• Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Four Seasons Florence Suites

The Four Seasons Florence - The Ultimate Weekend Getaway
October 3, 2016
By , Founder

Sometimes, you want a sure thing.  A long weekend getaway that is a home run.  A place where you get culture just by walking down the street. It’s a major bonus when eating gelato for breakfast, partaking in two pastas a day and drinking at least a bottle of Brunello are perfectly acceptable norms.  And the hotel?  You’re looking for a showstopper, where everything about it is better than home. 

Welcome to the Four Seasons Florence, your weekend Italian getaway.  Tucked into its own private park in the heart of Florence, this is one of the most unique Four Seasons hotels in the portfolio.  The main hotel is set in a 600-year-old villa, that’s not quite Medici but belonged to a relative of the family, so close enough.  What this means is stunning frescos, historic architecture and the feel like you’re in a museum, except you’re allowed to touch whatever you want.  There is no question in  your mind that you’re in Florence, when you call this abode home. 

Good for:  Couples, singles, (including solo travelers) and groups of friends looking for food, wine, art and culture.  In other words, all the good things in life.

Suggested stay:  A long weekend.

Time of year:  Anytime of year is a good time to be in Florence, but optimally outside of the crowded summer months of July and August.  The sales are solid in January (along with close access to the outlets outside of Florence), and the fall is when the weather is just about perfect. 

The Highlights:

·      The hotel.  If you’ve been to Florence many a time, the hotel itself is like a destination, where you get everything from food, art, culture and a stunning place to call home for the long weekend.  The service is impeccable – flawless actually especially when you are out of the hectic summer crowds when their team really shines.  The main hotel is historic, and unmistakably traditional Florentine.  The Villas, which are in the old convent building on the other side of the private park, feel like a chic boutique hotel, primed for the romantic getaway.  The garden is sublime, and in warmer months a place where you can spend several hours kicking back over an aperol spritz or prosecco. 

·      The suites.  If there’s one hotel where you’re going to splurge on a suite, this should be it.  At the top of the food chain are the Royal Suite and Presidential Suite, both of which have hallways larger than most apartments and dining rooms where you better be throwing a party during your stay.  The architecture alone is jaw-dropping; in the Royal Suite, the larger of the two at around 2500 square feet, the frescoed ceilings are enough to inspire ceiling goals and it takes at least 5 minutes to walk from one end of the suite to the other in stilettos.  We know, we personally timed it. 

·      It’s Florence.  If you walk outside and barely 100 feet, you’re already a more cultured, interesting, and better person. 

·      The food and wine. You are hard pressed in Italy to find consistently mind-blowing food and wine than in the city of Florence, and there is a long list of restaurants and wine bars, along with gelato from Venchi, to keep you more than busy.  However, if you never left the hotel, you’d be in the hands of Michelin-starred Chef Vito Mollica, who prepares everything from homemade egg tagliatelle and asparagus pasta in the casual Atrium, to some serious cuisine at Il Palagio, the home of that Michelin star.  One of their specialties is cacio e pepe, a simple dish differentiated by barely poached ruby shrimp and calamari.  We normally avoid hotel restaurants but this one we couldn’t get enough of from breakfast until that late night snack over a big old glass of Brunello. 

·      The Shopping. Milan and Cortina get a run for their money in Florence, where you have all the big brands, the preferential USD/Euro exchange rate, and ample inventory in all the sizes.  Also, the outlets like Prada are a short drive away from Florence, and where you can score some major deals.  There’s no shame in coming to Florence just to stock up on your couture. 

·      Day Trips.  Florence is in prime locale, to do a longer day trip to the wine country where you can partake in some of the best vintages and wine tasting around.   Sienna is also a stones throw away (about an hour or so) to take in your history and culture.  There’s something about driving through the Italian countryside which inspires a life is good moment. 

Our restaurant list is focused on some local favorites, like Sostanza, which has a brown buttered chicken breast, traditional Florentine steak and a meringue with wild strawberries which make it not necessarily the buzziest place (it’s been around forever) but the insider place to eat.  We of course have always loved Pinchiorri on previous visits but we’ve done away with formalities for this weekend getaway.  We were in the mood for the old school waiters, simple Italian recipes at places like Cammillo and the low-key outdoor trattoria seating at Quattro Leoni.  

For shopping, yes, we did walk away with Rockstuds from Valentino, but we explored quintessential Florentine handmade craftsmanship with custom made shoes for men at Stefano Bemer, and travel trunks at La Scuola del Cuoio.  This wasn’t our first rodeo in Florence, so we kept it local for a unique local experience.