Stay Here: The Four Seasons Hotel, Florence

The joy of Italy is discovering beauty at each turn. It's a country designed to satiate on two staples: food, and feeling.

And there is no better place to fill yourself with food and feeling than Florence. Come across the Rape of the Sabine Woman in Piazza della Signoria and dazedly stare in the endlessly undulating marble flesh. Eat a prosciutto panino. Go to the Academia to look at Michelangelo’s David – look at his furrowed brow and his mournful gaze. Look and look and look. Eat pistachio gelato. Sneak into the Duomo, crane your neck at the frescoes, feel your chest then your eyes smart. Hold hands with someone. Amble through side-streets and gawp at just how the sunshine hits the buildings in a way which makes them radiate a heavenly glow. Eat pumpkin ravioli. And scuttle into cathedrals which somehow compel you to definitely believe in the divine.

Expect: Do not leave Florence without visiting, and preferably remaining in, The 4 Seasons Hotel. It is as awe-inspiring as any marvel Italy provides, and can without doubt astound you. This isn't hyperbole. This isn't a recommendation. This is not negotiable. You have to go.

The Hotel: This magical palace hosts lavishness which teeters on the sunny side of obscene. It simply doesn't feel real. Imagine walking into a stately home and marvelling in the marble floors, the grand staircases, the ancient art, and the frescoed ceilings. Imagine a spectacle of splendour beyond anything you could ever conceive. Imagine slipping your key-card in to the door of your own suite after a long day gorging on food and feeling, lying inside your king-sized aristocratic bed, and staring up at a 16th century ceiling before dropping off to sleep within the beating heart of history itself.

Accommodation: With the oil paintings, antiques and sumptuous décor, there is a danger of all things feeling a little bit uncouth and faintly ridiculous. However the restoration is masterfully tasteful while feeling decadently luxurious. The bedrooms are decorated in classic Renaissance style, and guests can pick between standard, premier, deluxe and superior rooms, or go all out inside a stunning suite. Are all lavishly furnished in silk and velvet, the bathrooms clad in marble and complete with amenities by Florentine master parfumier Lorenzo Villoresi within the signature Four Seasons bright green.

The hotel comprises a 15th century palazzo and a 16th century convent, accompanied by an 11 acre park. It is the largest private garden in Florence and doubles as an outdoor sculpture gallery, with artists regularly commissioned to create pieces for the ever-changing landscape.











Spa: As though The 4 Seasons did not have enough opting for it, it's spa is a worthy destination by itself. Nestled next to the emerald green outdoor pool and jacuzzi, the spa provides a serene enclave far from the madding crowd. We recommend choosing an essential oils scented massage after taking advantage of the steam room, sauna, and swanky showers.

Food: The Four Seasons' Michelin starred restaurant, Il Palagio, – with its vaulted ceilings and outdoor terrace – is the type of place where it's socially acceptable to wear mink coats while smoking Vogues from slender cigarette holders. With this in mind, we fully embraced the setting, minus the mink, and began the night in the hotel's beautiful gardens – red lipsticked lips wrapped dutifully around our cancer sticks – puffing away amidst the manicured, virtually shellaced, lawns…

Read Eat Here: Il Palagio entirely.