Florence, Italy

Continentale

Rates from (ex tax)$193.67

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR198.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Bright and witty

Setting

Pole position by Ponte Vecchio

A modern counterpoint to the classic pensiones of Florence, the hotel Continentale is a high-fashion, Ferragamo-designed retreat overlooking the ancient Arno River and medieval streets below. European art films flash on a loob in the sleek lobby and you might find it hard to leave your fresh, airy room towering above the bustling Ponte Vecchio below.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of wine and Salvatore Ferragamo bath products

Facilities

Photos Continentale facilities

Need to know

Rooms

43 rooms.

Check–Out

12 noon. Earliest check-in 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $193.67 (€180), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.50 per person per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR198.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (€28 a person).

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout and fitness centre with sauna.

Our favourite rooms

Deluxe tower rooms are spacious and have fantastic views.

Spa

Elegant White Iris Beauty Spa uses products developed in Parma. It offers treatments ranging from full body massages to salt scrubs and from firming face masks to revitalising foot treatments, is open daily from 12noon to 8pm. Couples massages end with Dolce Vita cocktails at rooftop bar La Terrazza or the Fusion Bar & Restaurant, and in-room treatments can be arranged too.

Packing tips

A sketchbook, a sunhat, sensible shoes.

Also

Pets of the diminutive variety are welcome.

Children

Babysitting can be arranged.

Food and Drink

Photos Continentale food and drink

Dress Code

Anything goes.

Hotel restaurant

Only breakfast is served, on the first floor.

Hotel bar

Terrazza dei Consorti is a ‘sky lounge’, perfect for a cocktail under the stars.

Room service

Until 11pm.

Location

Photos Continentale location
Address
Continentale
6r Vicolo dell'Oro
50123
Florence
Italy

Planes

The nearest airport is Florence (Amerigo Vespucci) – also known, confusingly, as Peretola Airport – which is about 20 minutes’ drive from the Continentale. A taxi will cost you €20; or, for €6, you can hop on the airport bus, which leaves every 30 minutes for Florence’s Santa Maria Novella train station, a short stroll from the hotel. Alternatively, you can fly into Pisa, (Galileo Galilei) Airport (a greater number of airlines fly here, giving you more choice) and take the direct train to Florence for €5 one way. The train journey will take about 45 minutes.

Trains

The hotel is within walking distance of Florence’s main train station, Santa Maria Novella, which can be found just behind the piazza of the same name. Trains go from here to Milan, Naples, Pisa, Rome and Siena, as well as Nice and Vienna. You can get to Rome in under two hours by high-speed train, and to Milan in about three hours.

Automobiles

Explore Florence’s winding streets and piazzas by foot, or (when your legs get tired) hail a taxi, or catch one of the bright orange buses that operate throughout the city centre. You can buy bus tickets in advance from vending machines or tobacco shops. If you do decide to drive – and a car will be essential if you plan to venture further afield into the surrounding countryside – the Continentale offers valet parking for a charge. Be aware that driving through the restricted central zone (ZTL) can result in hefty fines. If booking a hire car, it's essential to send the vehicle details to the hotel (and give reception an estimated arrival time) so they can arrange a temporary permit for you. For the ultimate in four-wheeled style, rent a vintage car in which to explore the Tuscan hills (see www.bellinitravel.com for more details).

Local restaurants

Cantina Barbagianni on Via Sant’Egidio (+39 55 248 0508) is in an ancient cellar; ideal for dinner à deux, or head there for their great value two-course lunch. Cibreo on Via de’ Macci (+39 55 234 1100) may be the most famous trattoria in Italy; it’s formal and glamorous. La Congrega on Via Panicale (+39 55 264 5027) is a quaint traditional trattoria for lunch or an informal but unforgettable dinner. Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri on Via Ghibellina (+39 55 242 777) is set in a Renaissance palace, where Giorgio Pinchiorri himself helps you choose from his 150,000-bottle cellar; jacket and tie required. Olio & Convivium on Via Santo Spirito (+39 55 265 8198) is a delicatessen and restaurant specialising in olive oils, native wines and local cheeses. ll Latini on Via Palchetti (+39 55 210 916) can be hit or miss – but get there on a good night (ie: not full to the gills with tourists) and it’s great fun. The kitchen decides what you’ll be eating – you just name the colour of wine you prefer, and whether you want fish or meat. Il Parione is a cosy trattoria on Via del Parione (+39 55 214 005), great for candlelit dinners. Roses on Via del Parione (+39 55 287 090) is a café during the day and a sushi bar/Japanese restaurant in the evening.

Many restaurants close on Sunday or Monday; check first.

Local cafés

Overlooking Michelangelo’s David in Piazza della Signoria, Caffè Rivoire is a people-watching hub. Caffè Pitti (+39 55 239 9863) becomes a restaurant at night, specialising in truffle dishes. The Roberto Cavalli-owned Giacosa (+39 55 277 6328), linked to his shop on Via della Spada, is a busy, fashiony place for breakfast, lunch, coffee and cocktails. Look for JK Place's sister establishment, the Lounge, on Piazza Santa Maria Novella (+39 55 264 5181).

Local bars

Capocaccia on Lungarno Corsini is perfect for pre-dinner mojitos. Pop across the road for some of the finest cocktails in town in the Fusion Bar in the Gallery Hotel Art. Café Rivoire, overlooking Michelangelo’s David in Piazza delle Signorie, serves superb hot chocolate, cocktails and aperitifs, and is great for watching the world go by.

Reviews

Photos Continentale reviews

Anonymous review

I first went to Florence with my mother when I was 18. I was in the middle of a full-on love affair with Renaissance art, and spent my days pounding the corridors of the Uffizi in search of Botticellis and Titians, seeking out obscure churches harbouring triptychs by Giotto and Mantegna, and scaling seemingly endless winding stone staircases in an attempt to fully understand the genius of Brunelleschi.

My mother and I stayed in a crumbling palazzo on the outskirts of the city; behind the flaking wallpaper and fraying curtains lurked a glorious and no doubt decadent past. When I returned to Florence this time, I found myself in the throes of a very different love affair. The lure of da Vinci and Co suddenly didn’t seem quite so compelling. And the hotel the Continentale, the creation of Salvatore Ferragamo, while a far cry from my decaying palazzo, looked the perfect luxury hotel for a weekend of dedicated romance.

With its sleek minimalist design, the Continentale is the very antithesis of the classic Florentine Room With a View-style pensiones, and it’s a huge hit with those searching for a contemporary vibe. And then there’s its location; it couldn’t be more central. It almost sits right on the famous Ponte Vecchio, and is within a few minutes walk from, well, everywhere. You’d never guess that just steps from Florence’s iconic bridge, lined with goldsmiths and stallholders selling all manner of ‘ode to the Renaissance’ paraphernalia, lies this monochromatic retreat. Sleek receptionists clad in black suits welcomed us into the cool white interior, where black and white fashion photographs line the walls. Classic European films run on a loop on a giant plasma screen in the foyer; or the hotel webcam delivers views of the human traffic on the bridge, bringing the outside in very cleverly.

From the moment we arrived, our every need was looked after by the Continentale’s staff: from the charming bellboy who whisked us up in a vast glass lift complete with leather sofa, to the patient receptionist who spent hours tracking down my passport (which, to my embarrassment, I’d left in the lounge at Gatwick), smiling genuinely throughout.

The standard bedrooms are small but cleverly laid out. Our first thought was that the minimalist decor owed more to Habitat than John Pawson or even Conran, but such notions were quickly pushed to one side as the white cotton drapes around the bed fluttered seductively in the breeze. The bathroom boasted a spectacularly powerful shower, and the huge bottles of luxurious body products were a serious treat. But battling it out for Best Thing About The Room award, along with the fantastic bed, was the incredible view over the river: you can almost lean out and dip your little finger into the Arno. We sat for ages watching the early morning skullers meander down the river, bathed in Tuscany’s unique soft golden light. Florence’s beauty hasn’t changed much since I was here as a girl, but I have. And somehow the Renaissance cityscape looked more beautiful than ever.

Breakfast is the only meal the hotel serves, and we opted for room service every time. When we did venture out of our modernist boudoir to explore the hotel’s artfully designed communal areas, we discovered the relaxation room, with comfy day beds and stacks of magazines, and amazing views over the bridge. As a contrast to Florence’s ‘it’s like the 19th century never happened’ vibe, the aesthetic is really very refreshing. All that you could possibly desire lies minutes away, be it dusty old antique shops or chic boutiques, not to mention all that great art – though the studious 18-year-old in me was nowhere to be seen.

Taking a respite from wandering Florence’s answer to Bond Street – the superbly-heeled Via Tornabuoni, where Prada and Gucci have settled in next to Florence-based Salvatore Ferragamo – we settled on nearby Il Latini for lunch. Packed full of locals, with a commanding and eccentric maître d’ who prefers to order for you and frowns if you don’t get stuck in to one of the hefty bottles of house red provided on all the tables, this is the classic Italian restaurant at its best.

Having drunk, laughed and sung (it was the man on the next-door table’s birthday) far more than expected, we set off for the Santa Maria Novella apothecary, where we stared in wonder at the towering glass cabinets packed with giant bottles and jars, before stocking up on herbal potions and lotions made from recipes devised by 15th-century Franciscan monks. As editor of a fashion magazine, I am spoilt with beauty products at the best of times, but the old-school scents here – rose, iris, nothing faddy – are seriously sexy.

Unguents accomplished,we headed in the opposite direction of the crowds, who were now teeming menacingly around the Duomo and Uffizi, for the Boboli Gardens, behind the Pitti Palace, where we strolled and sat talking like teenagers for hours in the sunshine. It was only, however, when we climbed the steps up to the nearby Piazzale Michelangelo, which offers beautiful views over the Florence skyline (nearly as spectacular as those from Continentale’s roof terrace) that my last vestiges of guilt about having not set foot in even one museum finally disappeared.

As the setting sun enveloped the cathedral’s famous dome in an Ready Brek glow, I finally grasped the real genius of Brunelleschi. More importantly, I realised that our weekend at the Continentale hadn’t only meant falling in love in Florence – but also falling in love with Florence.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Continentale’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Room overlooking the Arno was amazing! Staff was friendly and accommodating. I'Tuscani 2 was a great place to grab lunch. Well prepared meat, away from the main tourist spots.

Don’t expect

Food on site.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Sep 2016

We loved

Location - right by the Ponte Vecchio and a short stroll to all that Florence has to offer Dark room - very effective blackout blinds Sharp design - no chintz here!

Don’t expect

Food in the hotel - it doesn't serve breakfast, although you can cross the square to a sister hotel. We just went to a local cafe and soaked up Florence life.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Jun 2016

We loved

The pool, the architecture and gardens, the calm, the simple food. The proximity to Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Fasano, even Lecce, which are all exceptionally beautiful towns not at all overrun with tourists, and with quality restaurants, cafes and crafts boutiques.

Don’t expect

Haute cuisine - this is simple farm food

Rating

Stayed on 29 Mar 2016

We loved

The location – literally in front of the Ponte Vecchio. The view from the roof top Terrace (unfortunately closed during winter time). The cosy room we had on a nice and quiet street. If possible request a room with a view on the Arno. So worth it!

Don’t expect

Just note that the breakfast is in its sister hotel across the road. Nice breakfast but please put the music off!

Rating

Stayed on 22 Jan 2016

We loved

The excellent service and modern decor. The room was really comfortable and the view of the river from the little terrace was a nice bonus. We also spent a rainy afternoon at the spa and were both really pleased with our massages and the super zen atmosphere.

Don’t expect

Jewel box rooms with flocked wallpaper.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Nov 2015

We loved

The location, the great service, the stylish interior and the very helpful staff. Remember to try the breakfast at the Portrait and Lungarno Hotel (which is part of the breakfast deal).

Don’t expect

To want to leave

Rating

Stayed on 29 Sep 2015

We loved

This was our favourite accommodation during our three week trip to Italy. This hotel offered great facilities for its location, being right on the corner of the Ponte Vecchio there was a lovely relax room that allowed you to watch the sun go down over the Arno, or simply enjoy the crowds drift by. The room itself was well styled and sized, great storage for lots of luggage (we had a wedding dress in tow), a separate toilet and a good size bed. The hotel service was great, they were able to arrange shipping of a large format wine bottle home as well as tend to our 11pm requests without blinking an eye. Our favourite touch was the automatic turn down service, before Continentale we didnt know how much we would appreciate a good turn down service with mood lighting to boot! 

Don’t expect

Not a child in sight, it was lovely.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Sep 2015

We loved

Simple, clean lines in bedrooms. Cool furniture in public areas.

Don’t expect

Warm and cosy.

Rating

Stayed on 13 Aug 2015

We loved

The location. Right on the Arno and the Ponte Vecchio. The size of the room was also nice.

Don’t expect

The hotel seemed a little less than expected to me, especially for the price. It could also use some updating, I thought.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Apr 2015

We loved

The friendly service and modern design of the hotel. Everything was clean, bright and modern. The location was perfect for exploring by foot all weekend.

Don’t expect

Cozy old world decor. It's a great home base for exploring Florence, but not a romantic nest for staying in.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Feb 2015

We loved

We were switched to the Continentale's sister hotel, the Gallery Art due to problems with the heating at the Continentale. Just next door and we were given a complimentary upgrade for the inconvenience. We loved everything!

Rating

Stayed on 12 Feb 2015

We loved

The room was absolutely beautiful, spacious, calm, completely set-up for relaxation.

Don’t expect

Breakfast included with the room and on site, coffee making facilities in the room (or available on room service).

Rating

Stayed on 31 Dec 2014