Four Seasons opens two new European properties: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus and Four Seasons Hotel Firenze



    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has opened two
new European properties, both in restored historic buildings: a 19th century
Ottoman palace in Istanbul and a Renaissance palazzo in Florence.
    Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Bosphorus is the company's second property
in the city, in an idyllic location on the European banks of the legendary
Bosphorus strait. The Hotel reflects both the historic past and modern
vibrancy of its waterfront setting, with a contemporary elegance that typifies
the changing face of modern Istanbul.
    The Hotel has 166 rooms within the original palace building, complemented
by two new wings. Light, understated interiors reflect the coastal location,
while decorative Turkish touches and traditional artworks reference the
Bosphorus setting as the former summer retreat of the Ottoman elite.
    Extensive outdoor amenities - including heated pool and whirlpool, bar
pavilions and the Wedding Garden - are located along a 190 m (623 ft)
waterfront terrace, framed by the Bosphorus and its ever-changing landscape of
boats, yachts, cruise-ships and ferries. Beneath the terrace is a 2,100 sq m
(22,605 sq ft) spa, sky-lit from above, featuring three hammams (Turkish
baths). Function facilities include two ballrooms, which can accommodate
receptions for up to 1,000 people.
    The Hotel's main restaurant, Aqua, takes its inspiration from the
Bosphorus, accenting dishes from Mediterranean, coastal territories with rich,
local elements. The restaurant is relaxed and unpretentious, designed to
maximise the languid enjoyment of the waterfront location. There is also an
al fresco Pool Bar and Grill and contemporary and comfortable Lobby Bar and
Lounge.
    The Hotel marks a distinct change from the company's first property in
the city, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet - a converted neo-classic
prison in the heart of the city's Old Town. The service, however, remains
unmistakably Four Seasons, offering a seamless continuation of the standards
for which the original property is so revered.
    Four Seasons Hotel Firenze also opens today, following seven years of
meticulous restoration. The Hotel is located on the edge of Florence's
historic centre and occupies two protected Renaissance palaces, the 15th
century Palazzo della Gherardesca and the Conventino, a 16th century Palazzo,
which was once a convent. Between them lies Florence's largest private garden
- the 11 acre (4.5 hectare) Giardino della Gherardesca - one of the most
beautiful and undiscovered green spaces on the right bank of the River Arno.
    The palace's ornately painted and crafted interiors offer guests the rare
opportunity to view 15th - 19th century artworks in their original context.
Frescoes, bas-reliefs, stuccoes and silk wallpapers have been carefully
restored to reveal vivid detail dating back over five centuries.
    Original Florentine art and craftsmanship can also be found in several of
the Hotel's 117 bedrooms, suites and bathrooms. In addition, each bedroom and
suite has individual dimensions and window-sizes and many also showcase
idiosyncratic original features such as skylights, staircases, fireplaces and
stoves.
    The Hotel honours the city's culinary and cultural heritage. Il Palagio,
the main restaurant, uses Tuscan ingredients sourced direct from local
producers; the two-storey Spa features bespoke natural products created by
Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (one of the world's
oldest herbal pharmacies, dating back to 13th century Florentine monks) and
room amenities have been custom-made by Florence-based Lorenzo Villoresi.
    The Hotel also has an outdoor pool, fitness centre, library/reading room
and vast, sun-lit Atrium Bar.
    At the far end of the gardens, the Conventino, (opening in September
2008) provides an arrangement of 37 rooms and suites - a 'hotel within the
hotel' - served by its own reception, concierge, breakfast room and business
centre. The garden location offers a restful alternative to the main Palazzo
building.
    The Hotel is the company's second property in Italy; the first, Four
Seasons Hotel Milano, is an intimate retreat within a converted 15th century
convent, just steps from Milan's couture houses and financial district.
Florence will offer guests another location to explore Italy and enjoy the
same service standards and hospitality as the long-established and reputable
Milan property has.

    About Four Seasons

    Four Seasons is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through
continuous innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. From elegant
surroundings of the finest quality, to caring, highly personalised 24-hour
service, Four Seasons embodies a true home away from home for those who know
and appreciate the best. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is
personified in its employees - people who share a single focus and are
inspired to offer great service. Founded in 1960, Four Seasons has followed a
targeted course of expansion, opening hotels in major city centres and
desirable resort destinations around the world. Currently with 78 hotels in 32
countries, and more than 31 properties under development, Four Seasons
continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements,
making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding. For more
information on Four Seasons, visit www.fourseasons.com.





For further information:

For further information: Nicola Blazier, Four Seasons, Hotels and
Resorts, (416) 441-4301, Nicola.Blazier@fourseasons.com


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