We want to pay tribute to this exquisite hotel and its former GM Patrizio Cipollini, who I considered a dear friend and who was the first to give us our real start with our hybrid incentive business several years ago. I met with him and explained what we were trying to accomplish. He immediately got the concept and did everything he could to encourage us and assist us.
Whenever I needed an introduction to another Four Seasons he was always gracious enough to help. He was the quintessential GM!
We arrived for our site inspection, and he could not have been more gracious or welcoming. While we were there, we watched him greet arriving guests as if he were welcoming them to his home. He would sit and have a cocktail in the afternoon with various guests or a coffee in the morning.
The most remarkable aspect of our site inspection is that what rarely happens, happened. With every interaction we had–from the housekeeping staff, to the bellmen, to the delightful waiters in the Michelin starred restaurant—the level of service was exceptional.
We felt so at home. The hallmark of exquisite service is not stuffiness but a graciousness that makes you feel as if you are the most important person in the world and indeed special.
Our dinner in the restaurant was such a delight, the waiters so approachable and professional. The sommelier was knowledgeable, a true expert who shared his passion for the wines.
It was such a joy to be there, surrounded by the frescoes, the sculptures, the artwork. The 4 acres of manicured gardens with art installations, are an oasis of peace in the middle of bustling, beautiful Firenze.
If you are fortunate enough to stay in one of the frescoed suites, you will be transported back to a time when the Medici ruled Firenze and artisans, artists, scientists, great works, and knowledge flourished. You will be surrounded by beauty and serenity. This residence was truly one of their more spectacular ones.
How does this all translate into our hybrid incentive, you may ask? We knew we absolutely did not have to worry about whether our clients would be well taken care of, pampered, made to feel special. All of the details for each winner and his or her guest were handled without a hitch. How can you beat that feeling of reassurance and complete trust in a hotel and its leadership and staff?
All of that was thanks to Patrizio Cipollini’s amazing leadership. He dedicated his life to this property and its refurbishment, which took more than 7 years to complete. What a visionary he was, to have been able to see the possibilities and doggedly implement them.
His legacy is felt to this day at this beautiful property, and we do not hesitate to have our clients there. Personally, we cannot wait to return and spend time at the Four Seasons Firenze, enjoying a negroni at the bar before dining on an amazing meal. We cannot wait to stroll and sit and relax in the gardens and soak in the latest art installations. At the end of the day, you can have the most exquisite physical structure, but it is the staff who bring a property to life, who make it—and your experience there– memorable.