- Nicky Swallow, Destination expert
AdAstra is set in the largest private garden ‘intra moenia’ (between walls) in Europe. It's a mere stroll away from the buzzing nightlife, great restaurants, bars and hip independent boutiques of the boho-chic Oltrarno neighbourhood, south of the river. That’s some location.
Style & character
Inspired by the concept of a Parisian hotel particulier, this boutique hotel has the feel of an aristocratic private apartment which is not far from the truth – the Marchese Torrigiani lives on the ground floor. The owners have taken the period features (frescoes, vast chandeliers, fine stucco-work and creaky original parquet floors) and added a quirky yet convincing mix of vintage, up-cyled and reclaimed furniture, objéts and knick knacks from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. The result is classy, comfortable and highly original.
Service & facilities
More home (or upmarket b&b) than hotel, AdAstra is only staffed between 8am and 8pm, although help is on the end of a phone 24 hours a day if needed. But the young, enthusiastic team will do their best to guide guests round the city and especially the Oltrarno area, which is full of hidden corners; their restaurant recommendations are genuine, for example.
The USP of the place is the magnificent wraparound terrace, laid out with tables, chairs and sunloungers shaded by big white umbrellas; there’s no better place to while away a hot summer’s afternoon or to watch the sun go down, glass in hand. Limited private parking (€15/£12.50 per night) is a big advantage in the city centre.
Of the nine bedrooms, seven are in the main house and two are in a garden annex; each is very different from the next but all are quite lovely.
Three have direct access onto the terrace and all have claw-foot bathtubs in the room. One has an intriguing oval bathroom papered in blousy hydrangeas; another is retro-themed around a couple of framed Emilio Pucci silk scarves; there’s a blue-and-red boy’s room with a faded ceiling fresco and a collection of Lego models, old football pics and Tin-Tin books.
The two garden suites are romantic little love nests with private terraces and a sense of being hidden away from the world.
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink
The breakfast buffet (boiled eggs, fresh fruit salad, locally sourced cheeses and prosciutto, warm pastries and proper Moka coffee) is laid out on an ex-optician's display cabinet in the sunny salon, but most guests head straight for the tables on the terrace.
Complimentary tea and coffee is available all day and there is an honesty bar (a thoughtful touch) with wines and spirits for drinks on the terrace.
Value for money
Doubles rooms range from £149-266 (€180-€320) including breakfast and Wi-Fi. Given the high prices in Florence, this is excellent value.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There are no special facilities, but there is a lift and the hotel is all laid out on one floor.
Yes; several rooms are vast and cots and extra beds are free for children up to six. Beyond that there is a €30 (£23) per night charge.