Editor’s Note: This review is meant to share our experience so you can plan future travel when you feel safe to do so. At this writing, Rocco Forte is projecting a reopening for the Hotel Savoy in early September.
Background The European footprint of Rocco Forte Hotels’ luxury 5-star hotels is especially prominent in the boot of Italy, with seven properties dotted from Sicily to the Hotel Savoy in Florence. Mostly located in iconic city centers, all these hotels feature exquisite design and unparalleled service.
Where Is It? It doesn’t get much more city center than this. The Hotel Savoy faces the Piazza della Repubblica overlooking the Column of Abundance which actually marks the center of Florence. An easy stroll southward is the River Arno spanned by the ancient Ponte Vecchio Bridge; and a couple of blocks north of the hotel is the Cathedral of Florence with its soaring red-tiled dome, the very emblem of the city.
What’s It Like? The Hotel Savoy dates back to 1893, and in its day was considered a modern marvel. In 2018 the historic building was renovated under the guiding hand of Olga Polizzi, the group’s director of design. Polizzi’s interiors are always intriguing, often surprising and wholly delightful. Hotel Savoy welcomes guests into an elegant lobby that nonetheless somehow manages a sense of warmth, thanks to splashes of color in chic accent pieces and artwork. Service at reception and throughout my stay was, as you might expect, understated, prompt and unfailingly courteous.
Rooms The Hotel Savoy’s 80 rooms and suites are generous by city-center standards, ranging from about 270 square feet up to the new 1,600-square-foot Duomo Presidential Suite. My Classic room was spacious, almost what other hotels might call a suite, with a separate sitting room populated by a couple of comfy overstuffed chairs and a sofa facing the flat-screen TV on the wall. The furnishings and appointments were an eclectic mix of clean modern and Tuscan vintage, with fabrics in soothing, inviting colors. The star was the dramatic view out my sitting room window which was taken up almost entirely with Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo and bell tower. The marble-clad bathroom offered a wonderful rainfall shower and a full complement of Forte Organics bath products. A little personal touch that I found particularly memorable; three monogrammed face towels were rolled and placed to form my initials.
Restaurant and Bar Irene is name of both the restaurant and bar located on the Savoy’s ground floor. In nice weather, inside seating spills out onto the Piazza della Republica, making for a supremely European dining scene. The menu, developed by director of food Michelin-starred Chef Fulvio Pierangelini, features a range of Tuscan dishes, none predictable, all inventive. From the panzanella and buffalo mozzarella (unlike any I’d had before) to the mixed seafood grilled cooked on Himalayan salt stone, everything tasted fresh and creatively presented. But by all means, save room for the cherry crumble with spiced ice cream. Really.
Meetings and Fitness Facilities For meetings and events, the 800-square-foot salon can host up to 50 attendees, and high-speed WiFi is available throughout the hotel. The new state of the art gym is fully equipped and there’s a fitness studio for Pilates and yoga classes.
Let’s see – a classic hotel done up in elegant style and served with grace and élan in the very heart of one of the world’s most cherished cities. What’s not to love?
Superb design, smart service and remarkable views of Florentine landmarks.
The cherry crumble with spiced ice cream. Really.
Internet rates for a Classic room start at $535.
Piazza della Repubblica 7, Florence 50123. Tel 39 055 27 35 1. roccofortehotels.com