In the heart of the historic centre of Florence, just a few steps from the Duomo (cathedral), Trixie and I stayed at the 95-bedroom luxury Hotel Brunelleschi. Dating back to the Byzantine period, the hotel has a stylish, chic decor.
The newly opened Tower Suite occupies the top floor of the medieval Pagliazza Tower, one the oldest buildings in Florence, built by the Byzantines between 541 and 544AD to defend the city from the Goths.
The hotel is actually made up of three buildings, with bedrooms varying in size. There is a choice of three different colour schemes, green, brown and mauve. The predominant colour can be seen on the headboard and fabric of the chairs as well as on a strip in the neutral coloured taffeta curtains. On each side of the bed are mirrored tables. Our room 420, which looked out directly onto the bell tower also had views of the cathedral’s dome, was mauve. The paintwork followed the colour scheme with a very delicate tint of the colour, as with the lampshades, and the taffeta floor to ceiling curtains. Pale beige marble bathrooms either have a bath with integral shower or as in our case, a walk-in shower. The sinks are silver tinted washbowls. The beds have crisp cotton sheets. Towel dressing gowns and slippers are provided, as is a large umbrella. The hall corridors are decorated in a pale Florentine grey.
The suites, which benefit from a 9am check-in and 5pm check out have a butler to pack and unpack as well as an on-arrival pressing service. The pool suite is a duplex with a king size canopy bed and 215 sq ft terrace with Jacuzzi tub.
The hotel claims to be the only one in Florence to provide guests with 42” interactive, 62 station televisions in every bedroom.
A smallish lobby belies the size of the hotel. The recent restoration has preserved its original appearance of the building with a precious collection of the tower findings on display in the hotel’s private museum. This includes the structures of two Roman baths, plates, and various oddments. Hotel guests can visit although it is only open to the general public on specific days.
The property has an exclusive gourmet restaurant ‘Sant’Elisabetta’, with intimate fine dining as there are just seven tables. The hotel’s Osteria della Pagliazza’ restaurant provides casual dining with local Tuscan dishes.