Destination: Italy: Florence
Vibe: Romantic, contemporary, centrally located
At a Glance: The sleek Continentale hotel sits directly across the street from the Gallery Hotel Arts with its Sky Bar that boasts views over the Arno and Ponte Vecchio.
Review: If the Hotel Lungarno is the sophisticated older sister and the Gallery Hotel Arts is the glam younger sister of the Lungarno Collection family, the Continentale is the quietly romantic middle sibling. Its forty-three rooms offer an intimate get-away with views of the Arno river and furnishings inspired by the fashion and design of the 1950’s (think canopy beds, retro furniture, hand-crafted leather, chrome lamps and light woods). All rooms have clever touches such as oversize clocks that double as bedside tables.
Guests can enjoy a cocktail on the rooftop terrace of the Sky Bar before heading over to the Fusion or Borgo San Jacopo restaurants at the sister properties of the Lungarno collection, and sign the bill to their room at the end of the night. They can also partake in morning yoga classes on the rooftop terrace, preferential treatment at the nearby Ferragamo store, and treatments in Continentale’s White Iris Beauty Spa by Daniela Steiner. Guests can book a suite with a terrace and views of the Arno River, or splurge on the Consorti Penthouse, which occupies the top floor of the property’s medieval tower, for the ultimate views of the city and surrounding hillside. The property underwent a renovation in 2013 to spruce up the central spaces and is a conveniently-located, romantic option for more independent couples with the rooftop bar and spa. However those with children or who require a restaurant and 24-hour service should consider the Four Seasons Florence.INDAGARE LOVES:
- 1950’s style in each room with a crisp white color scheme accented with warm wood tones.
- The medieval Consorti tower, which includes the Penthouse, is one of the earliest Florentine structures remaining in the city
- The rooftop terrace of the Continentale’s Sky Bar
Gallery Hotel Art
Vibe: contemporary, hip, stylish
At a Glance: Located right at the Ponte Vecchio, Gallery Hotel Arts has a contemporary decor and scene-y restaurant and bar that caters to a younger glam crowd.
Review: The Ferragamo family introduced Gallery Hotel Arts as the first design hotel in Florence, a successful melding of style and comfort steps away from the Ponte Vecchio. The seventy-four rooms and suites are modern in decor with dark wood floors, warm ivory walls, high ceilings and large windows that let in natural light. Framed black-and-white photographs complement the leather furnishings and fabrics in shades of ivory and greys. Located on a small side street off the Arno River steps away from the Uffizi, Gallery Hotel Arts offers a central location without forfeiting the serenity of a more tucked-away hotel. The three penthouse suites all have private terraces that look over the Arno to the hills beyond.
To maintain its status as Florence’s first design property, the hotel lobby has become a miniature contemporary gallery, with exhibits rotating through every few months, and re-covered sofa cushions and painted walls to match. The hotel’s Fusion Bar, which experiments with unique mixology, is a popular meeting spot for young Florentines and visitors.
While the Gallery Hotel Arts was the first design hotel in Florence and the restaurant and lobby have a contemporary, hip vibe, some members have felt the rooms and bathrooms are a little tired and could use sprucing up.INDAGARE LOVES:
- The fashionable Asian-Mediterranean Fusion Bar for people watching
- The constantly changing contemporary art gallery in the main lobby
- Private terraces for each of the three Penthouse suites
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