Four Seasons: Florence
Our World | On 06, Jul 2009
Susan Sexton, P&MM Sales Director, gives an account of her favourite hotel:
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel almost all over the world inspecting venues and hotels to host corporate events. I’ve stayed in many properties, some were amazing – others not so. However after experiencing many of the highest rated hotels in the world I have recently found what, to me, ranks as one of the best.: The Four Seasons in Florence.
Recently restored under the direction of the Italian Ministry of Fine Arts & Culture, The Four Seasons has been created from two Renaissance palaces.
The unique feature of this property is that it’s a resort within the heart of a beautiful, historic city. The famous cathedral is only a quick 10 minute walk away.
Covering 11 acres of private gardens with winding paths and fountains, the enchanting landscaped gardens would be an ideal location for a car launch and large marquee set-up events. The garden also has the city’s only outdoor pool and the largest health and fitness spa in Florence, which are definitely worth working into an itinerary given sufficient time on the ground.
None of the 116 rooms and suites is alike, as each is superbly decorated with seemingly no expense spared. The intricate detail on the painted ceilings, plush furnishings and grand window dressings all contribute to lend a sense of being in residence somewhere very special .
The main building – the Palazzo della Gherardesca – has 79 rooms and also features the Atrium Lounge Bar and the fine dining Il Palagio restaurant. The ballroom can accommodate 70 pax for a banquet and is truly majestic with high ceilings and natural light. A unique pillar-free space, the Gherardesca Ballroom, is festooned with paintings that date back from the eighteenth century.
On the other side of the gardens is Il Conventino, where 36 smaller, luxurious rooms are available. This would be ideal for exclusive groups and smaller meetings.
The Conventino Ballroom is the largest function room on the property, holding a maximum120 pax for a banquet. A former Convent Church, this room is rich in mustard-yellow and blue tones with perfect acoustics.
Not only is the establishment opulent in its design, quality and décor, but also the quality of service throughout, at all levels, is outstanding and this is what makes the difference between simply impressive facilities to total and utter luxury.
The other factor working in this hotel’s favour is the city in which it’s located. Florence is full of history, art and culture, so there’s plenty of activity to be had.
Full day tours including the Chianti hillsides and estates, San Lucca, San Gimignano, Pisa or Siena. Cooking classes, wine tasting, olive oil tasting and the leather school could feature throughout a programme, plus daily markets – leather, clothing and fresh food – which require half a day each to explore.
The shopping? Well it goes without saying. Italy is the fashion capital of the world and Florence most certainly doesn’t disappoint.