It should come as no surprise that, in the heart of historic Florence, a 15-minute walk from the Duomo, presides a Renaissance palazzo—the home of Florentine nobility for centuries. Decorated with ornate frescoes, gilded chandeliers, and antique furnishings, the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze’s soaring halls and suites are fit for a king. The hotel is surrounded by 11 manicured acres of gardens—the Giardino della Gherardesca—their hidden pathways, serene pools, and ancient trees made for romantic promenades and hours curled up with a book. The dining rooms are among the most sought-after in Florence, and the elegant terraces buzz at all hours with a who’s who of Florentine clientele coming to pay their respects to this grande dame.
A bastion of true Renaissance luxury in a bustling city, the Four Seasons treats all guests like they’re the master of the house: no request too much, a gourmet meal offered at any hour, the most restorative and soothing spa treatments available at the snap of a finger.
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Just northeast of the historic city center, the Four Seasons is a 15-minute walk from the Duomo, yet the neighborhood feels infinitely calmer than those in the tourist heart. Historically home to sprawling private palazzos and the university, the area feels a bit slower than some of the others. The Galleria dell’Accademia, located on the Piazza delle Belle Arti and home to Michelangelo’s David, is a few minutes away, as are the National Archeological Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Orto Botanico, in addition to a number of other gardens. The Mercato Centrale—home to the city’s lively central food market, full of vendors selling the best of Tuscan produce and foodstuffs—is also nearby, a perfect spot to pick up provisions for a picnic. As a Four Seasons, the hotel has an excellent concierge service that can offer recommendations and help with reservations for restaurants and other activities.
Need to Know
Rooms: 116 rooms, 44 suites. From $766. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:Tuscan cuisine made with the freshest of local ingredients is served at the hotel’s five eateries and bars. An extensive, guests-only breakfast is served in the garden-facing La Magnolia, an intimate dining room and terrace on the ground floor of the historic conventino. The Michelin-starred Il Palagio offers a fine-dining experience for breakfast and dinner daily, complete with an extensive Tuscan wine list and a breezy terrace for warm weather; within the restaurant, the wine room is home to the Winery, a more relaxed dining experience with a focus on wine and smaller plates. In the warmer months, lunch and dinner are served daily at the poolside Trattoria Al Fresco, which offers a menu of pizzas, salads, and lighter bites alongside refreshing cocktails. Adorned with heavy drapes and ornately carved wood furnishings, the elegant Atrium Bar is a popular spot for both guests and well-heeled locals to gather over morning coffee, afternoon tea, evening aperitivos, and late-night glasses of wine. Spa and gym details: The Four Seasons claims to be home to the only hotel spa in the heart of Florence, and its candidate is quite an impressive one, a decadent, Old World affair with 10 treatment rooms and every imaginable beauty and spa treatment, all using the iconic Officino Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella products. The hotel also has a seasonal outdoor pool, large enough for laps, as well as a modern, well-equipped gym where personal training and yoga classes can be arranged. Outdoor sessions in the 11 acres of walled gardens can also be booked.
Who's it best for: Luxury-loving couples and families who want to splurge. Anyone who appreciates art and architecture. Our favorite rooms: Even the most modest rooms at the Four Seasons are sumptuous and elegant, with soaking tubs and bucolic park views, but the suites are especially breathtaking. The three individually decorated Gallery Suites, in particular, are open and airy, and the design team has gone above and beyond to preserve original frescoes, paneled ceilings, and other architectural details for a luxuriously modern interpretation of an authentic Florentine palazzo. Table with a view: Make your trip especially memorable with one of the hotel’s exclusive dining experiences—a romantic dinner from Michelin-starred chef Vito Mollica served on a private, fourth-floor terrace on the Ponte Vecchio, overlooking the Arno and Florence’s rooftops.
Four Seasons Florence
Fans of the Four Seasons brand will be delighted with the Florence version, located a short walk north of the city centre. Housed in grand Renaissance Palazzo della Gherardesca and the adjacent Conventino, it stands in the largest privately-owned garden in Florence and comes complete with huge gym, fabulous spa and large outdoor pool. The rooms are as luxurious as you would expect and the 11 ‘speciality suites’ are decorated with original top-to-toe frescoes. The Michelin-starred Il Palagio restaurant is a gourmet destination in its own right.