If money were no object in Florence...

Nov 15th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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If money were no object in Florence...

where would you stay? We're considering a huge splurge for the last few days of our vacation.
eleanorw is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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I'd like to stay at the Hotel Lungarno if I could. Location is a few steps from the Ponte Vecchio and their restaurant, Borgo San Jacopo, has excellent food.
francophile03 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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ekscrunchy is online now  
Nov 15th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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Haven't stayed there, but the Villa San Michele (in Fiesole, overlooking Florence), is supposed to be stellar. Location-wise, you wouldn't be in the heart of things, but this place looks luxe (and costs it!).
coffeeaddict is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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we stayed at a starwood property on the river, about 700 euro a nite several years ago, great location.
richardsonsnm is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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No doubt about it--the Lungarno. Villa San Michele is nice but it's just too far away from the action.
Marija is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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I thought the Excelsior was the top hotel in Florence. No more?
Nov 15th, 2006, 04:46 PM
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The Lungarno in a riverview room.
shellio is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 05:10 PM
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Well, there's splurge and then there's SPLURGE. We alsways stay at the Continetale - great location right next to the Ponte Vechio, wonderful rooftop bar to watch the sunsets, best breakfast in Italy (delicious roll thingies, cappuchino and fresh aqueezed blood orange juice) and a wonderful historic hotel. The tower rooms have stone walls feet thick and some windows are tiny little slits for shooting arros out of (then, not now).

But if you want a SPLURGE - Westin Excelsior - starts at about $600 per night for a basic room.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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Wihout a doubt, The Lungarno. One of the best hotels I've every stayed in as long as you get a riverview room!
Weadles is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 06:05 PM
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Well... Villa San Michele looks gorgeous and I wish we could but no. Lungarno is possible - they have a riverview apartment but not river view rooms. Are there any votes for the Savoy or Helvetia and Bristol?
eleanorw is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 07:27 PM
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We always go in to the lobby and bar of the Gallery Hotel Art to see the art and beautiful people. Never stayed, though. Pretty fabulous looking place. http://www.florenceby.com/galleryh/
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 08:37 PM
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The Lungarno is quite nice. I actually prefer the Lungarno Suites, across the river and also owned and operated by the Ferrogamo family, as the hotel is new, the rooms are all suites and are much larger. All their rooms are suites of 50 square meters with a small galley kitchen as well. Some have balconies. Most but not all the rooms look onto the Ponte Vecchio and the river and have great sunset views. A very quiet hotel, more like your own apartment. Very modern, clean sleek lines, a completely different experience from the very formal Westin with its gilt, chandeliers, floral wallpaper and bedspreads, Louis XIV furniture. If you are looking for that, then stay at the Westin, as you won't find that at the Lungarno.

My issue with the Lungarno Hotel is that even their largest rooms are small, IMO, only 32 square meters. If the apartment is larger and has a river view, that might be worth considering. If you haven't seen it already, take a look at Lungarnohotels.com for info on both the Lugarno and the Lungarno Suites and the Continentale and Gallery Art which I have seen but not stayed at, both seem like nice hotels as well. The Continentale next door to the Lungarno Suites is very nice, but no river views at all as far as I can tell.

The other hotel I really like in Florence is the JK Place, but it has no river views. It does however have great big rooms with lovely decor and a huge top floor suite with very nice Duomo views. I personally would choose a river view room at the Lungarno Suites over the Savoy and probably over JK Place, although it would be a tough choice between those two. It looks onto Santa Maria Novella.

JK Place
Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7
Tel.+39 055 26.45.181
Fax.+39 055 26.58.387

The Hotel Savoy is a very nice hotel (as are all of Rocco Forte's hotels), in a good location for sightseeing, with IMO two drawbacks (i) room size, (ii) no real river or Duomo views. The first can be taken care of by getting a room that is 32 square meters or more, anything smaller than that is small indeed (esp if you have two people), beware their double rooms of 25 square meters. . . The second is kind of an issue for me because I like a view and will pay for one, and at this hotel it is hard to get a view, and yet you are paying the same rate as people in other hotels who have lovely views. Finally, I think the Piazza della Repubblica can be noisy, esp at night with the open air restaurants in the piazza. Closed windows and air con can alleviate this, but in nice weather who wants to close their windows? If a view is not important to you, and if you don't think noise will bother you, then I wouldn't be too concerned. At that price, however, I could recco other hotels along the river which are just as nice and which have balconies, river views and/or Duomo views.

Cicerone is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 09:43 PM
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Another vote for the Lungarno Suites.
mjs is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 09:43 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. We booked a 1br suite with views connected to a studio suite without at the lungarno suites (family of 4). A definite splurge but an absolute steal compared to Villa San Micelle.
eleanorw is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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So lucky! You won't regret it because you'll be right next to the river and literally a few steps from the Ponte Vecchio. Villa San Michele is in Fiesole I think? If you want to be located where all the action is then that's too far away.
francophile03 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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Lovely suggestions above.

May I also offer Palazzo Niccolini.
I will cut and paste from my trip report for you:

We arrive at Palazzo Niccolini (Via dei Servi, 2) and the enchantment begins. It is absolutely lovely, simply oozes history and the location is fantastic. It is a half block from the Duomo. It is very quiet especially for the prime location. I know that we are about to enter our junior suite that has original frescoes on each wall and am excited to see DHs face, he is completely unaware.

This historic residence dates back to the 14th century. Donatello had a workshop here. A short time ago, 2003 I believe, the present owners decided to renovate one area of their private palazzo, without altering its original features and created 2 suites, 1 junior suite and 4 double rooms. There is a lovely drawing room, where breakfast is served, and guests have access to it at any time. They provide internet access on a lap top for guest use in this area. Cocktails available for your enjoyment, honor system. It is a beautiful room. The drawing room is very inviting, it is home to heirloom family pictures. They include a detailed photo album showing the renovation that was done from start to finish.

Our junior suite was the most unique room we have ever or probably will ever have the pleasure of staying in. Each wall decorated with frescoes that had been recently restored. They were fantastic. Gorgeous high beam ceiling (16 feet would be our guess, however our height approximation skills are not the best, see below with David) hardwood floors, four post king size bed, lovely fabrics, fantastic bed pillows and linens, a large wardrobe, two massive windows, sofa and three sitting chairs, large dresser, along with the usual safe, mini-bar/fridge. The bathroom, fitted in marble, was by European standards gargantuan in size. Lovely pedestal sink, shower/bathtub with great water pressure (a feature that my husband never fails to comment on when it is good) heated towel rack, hairdyer with decent airflow, although I did end up bringing my own. The room had new individual thermostats that operated well. I first read of this palazzo through
www.initaly.com and so I booked through them, they are based here in the States. No hidden charges and pricing the same as if I had booked directly. The direct page Palazzo Niccolini through In Italy is: www.initaly.com/hisres/niccoli/niccoli.htm
If you are searching for quaint, unique and historical accommodations as we were, this palazzo would appeal to you greatly.
Tiff is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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Oh I am sorry, eleanorw, I should have scrolled further down, I see now you have already made a reservation.

Enjoy and perhaps this will enlighten future travelers to Florence!

Best wishes, T.
Tiff is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 01:06 PM
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I'll only add that were I going in the summer, I would want a pool.
nessundorma is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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no worries Tiff, palazzo nicollini looks lovely. JK Place looks really nice too. It's all tempting, not a bad problem to have. I;m very certain we'll be happy at Lungarno, and there's always next time.
eleanorw is offline  

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