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“Great location, Safe, Average room” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Helvetia & Bristol Hotel

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Helvetia & Bristol Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Dei Pescioni 2, 50123 Florence, Italy   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #69 of 461 Hotels in Florence
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great location, Safe, Average room”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012 via mobile

My experience here made me look up what a 4-5 star hotel in Europe means. I found it strange that there was no one at the door to hold them while I struggled to get the luggage through. The reception staff was friendly enough- those who don't speak Italitan will do just fine here; I had to ask for a map- it was not offered. What was strange was that this map had an advertisement right over the area the the hotel was at- making it a bit difficult initially to figure out the immediate surroundings. Breakfast was sufficient. We ate dinner there too- good but not memorable- and not worth the cost. The staff was helpful in acquiring tickets to the Academy- one call- and it was done- less than 5 minutes. The was a nominal fee for this convenience which I thought was reasonable. I like many others resented the situation with wifi- €18 per day! I don't mind paying a small fee for use- but $22 PER DAY is plain insulting. I believe there is a Westin across the street- they comp it for their guests. There was a cafe in the square around the corner- I managed to use their wifi just to let family at home know we were safe. I purchased Wifi at a hotel in Rome- SwissCom-€9 for a week use. As I was walking around Florence- that one connected and was usable. Surely H&B can do better.
Our room was what I would expect from a European hotel- on the small side but clean and decorated. I think your experience is based on how you book your room and what you get- I ended up using a discount service to get this room on the 4th floor. It was sufficient. On a second trip to Florence, although I liked the location- I will probably try my luck elsewhere.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luana M, Assistente del Direttore at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Dear Sirs,

Thank you for choosing the Helvetia & Bristol for your sojourn in Florence.
We take all feedback seriously, and sincerely regret that in spite of our best intentions, we did not meet your expectations.
Please rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address and prevent any future occurences.
We appreciate the time you took to share your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the future.
With our best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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319 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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Castle Rock, Colorado
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

I recently stayed seven days at the Helvetia and Bristol Hotel with two girlfriends. The Helvetia and Bristol is a beautiful boutique hotel in the middle of Florence, Italy. The hotel is an old property built of Florentine Renaissance architecture and is kept up meticulously. The hotel is full of 17th century paintings, beautiful furniture and tapestries. I stayed in room 461 facing Via dei Pescioni, which is a very comfortable Executive Junior Suite. My friends stayed in room 263 and enjoyed their room as well...particularly the very large bathroom. My room had an updated marble bathroom which had a very large tub with shower and great lighting. Upon check in, I received a fruit plate and bottle of Italian Olive Oil in the room. The hotel location is the BEST! We were in walking distance of the Duomo, Uffizi Museum, Ponte Vecchio, San Lorenzo Market and numerous boutiques, shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.

The staff was wonderful! They were professional and attentive. We especially enjoyed getting to know Head Concierge Alessandro and dining room staff Andrea, David and the two Marcos. (Forgive me if I misspelled names.) There was also a lovely young lady who served us often, but sadly, I cannot remember her name. Our daily breakfast was a wonderful selection of meats, cheeses, Caprese, scrambled eggs, bacon, salad, fruits, juices, awesome coffee and numerous breads and pastries. This was included with our stay. We chose to eat outside every morning so we could enjoy “people watching” on the street, although the dining area in the hotel was lovely. The only drawback to eating outside was a man who came by begging a few times.

We did spend time in the hotel bar every evening, enjoying nightly snacks and drinks as well as the friendly staff. We also had dinner in the hotel twice at the Hostaria Bibendum, using discounts given us with our room upgrade. Dinner was delicious and created by chef Enzo Pette who ironically, used to be the chef at one of our local Denver area restaurants! We met the chef several times and he too was very friendly. The chef does offer cooking classes and although we did not participate in them, we heard from other guests how fun and informative they are.

The only thing I can say was not perfect during my visit was the daily morning wake-up call. Twice my call was 10 minutes late and once an hour early at 4:45 am!! The staff was very apologetic each time. There are no alarm clocks in the rooms so the desk staff must take the time to call every morning, regardless of how busy they are with other tasks. Otherwise my stay and my friend’s stay at the Hotel Helvetia and Bristol was nothing short of FABULOUS! I would definitely stay here again and would love to bring my husband to Florence and this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luana M, Assistente di Direzione at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Dear Ladies,

Thank you for choosing the Helvetia & Bristol for your sojourn in Florence!
It was very thoughtful of you to write your opinions on Tripadvisor, which we very much appreciated, and we will be glad to convey your courteous words of appreciation on to our staff.
We delighted to learn that you and your girlfriends enjoyed your stay with us and that both our services and personell have somehow contributed to render your time in Florence a successful one.
We sincerely hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again to the Helvetia & Bristol in the near future.
With our best regards.
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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

We recently spent about 10 days in Rome/Florence/Venice, staying at 4/5 star hotels like this one. By far, this hotel had the poorest service and we would definitely not stay here again.
On the plus side, the location and rooms were very good, however (we even stayed in the dreaded room 153 and the noise level was not too bad). This is the reason for the 2 stars.
Although some of my comments may seem like nitpicking, one of the things that you expect when you spend this kind of money is exceptional (not just good) service. You expect the hotel staff to get the little things right, and to pay attention to details. The other hotels we stayed at did, to a tee, but this place didn't.
First, it is insulting to have to pay 18 Euro for wifi when you are spending this kind of money for a room. We were renting 3 rooms, and they wouldn't give us a break on this until I spoke to the manager. Even then, he only comped 1 room, and (coincidence?) the wifi didn't work in that room. When we asked for help, they gave us a toll free number and told us we had to call ourselves. The number they gave us didn't work, and it turned out the front desk person we spoke with had given us the wrong dialing instructions.
We also needed to make a collect call to the US, but the front desk staff could not (or would not) connect us to an international operator, instead telling us to use our room phone to call an AT&T operator, which was an international call anyway.
When we checked in, our rooms weren't ready (we got there a bit early, no problem), so we had lunch and came back around 3:30. They said our rooms were all ready, but it turns out one wasn't. So this person waited in our room and the front desk said they would call when it was ready. After an hour, we called and they said it was ready, but didn't even offer to bring up the key.
We asked for a paper to be delivered to our room in the morning, and it never came.
I asked for a clock for my room, as there is no clock visible at night (there is a very small clock under the TV that can't be seen in the dark), which they said they would take care of, but it never arrived.
Finally, when we left, we were offered no help with our bags--we brought them down ourselves, and only when we started to bring them out did the doorman move to help us.
These were the highlights!
Fortunately, Florence is a wonderful city and more than made up for the poor hotel experience. With so many outstanding hotels in this price range, why take a chance?

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Assistant to the General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, July 11, 2012
Dear Sirs,
I was impressed to read your review concerning our hotel and while I thank you for taking the time to write your comments, I must say that I found them rather personal and unsual.
It seems that all negative situations happened to you during your stay with us and I am truly sorry that this matter was not brought to our attention at the time.
As a rule of our Company, the internet service is at a fee and our pricing is in line with our similar properties.
We usually receive many compliments concerning the high standard of services, therefore I regret that, in this particular case, in spite of our best intentions, we failed to make your stay as pleasant and memorable as you had anticipated on your advice.
I hope you may pay us a return visit in the future and give us the opportunity to revise your impression of our hotel.
With best regards.
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Hillsborough, California
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

We recently stayed at this hotel for two nights with our 18 and 20 year old sons. We had two connecting rooms - they were very nice, fairly spacious and the bathrooms were good enough. We found the hotel staff to be incredibly helpful and friendly. Upon check-in, after escorting us to our rooms, the young lady realized we needed a map and went down, got one and then showed us several spots for lunch. She couldn't have been sweeter. The other staff was also fantastic. The location is super, as other reviewers also mention. I found the price point to be right where it should be for this kind of property. My only complaint is that the hotel charges for wi-fi (as many do - but it is annoying!). I would stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Assistente del Direttore at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, July 9, 2012
Dear Sirs,
Thank you for choosing the Helvetia & Bristol for your stay in Florence.
It was very thoughtful of you to write your opinions, which we very much appreciated, and we will be glad to convey your courteous words of appreciation on to our staff.
We are delighted to hear that you and your sons enjoyed your stay with us and that both our services and staff have somehow contributed to render your time in Florence a successful one!
We sincerely hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again to the Helvetia & Bristol in the near future.
With best regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles,ca
Top Contributor
252 reviews 252 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
167 helpful votes 167 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012

When we arrived with our great our grand grand daughter, we were upgraded to a magnificent suite. The problem was that it was on the highest floor, and as a result, was too hot.One of the male staff was not particularly kind, but we prevailed on him to have the 2 towel warmers to be turned which helped. We kept the drapes kept closed and that was helped also. The room was finally comfortable. Breakfast was excellent ,the location was excellent and the Concierge was was very competent and professional. We would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: If you stay in the summer, do not stay on the top floor.-Too hot!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Assistente del Direttore at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, July 9, 2012
Dear Sirs,
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay at the Helvetia & Bristol.
We are sorry to learn that you were not completely satisfied with your accommodation, for which we apologize.
As you have been able to experience, the exclusive top floor suite is very spacious with two bathrooms (one with jacuzzi tub and a separate shower) and enjoy a panoramic view over the roofs of Florence’s most historical buildings, such as Brunelleschi’s Duomo and Giotto’s bell tower. However, it is sad that in your particular case, in spite of our best intentions, we failed to make your stay as pleasant as you had anticipated.
We are sure that the Reception staff were very concerned about your inconvenience and did everything possible to help you, however we would like to renew our apologies for any apparent lack of interest of feeling regarding your predicament.
Even though your visit at our hotel was met with a problem, we are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you would recommend our hotel!
We sincerely hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again to the Helvetia & Bristol and we send you our best regards.
I am most obliged to you for bringing to our attention any comments which would help us to build up a still better service to our Guests.

In spite of our best intentions, I very much regret that you did not find it of your liking.
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Orlando, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012 via mobile

I stayed here for four nights during my most recent visit to Florence. It is a beautiful boutique hotel. My room was on the second floor facing the street. Unlike other reviewers, the noise from the nearby club did not bother me much. I chose to concentrate on the music from the flute player who sat outside the Palazzo Strozzi each night instead. The room was nice and clean, though not particularly special. The staff was neither friendly nor unfriendly. I arrived unshaven and a bit disheveled after an eight day cycling trip through Puglia, and I had the impression I would have been treated better upon arrival had I looked differently. The breakfast was perfectly sufficient and did feature a few unique offerings (baked apples, for example). Overall it was a pleasant stay, but I would not stay here again. It is too expensive to be so underwhelming, and for Internet access I paid an additional eighteen euros per day which seemed excessive. Although the hotel itself seems not to broadcast this, the cost of tickets to the Palazzo Strozzi exhibits were reimbursable at the hotel, not sure if other admissions were similarly reimbursable. The location is great, though there are many hotels in Florence with similarly good locations. The hotel seemed very safe if security is a concern.

Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luana M, Assistente del Direttore at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, June 20, 2012
Dear Sirs,
Thank you for taking the time to write us about your recent stay at the Helvetia & Bristol.
While we are glad to learn that you had a pleasant stay, we wish to inform you that our pricing is in line with similar properties in this area and we feel that we offer good value given our central location and comfortable faciltiies. However, it appears we failed to meet your expectations, and for that we are sorry.
Concerning the observations about the staff, we must admit to a certain surprise as the Helvetia & Bristol enjoys a long-standing and worldwide reputation and prestige not only for the ambience and decor, but particularly for the professional attitude of our staff and personalized service for which we receive continuous appreciations.
It is sad that in spite of our best intentions, we did not reflect our usual high standards of service and now action has been taken to ensure that a similar situation does not re-occur.
We sincerely hope you will return to Florence in the near future and consider the possibility to stay at our Helvetia & Bristol, so that you may enjoy that hospitality for which we receive words of esteem.
Sincerely.
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012 via mobile

Simply beautiful hotel, amazing location with lovely boutiques and markets around the corner. Cafes in the square around the corner. Lovely tapestries and fireplace in lobby. Breakfast choice is extensive in a lovely breakfast room. Stayed in a suite which was delightful. Saw standard rooms which are all of a high standard. Bathroom was large.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luana M, Assistente del Direttore at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, June 20, 2012
Dear Sirs,

thank you for choosing Hotel Helvetia & Bristol for your recent stay in Florence. We were delighted to hear you had an enjoyable time at our hotel and we take this opportunity to also thank you for your kind words of appreciation.
It was a pleasure to have you as our guest and we sincerely hope to welcome you soon again.

With our best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Helvetia & Bristol Hotel

Address: Via Dei Pescioni 2, 50123 Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#33 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#57 Family Hotel in Florence
#69 Romantic Hotel in Florence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Helvetia & Bristol Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Helvetia & Bristol, a historic property located amongst Florence's many cultural treasures, is part of Niquesa Hotels & Residences. Niquesa's Hotel Helvetia & Bristol is undoubtedly the only place to stay when in Florence. As a World Heritage site and magnetic cultural destination, it is the focal point for any visitor, and we are blessed by being at the heart of it all. Our front door opens onto the Palazzo Strozzi, a masterpiece of Florentine Renaissance architecture, along with an enviable location in the luxury shopping district. Our rooms and suites offer tasteful colour palettes and the carefully chosen antique furniture, objects d'art, paintings and rich furnishings are our hallmark in design. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Helvetia And Bristol Hotel
Helvetia Bristol Hotel
Helvetia Bristol Florence

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