If sharp design is your thing and you don't mind being a little removed from the action, this boutique hotel is a great choice. Occupying a small complex of 19th-century artisan workshops on the south bank of the Arno a 20-minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio, design-led Riva is the work of Florentine architect Claudio Nardi. Nardi's signature minimalist style is jazzed up with lots of stone and wood, and a mix of vintage and modern pieces. The nine, almost Spartan, studios all have independent entrances and kitchenettes and come with super-slick bathrooms, yoga mats and weights, and everything you need for tea and coffee. Breakfast is served off vintage dishware at a communal table in the welcoming sitting room, where a fire crackles in cool weather. In summer, the riverside garden—equipped with hammocks and a lap pool—comes into its own; you can even bring a picnic back from town and enjoy it 'al fresco.'