The Renaissance capital reveals its newest treasure – a luxury hotel that feels like coming home.
The Cecchi family, who designed Hotel La Gemma as an upscale urban retreat, have infused their Italian heritage into the property’s every accent: from the powder-pink and emerald-green palette that echoes the marble exterior of the Duomo to the tropical parakeet-flecked wallpaper, which evokes happy memories of international travel. Even the signature cocktails, served in the bar or at Luca’s restaurant, are named for the Cecchis’ favourite tunes.
Part of the appeal of the property, which is inside the façade of a 19th-century palazzo just footsteps from Piazza della Repubblica, is that it’s luxurious but doesn’t necessarily shout about it. The entry is on a side street and the 38 rooms and suites – including the upper-floor Prestige Suites that share a private elevator – are filled with shelves of books, rosemary and chia Votary amenities and in-room cocktail stations.
To feel the full romance of Florence, Room 208 is a spacious Junior Suite that has a balcony overlooking the ancient wool trading street, Via Calimala, with the city’s famous Martini sign visible in the distance. Few things feel more Florentine than sipping a spritz from a lofty vantage point while the busy streets bustle below.
La Gemma’s 24-hour concierges – who seem more like well-connected friends – will gladly unlock the city’s most coveted experiences on request: an after-dark tour of the Uffizi; a private perfume blending masterclass; or a food tour that takes you to osterias and enotecas beyond the Stanley Tucci trail. “We want our guests not to feel like they’re in a hotel,” says middle Checchi brother Massimiliano. “We want them to feel like they’re in a wonderful and magical home.”
SEE ALSO: A Grand Tour of Florence in 24 Hours