Belmond Villa San Michele
The Belmond Villa San Michele, high up on the hilltops overlooking Florence, was once just a small oratory for the six monks who lived here throughout the year. Now protected by the Institute of Fine Arts of Florence, it has kept its original structure. The reception desk is housed in what was once the chapel, and the wisteria that determinedly hugs the walls has now become an integral part of the foundations of the building. Each terraced garden is immaculately maintained and alters with the seasons. Above all, the service here is excellent.
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The rooms are decorated using luxurious fabrics and traditional Tuscan terracotta reds and oranges, warm ochre yellows, reminiscent of the cypress and pine trees growing in the surrounding countryside. Most suites are located in the newer annexes by the gardens or overlooking the swimming pool, featuring wooden beamed ceilings and plenty of space. All the bathrooms are tiled using the best marble from the Carrara quarry in northern Italy and have both a bath and shower. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, TVs and air-conditioning.
You'll find Belmond Villa San Michele around a 25 minute drive from the Santa Maria Novella train station in central Florence (depending on traffic), following lovely winding roads up to the village of Fiesole. The hotel provides a free shuttle service every 20 minutes from May to September, and every hour in early spring (March-April) and autumn (October-November).
Food and Drink
The pool bar and restaurant on the top level of the terraced garden offers light meals and cocktails as well as oven-cooked pizzas and fresh barbecues in the summer. The gourmet La Loggia restaurant in the main building boasts a piano, cocktail and wine bar as well as a first class dinner menu. Breakfast is served outside in warmer weather, under the shelter of the heated loggia, or inside the old cloisters.
The hotel offers a children's club that runs in the afternoons throughout the high season.
Facilities and Activities
Aside from the generous grounds and outdoor swimming pool, the property offers an excellent selection of cooking classes which can be tailored to any requirement, from Tuscan delicacies to pastry classes and pizza making for children.
A first choice for us, this incredible, historic property has been preserved with the utmost care to offer all the refinements of the best luxury hotels. The service here is impeccable and the restaurant and gardens are among the best in Florence.
Florence itinerary suggestions
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Set near the banks of the Arno, the Antica Torre is a beautiful property that combines a 13th-century medieval tower and an 18th-century palazzo (palace) to create this charming and characterful hotel.
With views over the River Arno, the Continentale is an old palazzo (palace) that has been restored with a modern twist. The hotel boasts one of the best rooftop terrace bars in the city, an enviable central location and spacious rooms.
A classic hotel housed in a 15th-century palazzo (palace) and located just a few steps away from the Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery, Hotel Bernini Palace has the atmosphere of a stately home, offering impeccable service and spacious rooms.
The Brunelleschi effortlessly combines its historic heritage with a smart and contemporary style to make it one of the most comfortable and well-located options in Florence.
The Hotel Degli Orafi has a spectacular bar and rooftop terrace which offers a unique vantage point over central Florence. While the rest of the hotel is rather simple, the rooftop terrace and central location, more than make up for the modest rooms.
Well located right in the heart of Florence, the Hotel Pierre offers a charming and comfortable base from which to explore the city.
Located next to the train station on Piazza Santa Maria Novella, this charming boutique hotel is set in a historic building composed of three palaces, the oldest of which dates back to the 16th century.
An oasis of calm and minimalist sophistication in the heart of Florence, the Palazzo Castri 1874 emanates a relaxed atmosphere away from the busy streets of the city. It boasts a chic interior design and is one of the few hotels in the city with a combined indoor and outdoor swimming pool.
Inspired by the classic 1960s film La Dolce Vita, the Portrait Firenze is a boutique hotel with chic interior design and impeccable service. The location couldn’t be better, overlooking the River Arno and just steps from the Ponte Vecchio.
Set on the hillside with beautiful views across Florence and the Boboli Gardens, Villa Cora feels more like a luxurious country house than a hotel. It’s just a short drive from the heart of the city.
Experiences while staying here
The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.
A full day guided walking tour around the highlights of Florence including the Santa Croce Basilica and the incredible Renaissance artwork of the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries.
Visit the beautiful medieval city of Siena before stopping in the countryside for a traditional Tuscan farmhouse lunch, followed by a visit to the hilltop town of San Gimignano.
A wonderful opportunity to visit a family truffle business, learn about the production process, go on a truffle hunt and enjoy a tasting lunch.