JK Place Firenze is a far cry from Florence’s obsession with all things Renaissance. Set amid the buzz of Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, this onetime private mansion is decked out in black, white, gray, and chrome, with inflections of 1950s movie stars, 1970s pop art, and ornate 19th-century architecture. The reception feels like a library, and the breakfast room is a glassed-over former courtyard with a hefty antique wooden communal table. Free drinks, fresh fruit, and homemade treats (and bubbles at cocktail hour) can be found at all hours in the guests-only lounge area. Impress your well-heeled friends by inviting them to dine on the piazza terrace, presided over by the appropriately black-and-white Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, before moving downstairs to the clubby Pink Room. Slip upstairs to your spacious and individually designed room for a divine night’s sleep, and if you must step back out the front door, make sure it’s to one of the Fiesole museums, to which all guests have free entry.
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Facing the elegant and imposing Basilica di Santa Maria Novella from across its eponymous piazza, J.K. Place sits just outside Florence’s historic, tourist-heavy center. The hotel’s location offers breathing room while still being within walking distance both of the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station and most major sights. The hotel’s superb concierge service can arrange any activity, private tour, or excursion, and guests have free entry to the museums in nearby Fiesole. Neighbors include the world-famous Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, an apothecary founded by Dominican friars that dates back to 1612 and is still open to the public daily. The city’s renowned Duomo—the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore—and the many shops, sights, and restaurants surrounding it, are within just a few minutes’ walk, as are the Piazza della Repubblica, with its many cafés, and the picturesque Ponte Vecchio.
Need to Know
Rooms: 20 rooms, five suites. From $510. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:With the atmosphere of a private club and a stylized decor that walks the line between 1950s elegance and 1970s kitsch, the J.K. Lounge serves light, classic Tuscan meals and drinks throughout the day; food and drinks can also be ordered to the piazza-facing J.K. Terrace and to the scenic and breezy rooftop terrace. A free daily buffet breakfast is served in the glass-ceilinged, atrium-style dining room, and free homemade snacks, cakes, coffee, and tea are available for guests throughout the day. The recently-opened Champagne and cocktail bar offers yet another intimate and slightly retro watering hole, while the basement Pink Room bar and lounge channels Warhol and 1970s New York with its sultry atmosphere and neon hues. Rooms are also outfitted with a welcome fruit basket and a free, nonalcoholic minibar. Spa and gym details:The hotel has neither a gym nor a spa, but all guests have free access to the neighboring Olimpa SPA Steam Bath and the Florence Fitness Gym.
Who's it best for: Couples, independent travelers, and young families who appreciate boutique luxury. Our favorite rooms:Each individual room and suite is decorated by designer Michele Bönan to create a stylish, luxurious retreat, but the most impressive of all may be the two-story Penthouse, which not only has a private terrace but also a top-story bathroom lined with windows, with a bathtub looking out on the Duomo’s cupola. A place to gather:Many of the rooms feel like private pieds-à-terre—complete with free minibars, decorative fireplaces, and unobstructed views of the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella—but, for a more social atmosphere, head to the private TV room and library.