves lunch and dinner and a rooftop terrace provides lovely city views. And little luxurious touches like free minibar snacks, fruit bowls, and free delivery of breakfast to rooms add to the atmosphere.
The Golden Tower Hotel is a luxury boutique renowned for its decadent touches and prime location. A blend of contemporary Italian furnishings, sumptuous fabrics, and rustic architectural details create a vibe that is opulent without being too stuffy. Swanky guest rooms offer flat-screen TVs, cozy beds, and sparkling marble bathrooms. The posh vibe extends to the Golden Spa with its specially lighted Jacuzzis, and the Golden Chocolate Bar with its selection of more than 30 types of chocolate. The hotel's location is another big draw, as it is close to everything from high-end shopping to popular tourist sights.
This 102-room hotel is known for personalized service and contemporary style. Neutral tones and tasteful fabrics create an elegant look, and are livened up by colorful artwork throughout. The attached L'Incontro Bar and Restaurant features a renowned Tuscan menu created by Michelin-starred Chef Fulvio Pierangelini and a chic dining room that spills out onto the piazza during summer months. The hotel's central location is a major draw, and most guest rooms offer spectacular views. Those facing front look out onto the piazza, which makes for a pretty vista, but a bit of noise. Rooms in the rear overlook the stunning Duomo -- even the fitness center has lovely views from its top-floor perch. Such beauty comes at a premium, however, as rates at this luxury hotel are steep -- and unlike the Golden Tower Hotel, there is no spa.
Housed in the former residences of the Bertolini princes, the Grand Hotel Baglioni lives up to the grand image painted by Florence's past. The hotel is filled with heavy-handed regal touches and ornate decor from top to bottom. The 193 rooms are very spacious (not often the case in a historic building), and feel luxurious, decked out with classic Italian furnishings, large leaded windows, gorgeous dark wood (the ceilings, floors, and furniture), and equally spacious dazzling white bathrooms. Both the rooftop garden and Terrazza Brunelleschi restaurant offer stunning views of Florence. All of this comes with a hefty price tag, of course, but the convenient location, rich design, and outright luxury make the splurge worth it for some.
The Hotel Brunelleschi is a historic boutique property that's on the higher end of the price scale -- for good reason. The 95 rooms are of average size by Florence standards, and have lovely, classic decor -- wood floors, crisp white linens, wall panel molding, and in suites, four-poster canopy beds (though some rooms have contemporary touches, such as dramatic headboards). The hotel juxtaposes modern design elements such as glass staircases with historic elements such as old stone walls, and houses a private museum displaying ancient Roman artifacts found near the hotel. It's a convenient location for first-time visitors to Florence, just a short walk away from high-end shopping and popular museums, and the train station.
This intimate, family-run boutique is ideal for those seeking an authentic stay in Florence within easy reach of tourist sights. Built centuries ago as the home of a Florentine merchant family, this property was inherited through marriage by the Niccolinis in 1891. They have kept its historic charm intact, having preserved the wood-beamed ceilings and frescoed walls. Each guest room has a unique layout, but all are furnished with antiques, flat-screen TVs, and stocked mini-fridges. Many have large windows that feature stunning views of the iconic Duomo cathedral across the street.
If asked to picture a postcard version of Florence, the views from the Grand Hotel Minerva are most likely what would come to mind. The lovely rooftop pool and terrace offer up some of the most picturesque views in the city, and many rooms have balconies offering similarly excellent outlooks (most balconies have great views of the Santa Maria Novella Plaza, and those on higher floors have spectacular views of Florence's skyline). All rooms and suites are spacious, with high ceilings and elegant furniture, and bathrooms are modern (if a little tight); plenty of handicap accessible units are on offer. The hotel's central location, high-end restaurant, and regal historic ambiance make it easy to justify the splurge.
The understated exterior of the UNA Hotel Vittoria belies the funky, ultra-modern decor found inside this 84-room property. The hotel's eclectic style is hard to peg: Plastic furniture can be found in common areas, while Renaissance-style paintings adorn dark, atmospheric hallways. The design elements are definitely distinctive, and it will most likely be appreciated by hip travelers with an eye for aesthetics.