The Hotel Ville Sull’Arno in Florence is, as its name suggests, right on the Arno river and although it is a little out of town, its top-notch spa and restaurant, large rooms and fabulous views more than make up for it.
With both an indoor and outdoor pool (in summer), a spa including sauna and steam and several treatment rooms and a restaurant serving Tuscan classics such as delicious, well-aged Florentine steak, this is a destination hotel, rather than just a place to lay your head after a day at the Uffizi gallery.
As we had a bit of time in Florence we didn’t even try to see the sights from here, although they are a pleasant half-hour walk away along the river. Instead we enjoyed the tranquility of the hotel. The rooms are large and airy, with high ceilings and the staff are very helpful, providing a thorough introduction to room, such as where to find the hairdryer and which channels on the TV are English – simple things that just mean you settle so much quicker and don’t have to keep phoning down to reception.
The staff also explained that it was acceptable to take the lift down to the spa in your bathrobe, something I am never quite sure about. And the spa is the real trump card here. I didn’t have a treatment, but we spent several hours in the warm indoor pool enjoying the jacuzzi jets and the relaxing ambience. When the children were asleep I also enjoyed some solitude in the sauna and steam room.
Breakfast and dinner are served in a country-style dining room overlooking the river. Breakfast includes carved slices of Tuscan ham, honeycomb and organic yoghurts, alongside fresh fruits and home-baked pastries, with scrambled eggs and sausages to please us Brits. Dinner is a leisurely affair with a super menu of Tuscan dishes, including Chianina tartare, wild boar ragu and Fiorentina steak. The waiter has an excellent wine knowledge and will pair you a local wine to go with each course. At the end of the meal we got to choose our tea from a selection of fresh blends – a liquorice and fennel to aid the digestion!
Hotel Ville Sull’Arno is a great place to rest and feel pampered.
Antonia Windsor, February 2015