Hotel Regency Florence, Italy
To enter the Hotel Regency in Florence is like going back in time, to visit a romantic place and era during which one experienced life with elegance, luxury, passion and charm. As you pass through the formal entrance, greeted by the friendly uniformed doorman, you feel as though you have permission to shed your worldly cares and begin a journey reserved only for members of a bygone aristocratic era. Indeed, this charming retreat so captivates and enthralls the guest that one begins to feel as if he or she might see a member of royalty step into the room at any moment.
At one time this posh nineteenth century villa was reserved for the highest government officials, ambassadors and ministers of state. Then, for brief period, it became a private hotel before passing into the possession of its current owner. Today this five-star property is a member of the prestigious “Leading Hotels of the World” collection and listed as one of “The Fine Hotels and Resorts” by American Express. Situated in a quiet district of Florence overlooking the pristine Piazza D’Azeglio, the Regency offers a restful ambience with a feeling of privacy and seclusion although it lies just minutes away from Florence’s famous museums and historical buildings. In the very heart of the Renaissance’s most famous city, theRegency seems like a magical oasis allowing travelers to experience the treasures of the past in splendid comfort.
One is struck immediately with the air of relaxed sophistication found in the waiting salon, surrounded by antique objects, exquisite period-piece furnishings, musical instruments and majestic paintings. One can only imagine the number of dignitaries who, in centuries past, must have been entertained in this very place. Our hotel manager greeted us warmly and checked us in, and, after notifying us of all the amenities throughout this fine establishment, offered a complimentary welcome Asti Spumante to be served later in the evening. We were then escorted up to our room and introduced to its many features. Opening the brightly painted cherry-red door, we found our room equipped with a very large king-size bed, by far the largest (and most comfortable) mattress we had seen so far after traveling for a week in Italy. Our room came with wi-fi internet access, satellite color television, minibar, walk-in closet, and individual climate control. The bathroom was decorated throughout with exquisite Carrera marble and was stocked with plush Turkish towels warmed by a heater. Luxury bathrobes and cozy slippers, tucked away in our walk-in closet, awaited us for our evening. Outside our windows we gazed upon the tranquil, manicured garden with its many trees and shrubs.
Moments later we left our abode and invested a few hours in exploring some of the sights of Florence. After a hearty lunch, we returned to rest in our room during the afternoon, and enjoyed some of the facilities found throughout the hotel. We discovered there were thirty-four guest rooms, four of which were suites, situated on four floors. The hotel’s private garden is an outdoor paradise, situated just outside theRelais Le Jardin, the hotel’s magnificent restaurant in which fine traditional Tuscan cuisine is prepared by master chef Rino Pennuci (see our review of our most memorable dining experience in all of Florence).
After a restful sleep in our cozy room, we awoke to a bountiful breakfast buffet served in the downstairs lobby. Here tables were heaped with trays of homemade croissants, loaves of fresh bread and rolls, gourmet preserves, a selection of natural cereals, choices of yogurt and a bevy of seasonal fruits freshly cut and artfully arrayed. Freshly squeezed Sicilian orange, grapefruit and tangerine juices were located in pitchers on a separate table in the midst of the Veranda dining room, facing the lovely private garden. A tray of meats and another of cheeses graced yet more tables nearby, along with a selection of several kinds of pastries. On another table there were scrambled eggs and bacon kept warm in heated serving containers. Once seated, our server asked us if we would like creamy cappuccino, espresso, American coffee or hot chocolate. Then, taking turns finishing one plate of food to sample more options, we remarked to each other how delicious the pineapple, kiwi, and other fruits tasted and the freshness of the juices and pastries. What a glorious way to begin a new day.
The Hotel Regency in Florence is known for its “vintage hospitality,” and is an experience not to be missed when visiting Florence. Plan to spend as much time as you can when you are a guest there, as you will want to relax and dine without rush. And don’t forget to make dinner reservations at the Relais Le Jardin restaurant, for what will certainly become your most memorable meal.
Note: When in Rome, be sure to visit the Regency’s sister hotel, the Lord Byron. To see our review, click here.