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Grand Hotel Minerva, Florence, Italy
Although it's just a few minutes' stroll from Florence's main square and all the main sights, the Grand Minerva is in a quiet corner away from the tourist hordes. Here the locals come out each evening to socialise on lively pedestrianised Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which the hotel overlooks. This four-star hotel is a successful mix of styles: traditional 19th-century, a 1950s makeover by celebrated architect Carlo Scarpa and a 2017 revamp injecting a swish contemporary look. There's a highly rated restaurant, a rooftop bar and pool with panoramic views of the city, and guest rooms decked out in neutral tones or with splashes of colour.
The hotel is so central: both Florence's cathedral, the Galleria dell'Accademia and the Uffizi Gallery are about a ten-minute walk away.
On pedestrianised street, Piazza Santa Maria Novella, you're close to the train station as well many of the city's sights.
By plane: flights from London to Florence take over 2 hours. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from the airport. Parking nearby costs €45 per day. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
The proximity to the train station makes it ideal for travellers arriving by train. Few hotels have a 1950s look today, and this one combines its mid-century features, 19th-century origins and contemporary styling with panache.
Service & Facilities
There are plenty of areas to meet for a drink or quietly read a book, from the attractive lobby areas to secluded terraces.
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- Free Wi-Fi
You can see both the cathedral and the square from the balcony of room 311. The well-chosen contemporary artworks in the guest rooms are by Italian artists such as Montevarchi-born Beatrice Gallori.
Premium, Deluxe Double, Romantic Room, Frescoed Suite, Romantic Suite, Duplex Suite, Junior Suite, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, minibar, safe, air conditioning, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
We loved sipping cocktails while watching the sunset by the pool on the roof terrace, with relaxing lounge music in the background. The six course tasting menu with wine pairings is the best way to experience Calonaci's cuisine.
La Buona Novella: Italian fine dining, open daily for lunch and dinner. Tasting menu from €80.
La Terrazza: pool bar, grill restaurant and light bites. Open seasonally, 11am-midnight.