Destination: Italy: Florence
Four Seasons Hotel Florence
Vibe: Renaissance grandeur, tranquil oasis, resort setting
At a Glance: Slightly removed from the city center, the Four Seasons Florence is a true resort within a city experience with extensive gardens, a pool and gorgeous traditional interiors.
Review: The Four Seasons Florence occupies two lovingly refurbished mansions: the main 15th-century Palazzo della Gherardesca with 129 rooms and breathtaking suites, and the 16th-century Conventino housing just thirty-seven rooms and suites. The two buildings book-end a beautifully groomed eleven-acre park, where enormous trees offer shade and wildflower-dotted lawns create a veritable oasis in the midst of Florence. There’s a large pool area, a freestanding spa and a gym for guests.
No two of the Palazzo rooms are alike, and many offer original details, like friezes and bas-reliefs as well as brightly colored frescoes and vividly painted ceilings. Considering the wealth of artwork and intricate architectural details like skylights, balconies and small terraces, it is no wonder that the restoration of the palazzo and the convent took eight years (the Four Seasons opened in June 2008).
The Four Season’s location is plus or minus, depending on what the traveler is looking for. It’s about a ten-minute walk to get to the Duomo, but mentally, you feel removed from the centro storico and to get to the excellent restaurants of the Oltrarno area, you have to take a taxi. On the other hand, the removed setting allows guests to enjoy the enormous grounds, pool and spa. Return visitors and those with children may like the idea of a perfectly serene setting away from the tourist fray with access to gardens and a pool, while first-timers may prefer to step out the door and be surrounded by central Florence (in which case one of the Lungarno properties, the Savoy or J.K. Place would be better options).INDAGARE LOVES:
- The private gardens are the largest in Florence and are spread across 11 acres
- The renowned Il Palagio restaurant, where guests can dine under vaulted ceilings or al fresco on the terrace
- The museum-like suites in the Palazzo della Gherardesca, with the superbly restored artworks
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