My Dearest and I enjoyed a lovely stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Florence. The hotel exudes history, but offers all the modern comfort and services that I expect.
I adored the location. Set in a quiet neighborhood with the distinct and divine perfume of Old Money. The hotel is within walking distance of the key museums and attractions but mercifully removed from the dusty tourist hordes that stampede through much of Florence. The hotel’s gardens are so lovely that I could happily spend my entire Florentine visit within them. Plan to spend at least an hour strolling through the gardens enjoying the fountains, flower beds, citrus trees, other plantings, and eclectic collection of ancient and modern sculpture. (My stroll in the garden was slightly spoiled by the screams of some ill behaved children demanding ice cream from their gelded father. Ever helpful, I suggested he dunk them in a chilly fountain. He seemed aghast.)
Our room was spectacular, with a vaulted ceiling and many original features from the grand residence that occupied the building before it became a hotel. The floors were hardwood with a rich Persian rug. The room was filled with lovely wooden furniture with leather inlays in the desk. Gorgeous lamps made of colored glass. Plenty of lighting and electrical outlets. The only off-putting touches were (1) the large reproductions of Renaissance art on the walls -- I would have preferred something smaller, less garish, and more authentic, and (2) the fake antique knick-knacks scattered about the room. People!! You could at least peel the “Made in China” labels off the fake antiques. I can always spot a fake antique, but most folks cannot if you remove the label.
The bathroom was equally spectacular with lovely marble throughout. Not cheap marble, but big tiles with rich natural patterns flowing from one tile to the next. Double sinks with plenty of counter space and drawers for my gear and product. A large marble lined shower room with both rain forest and handheld sprayers. Demerits, however, for the rough single ply toilet paper.
The bathroom features a deep soaking tub, perfect for whiling away that slightly depressing evening hour before cocktails arrive. A 19th Century owner of the building from Egypt wanted to install his harem here: fuel for many delicious daydreams in the tub! ;-)
The shampoo, soap and other bathroom product is supplied by Lorenzo Villoresi, a Florentine producer of perfumes and the like. While I am all in favor of supporting a local boy, the smell of some of the product was a bit too pungent for my taste. The Lorenzo Villoresi website announces that the purpose of their line of hotel soaps and product is to make travel more prestigious. Folks, the purpose of bathroom soap is to clean me without leaving a film or unpleasant smell. I don’t ask my soap for prestige.
The room had a large, well-equipped closet. The closet light was on a motion sensor, so it automatically switched on each time I entered the closet. Plenty of thick wooden hangers. An antique bureau with deep drawers for my clothes. Lots of shelving.
The service is superb and Old School. Reception was quick and efficient. The receptionist herself escorted us to our room and demonstrated its features. The concierge desk was well staffed, so I never needed to wait. The concierge team was always helpful, abounding with restaurant reservations, directions, limousine bookings, and practical advice. The doormen were charming and helpful. Housekeeping faithfully filled the ice bucket each evening. Everyone I met spoke the American language perfectly – or almost so.
My Dearest and I differed on the hotel bar, which also serves quite delicious light meals. My Dearest thought the bar with meals tried to do too many things at once and ended up doing none of them particularly well. He would have preferred a separate bar to which he could belly up for a double rye whiskey. I dismissed his concerns. The bar had a rich, if slightly eclectic décor, that evoked the chaotic, often disreputable, and always bloodthirsty history of Florence. Because the bar served many purposes it attracted a wide range of patrons with varying dress sizes, morals, and senses of fashion. I thoroughly enjoyed occupying a quiet corner table in the bar, sipping a late night cocktail, speculating on the marital and professional status of the other patrons, commenting on their attire, and seeking to discern their plans for the evening. I even enjoyed the late night pianist, until one of the bar patrons with more girth than taste decided it was a sing along.
This is an outstanding hotel full of charm and history. I highly recommend it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.