July 28, 2013

Salvatore Ferragamo’s Continentale

Considered by many to be the crown jewel of designer Salvatore Ferragamo’s small chain of hotels, the Continentale in Florence pays homage to the happy-go-lucky feel of the 50s and 60s with bubble-gum pink accents for a totally zeitgeist experience in the middle of the romantic Italian city.

Interior designer Michele Bönan was “looking for ways to tap into the senses through music, light and aroma” and approached the re-design of the 14th century with a wish to get the best out of a mix between harmony and irony. Mission definitely accomplished and softened by billowy spectral drapes of light pink, lemon and pistachio tones in the reception: Upon entering the hotel, guests find themselves in a quiet envelope of white-painted walls and floors in light-grey pietra serena, a stone native to Florence that even incorporates the idea of serenity in its name.

A successful blend of zebrano wood and steel, cerused oak, floor lamps by Haans Group and vintage pieces – including Nanna Jorgen Ditzel’s 1957 wicker Egg armchair suspended from the ceiling – complemented by Bönan’s custom designed creations gives you a first impression of the careful mix to be experienced throughout. The 2nd floor is composed of further public areas, including Ferragamo’s personal favourite “relaxation room” complete with five chaise longues, the cocktail lounge with an acrylic bar that glows in, yes, pink, but also orange or simply white, and the cosy breakfast room highlighted by a pink wool-covered banquette sitting pretty next to Arne Jacobsen’s tables.

In the private domain from the 3rd floor upwards, 43 guestrooms are lovingly appointed with sheer-draped beds, light wood furniture on oak floors and flowing curtains that catch the Tuscan light. The interior designer created oak desks and chairs trimmed with leather and steel to evoke the feeling of a 19th-century steamer trunk. Simple and functional bathrooms gleam in white with Corian sinks elegantly perched on oak bases. Reassuringly retro, the black and white photomontages from the studio of Faye Heller in the reception and public spaces complete the glorious modern look that goes hand in hand with a positive mid-century feel. Black and white photographs taken by fashion designers such as Pucci and Fabiani in the 50s and 60s in Florence adorn the guestrooms.

The Sky Lounge De'Consorti is surely the crowning glory of the Continentale: Spectacular 360 degree views across the Florentine skyline and surrounding hillside are best enjoyed with a drink in hand. Above information courtesy of DesignHotels.

 

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