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Il Salviatino, Florence 

21 Via del Salviatino
Italy 50137
Tel: 39 055 90411
view web site ›'s insider take:

Il Salviatino sits in manicured formal gardens just within the city limits at the beginning of the road that winds up to the leafy village of Fiesole. The 45-room austerely elegant patrician villa opened as a hotel in October 2009, and since then has become a hit with high-end clients. The stately home decor is charming, but on top of that add perfect service (you're assigned a personal "service ambassador" on arrival), plus the excellence of the extras—including a very persuasive gourmet Tuscan restaurant and a Devrana spa. Staying here is probably as close as you'll get to the cultured expatriates-in-Florence spirit of a Henry James novel. Some rooms (such as the aptly named ground-floor Affresco Suite) have 19th-century frescoes, though overall the decor can be on the gloomy side, with dark wooden floors and furniture. For maximum light and the best outlook (though not more space), pay the extra for a Dome View Deluxe room. The Garden Suites, housed in a former greenhouse, are lighter in every sense, but frustratingly viewless.—Lee Marshall

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Although Il Salviatino has a Fiesole address—the neighborhood long the hillside summer retreat of great Florentine families—this 45-room grand villa is actually located at the bottom of the town's famous hill (not the most atmospheric part). Nevertheless, once you're on the hotel's vast grounds, the panorama is still pretty spectacular. Il Salviatino is undergoing a massive re-landscaping of its 12-acre gardens, but the fifteenth-century property is already impressive, with handsome common areas including an entrance hall with a vaulted brick ceiling (where carriage horses used to be housed) and a wood-paneled library with antique leatherbound volumes, as well as marvelously restored rooms that have original details such as black-and-white-checkered marble floors and frescoed ceilings and that are made comfortably modern with tufted leather headboards, TVs that cleverly double as oversized mirrors, and rain showers enhanced by LED lighting. One suite, the Affresco, features a bathtub shaped like a twelfth-century stone sarcophagus. At night, the property is illuminated by silver candelabras and outdoor lanterns, creating a romantic atmosphere. Dine at La Terraza, where gnudi with potato ravioli and sea bass with tomato and black olives are among the standouts. There is no formal check-in, but "service ambassadors" are concierges and butlers in one. —2010 Hot List

Which room to book: No. 2, a Garden De Luxe, has garden access and a statue of a bathing woman; the top-floor suites, Ojetti and Marcello, have roof terraces with sweeping views.

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