Where to Stay in Florence Now
New hotel players are on the scene while the established ones stay fresh and relevant.
The city’s novelty is the 36-suite Portrait Firenze, which opens in May. Aficionados of Leonardo Ferragamo’s Lungarno Collection hotels may remember the riverside property, with its compelling views of the Ponte Vecchio, as the former location of Lungarno Suites (a pleasant though rather bland long-stay hotel that never really took off). Portrait Firenze is quite a different animal.
Modeled on Portrait Roma in Rome, the hotel group’s biggest success to date, the Florence property matches local interiors maestro Michele Bönan’s stylish decor with what it claims is unrivaled service. Bönan (a regular Lungarno contributor who designed the original hotel) deploys classic furnishings with a 1940s and 1950s feel in a series of light-filled rooms (some have floor-to-ceiling windows, a rarity in Florence) whose gray walls are decorated with vintage photos of Florentine scenes and characters. But, as Lungarno Collection president Ferragamo says, “the real challenge is not designing furniture. It’s designing atmosphere.”
Service centers on a “lifestyle team” trained to cope with any and every request, who know the city inside out. They’re required to eat at local restaurants and take the city’s various private tours in order to offer spot-on recommendations. Rooms start at $625; Lungarno Acciaiuoli 4; 39-055/2726-4000; portraitfirenze.com.