Endless boutique charm in Florence
Designed as a luxurious but comfortable urban townhouse, J.K. Place Firenze is nestled in a corner of Piazza Santa Maria Novella and serves as Florence’s answer to friendly, stylish elegance. Just steps from both the train station and the elegant shopping street Via Tornabuoni, it is a prime spot for those who want to stay central to historic Florence.
Acclaimed interior designer Michele Bonan remade the former resident into a suave space that still manages to make you feel right at home. There’s no reception desk in the lobby, just smiling staff that offers a cocktail before settling you by a large fireplace in the living-room-esque lounge outfitted with black-and-white architectural sketches, gold-plated mirrors and comfortable sofas. This boutique hotel attracts a wide range of sophisticated clients, including Italy’s singer-songwriter Jovanotti, the Prince of Luxembourg, Patti Smith and actress Rosario Dawson.
Each of the 20 rooms reflects Bonan’s sleek-meets-classic design philosophy with an emphasis on high-quality materials and textures and a muted color scheme — imagine ebony floors, white walls, ornate crown moldings, beautiful flecked marble and high-thread count sheets.
Staying in one of the rooms really does feel like home. Master Rooms have four-poster beds, cashmere throws from nearby town Prato and pink chairs; a fresh bouquet of flowers awaits you on arrival. The J.K. Panoramic Loft is lovely, with light hardwood floors throughout, and quite a view (even in the bathroom) of piazza and beyond.
Being in the historical city center has its perks — many top-notch restaurants are within walking distance — and the Florence hotel certainly stepped it up a notch to keep you close to home with J.K. Lounge, a restaurant/lounge hybrid. The outside terrace is a sublime spot to sip on Italian cocktails or wine, as it’s popular with locals.
The menu is a nice blend of Italian fusion, seasonal, with half-portion options for lunch. Choose from items such as Florentine-style gazpacho, colorful quinoa salad with a pesto made of capers, and handmade ravioli stuffed with burrata cheese and served with fresh tomatoes, peanuts and basil. (There’s also freshly squeezed juice concoctions, blending ginger and vegetables.)
On Sundays, J.K. Lounge hosts a see-and-be-seen buffet brunch popular with locals. Breakfast is taken at a large communal table (remember, there’s only 20 rooms here) in the skylit dining room and room service is available until 11 p.m. daily. Complimentary snacks are laid out in the dining room in the afternoon, too.