Design lovers are in for a treat at NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa where six centuries of history co-exist effortlessly with modern-day artwork.
Where is it?
Located on a quiet off-road in the centre of Florence, the hotel is perfect for travellers looking to explore on foot, with key attractions like Duomo, the iconic Ponte Vecchio which spans river Arno and Uffizi Gallery, only a short walk away.
Back in the day, Porta Rossa was the main street connecting spice traders between Rome and France. Today it remains a shopping hub surrounded by luxury boutiques such as Gucci, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo. There are plenty of restaurants and wine bar options on the doorstep too.
You only need to stand outside the hotel to get a sense of its medieval heritage: arched windows, renaissance stained-glass paintings and a 13th-century tower. Inside, checkboard marble flooring and walnut wood dominate in equal measures with pops of bright red – a theme that flows throughout the hotel. The masterpiece, though, is the Ulisse De Matteis ceiling that hangs above the reception. The multicoloured glass, handcrafted in 1900, depicts two red doors – the emblem of the hotel and “Arte della Seta”, the silk guild that had its headquarters in the area during the Middle Ages.
Throughout the five floors, you’ll find something unique and opulent: crystal chandeliers, mirrors and sculptures. Also on show is a vintage iron mangle and a switchboard telephone belonging to the Giovanni Bartolini family – a silk importer who took residence here in the 1500s. Be sure to take a tour of the reception halls on all floors – the first being the grandest.
What this heritage property can offer is limited due to its listed status. There isn’t a gym, sauna or a swimming pool, but a prosecco on arrival and vin santo in the room is enough to entice most guests. The hotel has teamed up with a beauty salon to provide its guests with excellent spa treatments, including in-room massage options. There isn’t a minibar available at the moment due to the pandemic, but can be arranged upon request.
Food & Drink
Start the day as you mean to go on – with a generous helping of Italian cheese. Although the breakfast selection was a fraction of what it normally is (again, due to the pandemic), it still felt like a decent spread. A varied selection of fresh fruits, cold cuts and hot food options like eggs and bacon was available and served in a Covid-safe setting.
The hotel is also home to Savini Tartufi, a restaurant run by the Savini family offering diners a unique gastronomic experience using truffles. The menu changes every season, but particular favourites are Uova al tartufo nero and Baccalà su crema. The bar, adjacent to the restaurant, takes pride in its cocktails – especially the Truffle Martini. The restaurant and bar are temporarily closed, scheduled to open soon. In the meantime, the wonderful reception staff are happy to recommend some fine dining options that are guaranteed to enhance your Tuscan experience. La Ménagère, only a 10 minute walk away, serves excellent traditional dishes with a modern twist.
Room types vary from superior and premium to junior and presidential suites. All 72 rooms in this property are different in design and layout: some have frescoes dating back to the 16th and 18th century, others boast impressive 4-metre high ceilings with four-poster beds. Whatever the room, expect to see an eclectic mix of antique furniture with avant-garde designs.
Lovers of cinema may want to opt for the “Amici Miei” room where director Mario Monicelli shot one of its most memorable scenes. He joins a list of other celebrated authors and poets like Stendhal, Byron, Lamartine and Eugenio Montale, all of who have spent time in this historic building.
When in Florence, marvel at the terracotta-coloured buildings and where better to do it from than the Presidential Suite. Torre Monalda, named after the Monaldi family who owned the tower in the Middle Ages, is split over three floors and sixty steps. A regal bathroom awaits on level one, followed by the bedroom and finally the living space with 360-degree views of the Tuscan capital.
Couples, families and travellers keen to have easy access to major attractions and dining options. Art and design enthusiasts will appreciate the attention to detail in this stunning property.
Junior Suites start from £340 per night on a bed & breakfast basis. The Presidential Suite could be all yours from £500 per night. nh-collection.com