It's not hard to find a gorgeous place to stay in Florence—it seems like every cobblestoned street has an elegant villa or centuries-old palace to check in to. But with award-winning restaurants, impressive art collections, and over-the-top amenities, these 11 hotels truly go above and beyond.
Villa Cora is the a postcard of Florentine grandeur, covered head-to-toe in gilded mirrors, frescoes, and silk-drapes. And that’s just the villa. The grounds are equally gorgeous with manicured gardens, fountains, and a white stone pool bordered by marble statues and plush white lounges. There’s also a subterranean spa with a hammam, a fine-dining restaurant, Il Pacha, and a private chauffeur to shuttle you around Tuscany.
JK Place Firenze
Honeymooning couples should look no further than the romantic JK Place. More private townhouse than hotel, it has inviting touches like homemade cake every afternoon and a library to curl up in. The public spaces steal center stage: there’s the three-room J.K. Lounge (plus, its pink basement bar) and the terrace, which spills out onto the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. But the real showstopper is the rooftop, where you can sip cocktails on a daybed while watching the sun set over the terracotta buildings and the striking Duomo.
Soprarno proves that good things come in small packages. With only 10 suites, this crash pad trades traditional Italian touches for contemporary style. Rooms are dressed with quirky artwork, distressed floors, designer furnishings and freestanding tubs, while the contemporary painted ceilings complement the original frescos on the walls. Other perks: A lovely breakfast spread is served daily, and the property’s off-the-beaten-path location by Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens makes you feel a world away from the crowds.
Gallery Hotel Art
Florence is famous for its art and design (it is the birthplace of the Renaissance after all). And this hotel pays homage to its city in both style and name; contemporary black-and-white photos of Florence hang on the guestroom walls and you'll find rotating modern art exhibits in the lobby. Currently, there’s also an installation of red-and-white windmills on the building’s facade, done by artist Simone D'Auria. But the funky vibes don’t stop there—the on-site Fusion Bar and Restaurant blends Mediterranean and Japanese nikkei cuisine, a concept that’s not easily found in the area. We love the creative cocktails—try the Fusion 75: Tanqueray Rangpur Gin shaken with lemongrass and lime juice, then topped with Champagne Perrier Jouet grand brut—as well as the sushi and nigiri (the sturgeon and caviar is a favorite).
The St. Regis Florence
If you want an over-the-top stay, the St. Regis doesn’t disappoint. Housed inside a 15th-century Brunelleschi-designed palace, the hotel is the picture of opulence, with stained glass ceilings, hand-carved woodwork, and antique furniture. The spacious guestrooms and suites follow suit, channeling renaissance and Medici style, seen in the coffered ceilings, massive frescos, and burgundy brocades. And there’s 24-hour butler service, plus a fleet of Bentleys at your service to make you feel like royalty.
Italy's stylish set sleeps at Continentale, a cool, retro spot with top-notch amenities. The 1950s-inspired lobby exudes Hollywood glamour, with oversize photos of icons like Audrey Hepburn, cotton-candy-pink accents, and a massive elevator that could pass for a living room, where riders can kick back on cushy couches while moving between floors. But it’s the buzzy rooftop bar that gets all the attention; locals and guests mingle over cocktails while taking in the sights (namely, the Arno River, the Duomo and Palazzo Pitti). For those who don’t like a scene, there’s even a “Relax Room” with uber-comfortable daybeds and spot-on views of the Ponte Vecchio.
Set smack dab on the Arno River, this 37-room gem feels more like a designer home than it does a boutique hotel. As part of the Ferragamo family’s collection of properties, you can expect elegant interiors (think: a silver, gold, cream and gray palette, Danish Modern-style chairs, cashmere throws and framed fashion prints), plus thoughtful touches like fresh flowers and free bikes for exploring the area. We’re especially partial to the brunch at Caffe dell’Oro, a chic restaurant that looks straight onto the Ponte Vecchio; order the grilled octopus and the pumpkin ravioli with autumn truffle.
UNA Hotel Vittoria
Don’t let the typical Tuscan façade fool you, this is not your average Italian hotel. Trippy postmodern design is the theme throughout the 84 guestrooms, which have walls paneled in black leather and fuchsia felt, black-and-white tile bathrooms with purple sinks, and doors adorned with life-size silk-screen portraits of the Renaissance era’s most prominent figures. The odd aesthetic continues in the restaurant, where the centerpiece is a cool S-shaped communal table.
History buffs will love bedding down at the Brunelleschi Hotel. The property is built around a medieval tower just steps from the Duomo, and there’s a private on-site museum that houses an impressive collection of medieval artifacts and archaeological treasures—like a caldarium from a Roman bath house—that were unearthed during a recent renovation. Upstairs, the suites offer a welcome respite thanks to spa-like marble bathrooms and soundproofed windows. And when hunger strikes, the traditional Tuscan dishes at Osteria Della Pagliazza hit the spot, as does the wine at Santa Elisabetta.
The Westin Excelsior
This 13th-century mansion is a prime homebase to explore Florence. Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery are steps away, and the guestrooms overlook the Arno River, the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. But for 360-degree vistas, head up to the glass-enclosed rooftop lounge and restaurant, SE*STO, which dishes up contemporary Florentine fare and some of the best weekend brunch in the city (picture: tables overflowing with fish, salads, cheeses, and a raw bar).
As the flagship of the Ferragamo family’s boutique chain, Hotel Lungarno is one of the city’s most sophisticated stays. Classic decor, jaw-dropping balcony views and a stunning award-winning restaurant polish it off. Chill out in the bright living room lounge with an espresso, or take in some art (the walls are lined with 400 original works from the likes of Cocteau, Picasso and Bueno). After you're done browsing the masterworks, make your way to the Michelin-starred restaurant, Borgo San Jacopo. The most coveted seat is on the candlelit riverside terrace, where you can tuck into wild boar ravioli paired with one of the 800 bottles in the wine cellar.