I have stayed in many luxury hotels including the Four Seasons Chicago, Ritz Carlton Tyson's Corner, Ritz Carlton Naples (Florida), and the (now closed) Regent Wall Street. I have also stayed in non-chain 5 star hotels like the Royalton in NYC and The Kitano. This was the worst experience of any of them by such a wide stretch - and this was more expensive than any of the above. I only wish I stayed with my friend down the street at Hotel Goldoni for 25% of the cost. Not everything was bad, but choosing this hotel was a huge mistake. Here's why:
1. I checked in at 2:15 and my room wasn't ready, so I was put in a small room until I went to my regular room. In that room, the king beds are mostly made of two twins (with firm borders in the center) pushed together. I knew I hated this from comments on forums like this, and had it confirmed on email that I would NOT get a bed like this (I will attach a pic of the email soon). However, they still gave me this bed. I only discovered it after I fully unpacked and had dinner and was finally getting into bed quite late. I was way too tired to move at this hour - if they even had another room. Needless to say, I barely slept (maybe 3 hours) because I would wake up every time I fell in the crack between the mattresses. So my first full day in Florence was horrible since I was very sleep deprived and paid quite a huge sum of money for it (and they gave back a pittance of what I paid despite completely ruining my day. So I still basically paid $500 for this awful bed. Given that I have their confirmation in writing, I have to dispute it with Visa...because god forbid they just refund me themselves). I even told the woman who checked me in that my bed had a problem and I had to move and she just said "yeah I heard" - no "sorry I put you in that room" or "let's give you back the money since we promised you in writing" or anything like that. That's just incredibly rude and inappropriate. It was someone's fault there for putting me in a room that I was explicitly promised I would not get .
2. I told them 3-4 times that I would move that evening to a new room they had free, and I repeatedly called for help (I can move bags myself but my clothes were on hangers-all I needed was a simple luggage cart to hang them on). "A couple of minutes" apparently means at least 20 because after waiting 20 minutes (again exhausted and badly needing sleep) I just started moving things myself. I didn't want to fully re-pack all of my wet bathroom products and dirty clothes so I asked for plastic bags at reception. I was told that the hotel had no plastic bags. Uh - the garbage bags are plastic! They were unable to give them to me (until my friend insisted the next day for packing to leave) so I made at least five trips up and down - wrapping my things in a bed sheet. The hallways were quite long as well - and I was literally sweating from this (and I had been walking through Florence ALL day already). Again, during all of this time I heard nothing from them except one call to say they were coming. So guess when they showed up?? Over an hour later when I was done moving everything myself! Then they said in that annoyingly fake charming Italian way "Anything we can do to help?". Yeah maybe you coudl have helped an hour ago! I was still sleep deprived and desperately needed to go to bed or I never would have asked them for any help. I can move myself - I just wanted the luggage cart bar (and plastic bags). Not complicated or requiring 20 minutes!
The room I was finally moved to was very well decorated, but it was like being in a hallway. The bedroom and bathroom were on the same wall against the hallway - not a normal room where the bathroom buffers hall noise). I could hear everyone in the halls, particularly the maids when they seem too yell at guests that it's time for turn down. The bed was also very small in there (like an American full size) At least I had a courtyard view because the street view rooms ARE noisy. They showed me one (with a real king) and I heard motorcycles instantly. I hear motorcycles on the 30th floor at home so floor 4 isn't going to do much.
I am not sure if they felt bad for this room situation, but they gave me like 20 bottles of shampoo and shower gel (for 3 remaining nights). I would have rather had free Internet but that request wasn't well received (so much for "anything" they can do - the Internet is 10€ a day). With weight restrictions on luggage, I couldn't take this shampoo anyway. I do like it though.
3. The concierges seem to assume everyone here is a millionaire and / or sometimes have a language barrier with some of them. This was a problem in a few ways that I will explain by example: My flight departure was moved by Air France from Florence to Pisa (an hour away). So, The concierges told me to either take the train (and two cabs dragging luggage around) or a 180€ cab. First of all, there was a train strike that they were unaware of (despite the Non-Italian tour guide being aware of it). So, I asked one concierge to help me get on another Florence departure. This particular concierge is probably the hardest working and smartest concierge I have ever met (Francesco). He was a master of working on 5 things at once and literally called Air France for me 6 times in Italian (American reps have different access to the flights within Europe). Unfortunately, what he & the other concierges never mentioned is that there is a 6€ bus straight to Pisa airport! Again, my non-Italian tour guide told me this. So, that option made the most sense since it would cost €800 to change flights. Do they just not consider that a St. Regis guest could take a bus? Did they not know about this fairly major bus service? A similar thing happened when I asked for a dinner suggestion somewhere not too expensive but with decent portion sizes. It was the only night I strayed from tripadvisor...and (guess what) the most expensive dinner of my trip. The price included a cover charge and 10% after that. The food was good but seriously...this is not what I was asking for.
I'll throw in some positives here... t((e shower is amazing (rain showed + handheld). The heat and AC controls are fabulous...you can control things to the exact temperature you want, regardless of the time of year or the ambient temperature of the hotel. The people at breakfast are incredibly nice and attentive - particularly the woman with blonde hair who is usually by the front. This is a great way to start your day. Since it is a buffet, I didn't think they would allow me to take food but I was running to the bus (to the plane) they were more than happy to get me a bag and plastic container. That was really helpful. Also, this may be one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever seen. I walked around taking pictures on my last night just because the place is so amazing.
This may not bother most people, but the guests here tend to be worse than I anticipated in terms of being pretentious. One was so rude to the employees that I was shocked. Then, at breakfast when I dropped a small pastry (hands full) and kicked it out of the way - the same crazy person picked it up 15 minutes later, slammed it on my table and said "here's the croissant you dropped" and stormed off! I have never had an issue with a guest in 300+ nights in hotels for work and holiday. The staff apologized (same blonde haired dining room woman who is nice) but seriously....this is not the place for me ever again.
What makes me the most upset is that I've been staying with Starwood for work since 2001 and always wanted to stay in a St Regis and this experience was just awful - for $2000 in 4 days. It actually made my Florence vacation worse...and I paid $2000 for the privilege.
Courtyard room if you need quiet. Ask for a room without 2 twin beds pushed together if you are tra...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Report response as inappropriate
Thank you for taking time to give us your feedback.
As the room location you request was not ready when you arrive and as it was before 3pm check in time we thought that it was better to give you a temporary room instead of a different location.
I am sorry if you had any issues with the bed and as it is unusual for us we will make sure it never happen again.
Thank you for you nice comments regarding the breakfast and our concierge Francesco.
We ussualy don't recommend bus to pisa due to the confort but of course if a guest want to book it we are really happy to assist with that.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.