Lungarno Suites Florence, Italy
In a word, it’s location. Add two more, service and luxury and we’ve only begun to summarize the short list, except, of course, for the adjectives. And those—the descriptive phrases, spectacular, sumptuous, elegant, incomparable—well they might go on forever, at least for those who’ve ever spent a night at the Lungarno Suites in Florence.
Other than, possibly, Paris, could there be a more romantic, exhilarating and historically charming city than Florence? And to occupy a suite that overlooks the serene splendor of the Ponte Vecchio on the Arno! What exquisite delight! Though Michelangelo considered Ghiberti’s Baptistery doors to be the Gates of Paradise, the other side of those doors of which he spoke must surely be like that which is found in the Lungarno Suites along the Arno river.
Again and again we found ourselves enraptured, caught up in the stunning beauty and vibrant textures of wood, glass, water, and sensuous fabric, surrounded by the aroma of freshness and captivated by light, color and fragrance. We glided from room to room, swept up as if in a fairy tale. Our senses tingled. Taste it, touch it, smell it. Could it be real? Are we really here? Is this not heaven itself?
The service here is as professional as a crisp salute, delivered each time with a pleasing smile. Our hosts gave immediate attention to our every request, and made sure that each task was fulfilled with enthusiasm and efficiency. A query about a train excursion to Cinque Terra? “Here are your options, sir.” A request for a particular dining establishment that might be considered a local favorite? “Yes, I will call and make reservations for you immediately.” Whatever the need, our hosts snapped to attention to take care of the details with ultra-prompt courtesy.
And then, oh yes, the luxury. Forty-four spacious suites, each from 431 to 862 square feet, all decorated in smart, neutral shades highlighted by occasional splashes of coral and aquamarine tones complemented by teak wood furnishings and cozy, wood plank floors. Want to exercise your own culinary skills and cook up something special? A fully-equipped kitchen with microwave oven, refrigerator and dishwasher make it possible to dine indoors to maximize your enjoyment of your capacious room while enjoying the world’s most romantic vistas. And the breakfast—ah, the room service delivery is something special indeed. Your choice of juices, coffees, cereals, yogurt, baskets of tasty pastries and rolls—a heaping platter of delicious delicacies was delivered to us each morning at the exact time we requested the night before. TheLungarno has made a virtue out of its lack of a breakfast dining room to make sure that your morning begins with a scrumptious and unforgettable prelude. Want an espresso during the day or at night? Take advantage of your room’s state-of-the-art espresso machine that brews barista-quality coffee in just moments. Free, in-room high-speed internet connections and other business services are readily available.
Lungarno Suites, owned by the Ferragamo family, is part of a much larger company representing innovative hotel projects that have gained international attention for style, quality and incomparable hospitality. For example, across the river are the 73 magnificent rooms and suites of the Hotel Lungarno, completely renovated in 1997. In 1999 the Ferragamos opened their Gallery Hotel Art, offering an eclectic environment for international travelers in which art, music and food are brought together in a vigorous, creative “container” for cultural expression. (The Fusion Bar) Shozan-Gallery is located in the Gallery Hotel Art and has become the meeting place of two cultures, Mediterranean and Japanese. It was developed in partnership with the owner of Shozan, Jihei Isawa, whose restaurant was created in Paris by the Isawa Family in 1996.
When the Lungarno Suites opened in January 2002, it was enlisted in the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World network, signifying its place among the finest hotels on the planet. Its unique lifestyle characteristic offers the privacy afforded by an independent apartment while allowing guests to enjoy the very best comforts of a world-class hotel. On the street level and facing the Arno, the delightful Lungarno Details Store is a home design store in which one may choose to order furniture and accessories found in Lungarno Hotels, such as lamps, beds, armchairs, place settings, bedding, comfort wear and home fragrances. Another, more recent opening of the Ferragamo luxury collection includes the Continentale Contemporary Pleasing Hotel, for which a fitting description and appraisal must go beyond the scope of this review. However, the terms “breathtaking” and “unforgettable must” have been used by some to describe this hotel which caters to the tastes and experiences of those cultured travelers who yearn to experience something extraordinary, certainly beyond anything they’ve encountered before. And, finally, Lungarno’s Borgo San Jacopo (opened May 2004) is a dining room on the river created to help patrons rediscover the greatest in Italian home-style cuisine.
For roominess, design, service, hospitality, comfort, location, beauty, and the sheer pleasure to be found in a total luxury hotel, it would be extremely difficult to match or surpass all that one will find at the Lungarno Suites. Indeed, our visit was incomparable to anything we’ve experienced before. Though many hotels oversell their virtues and amenities, Lungarno Suitesactually delivers on their promises, and much, much more.