Poised on a piazza
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of spumante and a surprise gift from JK Place.
Rates from (ex tax)$362.02 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 (EUR375.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
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 (EUR375.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Poised on a piazza
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of spumante and a surprise gift from JK Place.
20, including 10 suites.
12 noon, but may be flexible on request; earliest check-in, 2pm. With advance warning, the hotel can accommodate early arrivals (subject to availability).
Double rooms from $362.02 (€341), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €5.00 per person per night on check-out.
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 (EUR375.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Rates include Continental or American buffet breakfast, welcome drinks and minibar soft drinks.
Library with books, roof terrace, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, on-demand movies, minibar. In-room spa treatments can be arranged, and guests have access to the Olimpo Spa on nearby Via Tornabuoni and a boutique gym close by.
Cosy and chic Classic Room 9 has high ceilings and a staircase up to the bathroom. The Penthouse sits elegantly over two levels, with a 360-degree view and a romantic private balcony with a clear view of the Duomo – Florence's most-renowned landmark can be spied from the bath tub too. Master Room 1 is spacious and beautifully dressed in cream and white; it has a canopied bed and overlooks the square.
A sketchbook, a sunhat, sensible-ish shoes.
JK Place's rates include access to the Olimpo SPA Steam Bath in Via Tornabuoni, two minutes away.
Small pets can stay in some rooms, on request. See more pet-friendly hotels in Florence.
Cots for babies and extra beds for under-12s, both free, can be added to some rooms. With a day’s notice, nannies can be arranged to babysit for €40 an hour. The restaurant has a stash of highchairs and can tailor a menu to little Smith's tastes.
Juniors, tweens and teens.
The JK Panoramic Loft is perfect for families; set on two levels, there's a bathroom on each floor and the lower level has a large sofa bed for up to two kids. The One-Bedroom Suite 11 is sizeable and spacious with a sofa bed in the separate living room.
The concierge can tailor tours to little ones or recommend plenty of activities suited to younger guests.
The chef can rustle up a bespoke menu for children using seasonal ingredients.
With a day’s notice, nannies can be arranged to babysit for €40 an hour.
The sofa by the fireplace in the JK Lounge is most romantic; but you simply have to hit the terrace in summer.
JK Lounge serves light lunches, afternoon tea and dinner, with a strongly seasonal menu of Tuscan specialities, and brunch on Sundays. Ingredients are plundered from the fertile surrounds, with olive oil and wines from San Gimignano, vegetables from a local organic farm, buffalo mozzarella from Campania and house-made breads. Styled by Michele Bönan, the room’s decor combines classic Fifties seduction with ironic 1970s references. A buffet breakfast and aperitivo drinks and snacks are served in the dining room, which has a large wooden communal table, and towards the back of the hotel is a cosy TV lounge with long white sofas, where guests can take light meals.
JK Lounge, with its teak terrace opening onto the piazza, is a see-and-be-seen setting for an aperitivo, a glass of wine or a cappuccino. There’s an honesty bar for guests in the main lounge available until 11pm, with free home-made cakes, snacks and soft drinks, and a rooftop terrace open in summer. The Pink Room downstairs is a decidedly sexy club-like space for cocktails and conversation, and just beyond the JK Lounge is a small bar with a row of tables where patrons can shelter if a chill kicks in.
JK Lounge is open all day, from 11am up till 10.30pm.
Breakfast can be brought to you, and JK Lounge’s restaurant menu can be served in rooms until 11pm.
The nearest airport is Florence Airport, also known as Amerigo Vespucci or Peretola Airport, which is only 20 minutes’ drive from the hotel (take a taxi for around €20, or hop on the half-hourly bus from the airport to the centre of Florence). If you’re coming from the UK, however, you’ll have more choice of airlines if you fly to Pisa (Galileo Galilei) Airport, about an hour by road from the JK Place. There’s a direct train from the airport to Santa Maria Novella station in the heart of Florence, which is in easy walking distance of the hotel.
JK Place is a leisurely few minutes’ walk from Santa Maria Novella train station, one of Italy’s railway hubs. You can zip to Rome and back in a day on a high-speed train, and it’s just as easy to get to other Italian cities (Naples, Pisa, Siena...) as well as further afield in Europe (Nice and Vienna, among others).
The hotel is located in Florence’s bustling pedestrian zone, so you won’t need a car to explore the local area. Instead, hail a taxi, or jump on one of the bright orange buses that service the city centre (buy your tickets in advance from the special vending machines or a tobacco shop). 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. If you’re planning day trips into the Tuscan countryside, a car will be essential.
JK Place's concierge team has a host of excursions to offer, whether just a restaurant recommendation, a museum booking or a wine-tasting tour of the Chianti region. Cooking classes can be organised, in-room spa treatments ordered or hot-air balloon rides arranged…
Cantina Barbagianni on Via Sant’Egidio is in an ancient cellar; it is ideal for dinner à deux, or a great-value two-course lunch (+39 055 248 0508). Formal and glamorous, Cibrèo on Via de’Macci (+39 055 234 1100) is possibly the most famous trattoria in Italy. 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 (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. Cantinetta Antinori at Palazzo Antinori near Piazza Santa Trínita (+39 55 292 234) has a noble tradition (quite literally) of serving Tuscan dishes made with fresh produce from the Antinori estates. Near the Duomo on Via dell’Oche, Coquinarius is a charming, intimate place; its salads and pastas are popular with ladies who lunch (+39 055 230 2153). Try your luck at l Latini on Via Palchetti (+39 055 210916). The kitchen decides what you’ll be eating – you just name the colour of wine you prefer, and whether you want fish or meat. Thrice Michelin-starred jacket-and-tie joint Enoteca Pinchiorri on Via Ghibellina is set in a Renaissance palace, where Giorgio Pinchiorri himself helps you choose from his 150,000-bottle cellar (+39 055 242757). In a side street behind the Uffizi, Ora d’Aria is masterminded by rising star Marco Stabile, who applies cutting-edge culinary techniques to trad Tuscan dishes. Showstoppers include suckling pig with garlic and lavender cream (+39 055 200 1699).
In Piazza della Signoria, Café Rivoire (+39 055 214412) serves superb hot chocolate, cocktails and aperitivi and is great spot for watching the world bustle by – with a magnificent view of Michelangelo’s domineering David. 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.
Capocaccia on Lungarno Corsini is perfect for pre-dinner martinis. 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 della Signoria, serves superb hot chocolate, cocktails and aperitivi and is great for watching the world go by.
Discreet as an opium den, the entrance to JK Place Firenze is on a low-key corner of Piazza Santa Maria Novella. And here we are, after a small hop from Paris, pressing a magic button to enter a secretly sumptuous 20-room bolthole. Once inside, this musk-infused former mansion doesn’t even seem like a hotel – it’s for this kind of hideaway that such clichés as ‘island of tranquillity’ and ‘haven of peace’ were invented. African headdresses surmount a sombre and imposing Charles X fireplace, and 1960s paintings share space with 18th-century sculptures and art deco furniture… Everything here is cream, grey or black; marble, wood and geometric – clashing eras all edited together beautifully. I sense Mrs Smith’s pupils dilating.
Etchings, drawings and a Regency-era fireplace furnish JK Place’s take on a reception, a snug space in the property’s former library. Staff are elegant, friendly, well-groomed and as gracious as can be – and this coming from someone who knows what it takes to be a world-class concierge. Next to us, there’s a tiny little glass-roofed former courtyard, where we’ll eat breakfast communally at an impressive walnut table from the 1800s. Just beyond is a lounge where we plan to relax with a glass of chilled prosecco – on offer gratis at cocktail hour – under the cool glow of a huge Bang & Olufsen TV. It’s funny how, in Italy, it’s ubiquitous in bars to have a giant screen playing glossy fashion and music shows on a loop – even when you’re already somewhere so glamorous.
Our high-ceilinged room is a junior suite, and it riffs on the same chic monochrome theme. Cream and black architectural drawings line the walls, stacks of his and hers fashion magazines sit bedside a hi-tech telephone, and there are even two marble bathrooms treating us to a separate shower and bath. As if that doesn’t underline luxe living strongly enough, there’s thick grey carpet all around, fresh white roses, and an inviting plate of fresh fruit with cold Acqua Panna and Pellegrino at our disposal. We are entirely enamoured. We want to live here. Forever.
After a quick glass of the delicious Tuscan white Vernaccia di San Gimignano in the lounge, we head out to explore this city, the crucible of the Renaissance. In 10 minutes flat, we’re at the La Bottega grocery store
at the corner of Via dei Neri. I confess we’ve sidestepped the many cultural offerings of this diminutive but distinguished city – the way to this pair’s hearts is through our stomaci. Soon we’re laden with charcuterie, pecorino, and a cheap bottle of Lambrusco opened for us on the premises. We set out across the river for a wander along vertiginous and winding streets, to find an ideal evening picnic spot.
Up the road past Galileo’s house, we end up at the Forte di Belvedere. The riverside grounds of this fortification in the Oltrarno district have wonderful views over the city. Eating, drinking and merriment ensues, interrupted only by a peculiar puss intent on sampling our ham and the occasional Asian and Russian tourist asking directions. As our bottle of wine is down to the dregs, we start to saunter back downhill and are caught off-guard by a downpour. Darting in and out of 16th-century porticoes – the vestiges of former noble residences – we end up at the artisan-packed mediaeval Ponte Vecchio and stroll over one of Italy’s most celebrated landmarks.
Rainclouds disperse, and we head back to JK Place, where a kindly night watchman sneaks us a bottle of ‘clandi’ prosecco and shows us the way to the hotel’s rooftop terrace. Empty, and cushion-festooned, it’s a heavensent spot for a pair of romancing weekend-awayers like us two.
A word on the concierge credentials of JK Place: being one myself lends a different perspective when visiting other establishments – and to encounter such intuitive service is a delight. Coming back weary from a day’s walking, eating and drinking, unable to think for ourselves, being steered up here with a bottle on ice and glasses and given a view of the nearby Duomo lit up in all its magnificence has created an unexpectedly memorable end to our evening. The bubbly goes down well under the bright Florentine moonlight, and Marvin Gaye on my iPhone completes a night that has been filled with an antipasti picnic, mirth, and a little too much of the local vino.
Day two of our all-too-short weekend treats us to a more formal feast, care of the closest Michelin stars. La Tenda Rossa is a half-hour taxi ride away in the village of Cerbaia. Mrs Smith suggests this family-run affair was last decorated when nouvelle cuisine was at the height of fashion. (I ponder whether the menu is also somewhat trapped in the same timewarp, but we both agree the food shines thanks to the use of superb produce.) After a tasting of locally produced olive oil, we dine on langoustine ravioli with white beans and orange marmalade, a light and delicious version of fritto misto, all the while quaffing a splendiferous local chardonnay named Batàr. How does the rest of our evening play out? Ahem. It in fact continues well into the next morning, care of pints in the neighbouring Irish Pub – well, it is St Patrick’s Day…
Finally we retire to our room for more music and wine. Cosseted in this corner of paradise, we realise what makes this hip hotel so special. A place that can make you feel so at home, seemingly without too much effort, yet enveloping you in chic luxury, must surely be prized. We salute you, JK.
Staff excellent, nothing too much trouble, very helpful. Hotel recommended restaurants were 1st class and very good value, if looking for local tuscan food and wine.
The relaxed breakfast in the lounge, decor, quality of the food, the personal attention and eye for a detail from all the staff, the little terrace on 4th floor - overall very romantic feel to the place. Some great restaurants, all recommended by the concierge - including Borgo San Jacopo and the Michelin star Ora de Aria - we had a tasting menu in both and comes highly recommended.
Space - our room was quite small and not much storage space - but it didn't bother us. I assume the rooms on higher level have more space.
Everything about this hotel. The staff are lovely and cannot do enough to help you. The breakfasts are perfection. The decor is great.
Wow - great location and not too hard to drive too Fabulous greeting - glass of bubbles, car whisked away Fantastic room with very comfortable bed and great shower.
Room wasn't massive but ample size for us.
Amazing location in middle of Florence. Stunning boutique hotel. Beautiful service and lovely restaurant in the square.
The beautiful and luxurious hotel and friendly staff were very attentive. It is a great location and really easy to get to. It is the perfect place for a spot of romance. We had an amazing time and would definitely stay in that hotel again when we visit again.
I loved this boutique hotel with excellent service. Rooms extremely quiet, spacious bathrooms.
I would've liked bigger rooms, although difficult in a town hotel. Parking is very expensive.