The Place is one to look out for in Florence. An elegant Florentine palazzo, with only 20 sought-after bedrooms, it provides a home from home for those looking for five-star luxury and service in more intimate surroundings. Renowned architect and decorator Michele Bonan stamped his easily recognisable style on the hotel, but The Place stayed true to its roots and still feels utterly Florentine, albeit with the Bonan mark of approval.

Bedrooms are soothing and oh so comfortable. Dove-grey cashmere blankets, four poster beds and the generous free mini bar along with home-made cakes downstairs to pick on in between bouts of sightseeing. And who needs the clichéd Room with a View when the Penthouse has a knockout ‘Bath with a View’ up a little staircase and with a 360-degree view of the city.

Downstairs arriving guests are welcomed in the wood-panelled library or over a glass of Prosecco in the cosy little sitting room with its zebra-print foot stools. Surprisingly the rooms overlooking the vast and buzzing square of Santa Maria Novella (where one can also find the fantastic church bearing the same name) are as quiet as the rooms overlooking the rooftops at the back of the hotel. The restaurant spills out onto the Piazza and is jolly attractive come the aperitivo hour when the great and good of the Florentine fashion world nibble on vivid green olives and sip negroski’s alongside well-heeled guests, if there is no room there then the Champagne bar is no hardship. However, dare we say we prefer the cosy and supremely elegant dining room during the winter which is one of our favourite places for a long lazy lunch. Although this hotel attracts an achingly fashionable crowd, the staff under the careful watch of GM Claudio are among the most charming in Italy and go out of their way to help all their guests.