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7 seductive spa hotels for a pampering stay in Florence

Nicky Swallow
Bohemians and sybarites alike will delight in the spa at Ville Sull'Arno

While many hotels in Florence now have what are often called ‘wellness’ or ‘benessere’ areas (often just a sauna, Turkish bath and a relax room in the basement), not many can boast full spas. Those listed here all have treatment rooms and a full menu of massages and cosmetic treatments, whirlpool tubs, fitness rooms; most have pools. Note that the basics (sauna, Turkish bath and so on) are normally included in the room rates; any treatments will cost extra. Here's our pick of the best spa hotels in Florence.

Villa Cora

Villa Cora

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

9Telegraph expert rating

A fantasy world of immaculately-restored luxury, Villa Cora is an outstanding hotel offering superb facilities, impeccable service and a best-of-both-worlds location on a tree-lined avenue that winds its way up the hill from Porta Romana (the southern gate into the old city). The lovely garden and pool are a calm, cool refuge after a hot, sticky day in central Florence, as is the in-house spa, with its Sarah Chapman facial care range and Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella body line. It's comfortably among the city’s top wellness centres for a spot of pampering. There’s a gym, sauna, tepidarium and hammam. The outside pool is heated, and open all year. Read expert review From £248 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

9Telegraph expert rating

Florence’s Four Seasons is housed in Renaissance-era Palazzo della Gherardesca and La Villa, a 16th-century convent building across the garden. It is a luxury hotel in the grand style, a living museum of eye-popping works of art and original architectural details that greet you the moment you step through the front door into the lobby, a loggia decorated with an original bas-relief frieze and stucco work. Outstanding facilities include a huge pool area with summer restaurant and bar, and the best hotel spa in Florence which uses Santa Maria Novella, Rephase, Arangara and Black Pearl products. Black Pearl offers the ‘Luxe Perfection’ 24-carat gold face mask; it’s as expensive as you would imagine. Read expert review From £395 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Villa la Massa, Florence, Italy

Villa La Massa

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

8Telegraph expert rating

The hotel occupies a solid, square Medici villa dating from the 16th century and its outbuildings. The multi-layered villa itself exudes Florentine-style old-fashioned luxury with lashings of fine brocades and velvets in rich jewel colours, pietra serena staircases and columns, wrought-iron fittings, vaulted ceilings and arches galore. Excellent facilities include two restaurants, a large pool surrounded by shaded green lawns for lounging, the pampering basement Arno spa using skin products from the famed Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella range, bicycles and extensive grounds. Read expert review From £415 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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ville sull'arno, florence, italy

Ville Sull'Arno

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

8Telegraph expert rating

Bohemians and sybarites alike will delight in this trio of villas on the River Arno just outside Florence. The heart of this five-star boutique hotel is La Villa – a 15th-century riverside palazzo dusted in a traditional Tuscan palette of soft ochres and chalky terracottas. Long yoked to the descendants of Dante, and later with the ‘Tuscan Impressionists’, today’s Ville combines an artsy history with the hedonistic pleasures of an outdoor pool and basement spa with Roman-style caldarium (or hot pool), steam room, sauna and wellness centre. A series of terraces and a garden with river views make this villa complex quite a haven on the edge of the busy city. Read expert review From £98 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Il Salviatino hotel, Florence, Italy

Il Salviatino

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

8Telegraph expert rating

As much a stately home as a hotel, Il Salviatino began life as a 16th-century country villa owned by the powerful Bardi family. The sumptuous, museum-like interior boasts original frescoes and marble fireplaces, and a Venetian marble sarcophagus discovered during restoration now makes for an unusual bathtub in one of the high-end suites. The luxurious spa contains four treatment rooms where a team of therapists provides a range of body treatments, massages and facials (including several designed specifically for men) using Dr Vranjes products. There is also a double-level pool (with floats for kids) and a fitness centre with Technogym equipment. Read expert review From £427 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Palazzo Castri 1874, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Palazzo Castri 1874

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

8Telegraph expert rating

An oasis of cool, classy contemporary calm occupying a handsome, late 19th-century mansion; think boutique-y cool, contemporary style with a pared-back neo-classical look that sits well in the period context. Original features – a graceful pietra serena staircase, the odd fresco, lofty ceilings – lend character to the unfussy modern furnishings and neutral colour scheme which is livened up with splashes of deep wine red. The wonderful Limonaia garden is a unique feature in terms of size for a central Florence hotel. A large spa comes with sauna, Turkish bath, ice shower and a heated indoor-outdoor pool, plus treatment rooms for massages. Read expert review From £109 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Firenze Number Nine, Florence, Italy

Firenze Number Nine

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

8Telegraph expert rating

If you're looking to combine art and wellness in Florence, this four-star boutique hotel, in a buzzy central location, might fit the bill. It sits on a quiet pedestrianised street in the former Medici neighbourhood of San Lorenzo, now lined with trendy restaurants, cafés and boutiques selling Florentine ceramics and vintage furnishings. It's a mere skip to the Duomo and the sacred heart of the city, and close to San Lorenzo church and Michelangelo's Medici tombs. After a day's sightseeing, you can pamper yourself in the spa: chill out in the gym or warm up in the sauna, steam room or whirlpool, or join one of the fitness classes or early morning city walks. Read expert review From £99 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

Contributions by Lee Marshall and Kate Bolton