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Helvetia & Bristol, Florence, Italy
A vibrant city-centre hotel owned by the local Star Hotels group, it occupies a covetable address right in the heart of the upmarket shopping area moments from the Palazzo Strozzi. The old part of the building has been a hotel since the late 1800s and has been recently extended into the Banca di Roma building next door, where there are 25 contemporary-styled rooms and a subterranean spa. Rooms in the old part are, by contrast, full of antique flourishes and period colours. Dine in either the new Cibrèo Ristorante, which is the first city-centre restaurant of the famous Cibrèo family, or in the elegant turquoise Cibrèo caffe, where the menu is more traditional. Breakfast is a lavish spread in the Belle Époque winter garden, which has a stained-glass ceiling.
You can step out of the hotel at night and feel right in the centre of the action.
In the centre of Florence, you're within walking distance of the upmarket shops and sights such as the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria.
By plane: direct flights from London to Florence take over 2 hours. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from the airport. Parking costs €60 per day. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
This is perfect for weekend city-breakers looking for a central location. The winter garden has a green and violet stained-glass ceiling and botanic wallpaper.
Service & Facilities
The room keys are still actual keys on heavy fobs, which is a lovely touch.
- Fitness centre
- Free Wi-Fi
Room 105 is a lavish suite in the new "Bristol" wing with parquet floors and a stand-alone roll-top bath. Both the clothes hangers and the slippers are made in Italy which is a lovely touch.
Deluxe Room, Family Room, Junior Suite, Suite, Panoramic Suite, Presidential Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, hairdryer, pillow menu, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
A lavish breakfast buffet is laid out on a huge oval table in the winter garden. The slow-cooked beef ribs melt in the mouth.
Winter Garden: open daily for breakfast by Iginio Massari. Options include brioche, croissants, biscuits, cakes and pastries.
Cibrèo Caffè: casual café and bar, antipasti, snacks and salads. All-day dining, open daily.
Cibrèo Ristorante & Cocktail Bar: main restaurant, Italian cuisine. Open Tue-Sun for dinner and drinks.