Florence, Italy has an incredible amount of hotel options. From ancient palaces to newly built structures – there’s something to suit every taste. For me, being that Florence is a city of history, art and beauty – I like hotels that reflect their environment. Perched on a hill in one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods, within walking distance to the center of town, the Villa Cora meets all of your needs and exceeds expectations. The hotel is a testament to art, history and beauty that is truly indescribable unless experienced in person.
Villa Cora is well known. A Florentine palace and boutique hotel made-up of ornate, gilded ballrooms, public spaces and 46 sleeping chambers – it’s hard not to notice or appreciate. The villa was built as a private home by a man for his wife, the gardens planted with hundreds of pink and white rose bushes in celebration of his love for her. Each room was painstakingly frescoed and decorated in true Florentine style. After a time of neglect, the villa was restored and brought back to its original glory. Today, the villa is owned by the Fratini family and is proudly a part of the Relais & Chateaux collection.
From the moment you arrive at Villa Cora, you know you’re somewhere special. The imposing gates open to the beautiful property with stunning views of Florence. Welcoming faces and smiles are everywhere, from check-in to breakfast by the pool to the spa and elsewhere – you won’t find anything short of the best service here. My room was a suite with views of the pool and grounds. A living room with fireplace, two marble bathrooms beautiful decorative hardwood floors, ample closet space, a bedroom fit for a king and the most impressive furnishings. Even my room’s twenty-foot ceilings were hand frescoed and antique artwork, collected by the hotel owners, hung on the walls. I was impressed. What I loved most were the bathroom amenities, which were designed for the hotel with a one-of-a-kind scent created by Santa Maria Novella.
Throughout my stay at Villa Cora, I got to know the staff well. They knew me by name and always made an effort to fulfill any request, going above and beyond to accommodate me. I spent my mornings in the glass solarium by the pool indulging in scrumptious breakfasts and my afternoons either in town or at the hotel’s impressive spa. Villa Cora was the perfect base for me in Florence. It was truly a home away from home – albeit an incredibly luxurious one. For any visitor who truly knows luxury and appreciates the details that separate an average hotel from an exceptional hotel, make Villa Cora your choice. But I warn you, you may never want to check-out.