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The St Regis, Florence, Italy
A grand 15th-century palace on the north bank of the River Arno in central Florence that has been a hotel since 1866. The internal Winter Garden has a vaulted stained-glass ceiling and a balcony where breakfast is served and is the best place in the hotel to absorb the period splendour of the building. Many of the hotel's rooms and suites have windows and balconies overlooking the weir of Santa Rosa, which fills the air with the therapeutic sound of tumbling water. There's also a small spa - one of only two in Italy to offer the personal "My Blend" Clarins facials alongside massages.
The hotel overlooks the weir of Santa Rosa and when you are on your balcony you can hear the water thundering over it.
The St Regis is at the edge of the city centre, 15 minutes' walk from the main shopping districts and historical sites.
By plane: direct flights to Pisa from London, Manchester and Bristol take around 2 hours 30 mins. The hotel is a 1 hour 15-minute drive from the airport. Parking is available for €45 a day. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
Anyone who appreciates opulent historic interiors will love it here - look out for the enormous gilt filigree mirror over the marble fireplace in the reception area.
Service & Facilities
Edoardo the sommelier will provide enthusiastic wine recommendations to accompany your meal in the Winter Garden. We love the spa here too, which can give you a facial analysis to reveal problem areas.
- Winter garden
- Beauty treatments
- Private parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Room 414 has three windows and balconies overlooking the River Arno, including one in the bathroom. Florentine paper cut-outs are arranged on the bed reading "Welcome" on arrival.
Smaller Guest Room, Deluxe Guest Room, Premium Guest Room, Junior Suite, Deluxe Suite, Bottega Veneta Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The "evening ritual" involves the sabering of a bottle of champagne; arrive early enough and you might be invited to do it yourself. We love the "40 yolk" herb fettuccine pasta with white ragu and truffle - rich, indulgent and intensely flavoured.
Winter Garden Restaurant: authentic Tuscan cuisine, dishes include roasted octopus and spicy baby chicken. Open daily 12-10.30pm. Mains from €34.
Winter Garden Bar: coffees, light lunches, drinks. Open daily 11am-midnight.