It’s really hard not feel at home at Florence’s J.K. Place, where staff greet you at the front door, the elegant lobby is free of a reception area, and complimentary snacks and drinks are served all day long in a ultra chic lounge area.
What we love:
- Just steps away from Florence’s train station in Piazza Santa Maria Novella
- Feels like a private townhouse rather than a hotel
- Sleek Michele Bonan–designed interiors
- Chic lounge/restaurant, J.K. Lounge
- Soft drinks, water and juice in the minibar are complimentary
- Breakfast is included
What to know:
- Like many Florentine hotels, rooms are on the small side
- Communal dining at breakfast
- Private airport transfers cost approximately $120, each way, maximum three people; taxis are less-expensive
What to do:
- To Market. On the corner of Via Porta Rossa and Via Por Santa Maria, one of Florence’s smaller markets offers great deals on straw hats, leather, paper and linens. Florentines call this market Il Porcellino (Little Pig), because if you rub the snout of the wild boar fountain in the market and throw a coin in the water, you’ll return to Florence.
- Take in a Performance. If you’re in the mood for ballet, opera or another kind of musical performance, check out the schedule for Florence’s Teatro Communale. The main theater seats 2,000, and the smaller one holds 500 people for more intimate performances
- Ancient Art. Visit the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance: the Brancacci Chapel, inside Santa Maria del Carmine Church. Only 30 people can enter the chapel every 15 minutes, so reserve ahead.
- Climb to the Top. There are few things that symbolize Florence better than the cupola of the city’s world-famous Duomo. For those looking for a more active exploration of the Duomo, as well as stunning city views, climb the 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome – still the tallest building in Florence.
- Medieval Elixirs. Don’t miss a visit to Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, a 600-year-old pharmacy, set in a lovely old church, started by Dominican monks and now a market for herbal creations and decadent perfumes.
How to get there:
Flights are available to Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR) and Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA) from major U.S. and European cities on a variety of carriers. Private Mercedes E Class transfers to/from (FLR) are approximately $120 per car, each way; they are driven by an English-speaking driver and can accommodate up to 3 passengers and can be arranged through the property.
Alternatively, taxis to/from FLR are approximately $42 per taxi, each way, and to/from the S.M. Novella train station for approximately $14 per taxi, each way. Transfers are also available to/from Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA), though it is much cheaper to fly into and transfer from FLR, and to and from S.M. Novella train station in a Mercedes E Class car (with an English-speaking driver) for approximately $80 per car, each way.
Portofino World, a World apart.