Hideaway of the Year - Il Salviatino, Florence, Italy


Il Salviatino, Florence

Just four miles from the center of Florence and set amid 12 acres of formal gardens on a lane leading up to the exquisite hill town of Fiesole, Il Salviatino occupies a historic cream-colored villa that enjoyed a heyday during the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was home to the powerful Salviati family. In September 2009, it opened as a 45-room hotel, having been subject to a $60 million restoration. During the project, remarkable frescoes were discovered beneath a false ceiling in what is now the Affresco Suite (which also contains an ancient sarcophagus converted into a bathtub), and local artisans painstakingly replaced centuries-old mosaics, repaneled the library and restored the old glasshouses of a former orangery that had fallen into disrepair.

On arrival, we were straightaway escorted to the terrace, which has one of the most extraordinary views of Florence we have ever seen. A polite and friendly young woman then showed us to our 700-square-foot Dome View Junior Suite. This comprised a handsome pair of rooms with high ceilings, dark oak floors and the same inspiring view.

A bottle of chilled Prosecco awaited us next to a silver vase of white roses. In the peaceful bedroom, an exceptionally comfortable bed with a leather headboard was made up with linen sheets and a mohair throw. An adjacent marble bath came with a rainfall shower and separate whirlpool tub.

When we went down to dinner that night, we found both the interior and the exterior of the villa bathed in candlelight. Having enjoyed a perfectly made Negroni in the bar, we then strolled to the hotel’s gastronomic Italian restaurant, Le Serre, overlooking the terraced gardens. There we enjoyed an outstanding meal of light, inventive dishes by Tuscan-born chef Saverio Sbaragli, who trained with Alain Ducasse and Paul Bocuse in France. A second restaurant, La Terrazza, serves traditional Tuscan cuisine. Otherwise, the principal amenity is the superb Devarana spa. Overall, Il Salviatino is a little masterpiece of Old World style and hospitality. 

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.