The hippest of the four Ferragamo-owned Florentine hotels, the Continentale also has an unbeatable location—right over the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge over the Arno lined with teensy medieval shops. The 43 rooms are done in ironic-chic, combining fab retro 1950s designer styling with details that hark back to the Romantic travels of yesteryear with sheer, tentlike curtains around the beds and desks that resemble vintage steamer trunks. More whimsy: the clocks in the breakfast room run backwards, reminding guests that they are on vacation time. Though service is excellent, some claim it isn’t as personal as at rival establishments.
Insider Tip: Spy on the crowds flowing over the Ponte Vecchio through a one-way window in Sala Relax, the mezzanine lounge.
Room to Book: Rooms 302, 402, 502, and 602 have balconies or window seats overhanging the Arno River.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.