A city as historically beautiful as Florence deserves a hotel to match, and we found this and so much more at the St. Regis Florence .
The hotel is absolutely stunning, its Winter Garden restaurant is one of THE places to be seen in the city, and the somehow central-but-quiet location is ideal! Combine this with excellent service and spacious guest rooms, and you’ve got just a taster of what awaits at the St. Regis Florence.
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The location of the St. Regis Florence quite literally couldn’t be better. The hotel is centrally located at the very heart of the historic city and lies on the River Arno itself. It is situated on the beautiful square, Piazza Ognissanti, which is a peaceful space that lies just steps from the buzz of the city. It felt like we had to walk just minutes to get everywhere we wanted to go, yet this wasn’t a busy area at all. Perfect location.
We headed directly into the city most days to explore the sights of Florence but also enjoyed the river walk, reaching the Ponte Vecchio bridge in well under 10 minutes. Florence isn’t a large city, so it’s more than possible to reach everywhere on foot, making such a central base even more important. I feel this is one of the factors that really make the St. Regis Florence stand out.
Incidentally, it’s common to fly into both Florence and Pisa when traveling to the region. Florence Airport lies 7km away and Pisa Airport 80km. Private car transfers are the obvious way to arrive, but there are a wealth of high-speed train and bus services too. The hotel lies about a 5-minute walk from the main train station in Florence.
Style & Character
This hotel is just charm and elegance personified. The typical Florentine architecture that you’ll fall head over heels with the minute you arrive in the city is at its very best in this chocolate-box of a building.
Inside think opulent furnishing, frescoed ceilings, and crystal chandeliers, and you have the St. Regis Florence. Interestingly, the hotel doesn’t feel overly fussy or dated. Everything you need to be modern and fresh is bang up to date. The feeling is of space and elegance rather than being ram-packed with antiques!
When you enter the hotel, to your left is the library lobby area which flows into the reception area itself, and to the right, you’ll find the concierge desk. For check-in, rather than the usual rather impersonal standing desk situation, you are welcomed into armchairs and welcomed in comfort. Continue on from the reception past the lifts on your left to the spa and guest rooms, and you will reach the stunning Winter Garden bar and restaurant area. These were quite simply my absolute favorite spaces in the entire hotel.
Stay in one of the 80 guest rooms and 19 suites at the St. Regis Florence for your own piece of Renaissance luxury. The rooms boast either 15th-century Florentine, Medici, or Renaissance-themed décor. All the standard in-room amenities that you would expect are present; the mini-bar is well-stocked, the robes are super fluffy, and the bed is up there with one of the comfiest I’ve slept on.
The rooms are surprisingly spacious for a central European-city hotel, I often feel very squeezed when staying even in the most luxurious hotels in some of the finest of Europe’s cities, but that really isn’t the case here. Rooms are roomy and comfortable, and ours had plenty of suitable furnishings should you wish to fully unpack too, with a large wardrobe and several chests of drawers.
Even the marble bathroom was large and had all the mod cons. Ours had a shower over the bath. A river view is a must here (about half of the rooms enjoy one), so definitely request one; gazing upon the landmark Ponte Vecchio bridge as the sun sets over the city is the perfect prelude to an evening sampling Tuscany’s delicious cuisines and wines.
All the suites are stunning, but the Bottega Veneto suite is definitely one for you if you prefer a fresh, contemporary look, whereas the Royal Suite is almost the exact opposite oozing antiques, art, and an opulence surely unrivaled in Florence’s finest hotels. Although that does rather forget the piece de la resistance that is the Presidential Suite; exclusive with the best view in the house, it’s frequented by celebrities on reportedly a rather regular basis! If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to a suite, the Premium Arno River View Rooms come with the bespoke St. Regis Butler service to meet your every whim.
Service & Facilities
As you would expect for a hotel of this reputation, the service is excellent. For me, the concierge really stood out. They were extremely welcoming and helpful. You leave your key with them and collect it on your return (yes, they remembered us), and this gives you the feeling of a personal welcome every time you enter the hotel, plus it also provides a really useful interaction so you can ask those random little questions with which you might not otherwise bother them.
We had a very early flight, and they suggested we could check out the night before (totally unprompted by us), and as we were too early for the breakfast service, they handed us the warm pastries we’d requested as we left, which was a wonderful parting.
The facilities at the St. Regis Florence are excellent, especially for such a centrally located hotel. There’s a fitness center, a Business Centre, valet parking is available, and perhaps best of all, they have a Clarins Spa so you can guarantee some relaxation amidst your city explorations. The wi-fi is also worthy of note; hassle-free to log onto, it remembers you, and is speedy and reliable.
Food & Drink
The award-winning, Michelin-starred Winter Garden Restaurant is simply sensational. A truly beautiful space, it took my breath away the first time I saw it, and I’d seen photos, so I knew partly what to expect. In the flesh, it’s just so special. Tuck into the very finest in Tuscan fine dining in the most sophisticated of surroundings. The Chef’s Tasting Menu comes highly recommended. The service here is impeccable and treads that line between professional and efficient while also being friendly and welcoming.
Start the day on the wrap-around terrace, which overlooks the main bar and restaurant area of the Winter Garden. The choice at the international breakfast was rather epic; plenty of hot options served buffet style, an egg and omelet station, which they brought to our table to save the usual wait, cereals, fresh fruit, cheeses and cold meats, smoked salmon, and a selection of breads and pastries.
Don’t miss the famous bespoke Evening Ritual under the statement arches of the bar area in the Winter Garden, where you are served delectable bites of Florentine finger food to match the finest sparkling wines.
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