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Hotel Regency Florence

April 5, 2012 By: Sharri Whiting De Masi Luxury Travel Advisor
 


 

Hotel Regency
Suites and rooms at the Hotel Regency have garden views and ooze a classical aura.

 

The elegant Hotel Regency in Florence is an oasis of refinement in one of the city’s “living room piazzas.” Built in the mid-19th century, this Liberty-style mansion was among those designed for the privileged few, when Florence was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy (1865-1870).

Only a 10-minute walk from the center of the tourist action, the five-star Hotel Regency is the sister hotel of the Lord Byron Hotel in the Parioli area of Rome. This quintessential Europe boutique hotel sits along a tree-filled square at Piazza Massimo DAzeglio, 3.

At the hotel, we found the ambiance of a private estate combined with service at the luxury level. Guests may choose to stay in the original villa, with its beautifully appointed library, bar and Florentine living rooms, or the discreet annex next door, where a touch of the contemporary marries Art Deco. Resident Manager Claudia Gallo (c.gallo@regency-hotel.com; 011-39-055-245-247) is happy to discuss guests’ special needs and arrange the perfect accommodation.

The Libert y-styled Mansion
The libert y-styled mansion was designed for a privileged few in the mid-19th century.

We stayed in the villa in deluxe room No. 208, with its soothing garden view, serious air conditioning and cushy bed linens. It was wonderfully quiet and comfortable after our walk along the busy streets of the historic center in the summer heat. This is what we love about staying at the Regency.

Since the hotel is a historical building, almost every room is different. Classical room No. 301 connects to No. 302 and includes a sitting room. No. 201 and 202 on the floor below have the same configuration. All bathrooms in the hotel have bathtubs. Important: There is no elevator at the hotel, but the broad staircases should not be a challenge for many guests.

Junior Suite No. 307 is decorated in plummy red and overlooks the shady square; room No. 207 has a balcony off the bathroom. Room Nos. 205 and 206 join to make an elegant suite, with a small balcony overlooking the square. There is one large bedroom and a living room with a comfortable sofa bed. Unlike in the historic center a few blocks away, the nights are quiet here in this close-in neighborhood.

Behind the villa, within the garden, is a secluded bungalow (No. 104), a special spot for travelers looking for complete privacy. Stays here average three nights. The bungalow and the annex have ground floor accommodation for those wishing to avoid climbing stairs.

We loved the annex, where seven rooms have been opened. From the street, we had no idea it was part of the hotel, since the entrance is within the gates. Junior Suite No. 21 was wonderful, with wood floors and a fantastic bathroom in shades of black, white and red. Suite No. 27 was light-filled, with one bedroom and a lovely living room with a custom-designed queen-plus sofa bed. Colors here are wine, black and white.

Relais le Jardin
Relais le Jardin. Guests can savor exquisite gourmet meals at the restaurant’s veranda overlooking the garden.

We decided to have dinner at the hotel’s intimate Relais Le Jardin and chose a table in the back garden. There is an antiques-filled inside dining room for those who like air-conditioning with their pasta or for seasons when the evenings are cool. The servers are trained to answer questions about ingredients and to advice on the extensive wine list. Executive Chef Rino Pennucci offers Tuscan traditional specialties chosen to incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables, and his menu attracts diners from outside the hotel as well as Regency guests. (It’s best to make reservations in advance using the hotel’s main number and e-mail).

Concierge Alessandro Becattini has been at the Regency since 2004 and can arrange everything from a private chauffeur for a visit to the Gucci and Prada outlets to a dawn balloon trip over the vineyards of Chianti, or a visit to the Antinoni winery and lunch at its ristorante, the Osteria di Passignano. Simpler requests, such as multilingual guided walking tours of Florence, are done at a snap of his experienced fingers.

Valet parking is available.

The Regency is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.


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