Hotel Calimala — Florence, Italy
Florence’s bounty of extant heritage architecture has been a boon for hoteliers, in particular, who might be looking for suitably grand interiors in which to play house. Case in point is the quirky 38-room Calimala which has just opened in the city’s Centro Storico quarter.
The London- and Tel Aviv-based architect and interior designer Alex Meitlis has, as his canvas, the 19th century Palazzo degli Angeli whose distressed stone façade and etched sgraffito opens into a completely reimagined interior. The best rooms in the house are the corner suites where Meitlis has allowed some of the original stonework and oak window shutters to form the backdrop for an eclectic mood-board of burnt orange bed-bases, mirrored panels and Kvadrat textiles.
The public spaces, meanwhile, pick up the eclectic note with a swathe of paintings and photography by Young Turks such as Mosh Kashi and Carmel Ilan, all of which can be snapped up by covetous guests on check-out.
The hotel’s fifth, sixth and seventh floors are given over to Angel – a generous spread of restaurant, bars and lounge whose fused notes of Mediterranean and Italian flavours by head chef Alberto Bergami are anchored by an outdoor plunge pool. If that doesn’t thrill, there’s hardly cause to despair – Florence’s juiced up food scene is steps away alongside the usual suspects of the nearby Uffizi and the Boboli Gardens. §