Extending across an entire block, you cannot help but be blown away by the fantasy in full flow. Harry Potter-style blue suitcases are piled up by the reception desk, the walls covered in Florentine paper as if viewed through a microscope and the ceilings respect the original brick vaults.
25Hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino is far more than the latest hotel on the block. “We want 25Hours to be a community hub, a place that’s open to the city, welcoming culture and creativity,” explains general manager Bart Spoorenberg. That ethos is reflected in the phenomenally gorgeous Cinema Paradiso. Dotted with plush armchairs and black-and-white photographs of classic Italian films (think Totò and spaghetti), the space is sure to become a sought-after venue for parties, events and meetings this autumn and beyond.
Open to all, the San Paolino courtyard restaurant serves all-day dining in the greenhouse-like indoor piazza scattered with plants in terracotta pots and whimsical furnishings among the pietra serena arches. Select a well-mixed cocktail from the Companion Bar (another design-led corner) and snuggle up in the cozy den tucked beside the oversized chimney place adorned with faux spiders. Equally tasteful are the freshly baked cakes (supplied by the Oltrarno’s S. Forno) served at the Willy Wonka-like Alimentari bar open to the piazza, which is replete with some of the finest specialty foods that Italy has to offer as take away. Oh, and remember to spend a penny: the black hers and pink his bathrooms come complete with ring lights for the optimal #mirrorselfie.
Take one foot into the Inferno corridor and you’ll hear Roberto Benigni reciting the Divine Comedy; the effect is disconcerting until you reach your red room door, which opens into such amusement and comfort that you (almost) believe that hell might not be as bad as everyone makes out. Pitted knobs, pitch black loos and sinks, snake-like bedside lamps and a devilish light installation are among the creative flourishes in these four walls named after characters in Dante’s Inferno. More angelic travellers will advocate the Paradiso rooms. All sweetness and light, the trompe-l’oeil walls might resemble a padded cell, but the Fly to Heaven t-shirt installations and Life is Good shower panel (plus the pair of complimentary silver wings) will soothe any crooked coincidences. Wash away residual sins under the brilliant and bizarre outdoor brass showers, in the external sauna or indoor steam room with funky aqueous-tone tubes dangling from above, or head into the basement for an epic workout using top-of-the-range Italian kit.
Mark these three words: Casetta del Giardino. Boasting a separate entrance from borgo Ognissanti, this design-driven, 220 square metre apartment sleeps two, but can host a multitude with its long marble tables, mesmerizing pool, pizza oven, barbecue, and an astonishing 200 square metres of private outdoor space. We’re imagining quite the post-pandemic party at this sprawling, inspiring location. Book it now—before everyone else does.
25Hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino
Piazza di S. Paolino, 1
+39 055 2966911