Relais Santa Croce
What We Love
- The elaborate stuccos in the Sala della Musica and the frescoed ceiling in the Fumoir
- One of Europe’s most famous restaurants, the three-Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri, is in the same building
- Junior suites contain huge beds and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the Santa Croce basilica
What To Know
- A city tax of $7 per adult, per night, will be collected by the hotel at checkout
- This hotel doesn’t really do basic; the cheapest rooms available are Deluxe Rooms
- Free WiFi
- Room 308 has its own private terrace with stunning views of the Santa Croce basilica
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
This grand palazzo was originally commissioned by the pope’s treasurer, Marchese Baldinucci, in the early 1700s, and the two imposing granite columns at the entrance were sent from Rome. Inside, the high-ceilinged public rooms are adorned with ornate plaster stuccos and colorful ceiling frescos — it’s easy to see why this is considered one of the finest examples of a noble residence in Florence. The building was renovated in 2005, when it became a five-star hotel, and there are just 24 luxe rooms. The look is period elegance with contemporary comfort; the fireplace is marble, the sofas are leather.
Bed and Bath
Ask for a room with a view of the Duomo or Santa Croce; it really makes the central location worthwhile. Each room is unique and has original period detail and a mixture of antique furniture and modern textiles, fixtures and fittings. Expect large baths or rainfall showers, full-size fig-scented toiletries and little extras such as a wash mitt and nail file. The beds are spacious and comfortable (some are four-posters), and some rooms have walk-in wardrobes.
Breakfast is a low-key affair in an intimate salon that at night turns into the restaurant. A large circular table is laid with an enticing array of fruit, cheeses, cold meats and fish, pastries and cereals. Eggs can be ordered separately from the menu for an extra charge. At night the restaurant, Guelfi e Ghibellini, is sophisticated and sedate, the relatively small room calling for hushed voices over a dinner of Tuscan fare. Try the Florentine steak for two or the chickpea soup with squid. Although the restaurant has a good reputation, don’t confuse it with the three-Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri downstairs, which shares the same building but has nothing to do with the hotel.
In the Area
Just north of Santa Croce and south of the Duomo, this hotel is in the historic heart of the city and within walking distance to all the major sights. The streets around the hotel are a tangle of medieval alleys and squares, dotted with quirky houseware shops, stationers stocking handmade Florentine marbled paper, and intimate cafés and restaurants. If you’ve ticked off the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Galleries, the statue of David and the Renaissance churches, then try the Ferragamo Museum. Situated in the family palazzo, this small museum pays homage to the man who designed shoes for Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe.
How to Get There
The Relais Santa Croce is a lovely, small hotel 2 mins from the Santa Croce square and church so perfectly located for all of the historic centre of Florence. We had a normal size room with small dressing room and bathroom with shower only – which suited us fine. The room was very quiet aside from when someone walked down the uncarpeted hall outside. Then we heard noise. What we adored about the room was the view of the Santa Croce church over the rooftops. Day and night this was an amazing view. The king size bed was made up with a duvet (so much nicer than blankets!) which the maid had firmly tucked in (!) We don’t sleep with our duvet tucked in and when she did the room the following morning she kindly left it untucked – very observant I think.
The staff – both before and during our stay – were incredibly responsive and charming. They really make you feel at home, especially the reception staff! Valério, the barman, is wonderful too. He makes great drinks and nothing is too much trouble.
We had breakfast included in our room rate and it was amazing – breakfasts in Italian hotels are not usually the high point of the day but this breakfast buffet was so diverse and fresh that I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed. You can special order items too – Eggs Benedict for example – if you wish. Prosecco is on the buffet and we loved starting the day with a glass of that.
We ate dinner there one night and had a delicious meal, beautifully served. One of the dishes I had was the risotto al Lampredotto. It was wonderful but about twice what I could eat. Suggest asking for a half portion!!
We will definitely go back to the Relais Santa Croce the next time we go to Florence and cannot recommend it highly enough.
We stayed here two nights while in Florence. The room was an average size, the bathroom was very large and had a built in Turkish Bath. The linens were exceptional as well. The hotel staff was attentive and very eager to help. We enjoyed our stay at this unique property.
There are 2 Baglioni's in Florence. The St. Croce being the better one. The moment you arrive you know this is going to be great. Welcome staff are fantastic. Unsure if the name "Vinar" from Sri Lanka is correct, however he is an asset to the property as is Demina at reception. We got a hotel tour and history lesson about the building before reaching our junior suite with a great view. Staff go to exceed guest expectations. We are very likely to book this hotel again. Thanks to everyone for taking good care of us.