“You may have the universe if I may have Italy” – Giuseppe Verdi
The magic of Italy never ceases to amaze, and never disappoints; and the City of Florence – while sometime overshadowed by Paris, Venice, and Tuscany – reveals its own special secrets to those who walk its streets and visit its many treasures. Prior to visiting a special city such as Florence, I invest quite a bit of time in learning from the many travel experts who have visited before me, so that I can visit the hotel or resort that will allow me to thoroughly experience the city. And after a short period, it became quite clear that I needed to visit the St. Regis Florence.
There is much to love about the St. Regis Florence, and its breathtaking and dramatic location is perhaps my favorite characteristic of the property. The St. Regis Florence rests on the western edge of the Piazza Ognissanti (All Saints Square) in the center of Florence, and adjacent to the banks of city’s famous Arno River.
The world renowned and magnificent Ponte Vecchio lies only a few kilometers up-river:
The St. Regis Florence resides in the former palace home to the Giuntini Family, and early renderings of the palace date back to 1400. The palace was transferred to the Popoleschi Family in the late 1800s and restored for its new role as a luxury hotel called the Grand Hotel Royal de la Paix. After undergoing a full renovation in 2011, the St. Regis Florence boasts 81 extravagant guestrooms and 19 palatial suites. The property’s appointments are some of the most opulent I’ve ever seen, including Murano glass chandeliers, Tuscan and Florentine paintings, antiques, frescoes, and luxurious furniture. Here are some images of the interior of the property, photo credits to the St. Regis Florence:
The St. Regis Florence exceeded all expectations. We were guided to our suite on the third floor, facing the restless Arno River. One of the coolest experiences of the St. Regis is the access to its famous Butler Service, which offers a litany of luxury services, including drawing your shades, coffee and tea delivery, or a fresh shoe shine.
The St. Regis Florence features a world-class signature dining experience in the one-Michelin Star Restaurant Winter Garden by Caino. You may also sample some of Tuscany’s best wines at the Catinenetta Wine Cellar, and finish your evening at the Winter Garden Bar.
We had the special fortune of dining at Restaurant Winter Garden by Caino, and the setting is resplendent. Photo credits to the St. Regis Florence:
Helmed by Executive Chef Michele Griglio, Restaurant Winter Garden by Caino features a superlative Tasting Menu, which we thoroughly enjoyed – layered textures, vibrant colors, and robust flavors; simply exquisite.
The Iridium Spa
The St. Regis features The Iridium Spa, a highly regarded wellness sanctuary which offers an array of custom-tailored treatments; including its highly regarded and exclusive Le Soin Visage Youth Synergy Skin Treatment. Spa images courtesy of the St. Regis Florence:
The St. Regis Florence offers many special experiences (as do many St. Regis properties) such as the Bentley Tours Experience where you can tour Florence in the grandest of style through this unique partnership. But perhaps my favorite signature St. Regis experience is the St. Regis Champagne Sabering where nightly, a bartender expertly splays open a Champagne bottle with a saber. It’s as cool as it sounds, and check out the finished product!
Florence is unique from the standpoint that it feels as if you’ve been transported back in time to the streets of a quintessentially Italian city, where craftsmanship and antiquities are the currency. Strolling the cobblestone streets, pausing to sample street food and a glass of wine, is something quite special.
Following a day of discovering the city, I can’t think of a destination to which to return more profoundly perfect than the St. Regis Florence to continue feeling as if you’ve been recast as an 19th Century Italian nobleman; simply one more reason that Verdi was right – you can have the universe and I’ll take Italy.
The St. Regis Florence – Location and Social
Piazza Ognissanti 1, Florence, 50123, Italy – Google Maps
Thanks so very much to everyone at the St. Regis Florence for such a special and memorable visit, and for the use of the high resolution images! I’d like to especially thank Rebecca for helping with all of the initial communications; and Seba, whose friendliness and light-hearted chatting we thoroughly enjoyed. I’d also like to thank our amazing Butler Andrea, and Marcelo who made us feel so welcome at the Front Desk.
Please take note that I was welcomed as a special media guest by the hotel, but that as always, my opinions are entirely my own.
Thank you so much for reading, and Happy Travels!