There are few more romantic destinations in the world than Florence. This was the birthplace of the Renaissance, and today its historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you're planning a visit, you'll want to hang your hat in style—here are the best boutique hotels where you can do just that.


The hotel terrace overlooking the "hidden" garden of Torrigiani (photo courtesy of AdAstra)

Our list starts off strong with AdAstra, an ancestral family mansion whose two floors overlook the largest private garden in Europe, the Torrigiani. This is everything you want in a boutique hotel: vintage elegance with modern conveniences and tranquil intimacy. The hotel claims just 14 rooms, and each is individually designed with Italian furnishings ranging in style from mid-century modern to '70s retro.

The rooms come with all mod-cons including an espresso maker to give you a little zip with your morning buffet breakfast. The main rooms open up to a wraparound terrace overlooking the garden while the others look out onto the scenic Via del Campuccio. The hotel itself is just south of the Arno River and a 10-minute walk to Florence's historic center.

Via del Campuccio, 53

Gallery Hotel Art

Terrace living at Gallery Hotel Art (photo courtesy of Gallery Hotel Art)

Gallery Hotel Art is part of the Lugarno Collection of the Ferragamo family of boutique Italian hotels (they have five just in Florence). The name of this solid lodging option isn't just for show, either—the lobby doubles as an art space, featuring rotating art exhibits throughout the year. The 74 rooms here are chic and tastefully decorated in unique styles, with Italian and Japanese motifs, and feature hardwood floors and mod-cons like Bose Bluetooth speakers and flat-screen TVs (but the cashmere blankets on the beds are the real selling points).

The hotel's Fusion Bar & Restaurant keeps the east-meets-west theme going with a winning mix of Japanese, Mediterranean, and Peruvian cuisines. The hotel has an indoor pool and spa as well as massage services and a jacuzzi. Also, Gallery Hotel Art's location in the city center is perfect, and yes the rooms do have city views.

Vicolo dell'Oro, 5

Golden Tower Hotel & Spa

The world-class spa at the Golden Tower Hotel

One of the most luxurious options on this list, the Golden Tower is a dream of Florence exemplified. Not only is this 19th-century building located in good company next to the famous Strozzi Palace, but that namesake noble Florentine family—the Strozzi were once rivals of the Medici—once called the Golden Tower home (their former quarters in the tower is now a suite).

The Golden Tower features 30 superior rooms and 11 suites each individually decorated yet offering a uniform and impeccable standard of comfort. Even the basic rooms feature minibars and Carrara marble bathrooms. Guests can enjoy the hotel's Golden Beauty & Spa, a world-class wellness center featuring whirlpool spas, saunas, Turkish baths, and massage centers.

11r, Piazza degli Strozzi

Grand Hotel Minerva

The rooftop view at Gran Hotel Minerva (photo courtesy of Gran Hotel Minerva)

Located in Florence's historic center, the Grand Hotel Minerva is a recently renovated 19th-century building turned boutique hotel. The property manages to be quintessentially Tuscan yet delightfully modern all at the same time. The elegant decor of all 97 rooms is done in soft colors with local artwork hanging from the walls, and each room features hardwood floors and leather furniture and headboards. The hotel's prime location also means that some rooms have views of the famous Duomo Cathedral.  

Like the Hotel Glance further down on this list, the Grand Hotel Minerva features an irresistible 6th-floor rooftop terrace and pool (heated, of course). Guests can dine in a combination bar/indoor-outdoor restaurant on the ground floor and feast on Florentine/Mediterranean staples like bruschetta, marinated artichokes, spaghetti, and risotto. In the hotel there's also a fitness center with jacuzzi.

Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 16

Hotel Davanzati

Suite at the Hotel Davanzati (photo courtesy of Hotel Davanzati)

The Davanzati gets top marks for its great central location (just 50 yards from Signoria Square and 200 yards from the Duomo), intimate space, and personalized service. How could it not deliver stellar service? After all, this hotel has been family owned and operated since grandpa Marcelo bought the building in the late '60s. A renovation in 2002 transformed all 19 rooms into models of Tuscan comfort with all modern conveniences, including mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs.

The Davanzati is a more humble three-star option than other hotels on this list, but it's the place to come if you want to be treated like part of the family as opposed to just another tourist. 

Via Porta Rossa, 5

Hotel Glance

Enjoy the view and the pool (photo courtesy of Hotel Glance)

Whether you visit Florence in summer or fall, know that you can fully enjoy the drop-gorgeous (and heated) rooftop pool at the Hotel Glance. Even if you don't intend to take a dip, you can still admire the wraparound views from six floors up that covers all of Florence's iconic skyline. And the lounge bar here is a great spot where you can order a glass of wine or champagne to enjoy as a sundowner.

As for the hotel, it boasts 68 modern, soundproof rooms tastefully decorated in a minimalist design and featuring hardwood floors and all modern conveniences. Their junior suites are spacious (25 square meters), come with a minibar, and sleep up to three people. Their morning buffet skews healthy with many fruits and vegetables on offer, but there's also ample breakfast pastries in which you can indulge. 

Via Nazionale, 23

Villa Cora

A standard room at Villa Cora (photo courtesy of Villa Cora)

To step into Villa Cora is to step back in time into 19th century Tuscan luxury. This historic villa was commissioned in 1868 by Baron Oppenheim and inaugurated during that window of time when Florence was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. To be sure, this is a quintessential five-star hotel.

Each of its 44 rooms is the model of luxury, decorated with antique furniture and Carrara marble bathrooms, yet they also feature modern amenities like mini bars. No two rooms or suites are alike, either, as many were inspired by famous guests—everyone from Princess Eugenia, Wife of Napolean III, to Emporer of Japan Akihito.  

Then there are the spa facilities. Villa Cora has a wellness area that includes Turkish baths, saunas, massage rooms, and a gym. The outdoor swimming pool is as delicious as they come, ringed as it is by bushes of white and pink roses and sitting in the shadow of large oak trees. It's also heated, which is great for those chillier days. The villa itself is situated in the hills south of the city center and overlooking the Boboli Gardens. If you're up for a stroll, the famous Uffizi Gallery is just 20 minutes away by foot. 

Viale Machiavelli, 18