Perfectly situated on the piazza Santa Maria Novella, just a stone’s throw from the famous museums and monuments of Tuscany’s capital, the J.K. Place is an exceptional establishment! Opened in 2003, this boutique hotel is one of the loveliest in Firenze and is also my personal favorite for staying in this Renaissance city.
On first sight, the J.K. Place presents an understated façade in a pretty town square where the Santa Maria Novella takes center stage. But on closer inspection, you quickly realize that a little Florentine paradise is hidden within. As I enter the building, I’m struck by the prevailing sense of calm, which contrasts with the constant clamor of the city. There’s no proper lobby to speak of here, no reception desk, but rather a long corridor decorated with antique paintings that leads to a study full of books on art and fashion. The check-in is very personalized—guests may be invited to the gorgeous library, for example, to be greeted in an intimate setting.
A Subtle Blend of Traditions and Sophistication
As you cross the threshold of this Florentine dwelling, you travel back in time. The renovation project was entrusted to a giant in the domain, interior designer Michele Bonan, who preserved the neo-classical style while adding a hint of modernity. The lounge is a perfect example: touches of pink and purple are dispersed throughout the beige room, with leather ottomans and zebra stripes suggesting a more contemporary style.
Large marble fireplaces may be lit during the winter season; plaid cashmere blankets have been created for the hotel by a local artist, books are spread across different tables, and all is well-suited to relaxation in this intimate setting. Antiques which seem to have been collected by different generations are placed here and there on classic pieces of furniture, or on pedestal tables.
Home Sweet Home
This gem, where luxury and serenity reign supreme, is a haven of peace: with a “family house” atmosphere, you feel right at home, which is exactly what Jonathan Kafri tried to recreate here. You can revel in one of the comfortable sofas in the TV room or in the lounge. There’s also a magnificent inner courtyard, now covered, and a majestic wooden table awaits you with snacks free for the taking at any time of day. Breakfast is served on this table each morning, when the hotel’s clients take their seats like houseguests gathered in a family home.
An Intimate Setting with Only 20 Rooms
There are only 20 rooms and suites, split into 8 categories; neutral tones and antique furniture decorate these beautiful rooms with high ceilings and paneled walls. The Master Room is without a doubt one of the most gorgeous in this unusual hotel. Spacious, and featuring a superb view of the basilica as well as a fireplace, this room has plenty of highlights. A marble bathroom with both bathtub and shower completes the suite perfectly.
There’s also the penthouse, the most spacious and luxurious of the rooms, with a balcony overlooking the city roofs and a view of the Duomo. You can also take advantage of the view from the bathtub, as the bathroom features large bay windows.
Different Décor for Unique Atmospheres
The lounge is a room for every occasion, be it a business lunch or a tête à tête, an afternoon tea or a pre-dinner drink—here you’ll feel at home no matter what the time of day. When the weather is nice, guests can enjoy their lunch or dinner on a large patio on the town square, all while benefiting from a view of the cathedral.
To finish off the evening, guests can indulge in one last drink in the “Pink Room” on the lower ground floor, which hosts numerous events such as shows for fashion week and exclusive soirées. It’s kind of the underground spot in the hotel, and I have to say that I was very surprised when I descended the staircase and first entered this pop art atmosphere, so different from the rest of the establishment.
A Foodie Stop at J.K. Place
As for food, I take the opportunity to try the 100% local organic cuisine on offer at the J.K. Place. The majority is made using in-season fruits and vegetables, with very healthy dishes mixing with classic Italian cuisine. Sitting in my armchair with jazz music playing in the background, I try the lunch menu, “Just Like Home,” in the midst of this cozy ambiance. The service is attentive and the cuisine sophisticated, while the wine list is quite long (as might be expected in this region).
Some places are hard to leave, and the J.K. Place is certainly one of them! As you’ve already guessed, it’s the embodiment of everything good about boutique hotels and it’s a unique and unmissable experience if you’re in Florence. This isn’t a soulless luxury hotel, but rather an atypical location, where you feel so comfortable you can’t wait to return—a home away from home.
- Check out the superb Santa Maria Novella pharmacy, only a short walk from the hotel. Ideal for finding a small present, having tea in their Tea Room, or simply to visit.
- In early October, there are many tourists in Florence, so I’d recommend that you take advantage of the early morning to visit monuments and museums in the city center.
- Feel free to ask for the advice of the J.K. Place personnel, who will have great recommendations for restaurants and attractions.
- More information on the JK Place website
- Rates for 2015 :
- J.K. Classic Double room 450 Euros
- Superior Double room 500 Euros
- De Luxe Double room 600 Euros
- Junior Suite 750 Euros
- Suite 800 Euros
- J.K. Panoramic Loft 900 Euros
- Penthouse 1.000 Euros
- Master room 1.200 Euros
Thank you to the JK Place for the invitation to explore their establishment. Of course, the content of this blogpost was left entirely up to me!