Florence’s Renaissance style gets a contemporary flourish.
Carved stone, lion head accents, shutter-framed windows—at first glance, the Milu Hotel echoes the centuries-old facades that Florence is famous for. But behind the heavy wooden doors in the heart of the fashion district, Studio Do architect David Ohayon transformed the 14th-century edifice into a distinctly modern stay, retrofitting the space with a glass elevator lift, a collection of contemporary art pieces, and Italian-made furnishings from brands like Moroso and Minotti. A 19th-century stone staircase serves as the property’s centerpiece, linking its 22 rooms across five floors; original artworks—many by Israeli owner Carmel Ilan—and rotating multimedia exhibitions are on display at the second-floor gallery. (Every work is available for purchase.) Rooms balance colorful geometric headboards and Missoni pillows on the beds with low-slung Gubi seating and mirrored cabinetry, while the art deco-inspired bathrooms are done up in vibrant Murano glass against sleek black marble. Touches like antique windows and Egyptian cotton sheets lend the interiors a soft, warm edge. As does the sun-soaked library stocked with art and design tomes, not to mention the hotel’s Dionysian spread of meats, fruits, and croissants awaiting guests on the terrace come morning.