J.K. Place Firenze Florence
It is on lively Piazza Santa Maria Novella, just around the corner out of tasteful, boutique-lined Via Tornabuoni, 10 minutes’ walk from the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. But also so near Florence’s main Santa Maria Novella station that there is no need to have a taxi.
Style & personality
The very first of what has turned into a tiny Italian series, with branches in Rome and Capri, J.K. Place is a distillation of Florentine elegance, its own classic-contemporary décor that the consequence of a meeting of heads between Italo-Israeli hotelier Ori Kafri and local interior designer Michele Bonan. Everything feels just like you have stepped into the home of a collector that is classy, a wealthy Florentine cop who likes to put classical Italian and French antiques away from Moroccan lamps and Chinese lacquered sideboards.
Service & amenities
J.K. Place was a pioneer of this now common townhouse kind of luxury resort service — where check and check-out formalities occur over a beverage in the lounge-library instead of standing in a reception desk, and concierge duties are shared with each of the front-of-house staff. General director Claudio Meli is among the very best in the sport, along with his insider understanding of Florence — brewed at a guidebook that’s provided for free to all guests — is next to none.
Impeccably elegant without being remotely cold, the 20 guestrooms and suites derive a lot of the allure not just by Bonan’s sapient style plot — using its mid-20th-century decorative touches — but by the no-expenses-spared quality of the substances used (walnut parquet, sheet sheets, travertine marble bath fittings, antique fireplaces, first styled fashion-house sketches). The Penthouse and Panoramic Attic will be the rooms with the opinion, but for absolute style I am a big fan of those Master Rooms. Do not rush at the J.K. Classic rooms nevertheless — using their sumptuous four-poster beds, all these are by no way entry-level cabinets.
Food & beverage
A sumptuous breakfast buffet (nearly all of it centered on organic produce), supplemented with a huge assortment of cooked choices, is served in a classic walnut table that’s big enough to be communal without forcing you to flip to the bonhomie. The resort restaurant, J.K. Lounge, has got the balance between intelligent and casual just right — using a mixture of mild regional dishes, breads and global classics (such as a gourmet bar sandwich) — many of which may be arranged at smaller ‘tapas’ parts at half-price. The Sunday brunch ($60 a head, all beverages included) is a hot ticket one of well-heeled Florentines.
Value for cash
Double rooms from #263 ($338.) The prices may appear steep, but think about what is included (along with among the city’s many trendy boltholes): breakfast, free Wi-Fi, free soft drinks on your mini-bar, just as much tea and coffee because it is possible to drink throughout your stay, homemade finger cakes and food, and completely free access to a local health club and steam bath.
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