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A strong candidate for Florence’s best hotel, the 5-star Four Seasons Gherardesca Palace Hotel is a veritable oasis in the heart of one of the world’s most visited cities. It has 11 acres of peaceful walled gardens to separate you from the tourist masses and, though the exteriors are relatively unassuming, the lavish interiors are an incredible, Renaissance-era, feast for the eyes. Housed between the 15th-century Palazzo della Gherardesca, which served as a private residence for Florentine nobility (including one Pope), and a 16th-century convent across the gardens known as La Villa, it has a tremendous sense of history and is incredibly rich in historic features down to the smallest detail. Frescoes, stuccos, bas-reliefs, and even old silk wallpapers have been carefully restored, magnificent pieces of classical art abound, and the whole hotel has the look and feel of a living museum. Facilities include a large outdoor pool nicely set in the gardens, perhaps Florence’s best spa facilities, and perhaps its best restaurant in the form of the Michelin-starred Il Palagio. THE ACCOMMODATION: You can choose from 116 rooms and suites, from superior and deluxe double rooms all the way up to some tremendously impressive suites. The most lavish of READ MORE