Once a refuge for Tchaikovsky and Napoleon III’s wife, Eugenia, the 19th century Villa Cora, an elegant and charming escape overlooking Florence, Italy, is all about indulgence and regal-styled comforts.
That is especially true in the Cigar Room, a Moorish, boudoir-flavored sanctum dominated by a humidor stocked with Cohibas, Romeo y Julietas, Montecristos and other Cuban cigars, and an intimate bar featuring carefully-curated Barolos, Super Tuscans, and Scotches.
Here, time stands still. It’s easy to find a place to relax in the 44-room-hotel, such as the statue-lined swimming pool, the spa, or perhaps while sitting amid frescoes and Venetian chandeliers in the Mirrors Room. But the cigar lounge is distinctly calming—and sumptuous. Flaunting an aura of romance and mystery, this subterranean space is luxuriously complemented by Persian rugs, silk divans and a small cabinet filled with books heralding cigars.
“We hoped to create a soothing environment where guests would feel very pampered,” says hotel manager Vanessa Giovannelli. “Such a lounge is very rare in Italy, so we wanted to give cigar smokers a feeling of exclusivity, a really secluded escape. They can feel good here, for it’s a special world devoted to pleasures.”
That pampering is further evidenced once Petra, the charming barista, crafts a Negroni. Then it’s time to choose: perhaps a large smoke like the Cohiba Esplendido? Or something far smaller, like the Montecristo No. 5? There are typically seven or more brands to choose from, and the choices tend to be greater during Italy’s busy season.
The enchantments of the Villa Cora’s cigar room are enough to make any stay memorable. But while you can puff inside, we suggest taking the smoke on a stroll through the Villa’s much-acclaimed rose garden, featuring over 100 precious varieties, and offers even more proof that the Cora is a true Florentine treasure.
Hotel Villa Cora
Viale Machiavelli, 18,
50125 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 228790
Open seven days 11:00 am to midnight