What is the history of this hotel?
Once JK Place and Italy’s original town hall, this stylish and cultured urban asshole – now renamed The Place – sits a stone’s throw from the station and shares the square’s space with the glorious church of Santa Maria Novella. A stay here feels like being the guest of an extremely cultured collector friend.
Pleasant. How is the crowd?
Fashion insiders, style lovers, sophisticated globetrotters, savvy families, regulars who wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere else in Florence
I understood. And how is the check-in going?
JK was one of the first hotels in Italy to take the informal ‘sit to chat’ approach when checking in, and it’s still done in a small library above an antique desk surrounded by art books.
We can be behind this. The good stuff: Tell us about your room.
The 20 rooms spread over four floors range from the compact but cocooning Superiors (“intimate and comfortable”) to the panoramic Duomo rooftop loft, but our favorites are the spacious Master Suites overlooking the square to the glorious facade of the church. swirling Alberti. The hotel underwent a facelift under local architect Luigi Fragola in 2021, but longtime JK fans will be pleased to hear that the clean, contemporary aesthetic hasn’t changed much, although Fragola added pops of color (forest green, royal purple) and flashes of brass and velvet on the neutral background palette. Rooms have wooden floors, spongy sofas and armchairs (the bigger ones at least), and luxury cashmere throws. It’s all in the detail here; the top-of-the-range bedding is embroidered with the hotel’s pretty green logo (inspired by Alberti’s facade) as are the stationery and the small cloth bags containing slippers and a hair dryer.
Good to know. How about the little things, like the mini bar or the shower gifts. All this worth noting?
Minibars are stocked with free soft drinks, and room service will provide tea and coffee at no extra cost. The travertine marble bathrooms are supplied with thick towels and white or pale green bathrobes and delicious Votary and Floris products.
We like it. Room service and catering: is it worth it?
The downstairs common area includes a relaxed lounge bar and restaurant area with an open fireplace and comfy armchairs, although in warmer weather you want to be outside on the fabulous terrace overlooking the place for your Campari Spritz. The all-day menu includes sea bass ceviche, beef tartare, and shrimp-stuffed black tortelli as well as salads, burgers, and club sandwiches. And if you don’t feel like being sociable, you can order dinner on the private rooftop terrace which can be reserved for exclusive use. A fabulous cooked-to-order savory and sweet breakfast is served in exquisite bespoke Ginori china.
Have been sold. Regarding staff: if you could give someone a trophy, who would get it and why?
Seasoned Florentine general manager Claudio Meli is one of the best in the business, and his little black book of insider contacts, accumulated over many years, is second to none. The Place sells itself as a home away from home, “Your Place in Florence”, and Claudio will do his best to make it all happen. “No” is not a word included in his vocabulary.
Something stands out from other services and features? Whether it’s childcare, gyms, spas or even parking, whatever interests you.
Basically, whatever you want, The Place will get it for you. Want a custom brass lamp? Phone call to a local craftsman. Are you traveling by car? Valet parking will take your wheels to a nearby garage. Want cashmere? Claudio Meli knows where to go. Want to dine with Michelangelo’s David? No problem.
Conclusion: Is it worth it, and why?
Sure, the prices are some of the highest in town, but the service is second to none and you’ll get what you pay for. And don’t be put off by the location near the train station; Piazza Santa Maria Novella is a short walk from Via Tornabuoni (one of Florence’s most exclusive streets) and close to most of what you’ll want to see.
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