We call it the ‘Rocco Forte Roll’ with the number of new openings the famiglia Forte have made all over Italy in the past year (Puglia, Palermo, Rome). However, let’s not for a moment forget our old friend The Savoy who is as old as Bellini Travel (double decades no less). Following her recent facelift, by design maestress Olga Polizzi the Savoy is even more loveable than ever. Arrivederci, shoe prints (which we were never a fan of) and Buongiorno a fresh new era with Pucci prints (Polizzi collaborated with Laudomia Pucci on this), delicate wallpapers and lovely soothing bedrooms in pale greens, oranges and blues. Even the mosaics in the bathrooms have been tweaked so that each and every one of the 80 bedrooms now has a different pattern.

The Savoy is situated right in the beating heart of the city on the magnificent Piazza della Repubblica and within a stone’s throw of the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. Thus, their restaurant ‘Irene’ which spills out onto the piazza has to be the greatest spot in the city for watching the world go by. The food is also jolly good; no clever twists on Florentine classics here, just simple dishes done very very well. Giancarlo the GM and his team are charm incarnate with their old fashioned sense of service that never feels stuffy, they remember your name, they remember your favourite aperitivo and for the old Florentine ladies who like to gossip over a cappuccino on the terrace of Irene, they even remember their pug’s name.

With a much stronger emphasis towards a holistic way of travelling (including Irene Forte’s superb organic bathroom products) we also love the yoga studio to stretch out tired muscles from a day pounding the cobbled streets or moving into a sun salutation as dawn breaks over the Florentine skyline as you plan out the day ahead. The gym has to be the best in the city and is absolutely huge. All in all, after this clever and very beautiful restoration, The Savoy is still one of our favourite hotels in Florence.