Hotel Ville sull’Arno
What We Love
- Seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a heated Jacuzzi
- Tuscan villa meets city center hotel
- Original 15th-century features
- Free WiFi
What To Know
- A city tax of approximately $6 per person, per night will be collected by the hotel at checkout
- It's a good 30-minute walk to the city center; free bikes are provided, but there are only 12
- A romantic retreat better suited to couples than friends or families
- Breakfast costs an additional $26 per person, per day.
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
In a secluded spot on the banks of the river Arno, a 30-minute stroll from the Duomo, Ville sull’Arno dates from the 15th century and bridges the gap between a traditional Tuscan villa and a city center hotel. You enter through original stone doors, and the charming interiors feature mahogany furniture and vintage curios including straw hats, lace dresses and umbrellas, all available for purchase. Soft pastel pinstripe and floral fabrics lend an elegant vibe.
Bed & Bath
The 45 guestrooms are split among three buildings, and the decor varies. Rooms in the villa are the most traditional, with Florentine marble and floral furnishings (reminiscent of E.M. Forster’s 1908 novel, A Room with a View). In the Loggiato you’ll find quirky, more modern designs, whereas the contemporary Il Villino spa features open-plan wellness rooms with Jacuzzi tubs and products from one of Florence’s oldest pharmacies, the Farmacia Santissima Annunziata. Each room is air-conditioned and has a flat-screen TV and free WiFi.
The Flora e Fauna restaurant serves modern takes on Tuscan classics, including a spiced-up version of the Florentine street treat lampredotto (a fatty meat sandwich). Pair your meal with a top-notch local wine, and finish it with a post-dinner drink in the cozy bar, which is decorated with stained glass and comfy leather armchairs. Breakfast is a feast of pastries, cakes, fresh fruit and eggs and is served daily until 11 a.m. The hotel’s spa is set to open in November 2014 and will offer a hot plunge pool, chromotherapy showers and personalized massages.
In the Area
Just opposite the hotel, Rari is a hip riverside bar for sundowners, snacks and DJ sets. Stroll along the Arno into the center of Florence. For breathtaking panoramas, climb to the top of the Duomo or conquer the stairs at the Piazzale Michelangelo. Soak up the beauty of Botticelli’s Venus in the Uffizi Gallery before a well-deserved gelato at La Carraia. Grab a slice of authentic Neapolitan pizza at the rustic Il Pizzaiuolo, or enjoy light Tuscan dishes and a glass of wine at La Prosciutteria.
How to Get There
So I was torn between The Golden Towers or Villa Sull'Arno when I booked this trip. I had stayed at the Golden Towers on my last visit to Florence and loved it, but did not want to stay in the center of town. Villa Sull'Arno was awesome. The staff was wonderful and the breakfast was elegant. The rooms were great, but the decor was a little funky. Not my taste, but they were comfortable. I found that the hotel was next to a busy street, which I was totally unaware of before I booked. It really didn't make much of a difference because you could not hear the traffic, but kind of killed the charm a little.
Now that I have experienced both places, I have to say it is a toss up between the two for me. If you want some resort type atmosphere and space, this is the place for you. If you want to be in the middle of the city and walk the shops, then the Golden Towers is a better bet. Both hotels are great. I will give Arno better marks just for the wonderful breakfast and the lovely spa they have downstairs.
I had a lovely stay at this hotel. It's a little further away from the center of things in Florence but they have a complimentary shuttle service that runs to and from the downtown center all day. It's right on the Arno and I had a wonderful river view. My room was nicely appointed and the amenities were very nice. Also the staff was terrific. The front desk staff was wonderfully friendly and helpful. And the restaurant is top notch. Be prepared it is a bit expensive but the quality of the food and the service were excellent.
The grounds and property were beautifully decorated and well maintained. Our room was exceptionally clean and spacious. The bed was very comfortable, and the room was very quiet at night. The staff were just lovely, always smiling and genuinely wanting to assist. We enjoyed the food at the hotel as much as (if not more than) any other we had at other restaurants. The extra amenities (complimentary hot-spots, chargers, shuttles) were a surprise and very convenient.
The only negative were the mosquitos that somehow managed to appear in our room and hunt us every night. However, we had that same experience at every hotel we stayed at in Italy (even though we visited at the end of October). Beware the mosquitos if you visit during the warmer months.
If you don't take advantage of the free shuttles (which run during the heart of the day), a taxi ride would be somewhere between 10-15 euro to get from the hotel to the Santa Maria Novella train station. You can also walk, if you have the time (30-35 mins walk time).
There is a lovely indoor pool and saunas, as well as massage services. We just didn't have time to take advantage of them, since we were trying to see the sights. However, if we return, we will definitely factor in time to enjoy the facilities more.
Overall, a wonderful stay. We would definitely stay here again.