Concierge.com's insider take:
Starwood has nailed the new luxury spirit with some finesse in this intimately opulent makeover of Florence's former Grand Hotel. Inaugurated in October 2011, the Arno-side 81-room property has a country-house-style library and lobby (where you check in at a couple of large tables) and affable service. Outside of the austerely fashionista one-off Bottega Veneta suite, room decor celebrates Florentine style in retro details like the landscape and cityscape murals in some rooms, and in the swish but sometimes overloaded classic contemporary furniture and ornaments. Angle for an Arno-facing room: The view upriver toward the Ponte Vecchio is breathtaking. Housed inside the glassed-in ground-floor winter garden, dominated by a huge Murano chandelier, the hotel's Etichetta Pinchiorri restaurant is now under the tutelage of legendary Florence eatery Enoteca Pinchiorri—though here the Mediterranean dishes are a little simpler and less punishing on the wallet.—Lee Marshall
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