Concierge.com's insider take:
The latest addition to the city's roster of unique hotels is this 11-suite jewel, situated in a 16th-century palazzo just around the corner from the shopping street of Via Tornabuoni. The place belongs to Gilberto Sandretto, one of Italy's leading collectors of contemporary art, and among the Baroque stuccowork, baldacchino beds, and trompe l'oeil frescoes are works by Nan Goldin, Roni Horn, Andy Goldsworthy, and other international artists. The individually decorated suites, however, stress the antique rather than the modern, with splashes of strong color and opulent touches such as the green silk headboard in the Bengala Suite or the hidden whirlpool bath in the Moro Suite. This is one of Florence's most exclusive hotels, and the punishing prices (starting at more than $1,000, for the deliciously theatrical Alcove Suite) reflect its cachet.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Staying at this sixteenth-century palazzo, meticulously restored by modern-day art patrons Maria Rosa and Gilberto Sandretto, is like being a privileged traveler on the Grand Tour. The piano nobile has been transformed into 11 accommodations, from the vast Marchese's Suite in the former ballroom to an intimate double in the family chapel. An impressive contemporary art collection infuses the Baroque palace with dynamic modern taste. There's a butler who will unpack for you and serve an aperitif in the rooftop garden, and the superb staff are available around the clock to arrange reservations, prepare snacks, or order in meals from some of the neighborhood's best restaurants. 2006 Hot List
When to go: Avoid August (it's hot and full of tourists) and January (cold and damp).
Which room to book: L'Alcova has a sumptuous sleeping area that opens onto a theatrical Baroque alcove with a whirlpool bath. Alternatively, the floor-to-ceiling seventeenth-century frescoed Camera degli Affreschi is a dream (doubles, $583–$1,034).
Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, GymSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›