A Chic Hotel in Florence, Continental Style

Hotel Continentale

The Hotel Continentale in Florence, and its Unique Retro Decor

The Hotel Continentale in Florence, Italy is a designed hotel with a vintage flair. Designed by Florentine Fabio Novembre, the hotel has unique retro decor throughout each room and space.

Hotel Continentale is a four-star boutique hotel located in the heart of Florence, about a 15-minutes walk from Piazza Della Signoria and even closer to Piazza Del Duomo. The hotel offers lovely views of the Arno River from its rooftop terrace and restaurant, where you can dine al fresco on fresh Italian fare for lunch or dinner. The rooftop bar serves up cocktails as well as snacks and small plates until 11 p.m., so it’s a great place to unwind after exploring the city all day and before heading out for an evening of fun in Florence.

The hotel was designed by Fabio Novembre, an Italian designer known for creating unique interiors that are playful yet functional and modern yet timeless. This philosophy comes through at Hotel Continentale, which was opened in 2008 as part of the Lungarno Collection group that includes fellow luxury hotels like Rome’s Hotel de la Ville (in addition to Santa Maria Novella) and Florence’s own Hotel Savoy (in addition to Portrait Firenze). All rooms have been decorated with unique furniture pieces like lamps made of stacked books or vintage-inspired armchairs covered in velvet fabric; there are also decorative wall treatments like wallpaper whose design mimics classic book spines or wallpaper that adds 3D flair to what looks like old vinyl records hanging on your wall when you look up from your bed.

The Lobby Bar of the Hotel Continental

The Lobby Bar of the Hotel Continentale was designed to feel like you’re floating in a surrealistic sky.

Since the bar is on the top floor of the hotel, it’s circular, with a large glass dome over it, which makes you feel like you’re floating and gives you an amazing view—especially at night when the moon and stars are out. But even more beautiful than that is the magnificent fresco covering its glass ceiling. The fresco depicts night-time scenes of rural Tuscany, including a full moon shining out over rolling hills and villas below. It looks so realistic that when I first sat under it, I fully expected to see flying angels descend from above at any moment to take me up into Heaven for an Italian cappuccino!

The Sky Lounge at Hotel Continental

There are several places you can sit and enjoy a cocktail or aperitif, but the Sky Lounge is top-notch for one reason: it offers sweeping views of the city. This is where you’ll want to be at sunset, and if you’re into people watching then this is one of the best spots to do it in all of Florence. There’s often live music playing, and they offer small plates with finger foods as well as some heartier options. If you don’t stay at St. Regis, consider using your credit card rewards to book a table here for dinner before heading out on the town.

Unique Hand-painted Mosaics and Portraits

The suites are an example of the hotel’s artistic vision. These rooms, spread across three floors and each with their unique mosaic designs, are inspired by Italian pop culture, said Giancarlo Vannini, the architect who designed the building. The mosaics hand-painted by a local artist are made from different types of marble.

The mosaics depicting scenes from Fellini films and “La Dolce Vita” were created for two of the suites: Suite Via Veneto 60 and Suite Toffetti 70. The design for Suite Via Veneto 60 was inspired by La Dolce Vita (1960) and is dedicated to Federico Fellini and his wife Giulietta Masina, who celebrated in Rome’s legendary bars in Via Veneto until late at night. A mosaic depicts one of these nights out on Via Veneto; it shows actors Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg,  and Anita Pallenberg relaxing in a bar on Piazza di Spagna, one of Rome’s famous squares.

Sweeping Views of the Duomo and Florence

Each suite has a balcony with sweeping views of the Duomo and Florence. The view is nice to look at and the scenery is pleasing to the eye. From your balcony, you can admire the Duomo, which is one of Florence’s most famous structures. The Duomo is a cathedral that was built in 1436 by Filippo Brunelleschi as a tribute to Saint Mary of the Flower and serves as the principal church of Florence. You can also see some other buildings from your balcony view such as the Palazzo Vecchio, which was built in 1299 by Arnolfo di Cambio for the Florentine government, or you can look down at Piazza Della Repubblica where you can see people shopping or relaxing at an outdoor cafe. It’s a great place to relax after a long day of sightseeing in Florence.

The Hotel Continentale is a modern hotel, with classic design accents. It is unique in many ways, including the inside-outside courtyard which masses produce for each season. If you are looking for a new hotel experience, this one offers something unique in Firenze. Overall, the brand’s commitment to style is evident in all areas of its hotels and resorts. Everything from the design to the service staff is focused on providing you with an elegant and luxurious experience in a location that can’t be beaten. The St. Regis brand is a true luxury icon, and it will likely remain so for many years to come. Continental’s greatest strength is in its service. The friendly staff goes out of their way to make sure that you have a pleasant stay at the hotel. The continental breakfast is served each morning for a reasonable extra charge, and there is free coffee and tea all day long, as well as free drinks at the bar before noon. Additionally, the location can’t be beaten; it’s right in the middle of the city, conveniently located between Santa Maria Novella train station and Piazza Santa Croce. Because of its central location, it’s also easy to get anywhere else in Florence on foot or by bus; I was never more than twenty minutes away from even my farthest destinations (and most were much closer than that!