I have a confession. Every so often, I cheat on the St. Regis in Florence. I didn’t mean to cheat on them, but every so often, they are sold out and I have to find another hotel. The great thing about the Lungarno Collection is that all of their hotels offer incredible locations in Milan, Florence and Rome. In Rome, they are in the shadow of the Spanish steps are within walking distance of all the major sites. In Florence, they are all situated around the Ponte Vecchio on both sides of the Arno, so you’re literally staying in the heart of the old city center. These locations are perfect for sightseeing, and they offer a luxurious experience (at various price points) that make it impossible not to recommend them, especially if the St. Regis isn’t in your budget.
This post is not sponsored. I have booked these Lungarno Collection hotels on my own dime and traveled on my own time. We have stayed with at Lungarno Collection hotels both pre and post-2020.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for tours and products I love at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Hotel Lungarno Review
Last November, we took a 10-day trip to to Florence, Bologna, and Rome. Tom and I stayed at the Hotel Lungarno and put my mom, sister, and cousin at the Lungarno apartments. Like the St. Regis Florence, this is a 5-star hotel overlooking the Arno River, and I love it. The biggest difference between the Lungarno and the St Regis is that the Lungarno Hotel (and apartments) are on the Oltrarno side of the river. (It’s also a bit closer to the major sites.)
The vibe at the Hotel Lungarno is more sleek and modern luxury, where as the St. Regis is classic Florentine luxury. There’s nothing wrong with either hotel – I love them both, but you might have a preference. Personally, I loved the various hues of blue in our room at the Lungarno. I found it to be a very peaceful and calming retreat. I also loved the Florence art in our room. I would bring some of those pieces home. The Lungarno hotels are owned by the Ferragamo family, so you’ll find creativity, luxury, and exquisite design in the every hotel. Some of my favorite hotels in Tuscany are owned by the Ferragamo families, and while they have different vibes, the commitment to luxury remains the same.
Overall, I found the Lungarno staff to be very approachable, helpful, and friendly. They were eager to show us around the hotel, help us get settled into our room, and generally make recommendations and learn more about our experiences. When they found out that there would be a taxi strike our day of departure, they helped us set pu car service to the train station so we didn’t miss our train to Rome – and we didn’t have to schlepp our luggage all over Florence! Obviously, I have a very skewed opinion about Florence since I did study abroad her, and I do feel that the service at the Lungarno really stands out in comparison to some other hotels in Florence. I still think that the St. Regis Florence offers THE MOST personalized service of Florence luxury hotels, but the Lungarno made our stay very special, if not memorable. The location is absolutely outstanding and they go all out with their holiday decor.
Room 430 – Lungarno Double Room
Though we did not have a river view room, we did receive a very nice upgrade and our L-shaped room was very spacious. The high ceilings and wainscoting details contributed to this room feeling very luxurious, and the recessed and soft lighting made it feel extra romantic and cozy in the evenings. Located on the 4th (5th for Americans) floor facing Borgo San Jacobo, I found our room to be surprisingly quiet and very cozy and comfortable. I especially loved the thick carpet on chilly mornings. We had a small juliette balcony with a limited view, but it provided nice light during the day. The blackout curtains served their purpose very well in the evenings.
Instead of a single queen, we did end up in a room with two twin mattresses that were pushed together, which wasn’t a big deal for us. If you are choosing the Lungarno Hotel for an anniversary or honeymoon, I would ask them to fix it. It’s generally a quick fix and they are more than happy to do it. (We’ve had this happen we showed up at the St. Regis at the last minute, too.) I loved the cozy throw blankets and the linens were soft and luxurious.
Though our room was an odd L-shape with a long hallway leading from the entry to the bedroom, it was a VERY effective use of design and space. The furniture fit the room perfectly, and it did not feel cluttered at all. The various art pieces representing different views of Florence kept this room from feeling like yet another hotel room. It’s very obvious that you are in Florence, and the art is absolutely lovely. The furniture and the objects d’art around the room felt very personal.
No detail is overlooked. There is in-room coffee and tea service, wine glasses ready for that bottle of wine you picked up down the street at Obsequium, and plenty of storage space to completely unpack. We had a large closet, as well as beautiful chest of drawers. Tom was particularly excited about the Bose speaker.
The personal touches didn’t stop in the bathroom. I loved the thick terrycloth robes. Our bathroom included both a hair dryer AND a hair straightener. (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever see one in a hotel – I don’t use one, but it’s a nice touch. Bath amenities are my favorite Salvatore Ferragamo products, and the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion are the Ferragamo Bianco Di Carrara scent, which is exclusive to Tuscany. (Yes, my cousin and I did go all over Florence trying to find the shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. No, we did not find it. However, you can buy it as a perfume, a candle, or diffuser.) The Gallery Hotel Art uses similar Ferragamo products, but the Lungarno Hotel includes a few more items like shaving gel and aftershave.
The bathroom is also what made the Lungarno Hotel extra luxurious. Our bathroom offered dual shower heads, which is something that I rarely see in hotels. The water pressure was great, and our shower had a window that opened so that the steam didn’t feel too overwhelming. While I would have loved a bathtub, the size of the shower (and the bathroom) is a straight up luxury in Florence. The only drawback, which isn’t really a drawback because its quite common in Florence, is that there is only a single vanity, so if you have a lot of bathroom stuff, you’ll probably want to keep it confined. I really love this make-up case for situations like this.
Overall, I really loved the Hotel Lungarno. It lived up to my expectations for a luxury hotel in Florence, and it was the perfect location for our group. Since we have spent New Year’s Eve in Florence three times, I wouldn’t mind booking a Lungarno river room with a balcony to enjoy an even better view of the fireworks in the future.
Lungarno Collection Apartment Review
During that same trip to Florence, we booked a two-bedroom city view apartment at the Lungarno apartments for my mom, sister, and cousin. Like our room at the hotel, the apartment looked over Borgo San Jacopo, and they do have Arno river view apartments, too.
The Lungarno Collection apartments are located in the same courtyard as the Hotel Lungarno and you check in at the hotel. You have access to the same staff, concierge, and room and hotel amenities as hotel guests. The only difference is that you are housed in an apartment building that isn’t exclusive hotel guests. (There *is* an elevator, which is something my apartment in Florence did not have!)
The two-bedroom, two-bath apartment offers one king size bed and two twin beds, so it could be perfect for a family traveling together. I think the hotel would split the twins if you asked. (They seemed agreeable when I asked if this was possible.) The bathrooms have large walk-in showers and dual vanities. Bath amenities are the same as the Hotel Lungarno. Our apartment had a large sitting room, a small, full-service kitchen, and all the comforts of home. The design was very chic with whites and grays. It felt very luxe, especially compared to my apartment in Florence during college.
We utilized the apartment kitchen to prepare snacks and enjoy an apertivo in the apartment before our late dinner reservations. The oven has a setting for crisping up focaccia bread perfectly! Everything you would need to prepare meals is included; this is truly a full-service luxury apartment rental in the heart of Florence. Similar to the hotel, you would still receive housekeeping services.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos the apartment before everyone was checked in and settled, so I may need to reach out to the Lungarno Collection media team to see if I can get a few photos to use – or stop by next time we are in Florence!
Gallery Hotel Art Review
The Gallery Hotel Art is a “step down” in the Lungarno Collection of hotels – and by that I mean that it’s four-star hotel versus a five-star hotel. This is actually something I really love about the Lungarno Collection – they offer something for every luxury traveler at a variety of price points.
The location of the Gallery Hotel Art makes it the perfect location for exploring Florence. We ended up here the first time because my hip just couldn’t make the longer walk from the St. Regis Florence. This hotel sits in the shadow of the Ponte Vecchio and two blocks from the Piazza della Signoria. Despite the incredible location, it is on a small square tucked away from the crowds. Vicolo dell’Oro is a VERY quiet square, especially in the evenings. Within this square, you will also find the Continentale (4-star) and the Portrait (5-star).
The service at the Gallery Hotel Art is perfectly fine, but it is rarely remarkable. In my experience, the valet and bellhop staff really go above and beyond, which is nice because it can be really stressful driving to this hotel. (Valet is 35/euro per day, and it is an excellent value.) The front desk staff isn’t unhelpful, but they seem very lackadaisical about things. It tends to feel very impersonal. We’ve stayed at this hotel 4 or 5 times now, and it always feels like we’re a first time guest. Additionally, we’ve tried to get help with restaurant reservations, but the staff was unable to assist. We finally just handled them ourselves. It is a sharp contrast to the Lungarno Hotel. Again, the hotels are at different price points, but I was still surprised at the difference. I think it’s what made our stay at the Lungarno Hotel feel even more special though.
In terms of feel, this hotel is definitely more modern than the Hotel Lungarno, and it would definitely appeal to anyone who loves modern art. I love the black and white photography throughout the common areas of the hotel, and it feels like they regularly host temporary art exhibitions throughout (and on the exterior of!) the hotel. I love the contemporary nod to Florence’s history as the epicenter of the Renaissance.
The Gallery Hotel Art in Florence can be an incredible buy, especially in low season. We’ve stayed here 4 times, including a trip over Easter weekend, and I’ve found the rates to be very competitive, especially in terms of the quality. The Gallery Hotel Art is bookable on Tablet Hotels, and you do get a few extra perks by using Tablet Plus. Sometimes when I book directly with the hotel, I can get a third (or fourth) night free, so it’s absolutely worth comparing prices before booking.
Room 110 – Gallery Prestige Room
In a testament to how often we’ve stayed at this hotel, I’ve had this room twice. We stayed in room 110 on our first stay in 2018 and most recently in 2022. I booked this room specifically because of its large windows. While we did have nice windows, this room overlooks the interior square of the hotel, so it never felt overly bright. On cloudy days, it did feel pretty dark. However, it was very quiet, which was nice. Sometimes the exterior rooms have some street noise in the evening. There are trade offs with everything.
This room is significantly smaller than the room we had at the Hotel Lungarno and all of the rooms at the St. Regis. However, it features clean and efficient design, and I do love the color scheme and style. It is soft and neutral, and the furnishings fit the room extremely well. (I love the striped curtains, too.) There are multiple closets for hanging and unpacking clothes, a decent-sized desk, and enough space to effectively store your luggage.
The bathroom at the Hotel Gallery Art is similar stone and design to the Hotel Lungarno, but offers added benefits, including a dual vanity, a full-size soaking tub and an overhead shower, as well as hand shower. The water pressure is excellent. You’ll find that both hotels offer the same Salvatore Ferragamo bath products and amenities.
Room 309 – Gallery Double Room
We stayed in this room when we took my mom to Italy to spend Thanksgiving with us in 2019. She had a corner room down the hall that I wish I had been able to photograph because it had the best windows of the rooms we’ve stayed in at the Gallery Hotel Art Florence.
This room was definitely the smallest room we’ve ever had at a Lungarno Collection Hotel. It was cozy and perfect for a romantic trip to Florence, especially in the winter. The desk was a little too small for this to be a good room for both Tom and I to work in; Room 110 was better for that. My only trouble with it, honestly, is that it was just so dark. Days are shorter in the winter, so I like to maximize my sunlight when I can. The location of the room, even with its small balcony, didn’t allow for much sunlight. That said, the interior facing rooms are definitely quieter at night, so it’s a fair trade off.
The bathroom is very large compared to the room. Our bathroom had dual sinks and a large soaking tub. The water pressure and hot water were good. I appreciated the thick terrycloth robes for the cooler evenings. And, of course, I stockpiled my favorite Ferragamo bath products to bring home.
For me, the biggest selling point of the Gallery Hotel Art is the location and the reasonable prices, given its amazing location. If you are coming to Florence to sightsee, there is no better location in Florence.
For more Florence Itinerary Ideas:
FOOD AND WINE TOURS IN FLORENCE // TOURS TO TAKE IN FLORENCE ITALY // FLORENCE COOKING CLASSES TO TRY // FLORENCE RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EVERY BUDGET // FRESH PASTA CLASSES IN FLORENCE ITALY // BEST STEAK IN FLORENCE ITALY // ST REGIS FLORENCE HOTEL REVIEW // LUNGARNO COLLECTION HOTEL REVIEWS // GALLERY HOTEL ART REVIEW // A FIRST TIMERS GUIDE TO FLORENCE ITALY // FLORENCE ANNIVERSARY IDEAS // FLORENCE HONEYMOON IDEAS // LUNGARNO HOTEL REVIEWS // 14 RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN FLORENCE
Florence Lungarno Collection Hotels I Want to Try
The two remaining Lungarno Collection hotels in Florence are the five-star Portrait Firenze and the four-star Continentale. Both appeal to me for different reasons, the least of which being I feel like I should check them all out if I’m going to write about an entire hotel collection! I love that each of these hotels has a very different and distinct personality.
The Portrait is a suite-style hotel that overlooks the Arno River. While the Lungarno Hotel and Apartments are in the Oltrarno, the Portrait is directly across the river and just minutes away from the Duomo and Florence city center. The design and style of its 37 rooms and suites is more like the Lungarno Apartments with more spacious rooms, soft tones, and luxurious finishes. Floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies provide sweeping views of the Ponte Vecchio and the Oltrarno. Some of their rooms are two-bedroom suites, which could accommodate family travel more easily. (The Portrait suites do not offer full kitchens though.)
Personally, the Portrait would be on my list of hotels to consider for New Year’s Eve in Florence. We typically always stay at the St. Regis Florence on New Year’s Eve, but the fireworks view from the Portrait would be unparalleled. (This would have been really great in 2021 as we weren’t up for going out.) It would also be on my list for an anniversary hotel in Florence. I can picture us having a romantic dinner in our suite, enjoying sunrises and sunsets from our balcony, and merely enjoying the views.
The Portrait does have an on-site restaurant, Caffe dell’Oro, a ground-level restaurant overlooking the Arno River. It offers contemporary Italian-fusion cuisine.
Continentale Hotel Florence
The Continentale is the young and edgy hotel of the Lungarno brand. The rooms have a more retro minimalist theme, lots of white and light woods, and are generally on the smaller side of the Lungarno rooms. I love the canopy bed details and the use of greenery for color in the rooms. This would be a great hotel for a girls’ weekend in Florence (or bachelorette party) or a quick trip to Florence. There is not an on-site restaurant, but it does share a square with the Gallery Hotel Art and the Portrait, so you can you use your hotel benefits at some of those restaurants.
For me, the biggest draws of staying at the Continentale would be easy access to the White Iris Spa, the rooftop bar (La Terrazza), and staying in one of their rooms where I could enjoy my bath with a view of Florence. It is also very well-located for sight-seeing. (If you’re like us and book the earliest time at the Uffizi, you will thank me for finding a hotel only a few steps away from the museum!)
Benefits & Amenities at Lungarno Collection Hotels
I believe the biggest benefit of the Lungarno hotels is the location. All of their hotels are in the heart of Florence, and this makes special occasions and holidays in Florence extra special. Whether you book your room with additional perks or not, the Lungarno Collection of hotels offers more than a few amenities that all hotel guests can use. Depending on which rate you book, your room may include breakfast. We have taken advantage of the breakfast at the Gallery Hotel Art a couple of time times. Our room rate at the Hotel Lungarno included breakfast, but we did not take advantage of it. My favorite amenities at the Lungarno Collection hotels is the discount for the White Iris Spa, mainly because there are so few hotels with spas in Florence.
White Iris Spa in Florence
The White Iris Spa is housed in the Continentale hotel. Obviously, this is most convenient if you are staying in the Continentale, Portrait, or the Gallery Hotel Art, and a little less convenient if you are staying at the Hotel Lungarno or Lungarno apartments. That being said, the hotel and spa staff do try to accommodate guests from all properties. Though they were completely booked while we were staying at the Gallery Hotel Art, they were kind enough to call in another massage therapist for me. (This was right before my second hip surgery, and I was in dire straights.)
Upon arriving, I found the hotel staff at the Continentale to be very friendly and helpful in figuring out where I needed to be. Because of the holiday weekend, however, I did feel very rushed through check in and there was no one to help me at check out. I do understand that they were quite busy, so I don’t think my experience is the typical experience. It’s just different from some of the other luxury spas I’ve visited. Space is at a premium, so don’t expect large changing rooms, jacuzzi tubs and/or steam rooms, and other amenities to enjoy prior to or after your treatments. You’ll want to wear spa appropriate clothing. I did not enjoy trying to pull on skinny jeans after my massage. Poor planning my part – next time I’ll take a napdress. Save 20% off on a nap dress by using my link.The Ellie is my favorite.
All that said, I did enjoy my tranquilly massage. It was very helpful after a few days of navigating the cobblestones in Florence. The White Iris spa also offers facials, body wraps, manicures, and pedicures. Prices are extremely reasonable given the location.
Breakfast at the Gallery Hotel Art
The proliferation of breakfast at European hotels is a little confusing to me. Most Italians I know enjoy a coffee and a pastry in the morning, and I like to follow suit with a pastry (only when necessary) or staying true to my intermittent fasting diet. For these reasons, I rarely book a room rate that includes breakfast, and I will never pay to add it to our room if it’s just me and Tom traveling.
When traveling with other people, however, sometimes we do book a rate with breakfast. The Gallery Hotel Art breakfast goes beyond a typical continental breakfast in that it includes hot foods, seasonal pastries, typical Tuscan meats and cheeses (the superior breakfast imho), and a cereal and yogurt bar. We stayed over Thanksgiving, and their pastry chef included a few “American-style” treat, including pumpkin cake, homemade marshmellows, and donuts. I was impressed with how many gluten-free options they offered, too.
The library at the Gallery Hotel Art doubles as the breakfast room, so it is closed for cleaning after breakfast. However, in the middle of the day, Tom enjoyed working in this space while I took a nap.
Lungarno Hotel Bars
We have yet to take advantage of the Fusion restaurant and bar at the Gallery Hotel Art. It was under renovation last year and has just recently reopened. I can attest that it is frequently busy and looks to serve a very local cliente versus just hotel guests. The ambiance is very cozy, especially on cold and rainy evenings. They an extensive cocktail list and will even have their mixologist create a signature cocktail just for you. This would be the perfect place for a pre-dinner apertivo or for a nightcap.
The Lungarno Collection also offers La Terrazza rooftop bar at the Continentale hotel, which hotel guests can also access. I do recommend making a reservation as it can get quite busy, especially when the weather is gorgeous. If you can’t get in to La Terrazza, Sesto at the Westin is another great rooftop bar option with more space and beautiful views.
How I Book the Lungarno Hotels
When planning our family trip, I booked the Hotel Lungarno through Tablet Hotels. I love Tablet for exploring boutique hotels because they provide few extra perks too. With my Tablet Plus membership, I received the following benefits:
- Upgrade to next room category, based upon availability at check-in
- 20% spa discount (valid towards spa treatments at White Iris Spa)
- Complimentary welcome gift in room on arrival
- 20% discount at Picteau Lounge & Restaurant
When booking the Continentale and Gallery Hotel Art through Tablet Hotels, the benefits are slightly different with Tablet Plus.
- Upgrade to next room category, based upon availability at check-in
- Guaranteed 2pm late check-out (Gallery Hotel Art only)
- 20% spa discount at the White Iris Spa
- 20% discount at Fusion Bar & Restaurant during stay
When booking the Portrait Firenze, I would book through AmEx Fine Hotels and Resorts as a platinum card holder. (You could also book the Hotel Lungarno through FHR and receive the same benefits below.)
- Daily breakfast for two
- Complimentary one-way private sedan transfer from hotel to airport for two people per room
- Late 4pm check-out guaranteed
- Early 12pm check-in, when available
- Room upgrade at check-in, when available
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
We’re trying to decide on Hotel Lungaro vs the Continentale Firenze for New Years Eve. Any thoughts? We want a room where we can see the fireworks. Thanks!