By David Odaka
The Four Seasons Florence is probably my favorite Four Seasons in Europe.. its such a gem. Its a Noble residence connected by a walled garden to an old Convent. The grounds are amazing with a pool and free standing spa/gym. The hotel rooms are in 2 buildings. The main building and convent wing. I stayed in a free standing Garden Villa, which
was very private and of course stunning. The hotel has wonderful “al fresco” dining and a pool bistro in addition to the traditional F and B outlets. . I did also inspect other nice hotels : The Savoy, Lungarno, and The St Regis.
The Four Seasons hotel is about 15 minutes walking to the city center, which is the only small drawback, but i personally like being away from the crazy hustle and bustle of Florence as there are lots
of tourists in town. I did an amazing walking tour with our Guide Ana, we saw the Statue of David at the Accademia and then showed us the highlights of the town, ending at a great little bistro for pizza and octopus carpaccio …AMAZING! Later that night I enjoyed dinner at Trattoria Gargani.. which was just delicious – a tiny hole-in-the-wall place with amazing food.
After Florence we were driven to Tuscany. We stayed at the amazing Castiglione del Bosco – owned by the Feragamo Family near Sienna. Its approximately a 2 hour drive but worth every minute.
This hotel is one of the most Amazing properties i have ever been to, every detail is attended to, nothing is forgotten. The accommodations, service and food are unparalleled. I wish I had planned more days here.
I would highly recommend this property… there is tons to do…from the wine experience, to cooking classes, the spa was incredible, day trips to Sienna and surrounding areas, Vespa rentals, truffle hunting.. the list goes on and on.
After 2 days at Castiglion del Bosco…we drove back to Florence and took the high speed train to the Amalfi Coast, about a 2 hour train ride from Florence. I checked into the iconic Le Sirenuse hotel in Positano, what a gem!
Antonio the GM and his family have done an amazing job with this property. The ambiance is magical, and the rooms and restaurant are incredible. I spent 3 days in the Amalfi coast, exploring Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Ravello, Capri, and Pompei. I visited many hotels and have a good idea of which area and properties will fit best for each client… as they are all so different.
A few new standouts… the Monesario de Santa Rosa hotel Near Amalfi and a new villa called “Tres Villas”, had some great meals and I am happy to give my suggestions if you are planning to go to this amazing destination.