The Helvetia&Bristol hotel in Florence of the Starhotels Group was elected winner of the ‘Luxury Heritage Hotel’ category during the ’15th Annual World Luxury Hotel Awards 2021′.
The recent renovation in 2019, the result of the perfect mix between a careful restoration and a new contemporary touch, has made it possible to give back to the city one of its historic buildings and, at the same time, an authentic icon of the hotel industry.
Located in the heart of the historic center of Florence, a few steps from Piazza Strozzi, the Duomo and via Tornabuoni, the refined Florentine shopping street, this Renaissance-style aristocratic residence has offered elegant atmospheres to travelers from all over the world since the end of the 19th century in the charm of history.
For this hotel Andrea Auletta, Milanese Interior Designer with a long and consolidated collaboration with the Starhotels hotel group, was responsible for the creation of the Heritage Suite Helvetia and the Bristol Winter Garden.
The commitment and challenge that characterized this project are to be placed in direct relation with the prestige of the house, its history, its architectural peculiarities and the need to reconcile spaces and atmospheres of a past full of charm with the contemporaneity of an exclusive five-star hotel.
The Helvetia Heritage Suite is an original and pre-existing space for the intervention, for which Andrea Auletta has chosen to keep the already existing white boiserie and the amber yellow chenille wall fabric. The walls have been enriched by vertical panels with a design of ivory-colored fabric diamonds fixed at the intersection with worked brass studs.
The floor is in Italian herringbone oak parquet. The bench, sofas and chairs are upholstered in fabric and here white alternates with gold, as in the play on the cushions.
The wrought iron canopy bed embellished by the curtains on the back is the work of a master craftsman from Arezzo and a mirror has been provided on the sides of the bed to give depth.
The ceiling chandeliers have been repositioned and decorative elements have been inserted such as black shelves with plaster busts and prints positioned vertically, like a collection in a private residence.
Particular are the curtains and rigid valances covered with fabric that fall on the sides. The rugs designed and made in viscose pick up on the amber color of the walls with the insert of ivory colored borders. The doors are dominated by an important element that characterizes them and gives emphasis.
In the bathroom, the existing white Carrara marbles were maintained with black Portoro-like marble borders, elegantly taken up by the black lines on the ceiling that give a touch of modernity, like the mirrors and lamps that were replaced in the restyling work, whose approach has been to maintain all the beauty already present, also making use of the help of restorers and master craftsmen, enriching it with elements that enhance its personality and grit.
For the Bristol Winter Garden, Andrea Auletta wanted to keep the elegant and original skylight that covers the ceiling and is punctuated by an alternation of colored glass in delicate shades of green and antique pink. The large skylight illuminates a welcoming and relaxing space, wrapped in the delicate lines of a wall-mounted Choiserie designed by Ottavia Moschini, which reproduces the fabric upholstery of the sofas and bergères in scale. The chairs are upholstered in deep peacock colored velvet. The table is covered with a gold leaf top.
The motif of the decoration of the wallpaper scanned at very high resolution is the same as the textile coverings and is inspired by the flora and fauna of Tuscany, for a dutiful reference to the Territory.
Charcoal wall mirrors with liquid gold finished edges give depth to the long narrow space. Tall mirrored screens with antiqued golden metal structures are positioned in the winter garden to separate the space, with a presence that tells of evocative distances.
The floor lamps are produced by Estro, while the ceiling lamps are the original ones with a light play of luminous tracery.
The storytelling of the winter garden is completed with materials of ancient Tuscan flavor such as terracotta and pietra serena and is completed with a wall-mounted black marble fountain, enclosed between two triumphs of flowers in stone vases.
Speaking of his relationship with color, Andrea Auletta underlines that “Hospitality spaces offer a temporary living experience that must be reassuring and comfortable. The use of certain colours, together with the study of light, creates emotions and places of hospitality can be the theater for emotional experiments. In restyling projects, when it comes to recovering and giving new life to existing furnishing elements, color is a fundamental element