An authentic Florentine villa: the Villa Cora
Enviably located in the hills of Florence in parkland abundant in 100 different types of roses, dominating the Boboli gardens, this villa was an aristocratic mansion in the 19th century. In those days, it was considered to be the most beautiful home in the Tuscan capital, playing host to prestigious guests from the empress Eugenie to musician Claude Debussy…Transformed into a hotel in the 60s, it underwent a total facelift in 2010 and is now a member of Relais&Châteaux. This 5-star hotel proposes 46 bedrooms and suites: 30 suites are found in the main villa where each floor has adopted a different style. Take the second floor, dedicated to Empress Eugenie, which is adorned with roses – her favourite flower! In the Villino Eugenia there are 14 bedrooms, decorated in a classic 19th century style, as is the spa, which is linked to the main house by a tunnel. The Follie guesthouse boasts 2 bedrooms, which can be rented out privately. All the bathrooms are decked out in Carrare marble, including welcome products by Annick Goutal. In the spa, which comprises of 3 treatments rooms and one double, guests can make the most of face products with products from the Sarah Chapman label. For the body, you simply must indulge in one of the four signature treatments with products from the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy, founded in Florence in 1612. In terms of eating, treat yourself to a menu devised by chef Alessandro Liberatore, who has worked at Il Salviatino and Cestello hotels in Florence, before sharpening his skills at Michelin-starred restaurants such as the magnificent Pellicano in Porto Ercole. Finally, take note that, aside from the marvels of Florence, the hotel is just half-an-hour from Mall, the fabulous shopping outlet where you will come across all the major players in Italian fashion, from Tod’s to Prada…and many others! Shopaholics must not miss this! A.F.-M.