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What's Worth It: JK Place Hotel Florence, Italy

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2010-11-01-jkplaceflorence2.jpgJK Place ~ www.jkplace.com
Florence, Italy ~ Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 7, Firenze

CONTACTS:
info@jkplace.com
+39 055 264 5181
General Manager: Claudio Melli

Florence is one of the world's prettiest cities; you owe it to yourself to stay somewhere equally stylish. I love JK Place for its sense of personality: antiques and art meet bold, modern monochrome colors and patterns. So intimate -- feels like a stylish and sophisticated private home -- and no cumbersome hotel formalities, keys are handed over in the cozy library. Plus, a great location, tucked away in Santa Maria Novella Piazza.

Great for
A chic, personalized a stay -- expert travelers who get a little bit annoyed by usually impersonal "bells and whistles" of large five-star establishments will be happy here. Makes for an easy weekend or mid-week few day stay and meander on foot.

With whom
Take your belle or beau for a treat. The staff loves children and families find it a good base from which to explore.

Memorable moment
Feet sore, all museumed and shopped out, we settled into one of the private sitting rooms and were served Prosecco and nuts. Barely saw another guest and it really felt like staying at a stylish friend's home.

Best time to go
Avoid July & August when Florence is hot and full of tourists.

With the kids
It's a haven, so not best for young/boisterous children

Be aware
Don't expect all the amenities and services of a larger hotel. It is though: boutique-chic and extremely polished.

To do & see
Museums and galleries a plenty. The Uffizi is still top for classic arts; for something different head to the Salvatore Ferregamo Shoe Museum (Palazzo Spini Feroni, Via Tornabuoni) or Casa Buonarroti, a house originally owned by Michelangelo that is now a museum (Via Ghibellina 70).

Sport & Activity
Walking around the city! Simply wander and admire the architecture. For something a bit more serious: jogging in Cascine Park.

Spa & Grooming
No spa onsite, but guests do have complimentary access to the Olimpo SPA Steam Bath on Via Tornabuoni (two minutes away) for treatments, steam and sauna.

To Eat
Rustic yet chic at La Casalinga (Via dei Michelozzi), delicious pizza at L'Antica Porta (Via Senese) or top-notch stylish cuisine at Osteria Tornabuoni (Centro Storico, 5 Via dei Corsi). Of course, a Florence 'must' is a visit to an Enoteca, and Enoteca Pinchiorri boasts three Michelin stars (Via Ghibellina).

To Buy
All the major fashion designers can be found, but for something different try concept store and gallery Elio Ferraro: Gallery/Store (Via del Parione), or Luisa Via Roma (Via Roma). Gorgeous stemware, candlesticks and crystal bowls can be found at Moleria Locchi (10 via Domenico Burchello).

Itinerary Idea
City break with a weekend in Forte dei Marmi, Florence's answer to the Hamptons.

Helpful Source
The Civilized Shopper's Guide to Florence by Louise Fili (Amazon.com) is great for under-the-radar boutiques.

Room options
Just 20 -- contemporary yet comfy, filled with both antiques and gadgets. Light and airy: high ceilings and a monochrome and patterned palette. For loft-style city space: the junior suites and master rooms. For 360-degree city views: the penthouse.

Service & vibe

Low-key yet efficient. The concierge can organize all sorts of activities to enhance your stay.

Food
Revive yourself after a day exploring the city with organic Tuscan food and a tasty drink in the JK Lounge.

Price range
From €290 per night ... Worth It!