The Spanish chain, NH Hoteles, has restored and refurbished the NH Porta Rossa, and in doing so has recovered one of the oldest and most emblematic hotels in Florentine history, which is mentioned in historical accounts dating from as early as 1386. Right in the heart of the city, the establishment offers 72 rooms, including three suites and 15 Junior Suites.
The hotel is located in one of the most important areas of Florence, just a few steps from Piazza della Signoria with its replica of Michelangelo's David and other fascinating statues. It is also close to one of the most impressive art collections in the world, the Uffizi Gallery, and a short walk will take you to the historic Ponte Vecchio or to the elegant shops and boutiques of the Via dei Tornabuoni.
During the renovation of the building, some wonderful wall and ceiling frescoes were rediscovered. These are mostly floral designs although there are rosettes with historical Florentine figures and some sacred scenes; all have been delicately restored and add to the historic and artistic values that are evident throughout the the Porta Rossa.
The decor of the rooms and public areas is a sort of minimalist-art deco style. The marble white furniture and natural tones of wooden floors and furnishings blend perfectly with the warm colours of the textiles used for bedding, curtains and upholstery to create a relaxing and magical atmosphere.
In the bright breakfast room and the adjoining bar, the beautiful stained glass windows and frescoes dating from the early nineteenth century integrate seamlessly with the classic palazzo style. An illuminated stained glass roof provides cover and transforms an erstwhile interior courtyard into a charming winter garden. At its centre stands the elegant neo-Renaissance Porta Rossa - the red door - that is the emblem of the old hotel and the former entrance to the Art of Silk district, which, during the Middle Ages, was based in this area.
The building's historical value is underlined by the presence of the imposing twelfth century Monalda Tower which houses the Monaldo suite and is accessed from the hotel's third floor. The suite itself is on three floors, with a steep staircase leading between the bedroom on the mezzanine floor, the main bathroom, with its delightful pool with views, and the top floor. This last floor of the Tower offers a 360 degree view of the city of Florence and is well worth the effort of the climb.