Just Back from Florence

New luxury boutique hotel

We are happy to report on Florence's new luxury boutique hotel, The Hotel Savoy, which opened in May.

The views:
On one side, Piazza della Repubblica; on the other, the walls of a neighboring building.

The style:
Cool, fashion-conscious in the lobby (apple-green couches, zebra footstools); refined and contemporary in the rooms (white-on-white furniture with clean lines, round bed tables painted silver, accent pieces of gray leather in some rooms). The photographs and paintings of shoes aren't just decorative, they're descriptive—the building is owned by the Ferragamos.

Best rooms:
The corner rooms (06/07 series) have the best piazza views; rooms on the second and fourth floors have small foot terraces (the ones on the second floor are bigger and may inspire you to give a speech to the crowd in the square below.) Avoid 01, 02, 03, 19, 20, and 23 rooms unless you prefer quiet to views, since these face the neighboring wall.

Best hotel addition:
L'Incontro, the hotel's restaurant and bar, a stylish alternative to the other hangouts on the square.

Convenient feature:
Proximity to a variety of shopping and sightseeing. The Duomo and Via de' Tornabuoni and its offshoots are a short walk away.

The drawbacks:
Again, rooms are smallish, and despite soundproofing, windows let in some noise from the piazza—particularly at night when dueling musicians perform.

Rates $305-$1,043.

7 Piazza della Repubblica, Florence; 800-223-6800; 39-055-27351; fax 39-055-2735888.