An ancient boutique hotel in Florence
82 Rooms / 14 Suites
Hotel Brunelleschi is about as a unique as luxury boutique hotels get, whether in Florence or some other far-flung locale. This hotel is nestled within an ancient medieval church and a round Byzantine tower (which happens to be the oldest building in town). Simply put: It stops onlookers in their tracks. Inside, there’s a bewitching mix of cool, contemporary design elements and a deep sense of history that makes this place an ideal spot for inquisitive guests who want to feel as if they can travel back in time, albeit a time with technological advances and really good food. (There’s even a museum housing Roman ruins that sits beneath the hotel.) Views of the majestic Florence Cathedral (the Duomo) and the gorgeous architecture of the city, plus its location near the best shops and sights, make this a popular place to stay.
Rooms are decorated in a contemporary-classic manner, combining antique-inspired furniture with sleek design elements — think comfortable platform beds, marble bathrooms and Italian bed linens. Every room features modern comforts like a tea and coffee maker (the suites feature a Nespresso machine) to calm a caffeine angst, LCD TVs and daily turndown service. All guests who book a suite are assigned a personal concierge who arranges particulars like the time morning coffee is delivered to your room and filling vases with your favorite flowers.
The Pagliazza Tower Suite (atop Byzantine-age tower building) is breathtaking, one of the most unusual suites in the city, a project that was carefully curated due to the historical preservation of the tower itself. Brick walls, antique oak floors and golden iron chandeliers give this suite a wonderful sense of place. It is also outfitted with state-of-the-art technology, two bathrooms, a modern round bed and a view of the Duomo like no other.
The luxury hotel ups your stay with a number of amenities. Need help navigating all of the nearby shops? A personal shopper is at your disposal. Parents have access to a kettle, a crib, a high chair, a bottle warmer, diapers, wipes and a babysitter, in case they want to duck out for a romantic dinner. If you plan to bring your pet, don’t worry about lugging gear. For a fee, it offers a dog kit with a dog bed, bowls for water and a food, a placemat, disposable bags for picking up after your pet and a welcome biscuit. There’s also a dog sitter.
Given its location, the Florence hotel is located steps from a slew of other restaurants in Florence, but the two inside Hotel Brunelleschi are more than worth a visit. The more casual Osteria della Pagliazza is where you can get a bite at any time of the day, and it serves up dishes like tuna carpaccio with a fennel and orange salad or a typical club sandwich with excellent ingredients. The more formal Restaurant Santa Elisabetta has only seven tables and specializes in haute cuisine (try the tasting menu). The wine menu here is very impressive, with organic choices as well as 200 other vino options. The tower bar serves an evening aperitivo at 6:30 p.m. and guests can sip one of many creative cocktails. Breakfast at the hotel is buffet-style and included in the room price — it’s a continental affair with plenty of options (including prosecco).