Located in the very heart of Florence amongst the most important landmarks, Portrait Firenze is a gem on its own. This 5 star luxury boutique hotel is the newest in the Lungarno Collection, a group of four hotels and two restaurants owned by the family of Salvatore Ferragamo. Preserving the timeless Italian elegance and luxury while adding very modern and cosmopolitan elements, the Florentine architect Michele Bönan has made Portrait Firenze an effortlessly chick hotel. Framed B&W photographs of international stars that have visited Florence including as Clark Gable, the Duke of Windsor, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly and Ferragamo himself, decorate the walls, adding a glamorous and slightly nostalgic touch. Inspired by the history of the famous designer, this hotel is infused with the values of high quality artisanship and good taste.

Situated on a commanding position right on river Arno, Portrait offers breathtaking views of Ponte Vecchio for almost all of its 32 suites and 4 rooms. They are equipped with a kitchenette, WiFi, room service, laundry, Bluetooth to play your own music from the built-in speakers and an iPads where you can read about everything that the hotel has to offer. When you are ready to go to bed just press the goodnight switch and all the light will automatically turn off! Spacious yet very cozy, Portrait gives you the feeling of being at home with all the comforts one might ask for. The very friendly and helpful staff that are available 24/7.

As its name suggests the hotel’s true luxury does not only lie in it’s impeccable style but also in the customized services that are perfectly tailor-made to fit every guests needs, making the experience as personalized as a portrait. Whether you are on a family holiday, a business trip, or a romantic getaway the hotel can provide for anything ranging from a babysitter or dog-walker to planning day- tours and trips in Tuscany. Exclusive tours are available in Florence, shopping walks, wine tasting, excursions, boat rides, private aperitivo in the Fratelli Picini shop overlooking the Arno and a Leica photography tour, using the bespoke cameras for a day.

The culinary experience starts form the breakfast served in the Caffé dell’ Oro bistrot on the ground floor of the hotel. A selection of fresh fruits, local cheeses, pastries and salamis is meticulously arranged in the beautiful interior amongst sculptures and other works of art.

The bistrot is open for casual all-day dining with a menu designed by the starred Executive Chef Peter Brunel including recipes that bring forward Italy’s gastronomic tradition with fresh and hand picked ingredients. For an utterly gourmet experience visit the Michelin starred Borgo San Jacopo restaurant where the same chef presents experimental and cutting edge dishes while always preserving the Italian origin.

If you need a break from the Italian cuisine, ‘The Fusion’ Bar and Restaurant is the perfect option. “Nikkei, sushi, cocktails. Fusion transports you to a world of unusual pairings and extraordinary flavours in playful tapas-sized bites. Eat with your hands, laugh with your friends and sip on unique cocktails in a funky atmosphere populated with the hippest Florentines.”

The hotel residents have free access to the Museum, housed in Palazzo Spini Feroni, Ferragamo’s store and workshop since 1938 where the legacy of iconic shoe-maker which is beautifully illustrated. The story of his creative genius and the friendships with Hollywood stars are accompanied by a rich collection of his masterpieces and others designs that gave world wide fame to Italian fashion.  Shoe lovers can try on Ferragamo’s creations and replicas of shoes made for famous stars in the boutique.

Shopping will become an unforgettable experience with the personal shopper. You will be shown the best places in the historical center to experience the Italian expertise in craftsmanship when it comes to leather, gold and Cameos, handmade shoes and tailor made suits. Private transfers to the Malls (Barberino Outlet Mall, Gucci and Prada outlets) that are located just outside Florence can be arranged where you will find the latest collections of big brands at discounted prices.

A relaxing massage in the spa is essential for refreshing after a day of long walks and historical indulgence. Located in the sister hotel Continentale, only a block away, the White Iris Beauty Spa has a variety of massages and treatments available to choose from. As the sun goes down work your way up to the terrace of the hotel Continentale in the ‘La Terrazza’ lounge bar to enjoy the stunning views of the river and the rooftops of Florence as you sip your cocktail. Open during spring, summer and autumn seasons, ‘La Terrazza’ is the perfect place whether you wish to relax or host an event. This hotel will meet and surpass any expectations you may have, making your stay in Florence an unforgettable experience.

Words: Lily Hassioti

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