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“Quirky, but wonderful rooms, food and service; Spa needs work” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Il Salviatino

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Il Salviatino
Ranked #53 of 421 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Level Contributor
120 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
“Quirky, but wonderful rooms, food and service; Spa needs work”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed several nights at Il Salviatino. We were not really sure what to expect given reviews all over the board, but given the favorable comments about the service on Flyertalk and the Andrew Harper rating, we figured it was worth a shot. Overall it was a wonderful stay with the only negative we encountered being the spa.

The hotel is located outside Florence but offers a free hourly shuttle. They drop you off right at the Duomo. We only encountered the shuttle being full one time, and when that happened they arranged for a taxi to take us.

The room we stayed in was a de Luxe room, one step up from the base. It was wonderfully appointed but quirky. For instance, it had a tv, but the TV was in a mirror (visible when on, not visible when off). Another example of the quirkiness is the shower stall - it was located inside a door inside the walk-in closet (the toilet and sink being on the other side of the room). That being said, the room was very comfortable. The bed linens were very good and the bed was very comfortable. The large black out curtains worked well. The wifi was fast. The AC was amazing - we could get the room down to 50 degrees in the dead of summer if we wanted. The shower was great, with a very powerful rain shower. Our only complaint on the room was the towels - instead of fluffy towels they were they odd large linen towels. Nice, but not great for drying off.

The hotel itself is gorgeous. There is a beautiful library with books and an honor bar. The restaurant was great. We had dinner one night and thought the food was wonderful. A perfectly cooked veal chop and some delicious pasta. Breakfast was served inside or on the porch each day. We often ate inside because the wasps were quite aggressive when proteins were around. Breakfast was included in our rate and great - a selection of baked goods, cheese and meats; some sort of eggs (you can order any type of eggs); coffee and usually some sort of french toast or pancakes.

We used the pool several times and found it to be comfortable. It is about a 3 minute walk from the main building. It had numerous chairs and umbrellas and staff were on hand with drink and food orders. The spa is also located near the pool. The spa facility is nice but the masseuses left some to be desired. A massage was included with our rate but we wouldn't pay for it. It was not very good.

Service was exceptional on our stay. Every request was met with quickly and efficiently. Staff were always around for anything we needed. We appreciated when staff met our taxi or our car at the door with umbrellas when it was raining. The service was the best we experienced on our trip to Italy.

Overall, we had an enjoyable stay and would return.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank adamtope23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

Salviatino is in a beautiful setting. It's location just outside of Florence (with a useful hourly shuttle into the city) is excellent for exploring and dining. You feel very much like the villa is your home.

However, I'm surprised it has received 5 stars. It is not a 5 star hotel. The rooms are pleasant enough, but lack the exceptional finishes you'd expect (e.g. not much in the way of technology, standard and not at all luxurious toiletries, a shoddy attempt at mini bar, etc.). On top of that my room smelt incredibly badly of the drains. The hotel had tried to mask it with several air fresheners, but after a few days I had to change rooms. The new room was considerably more expensive (a suite with a view), but not worth the money (the lounge of the suite had the view, but the chairs were too low that you couldn't see out the window while sitting down - it felt like a doctor's waiting room).

My main gripe though is with the restaurant. It's expensive (for lunch or dinner) and poor. The menu is unimaginative and not well put together. I ate lunch twice and dinner once. Each time there was a major issue. For dinner the sea bass was raw in the middle (overcooked on the outside!). For lunch the cod was overcooked to the point of not resembling the molecular structure of fish. (I think it had been left out for a long time as the flesh had gone an unappetizing brown color. The kitchen is outside and so the food is exposed.) Both times there was not the hint of an apology (I was told that the rubber-like cod was how the fish was supposed to be) and I had to pay for the raw sea bass.

Finally, the service is fine, but not what I'd call 5 star. Not all that knowledgeable, problems reported are deflected (or worse, made to be the guest's fault) and only a limited set of restaurants were recommended (I found many better restaurants using a $10 travel guide!). Oh, and I'd also suggest that if you do stay here, make use of the safe!

It's frustrating. With the location and character of the building it should be soooo much better. Until they sort out these basic issues I'd strongly recommend staying somewhere else.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Chris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
166 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

We stayed for 4 nights in August when it was swelteringly hot. We had no problems finding it, just followed the map. The hotel is in an amazing location on a small hill overlooking Florence. The view from the terrace is one of the hotel's features. The gardens are beautiful and dotted with sofas where you can have an aperitif as the sun goes down although in summer you will need plenty of wasp and mosquito repellent.

We had booked a junior suite but were upgraded to the Ojetti suite right at the top, which has the benefit of its own terrace and large bright sitting area. The bedroom area was large, shady and cool, and the bathroom was fine, with enough space for a couple to fight over the fluffy towels after the shower. However this suite didnt have the old style and furnishings of the rest of the main building and I would liked to have seem a Dome view junior suite just to compare.

The front desk staff really are wonderful and very helpful indeed, and are the strength of the hotel. The staff at the bar and the restaurant are less reliable in our experience and one morning we were left alone at breakfast for over 30 minutes, and I had to chase them twice. Breakfast is a strange affair - you are offered a tray, with the same elements every day, fruit, yoghurt, muesli, breads, jams, cold meats and cheese. Apart from anything else it's such a waste. But I would have expected some variety each day.

The restaurant was similarly hit and miss, with patchy service. The food was often very good, sometimes just OK. We found out that their chef had left a few months earlier (in fact we went to his new restaurant which was stunning.)

The location of the pool is odd - you have to walk down through the gardens and around the driveway for a while to locate it - it took us about 3 minutes down and 5 back up, but it could be a struggle for anyone with walking difficulties. And even more strangely there is a quicker internal route down there but that is blocked off for guests ( I was actually told this by a member of staff!)

This really is a wonderful location on a perfect quiet hillside with easy access to town by shuttle bus or taxi. In the heat of summer its great to be able to escape the centre of this wonderful city.

Room Tip: Make sure you are in the main building and facing the city
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ArkLark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sevenoaks, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
242 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

A superb hotel on the edge of Florence. A little difficult to locate the entrance to the hotel, but once you are inside it is perfect. Extremely helpful staff - one of the concierges lent me his personal SatNav to help me find my way to the airport the next day! Lovely restaurant. The hotel shuttle bus is a trip of about 15 minutes to the centre of Florence. Terrific place. We shall stay there again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view over the city
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SBSevenoaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Hidden away as a private escape within the outskirts of Florence, it took a while for us to find the entrance to this amazing hotel (regardless of the SatNav!). However, once we drove up the winding driveway, we were warmly greeted by the staff who immediately sat us down outside to a glass of prosecco. The views in their gardens are incredible; situated on top of a hill, you can see a beautiful panoramic over parts of Florence. This was my first time to Italy, and we had booked through the hotel directly with a package offering us a complimentary room upgrade. Nothing was mentioned about this when we arrived, and we were taken to a lovely room (which was not the upgrade) with a separate office room and lovely bathroom. Unfortunately, during most evenings, the smell of sewage would sometimes drift in from the bathrooms (we found this along the corridors too), however it wasn't TOO pungent and is probably due to the humidity and the fact it is an old building. The room was always immaculately kept by the staff, as was the rest of the hotel, and there was always someone around to help if you needed anything and everyone was always smiley and happy to chat -- things I found to be something I really missed after we left Il Salviatino and went to stay at another hotel in Tuscany. They just weren't up to scratch in comparison! The best part of Il Salvatino were the late afternoons into the evening. The gardens are the best place to relax, with sofas and beds to enjoy drinks and amazing Italian nibbles. Members of staff suddenly appear out of nowhere and offer you drinks, the service is brilliant. During my stay, an excellent 3 piece jazz band played from sunset throughout the night which really made the atmosphere feel more like a private gig you could eat your meal to. The restaurant was also my favourite part of the entire hotel. The food, all home-made in their out-door kitchen, was sublime, with quite possibly the greatest grissini I'd ever tasted. One of the chefs serviced many tables all himself, taking the care and time to talk and get to know everyone. He soon learnt I'm a vegetarian so would prepare special dishes just for me, even when I only ordered one course, he would appear at my side with a tiny dish so I wouldn't sit empty handed during the other 3 courses. They also serve fresh home-baked bread every night, and an awesome array of desserts you pick and choose and get brought over to you. However, it's a pretty relaxed affair, if there isn't a member of staff around to help (they get very busy), you can serve yourself as many times as you like.
If you're travelling during August, like I did, you'd find yourself hovering around the pool. Although it's rather small, it certainly does the job. The temperature of the water is quite cold, and you'd have to get there early -- late morning preferably -- to beat the fight for the sun loungers. The spa is also an interesting one... I didn't go for any treatments but took a look inside the building. It consists of a small amount of gym equipment, oh and a bath, all in one room, which I couldn't really get my head around, but liked the idea of it all the same.
The hotel also has a massive library, floor to ceiling with books (mostly in Italian) which is open 24/7. They also have a fantastic breakfast service. I don't eat breakfast, so if you're heading down there solo, they WILL bring you breakfast for two people irrespective if you're just there by yourself, no matter how many times you tell them your friend/partner/child doesn't eat breakfast. Oh, and watch out for the wasps, there's a lot during August. And they like salt. A good tip would be to cover anything salty with a napkin and they won't bother you during breakfast time. Bring your mosquito repellent too, as they roam the gardens during sunset! It also gets quite cold in the evenings, so bring a jumper, but the hotel also have their own shawls to wrap yourself up with in case you get too cold.
There's a private minibus that can take you into Florence in just over 15 minutes, they drop you off and pick you up the same place every hour until half past midnight.
Overall, the stay was fantastic... and we did bring up the issue of the lack of room upgrade, which they swiftly resolved with a discount on our hotel bill. I will definitely go back there again!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KimLeng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
112 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

This property is stunning and once you learn about the history behind it, is even more impressive. We had the entry level room and were extremely happy with the size, layout, bed, technology, bathroom and amenities.

The pool is beautiful and also great to lay out in the sun. It is only a 3 - 5 minute walk from the main hotel. We were happy with our breakfasts too. They have a shuttle bus that takes you into the main town of Florence every hour. The staff are lovely and really try hard to make you stay lovely. I have read some of the negative reviews and our experience was nothing like this. I believe this is definitely a 5 star establishment.

Room Tip: I would stay in the main part of the hotel. We were adivsied that these rooms have been cooling.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Steven C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

This was our third trip to Florence and the first time we stayed here. I wish we had stayed here the previous two times. This hotel is a wonderful place to stay with large rooms (check out the views of the city) and a good restaurant. This is the kind of place you don’t want to leave once you get there. We kept our trips to the city short as we couldn’t wait to get back. And even though the hotel is close to the center of the city it is still quiet and peaceful. This is the place to stay in Florence.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lili A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Il Salviatino

Property: Il Salviatino
Address: Via del Salviatino, 21, 50137, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Spa Hotel in Florence
#22 Romantic Hotel in Florence
#35 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#55 Family Hotel in Florence
#91 Business Hotel in Florence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Il Salviatino 5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This award winning luxury hotel, located on the rolling hills of Fiesole, offers the most spectacular views of Florence. Accommodations range from the Villa Rooms, the Green House Suites and our Signature Suites. Each offer a very different experience but all have inspiring views of either our private park, the Tuscan landscape or the famous Duomo view of Florence. Guests will enjoy a la carte breakfast, wi-fi, parking, in room movies, in room coffee and tea making facilities and hourly shuttle service (15 minutes) to the center of Florence, all complimentary. Our service philosophy is all about creating unforgettable experiences for our guests in an informal setting. Our guests consider the Hotel, the Villa, their home away from home, a tranquil haven after a day of exploring Florence or the Tuscan countryside. We also offer the Spa at il Salviatino with dedicated products from Dr. Vranjes, one of Florence's most exclusive perfume houses, a fitness center with the latest in Technogym equipment and our pools overlooking the Tuscan countryside. Our kitchen is dedicated to locally sourced Italian cuisine and can be enjoyed in either the library or on our terrace overlooking Florence. Innovative, creative and unpretentious. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Il Salviatino Hotel Florence

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