Brand new in Florence is Milu Hotel. An utterly contemporary design establishment packed with serious modern artworks, and yet light-hearted and thoroughly engaging. Interior-wise, that is. What you see from the outside is a stately historic palazzo and the Florentine branches of international houses of haute couture – whichever come to mind, they’re all there or thereabouts for Milu is on Via de’ Tornabuoni. Florence’s noblest. A small hotel, Milu, with 22 rooms sharing themes but individually designed. The décor is strictly contemporary, lively and colourful. Furniture, lighting and accessories hail from illustrious, mostly Italian design brands of the likes of Minotti, MDF Italia, Moroso, Molteni, Magis, and even some that don’t start with a M like Bonaldo, Gubi, Desalto or Rimadesio. On bare wooden flooring.
The Superior variety of room lacks absolutely nothing in the way of style or comforts, from Egyptian cotton bedlinen and big fluffy towels in the Deco-look bathrooms to an espresso machine. But a Deluxe will give you a bit more space and a bit more design, and a Deluxe with Balcony, on the fifth floor, includes, well obviously, a balcony, with a dizzying view over that elegant thoroughfare named after the blue-blooded Tornabuonis, and the charm of exposed beams and terracotta tiles for ceilings. Five floors, you might have noticed: connected by means of a grand, early 19th-century stairway which serves, among other spaces in the palazzo, as an ever-changing art gallery, and by an impressive panoramic lift in the stairwell. An excellent breakfast buffet is spread in the library-cum-lounge, or up on the rooftop terrace with its magnificent vistas over the city and surrounding hills. Milu doesn’t have an in-house spa but is partnered with a luxury establishment a stone’s throw away. This, and just about any other service you can think of, can be arranged by the hotel’s expert concièrge. And by the way, at least for now and in spite of its five-star location, Milu is affordable.