Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Villa La Massa


A 5 star Medici Villa hotel in an exquisite riverside setting

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Villa La Massa


On the banks of the Arno river, 15 minutes from the centre of Florence

Travel Information

Florence railway station - 20 mins (10km)
Florence Peretola airport - 40 mins (30 km)
Pisa airport - 1 hour (94 km)
Centre of Florence - 15-20 minutes

Top Tips

The new Arno spa is the place to relax after a day marvelling at the wonders of Florence

5-Star X-Factors

The 22 acre gardens and riverside setting are truly spectacular

Villa La Massa

Villa La Massa sits like a baby grand mansion on the banks of the river Arno, a short drive from the cenre of Florence. It offers a peaceful rural setting and 5 star luxuries, yet easy access to the city.

This beautiful Medici villa is the former home of a Florentine nobleman and was converted into a hotel in 1948 and bought by the Villa d’Este Group (owners of the legendary Villa d'Este hotel on Lake Como) in 1988.

The hotel features 51 rooms, divided among five historic buildings: the Villa Nobile, the Mill, the Villino, the Casa Colonica and the Limonaia. The spirit of the Renaissance is still palpable in the first two villas decorated with sublime canopied beds, frescoes and tapestries, silks and brocades, while the other three are beautifully furnished in a more contemporary Florentine style. 

The gardens, extending to 22 acres, are also something to behold. Nature is in abundence here and the gardens unveil many surprises, including a rare Iris collection.

There is something ever so special about sipping a cocktail in the ornate Bar Mediceo or on the pool terrace overlooking the meandering River Arno. Lunch or dinner on the restaurant terrace offers equally fine views with typical Tuscan cuisine, featuring local delicacies and truffles in season. The wine cellar features many Tuscan greats, but we were underwhelmed by the dining experience during our last off-season visit and the restaurant service verged on the 'Fawlty Towers' school of hospitality.

If it's R&R you are after, however, the Roman baths, sauna and treatment rooms in the Spa are worth a pilgrimage, and a great way to relax after a day exploring the wonders of Florence. The Spa features products from Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.

Villa La Massa provides a convenient way to combine time in bustling Florence with a relaxing and luxurious riverside retreat - but it needs to up its game to the levels of its Lake Como sister in the food and service departments to realise its huge potential.