Hotel L’Orologio Florence is superbly situated if you arrive into Florence by train. This smart, executive-style luxury hotel can be found in the pretty, lively square of Santa Maria Novella. On your doorstep you have the church and convent that give the piazza its name, which houses some important early Renaissance frescos, including some by the young Michelangelo. and across the square is the new Museo Novecento, the museum of 20th century art that opened in the city in 2014. Also in the vicinity is one of the oldest pharmacies in Italy, which has occupied the same store since 1612. The Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is a 17th-century treasure trove to visit, and has also created the bespoke toiletries that you will find in the L’Orologio hotel.
Orologio means clock in Italian and the hotel is strewn with clocks and watches and pictures of clocks and watches, however it is not overly gimmicky. There are several comfortable sitting areas on the ground floor, one with a roaring fire and one with a feature pool lit by coloured LEDs. The rooms are immaculate with modern furniture, although ask for a room with the view of the square – either 210 or 211, or 310 or 311 – as this will give you more atmosphere. We had a room facing a building at the back, and so the room was a bit dark, especially as the floors and furnishings are of dark wood. We did however have a huge bath tub, big enough for the whole family – although we didn’t try!
Breakfast is served in a stunning room at the top of the building, with enormous windows providing a fabulous view of the piazza. We could have started our day with a glass of prosecco, to go with our selection of cold cuts and cheeses, fruits and breads, but stuck to a strong espresso instead. Every day the concierge delivers a sheet with his recommendations for the day. While we were visiting the suggested places for dining were the newly opened Konnubio restaurant, featuring Tuscan, vegan and international food and Parione for authentic Florentine food in a 14th-century building.