Just a few blocks from the Ponte Vecchio on the right side of the Arno sits super chic Hotel Continentale, a 43-room boutique gem.
The Ferragamo-family owned property designed by Florentine architect Michele Bönan made for the perfect city base during our recent stay in beautiful Firenze, tucked away from the hustle and bustle in a quiet square yet steps from all the city’s must-see sites — and just a quick hop over the bridge to Oltrarno where many of our favorite spots were hidden.
Continentale’s aesthetic evokes the distinctly romantic feel of Italy’s Renaissance capital, styled playfully in bubble-gum pinks and oranges with a mix of retro glamour and sleek modern touches. There are cheeky surprises throughout — an iPad photo booth in the main elevator to capture shots of guests making funny faces after a long day of gallery hopping or striking a pose before heading out for a night on the town; a lift from the lobby up to the breakfast room disguised as a plush lounge complete with banquettes, oversized pillows and full length mirrors (our son made himself comfortable and was almost inadvertently whisked away!)
In each of the guest rooms, night tables are surfaced with glass-topped clock faces and what resembles a 3 piece brown leather luggage trunk is actually the minibar, a desk and swivel chair that pulls out from the center. Some rooms have spectacular views of the Arno river; all have generously sized bathrooms with luxe amenities and all the mod cons you’d expect.
Bearing the Ferragamo name, it’s no wonder that Continentale exudes effortless style, but where the property really shines is in its exceptional service.
We were admittedly needy guests from the very start. Beginning with a snag in our arrival plans (buy your train tickets in advance during Easter week, people!) Francesca, the front desk guru, had all our problems solved within minutes and seamlessly added an additional night to our stay to make up for the day we essentially lost en route. The following morning, we had Uffizi and Academia reservations in hand, forward train tickets to Rome and even a Swiss adapter I requested for a straightening iron I’d just purchased a few days earlier in Switzerland when mine unexpectedly gave up on me — a true travel emergency! We definitely put the staff to the test with a flurry of requests and everything was handled immediately, flawlessly and always with a smile.
You should know: The hotel’s rooftop lounge “La Terrazza,” located on the top floor of the medieval Consorti tower is truly something special, with sweeping views of the city from every direction. Well-behaved bimbis are invited – ours was not the only one in attendance. Grab a seat near the outdoor fireplace and an aperol spritz off their extensive cocktail list (or a glass of special green apple juice for the kids) as the sun sets.
Family Friendly Rating: 9/10 Italian culture is centered around family, and though a high-design property with billowy white linens may not seem like the best fit for kids, families are warmly welcomed here. The staff were all really sweet with our almost 3-year old son Jake, and we wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again next time we are in town. Cribs are available to borrow, and in-room babysitting can be arranged upon request.
Address: Vicolo dell’Oro, 6r
Florence 50123, Italy