Casa Howard Guest Houses - Florence

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Whimsical and eclectic, Casa Howard is a discreet, and altogether different boutique B&B. Owned by an Italian aristocrat and his English wife with a family history in textiles, this intimate, quirky and elegant town house is but a few minutes' walk from both the Santa Maria Novella train station and the heart of the city's Renaissance museums and high fashion stores. But step through the unassuming front door and enter a world that feels much more like the stylish home of some arty and eccentric friends, rather than a hotel.

Each of the 11 bedrooms and 2 suites are very different and decorated in a luxurious and highly individual style with bold colours and fine fabrics, (expect stripes, patterns and check) and furnished with an original mix of antiques from the family vaults and one-off contemporary design pieces.

Many rooms come with a terrace, some can be linked together for larger families, some have working fireplaces and 4 legged claw-foot baths, the Play Room comes complete with a climbing wall perfect for children, the Terrace Room accepts a small dog…and for the adults there is even a large Turkish hamman bath, a music/TV room and a large library.