If your idea of the perfect stay in Florence includes waking up in one of the city’s oldest palaces, then Hotel Il Tornabuoni, part of Hyatt Hotels’ Unbound Collection, is for you.
It’s hard to imagine a better location. Il Tornabuoni – which opened late last year after a two-year renovation of the Renaissance palace that houses it – is on Via de’ Tornabuoni, one block from the river and one block of Palazzo Strozzi museum houses. The fact that this pedestrian street is lined with luxury brands such as Pucci and Gucci, rather than bars or restaurants, gives it a more peaceful setting than many of its competitors.
Architect Andrea Auletta drew inspiration from the splendor of Florence under the Medici to inspire her eye-catching interiors. Each floor has a different color palette, mostly dazzling combinations like blue and green, pink and peacock, or yellow and gray. (If you prefer something more understated, Tier Two’s sleek gray and brown will work for you.) Key Florentine motifs, such as geometric patterns and balls from the Medici coat of arms, pop throughout, but the mood is resolutely contemporary. The only exception is the Lorenzo Il Magnifico Suite, which lives up to its name thanks to the gloriously restored frescoes that cover the walls and ceiling.
Rooms at Il Tornabuoni are generously sized, ranging from 20 square meters to 60 square meters, and half of them are suites. I was upgraded to a suite which features high ceilings, two king beds, a couch, a table with four seats, and a lavish bathroom with an oversized tub. Each piece of furniture in the rooms is made to measure. I particularly love the beds, which feature scalloped headboards and brass frames that are a stylish nod to traditional canopy beds. I’m also glad to see that there is a coffee machine, which many Italian hotels don’t offer, and that the mini bar allows you to put your own drinks.
The hotel has just reopened after being closed during the height of the Omicron outbreak, and not all of its food outlets have reopened yet. The Il Magnifico café-restaurant is doing good business and, punch me, I arrive on the day of the reopening of the Butterfly Terrace. The wine cellar La Cave and the opulent restaurant Lucie should reopen soon. Il Magnifico’s breakfast buffet offers Italian standards (lots of cakes and cold cuts), but the menu also includes more international choices such as muesli, eggs Benedict, and grilled ham and cheese.
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The hotel’s central location means that many of Florence’s best-loved sites, from the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio to the Duomo and the Medici Chapels, are less than 10 minutes away on foot. If you arrive by train, you can even walk to Santa Maria di Novella station, if your luggage is light enough.
Spacious rooms, spectacular interiors and warm, friendly service – it’s not often that a hotel ticks all the boxes, but Il Tornabuoni hits the mark.
From 360 euros per night. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy. Phone +39 055 212645, see hyatt.com
EMPHASIZE Rooftop terraces are common in Rome but less so in Florence, which makes the Butterfly Terrace a real treat. The view over the rooftops is particularly magnificent at sunset.
LOW LIGHT One odd oversight is the lack of glasses or tumblers in an otherwise well-equipped bathroom. I end up using the cups from the mini bar when I brush my teeth.
OUR SCORE OUT OF FIVE
Ute Junker was a guest at Il Tornabuoni Hotel.