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Hotel Continentale, Florence, Italy
Part of the luxury Lungarno Collection of hotels, the Continentale is easily the most chic, fun and playful of the group. In prime position, overlooking the Ponte Vecchio and in a medieval tower with sleek modern extension, the hotel has been skilfully designed in homage to the fashionable and flirty '50s. There are long sofas scattered with white cushions, honey-coloured wooden floors, fifties-style chairs with bright-pink seats, and large-scale black-and-white fashion photographs of the era. A tiny spa sits in the crypt-like basement while the rooftop terrace is the place in town to sip cocktails and enjoy the views. It's breakfast-only - although there's a simple room service menu - but the group's other hotels, all within strolling distance, offer a range of restaurants.
Being able to slip out of the hotel at early evening to walk along the river with others enjoying the time-honoured passeggiata, is magical.
The Piazza della Signoria is a three-minute wander away, whilst the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is a further five minutes.
By plane: there are direct flights to Florence Airport from London (2 hours 5 minutes), Manchester (4 hours 25 minutes), Edinburgh (4 hours 55 minutes). The hotel is a -minute drive from the airport. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
Those with a keen sense of fashion, fun and romance will love it here. We especially enjoy the elegant '50s-style chairs; they have a whiff of Hollywood and Audrey Hepburn about them.
Service & Facilities
The rooftop bar is one of the city's coolest drinking spots. The small White Iris Spa in the vaulted cellars offers relaxing facials with scrubs and wraps using Italian 'Comfort Zone' products, as well as hot stone massage and Tibetan sound massage. There's also a sauna.
- Free Wi-Fi
Any of the rooms overlooking the River Arno would be our top choice; the views across the river and the people-watching are endlessly fascinating. Beds are framed by curtains of sheer white muslin; decadent and romantic.
Continentale Single, Continentale Double, Superior Room, Prestige Arno View, Deluxe Arno View, Family Accommodation Arno View Room, Junior Suite Arno View, Panoramic Consorti Suite
Facilities include: king-size bed, ensuite with shower, Bianco di Carrara toiletries, Bose bluetooth speaker, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
On sunny days, breakfast is served on the rooftop terrace with its dazzling views of the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, the hilltop San Miniato and the Arno river. La Terrazza's cocktail menu has a few killer concoctions: try Caffe Scorretto, a high-octane mix of vodka, cold-brewed coffee, cassis and absinthe.
La Terrazza: rooftop bar, fabulous cocktails. Cocktails from €19.