American in Italy, hotels, italy, life, spa, tips, travel, tuscany, Uncategorized

Spa day at the Four Seasons in Florence, Italy

This past weekend was probably one of the best weekends I have had in a very long time. Ever since I got back from America it has been go, go, go and.. vai.. for work, life, friends and fun. I haven’t had much time to relax {and I think I actually don’t know HOW to relax sometimes} so when I got an invite to a girl’s day at the Four Seasons hotel in Florence for a spa/lunch/relax day on Saturday along with Yelp Firenze community manager Kristina, Bonnie from Perfect Italy Weddings and Alexandra K from Arttrav — like any sane person, I accepted!

I’ve never actually been there before since its located in a bit of an isolated spot on the very end of Borgo Pinti, plus since I live in Florence — I don’t see the inside of many hotels, obviously. When I walked in the front door, this was the first glimpse of the day to come. Basically once you enter the doors of this place, you enter another world. 

Yeah, um not your average Holiday Inn eh? I felt like I walked into some noble’s living room in Florence and had to hush whisper my way through to the pool area where I was meeting the others. Everyone was almost freakishly nice. I have lived in Europe for a while now and lets just say I am not used to really exceptional customer service. What I AM used to is begging for my restaurant bill, apologizing for asking for help and trying not to make eye contact with store clerks {maybe that’s a little dramatic but I think you get the point}.

 I finally wandered outside and entered the garden of Eden — um or I meant the Giardino della Gherardesca. This garden can kick the butt of any garden in Florence, amazingly beautiful  and within 11 acres of land. Planted in the 15th century, the design now retains a 19th century landscape and contains all sorts of botanic treasures. I planted myself by the pool to await my treatment and promptly fell asleep like a baby.

four seasons florence

When I was called for my turn for the spa, I was so very ready for a little pampering after a sweaty, humid week running from Porta Romana to the Fortezza di Basso with my heavy backpack in tow and getting home exhausted daily. I was  a little apprehensive of what my skin specialist might find —  but I took that risk and just let myself be pampered for a day.

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She told that she was going to be doing an oxygen facial which started with a really nice exfoliation treatment before the oxygen was actually used. The way I can best describe it is like a soft stream of air blowing on my face from a small tube. It was actually really relaxing and she gave me a really nice hand massage during the treatment. Quite frankly you have me at hello if you play with my hair and/or massage my hands!

She stopped halfway through to show me the side by side facial results and I was pretty impressed at the difference each side looked. Apparently I did have clogged skin which I can only imagine being from constantly running around Florence’s streets day in and day out.

All in all, it truly was a relaxing and wonderful experience concluding with a special skin scheda {card} so that I know what she used on me which was nice since my memory is spotty at best.

Afterwards I learned a little bit more about the products they use at the spa, one fun fact was that they were the first hotel in the world to use the special Santa Maria Novella pharmacy product line {which I myself am a huge fan of, especially the rose tonic water}. They also use a special skin product line called Rephase – a high-end Italian line available in only the most high-end pharmacies, the Four Seasons once again being the first hotel to use it in their spas.

Lovely STaff at the Four Seasons Spa

Lovely STaff at the Four Seasons Spa

They told me that it took forever to find that perfect product and it only came to them by mere chance. I have to appreciate the effort and passion they have about the products they carry; I could tell immediately that this was serious business for them and it wasn’t about just finding what the ‘coolest’ or most ‘famous’ brand currently in the market. I mean does everyone want to use whale sperm on their face anyway?

My favorite skin care samples are the perfect esfolia {exfoliating cream} and the lipoderm purifying mask since I tend to have pretty oily skin, this is perfect for me, especially in the summer.

Afterwards I had a sip of the above-pictured cucumber water {this girl appreciates some sliced fruit or veg in a cold glass of acqua} and headed back to the pool area to meet everyone for lunch at Al Fresco, the outdoor restaurant in front of the pool.

We started off  with some fresh bellinis, and then opted for the daily menu for lunch which was ravioli with herbs and cheek lard {yes it was awesome} along with a beef filet on top of a potato and mustard puree. I was in  foodie paradise especially when dessert arrived, this magical treat was a sort of ‘fruit passion soup’ with fresh mango and raspberries and the prettiest dessert presentation I have ever seen, mamma mia!

bellini at Al Fresco

bellini at Al Fresco

*Apparently they also serve pizza and BBQ at this restaurant by the pool during the summer. I may come back for exactly that just to soak up that atmosphere one more time.

I can’t even think of a better way to start off a Saturday, thanks to the exceptional staff at the Four Seasons in Florence, they possibly are the only hotel I know in town who deserve five, no six stars in a country where ‘stars’ can really mean anything. 

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0 Comment

  1. Whitney Richelle
    26.06.2013 at 13:01

    THIS IS THE COOLEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. I hate you 🙂 This is not a spam comment.

    1. ggnitaly84
      26.06.2013 at 15:11

      haha, I’ll take that as a compliment ;-). Come with next time!

  2. Jaime Lynn (@laviejaime)
    26.06.2013 at 15:18

    how spectacular!

    1. ggnitaly84
      26.06.2013 at 15:21

      Thanks Jaime, it really was. I don’t know when I can afford to go back but I hope one day soon!

  3. aphroditeluvapple
    26.06.2013 at 15:20

    wowww..how lucky u r

  4. kat
    27.06.2013 at 17:30

    This place looks amazing! I have to admit ive never actually gone to a spa before and usually I don’t like really fancy places, bit this one loooks like it would be worth it for a special day. I also love the Santa Maria Novella acqua di rosa, I use it every day and it’s my only “beauty secret” I picked up in my time in Italy. 🙂
    one of my new roommates in Madrid is actually from Florence so maybe I’ll have an excuse to visit more often in the future!

  5. Deme
    01.07.2013 at 21:21

    Four Seasons
    Love your blog. I am an American (NY’er) who just got married at the Four Seasons Florence. They just mentioned your review on their FB page! I highly recommend a destination wedding at this hotel. Their staff is amazing and they take care of all of the details. The cocktail hour is in the beautiful garden and the private dining room had 16th century frescos and amazing chandeliers.

    Boston
    Also having gone to college in Boston let me say Neptune’s Oysters has the BEST lobster roll. I don’t like the cold mayonnaise lobster rolls. Neptune’s is served on a hot slightly sweet bun and the huge pieces of lobster are drenched with hot butter.

    1. ggnitaly84
      01.07.2013 at 21:41

      Thanks so much for your comment and congrats on your marriage, what a gorgeous place to be married. I was in love with that pool and just the general quiet atmosphere. It was absolutely lovely! You can tell that every single detail was well thought out. Brava to them! As for Boston, I will have to keep that in mind because I have to say, I am now addicted to lobster rolls. I even just had dinner and now could honestly eat a lobster roll in the way you described ;-).

  6. katepurpletravel
    02.08.2013 at 13:05

    Wow! This looks absolutely amazing. You lucky thing!

  7. melissasuric
    22.01.2014 at 4:18

    Hi GG.

    I was thinking of going to the spa at Grand Hotel Villa Cora. Have you heard anything about the spa there?

    1. ggnitaly84
      22.01.2014 at 9:27

      The Grand Hotel Villa Cora is absolutely stunning, the location can’t be beat. Unfortunately I don’t personally know anything about their spa but I can say that with such a high caliber of a hotel, you are probably in good hands

  8. Gillian
    03.07.2014 at 11:07

    Annie (@scooteroma) is always telling me I need to go and have cocktails here. Now I need to spend a spa day AND have cocktails. Preferably with the fun Florence gals!

    1. GirlinFlorence
      03.07.2014 at 11:12

      I second that, next time you’re in Florence, let’s arrange it!