Sunday, April 5, 2015

Get Your Sleep On - Villa Tolomei (Florence, Italy)

Let me preface this by saying that I don't really like Florence. It's not my favorite Italian city, by far. I didn't like it before my husband and I stayed at Villa Tolomei and I still don't really like it after. But I can't wait to go back to Villa Tolomei... so that probably says more about this hotel than I ever could articulate in a detailed review.

The driveway of the villa, looking out from the front door.

All dramatics aside, this hotel is the real deal. We've spent nights in various "luxury properties" on several continents and this place just has that "it" factor that some properties try to achieve, but never really do. It's fancy enough, but the design is so subtly brilliant in mixing the classic, restored villa with the modern world in a way that doesn't feel like it's trying too hard or going to be outdated in a decade. It's just effortlessly cool, but the kind of cool you could take your parents to and they wouldn't be weird about it. The kind of cool you could unabashedly recommend to your sophisticated, silver-haired boss who drinks wine older than you with dinner, but also to your friend who wants to splurge on an Italian vacation to celebrate getting her PhD. In other words, there's something for everyone and it exudes a certain timelessness.

Cheese plate and snacks in the restaurant while we waited to check in.

The outdoor pool is heated and we marveled at the fact that we were able to swim on October 23rd, but the next day we were wearing jackets while taking in the sights of the city. The pool attendant was sweet and helpful, but not overly aggressive in trying to assist with towels or anything else.

The girls at breakfast were wonderful (Eleonora and Elisabetta); they always greeted us with a smile and made the best cappuccino. The breakfast itself was quality - so many options and we never left hungry. We had a cheese plate upon our arrival, and a bottle of wine, and that was also excellent. We also had an after-dinner drink at the hotel one night (Vin Santo with Cantuccini) which was lovely, out on the terrace overlooking the city with a slight chill in the air. However, we never ate dinner on-site so I have no opinion on that.

Cosimo and the rest of the staff were amazing; they gave us great recommendations every day on what to see and where to eat in and around Florence, called us taxis every time we needed one, and made sure we got a tour of the property to make sure we didn't miss anything.

The location was fantastic; it was far enough from the hustle and bustle of the city to be relaxing but close enough that you didn't feel like it was a huge ordeal to get to the center of things, either. We generally took a taxi to Ponte Vecchio each time, since it was relatively closer to the hotel but a short walk to the other side of the river and the sights.

Lastly, we had a junior suite and our room was #22. The room was enormous, clean and well appointed. I LOVED the bath products! I would recommend a room on a lower floor, however, for older travelers as we had to take 2 flights of stairs to get to our room and I would think older folks may have some issues with that.
Our junior suite - Room #22. Enormous.
Now THAT's a five-star bathroom.

We were so pleased with this hotel that I really can't wait to stay here again. It was a fabulous jumping-off point for our touring around the city and around Tuscany, and the service and quality of the accommodations were top-notch.

The view from our room.
We have our bottle of Villa Tolomei complimentary olive oil here in our apartment, until then.

Villa Tolomei
Via Santa Maria a Marignolle 10
50124 Florence, Italy

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