Sunday, February 13, 2011

Villa la Massa, A Florentine Escape on the Arno

Villa la Massa on the Arno River

As you can see in the photo above, Villa la Massa is only a short distance outside Florence and enjoys a unique location on the Arno River.  It is a 40-minute drive from the Florence Airport. This exquisite property is a member of the Villa d'Este Group and is also a member of Leading Hotels of the World.  Two of the main buildings, the Noble Villa and the Old Mill, date back to the 16th century.  Along with the Villino, these structures comprise Villa la Massa and are surrounded by 20 acres of olive groves and lemon trees.

Villa la Massa Main Building

These historic buildings were converted from an aristocratic residence into a luxury hotel in 1948.  You will find that no two rooms or suites are alike amongst the 37 rooms offered.  All are decorated with antique furniture accented by beautiful fabrics created in many of the Florentine textile mills.  The Hotel is open from 24 March to 05 November, 2011.

Noble Villa

The Villino

Villa la Massa offers several room types to choose from and unlike many ancient structures, a number of their rooms can be booked with another connecting room or suite depending on the size of your party.  They offer Double Deluxe Rooms in all three buildings with river or garden views and are equipped with either twin beds or a queen bed.  Should you need a larger room with a sitting area, you may choose a Junior Suite, Suite or Suite Exclusive.

Double Deluxe Room

Junior Suite

Suite Exclusive

Located in the Villino is a very special suite called the Arno Suite which overlooks the Arno River.  It is 860 sq. ft. with a canopy queen bed and large living area.  One big plus in this suite is its working fireplace along with its private garden and jacuzzi gazebo.

Arno Suite

Villa la Massa's most recent addition is the 2-bedroom Arno Presidential Suite.  This suite offers two large bedrooms, two marble bathrooms, a living room with a fireplace and a private garden and outdoor jacuzzi.  If you are fortunate enough to be a guest in the Presidential Suite, then you will enjoy a 15-minute welcome massage as well as a lovely Tuscan amenity from the General Manager.  Additionally, should you book this suite for more than 3 days, you will be provided a car with a driver for six hours to enjoy a private tour of your choosing.

All rooms offer such creature comforts as Egyptian cotton towels, bathrobes and slippers as well as satellite TV, internet service, voicemail, minibar and climate control.  I am also happy to point out that Villa la Massa welcomes your canine friend and dogsitting is available upon request.

Another highlight of this fabulous hotel is their restaurant, "Verrocchio".  It is the only restaurant in Florence with a terrace that overlooks the River.  Verrocchio offers indoor dining as well as terrace dining.


Terrace Dining

The Medicean Bar is located in the Noble Villa and offers an extensive selection of cocktails, brandies, whiskies and grappe.  During the summer months, the Pool Bar is open and serves light snacks and lunches.

The Pool at Villa la Massa

If you are traveling in this area of Italy with a culinary focus, then this will excite you.  Villa la Massa offers cooking classes and wine tastings.  You can enjoy a cooking lesson with Executive Chef, Andrea Quagliarella, which takes place in the Hotel's kitchen between 10am and 12:30pm with a minimum of two people and a maximum of 8-10 people.  The cost per person is 150 Euro.

If wine is your focus, then you will be able to taste wines with their Master Sommelier from their over 300-label wine collection.  Wine tastings are conducted in the Wine Cellar and the cost starts at 35 Euro per person.

The Wine Cellar

Additional services provided by this unique property include complimentary shuttle bus to downtown Florence, private airport transfer or rail station transfer upon request, complimentary mountain bikes, outdoor heated swimming pool from May through September as well as a fitness room with state-of-the-art equipment.

The Chapel at Villa la Massa

This Hotel would be perfect if you want to be close enough to Florence to go into the city each day, but would like the serenity of relaxing along the River at day's end and be the recipient of the highest level of service and surroundings.

River View of Villa la Massa

                     All Photos are Courtesy of Villa la Massa

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