For a city centre location, you can’t do better than this. The Savoy stands on bustling piazza della Repubblica with its belle époque pavement cafés and old-fashioned carousel. The Duomo is a couple of blocks to the north and the Ponte Vecchio five minutes' walk to the south. A few steps to the west lies Via Tornabuoni with its designer shops.
The 88 bedrooms and 14 suites are decorated with Polizzi’s usual understated, elegant style with lots of blond wood and a neutral colour palette; swish bathrooms are done in marble or mosaic. If you want to look down on the theatre unfolding in the square below, book a room at the front, but those at the back are quieter. Prices for the executive suites include a whole range of extras such as an unpacking and packing service (bliss!), use of a mobile phone for local calls and free in-house movies. The huge top-of-the-range Brunelleschi and Signoria suites have their own steam rooms with chromotherapy (colour therapy) and aromatherapy facilities.
It always strikes me when I walk into the Savoy’s cool reception area that there’s something missing; that something is a good, comfortable sitting room where one can relax after a hard day’s sightseeing with a cup of tea and the papers. There’s a sitting area, but it’s exposed to all the comings and goings of a busy hotel lobby - not exactly peaceful. Apart from that, public space is limited to the Incontro restaurant and bar and its (very fine) outside terrace.
Eating and drinking
Double Michelin-starred chef Fulvio Pierangelini is now in charge of the Incontro restaurant (although how much times he spends sweating over a hot stove is open to debate), and the standard of the food has gone up accordingly. His menus of modern Tuscan specialities feature lots of fish and vegetables and are served in the smart brasserie-style restaurant overlooking the piazza; avoid a table in the windowless back room.
The bar is very popular with a smart local crowd in the evenings when the lights are turned down and lounge tracks are fed into the sound system. The pavement terrace is a wonderful spot for people-watching over breakfast or an aperitivo.
The Savoy is one of the few city centre hotels to offer a decent gym. It might be small, but the rooftop fitness suite makes a good spot from which to work off the extra calories and the views of Brunelleschi’s cupola will take your mind off the pain.
Reports about the service here are consistently good. The grey-clad young reception staff are professional, attentive but friendly and the top-hatted doorman will remember your name from day one. Concierge Ruggero and his team will do anything from booking a restaurant or the opera, to planning a wine tasting tour in Chianti.
Who stays there
Big with the business, leisure and celebrity brackets, both Italian and international, the Savoy, in spite of being a super-stylish urban bolthole, prides itself on being child-friendly. Thoughtful extras include welcome gifts, kid-sized bathrobes and slippers, special menus in the restaurant, DVDs and Playstations for rent.
Breakfast is not usually included in the room rate and costs up to 32 euros per person depending on the season and type of room.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Families with younger children
- People watching
Pros & Cons
- Good restaurant and buzzy bar
- Child-friendly facilities
- City centre location
- Nowhere much to sit and relax