This original article was first published here: Belmond San Michele Florence – Swimming Pool & Food Review
If views overlooking Florence is what you are scouting for regarding a hotel stay, then Belmond San Michele is your place. If you are looking for the perfect hide away to relax after the Covid-19 lock down, this small boutique hotel with social distancing, cleanliness and a relaxed atmosphere ticks all the boxes.
When I mentioned to local businesses where I was heading regarding a hospitable stay, they assured me that Belmond San Michele is one of Italy’s finest small boutique hotels. It is located in Fiesole which is on the hills outside of Florence.
If you want to be surrounded by an Italian garden with olive trees, lavender, rosemary and orange and lemon trees, then Belmond San Michele offers all of these gems. If you are looking to relax by a large swimming pool in pure comfort and style with endless flora and fauna, you will find it here.
Reception And Facade
I decided to catch a hybrid bus from the centre of Florence to the hotel. It took only 20 min and the windy roads and views on the way were stunning. In order to access the hotel, I had walk up the last 5 minutes of the hill road to the hotel. For those with a car they can drive straight to the hotel. Once my eyes gazed at this formal 15th-century monastery, I was quickly reminded that the facade was designed by Michelangelo.
I was greeted by the pristine front garden with its immaculate trimmed hedges, there were some terraces offering stunning views overlooking Florence.
When I stepped into the boutique hotel an instant monastery decor surrounded me. It was lovely to see how history was preserved here. Throughout all hotels now in Italy your temperature must be measured regarding COVID-19. I was very impressed with the digital scanner to measure my temperature. It came across as less intrusive and not like I am stepping into a doctor’s surgery.
If you have not got a mask, don’t panic they are supplied complimentary throughout the hotel.
The reception area is just beautiful and a clear reminder that Florence is one of the most interesting historical cities regarding arts and museums.
Swimming Pool and Bar Stay
What captured me was the enormous size of the gardens and the views available. As I walked through this piece of paradise I knew this was the perfect place to soak up Italian renaissance.
The view across the Arno Valley and Florence from the panoramic heated swimming pool was amazing. The pool is situated on a grassy plateau above the gardens. Walking to it on a winding path, was the perfect place to reflect on the fragility of life. I know how privileged I am to be able to be in Italy.
The 25 metre size of the swimming pool was perfect and the depth was fantastic from 1.4 to 2.2 metres.
When I swim I like to keep my head above water and tread. It was good to see they had safety tubes for those guests who are not confident in the water. This means we all can enjoy a day at the pool.
The sun lounges are super comfortable and the umbrellas provide ample of shade. With views of Florence, I lounged throughout the day soaking it all in. The nature was vast and thick which added to the fresco ambiance. I enjoyed walking around smelling the plants with rosemary and lavender being my favorites.
Pool Snack Bar
The pool snack bar serves traditional Italian food and snacks to add to my relaxing day. Everything is locally sourced and made fresh on the day. The presentation is rustic and colourful. The staff was very friendly and the service was excellent.
I opted for deep-fried arancini and potato croquettes, all freshly made and very tasty. I liked the rosemary smell that surrounded the plate.
In this heat, you can’t go wrong with a salad. I chose Nicoise salad with olives, string beans, cherry tomatoes, and preserved tuna. The food was all locally grown and tasted divine. The tuna is prepared locally and canned and therefor was nice and chunky.
You can’t go wrong with the traditional bruschetta which consisted of grilled bread, cherry tomatoes, burrata cheese, and my favorite anchovies.
I am a big fan of potato gnocchi and this was teamed with lobster, Pecorino cheese, black pepper, and fresh lime. This tasted summer fantastic.
I am a lover of shellfish so I chose local fish such as scampi and salmoriglio with lemon sauce. This tasted very refreshing. I loved the colours of the plates that the mains were served on.
I took the rosemary and placed it on a separate plate as I just adore the smell and colour.
We chose white and rose wine as they complimented the fish dishes and are very nice during summer.
I was full but I decided to try the wild berries tart with pastry creme and roasted pistachio and fresh berries. This was just so yummy.
Gym And Changing Rooms
I was impressed with the gym access and the views I had if I chose to use it. Access to Netflix etc was the perfect modern touch to keep fit. The shower facilities were lovely with luxury toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and body cream. Fresh towels were always available at your own pleasure.
This meant when I had finished my pool stays I could get ready for a nice cocktail I the main gardens.
If you’re not a guest of the hotel you can still enjoy its pool facilities. Both hotel guests and visitors can also rent private cabanas to enhance their poolside experience. For more information and to make your reservation contact email@example.com.
- Website: www.belmond.com/hotels/europe/italy/florence/belmond-villa-san-michele/
- Address: Via Doccia, 4, 50014 Fiesole FI, Italy
- Phone: +39 055 567 8200
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