The family-friendly Savoy is the best hotel from which to explore Florence
Words by Jessica Shaltout
After a short two-hour flight we arrived in Florence and picked up our car. We were planning to head into the Tuscan countryside following our stay, but you don’t actually need a car if staying in the city as everything is within walking distance. You couldn’t get more central than the location of Rocco Forte’s Savoy. Set in the heart of the city, overlooking cafe-lined Piazza della Repubblica, the hotel is a stone’s throw from Ponte Vecchio, Via Tornabuoni, Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo. From the look of the Savoy’s facade, a historic building facing onto central Florence, one might expect decor of draperies and chaise longues. However, the hotel has recently had a thorough going-over as a part of its initiation into the Rocco Forte family and offers a modern twist on a classic building.
Once in the lobby, we were immediately struck by the jazzy fabrics in bright colours set against the cool marble floor. The Savoy represents the first collaboration between Olga Polizzi, Director of Design for Rocco Forte Hotels, and Laudemia Pucci, daughter of legendary designer Emilio Pucci. Their influence is apparent throughout the hotel: for one thing, a specially designed Pucci scarf in fuchsia and bright blue features on the tabletops in the restaurant. The hotel has a more classic feel beyond the lobby, with the use of gorgeous Italian fabrics, locally crafted cabinets and custom-made soft furnishings.
When the hotel underwent its recent renovations they actually reduced the number of rooms to make more suites and we were lucky enough to stay in a Grand View suite on the fourth floor. The decor is chic throughout, with herringbone floors, Baroque-style art, soft Farrow & Ball greys, blues and greens, and furniture made by local artists. Our suite came with a dining room and sitting room full of books but the most impressive part was the panoramic view overlooking the square. We enjoyed watching the crowds of tourists at different points throughout the day, and even a bit of the nighttime buzz from the comfort of our balcony.
Sizewise, it was perfect for a young family. Our baby was able to sleep in a separate room so we didn’t have to creep around the room in silence after her bedtime. Connecting rooms are available for families with older children and there are all sorts of special activities and services for children, such as the ‘Pinocchio Experience’ and organised treasure hunts in the Uffizi. Bottle-warmers, baby baths and complimentary baby meals are provided for little ones, and slightly older children will appreciate the ‘Teddy Turndown Service’. There are mini bathrobes and slippers and children’s toiletries too. Even the entry-level doubles are generous in size and have enough room for a small sofa.
The hotel is ideally located for exploring Florence. Surely unparalleled in terms of historic architecture and the sheer number of galleries to get through, you have to be up early to avoid queues for hotspots like the Uffizzi. We enjoyed walking the streets, stopping every now and then to sample Italian coffee, wine or delicacies. We went in off-peak season so it wasn’t too busy or hot and the trip was made even better by the fact that the Italians seem to love babies so much.
Starting rate €600 per classic room per night including breakfast and VAT – roccofortehotels.com
For more travel tips, click here.