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Four Seasons Hotel Florence, Florence

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Arcetri, Italy, Europe: Presidential Suite (also called the De' Medici Suite) at the Four Seasons Florence has a
99 Borgo Pinti
Italy 50121
Tel: 800 819 5053 (toll-free)
Tel: 39 055 26261's insider take:

You could never accuse the Four Seasons group of rushing into things. It wasn't until the most prestigious private estate in central Florence came up for sale that they made their move into the city; even then, they spent seven years restoring Renaissance-era Palazzo della Gherardesca, its surrounding 11-acre park (easily the largest within the town walls), and a 16th-century convent before opening for business in June 2008. The result merits a visit even if you're not staying: The courtyard lobby, dominated by lively 15th-century bas-reliefs; the leafy botanical garden, with its yews and sequoias; and the tiny computer room, where guests can surf the net surrounded by 18th-century frescoes, are all worthy of a museum. From the American doorman in, service is impeccable, and the hotel is good with important little details like the freshly squeezed pineapple juice at breakfast. Bonuses include Florence's only genuine hotel spa, with treatments based on products made by the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy; a huge open-air pool; and a restaurant firmly rooted in Italy's seasonal Slow Food movement. The 116 bedrooms, in a bewildering range of categories, are well appointed and come with large marble-lined bathrooms; some guests will feel that the antique decor lacks brio, however. We prefer the rooms in the main palazzo to those in the rather isolated Conventino across the park—though the latter would work perfectly for a wedding party. If central location is a key factor, you may want to look elsewhere: It's a good 20-minute walk from the hotel to the Ponte Vecchio.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 94.4
  • Design: 93.6
  • Food: 93.5
  • Location: 93.5
  • Rooms: 95.7
  • Service: 95.7
Two Renaissance buildings—a 15th-century palazzo and a 16th-century convent—were restored and combined to create this "wonderful, wonderful hotel" set in an 11-acre private garden, Florence's largest. "Really special rooms," some hung with original artwork, are stocked with amenities made by a Florence-based perfumer. Il Palagio sources local ingredients in its cuisine and lists roughly 400 wines.

(116 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Pool, Spa

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
After seven years of painstaking renovation, this Four Seasons proves very much worth the wait. Made up of two palazzi dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries connected by the largest private garden in Florence, the property mixes original details like ceiling frescoes and ornate moldings with new elements that blend in seamlessly: The pool, for instance, with its gray marble and hedged-in area, is so discreet that you might miss it altogether. Rooms are done in a rich Renaissance style, with silk brocades, Italian prints from the 1500s, Murano chandeliers, and exquisite wallpaper. And although the hotel is a little outside the historic center, it's also away from the tourist legions, on a quiet side street amid acres of green with towering trees and period sculpture. Add impeccable service and a restaurant that's become a must-stop for its unfussy Tuscan fare and you'll see why some guests linger on the grounds for days. —2009 Hot List

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.