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“Excellent boutique hotel with central location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Helvetia & Bristol Hotel

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Helvetia & Bristol Hotel
Ranked #124 of 422 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Fredericksburg, Texas
Level Contributor
139 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Excellent boutique hotel with central location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We picked this hotel because it is part of The Leading Hotels of the World and its location. The staff is very friendly and helpful-they are the best part of the hotel. Beds are comfortable and adorned with exquisite Italian linen. Its central location allowed us to walk to every pace we wanted to visit in the city.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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?
3 Thank jmik66
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, November 7, 2012
Dear Sir,

Thank you for expressing your thoughts on your stay at Hotel Helvetia & Bristol, we always appreciate feedback from customers as it helps us, being part of The Leading Hotels of the World, to maintain a high standard of service. I will also share your comments with our staff who I am sure will be delighted! We are more than happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, and hope to welcome you into Helvetia & Bristol once again in the future.

Kindest regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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444 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

The front desk clerk was very polite as well as the doorman and other staff.
Unfortunately the first room they showed us to was a complete disaster. Dark, dingy, stained chairs....awful.
I talked to the manager and he went up to look at the room.
He apologized and sent up champagne and a very nice fruit basket as well as a letter of apology. The next morning my daughter and I were upgraded to a wonderful suite.
Luxury pure.
Our week at the Helvetia was first class.
This is not a modern hotel, but a charming old mansion. If that is your cup of tea, this is the place for you.
Centrally located, yet very refined and peaceful.
The breakfast buffet was also excellent.
I would stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nemirovsky
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, November 7, 2012
Dear Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of Hotel Helvetia & Bristol, we are glad you enjoyed it. I can only apologise that the first room you were shown was not up to your expectations. As you have experienced the Helvetia & Bristol is a historical hotel with only 67 rooms. The room categories go from Classic Double to Royal Suite, and apart from the size they all offer the same facilities and comforts. Thank you for your comments regarding the staff, and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you into the Helvetia & Bristol again in the future.

Kindest regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

The front desk staff made our stay special as there wasn't a question they couldn't answer or a request they didn't jump to respond to. Great hotel in a terrific location. Breakfast was excellent and the main lobby was well appointed. We have been to many high end hotels in the U.S. and Europe and this one ranks among the best. We would return without a second thought.

Room Tip: Pay for the suite...well worth the upgrade.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, 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?
2 Thank Perry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for your stay in Hotel Helvetia & Bristol. We very much appreciate any feedback and will be sure to pass on these positive comments to our staff who I am sure will be delighted!
We look forward to welcoming you into Helvetia & Bristol once again in the future.

Kindest regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012 via mobile

I travel to Europe at least once a quarter and have stayed in Florence many times over the years but the Helvetia Bristol is one of my favorites so it really was a no brainer as to where I wanted to stay to celebrate with my wife our anniversary. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable. The staff and the service were impeccable. The location was ideal for everything we wanted to do. Dining, shopping, sightseeing is within a 5 minute walk. All in all it was a great stay. You definitely get what you pay for but we considered it a great value. My one complaint, and it is a consistent one in Europe, is the dearth of English language tv stations and the small size of the tv.

Helpful?
1 Thank CampAU
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Sir,

Thank you for your comments regarding your stay at Hotel Helvetia & Bristol, it is important for us to receive guest's feedback to help us maintain a high standard of service. I am very glad to hear that you thought of Helvetia & Bristol when arranging your anniversary celebrations, and we are more than pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. We will certainly share your comments with our members of staff who I am sure will be grateful for your remarks.
I am sorry to learn that the television channels and size were not quite up to your expectations but we do hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you into our hotel once again.

Kindest regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

I arrived to the hotel at around 9pm. While I was paying the taxi I expected a bellman to come outside to help me with the luggage. Nobody showed up and I had to carry my luggage inside. There was not any bellman in the lobby. As I approached the front desk carrying my luggage, the front desk personnel smiled but did not help me with the luggage. Very surprising for what "it is not just one of the most luxurious and prestigious hotels of the city " according to the hotel website.
Check in was fine. However, when I mentioned that I needed my shirt to be ironed in the morning by 8.30am they looked at me and simply said that "probably this will not be possible because house keeping arrives at that time". Of course, it was not possible to have an iron and a board in my room (this is a typical problem with Italian hotels however the Savoy hotel which is only 2 blocks from the Helvetia & Bristol allows guests to have an iron and a board in the room). I was in Florence for business, I needed my shirt to be ironed in the morning and usually house keeping in a luxury hotel starts before 8.30am. I complained and the morning after my shirts was ironed by 8.40am.
The hotel is old and tired. It is fine to have old / antique furnitures but this cannot be a luxury hotel. Same problem with my room: it was smelling and looking old, it needed to be refurbished. The air conditioning unit was very old and extremely noisy. Opening the window was not an option because of the noise in the street.
Breakfast was pretty disappointing. The breakfast room was very small and full of tourists. The quality was disappointing. The sliced cantaloup was fermented.
I checked out at 9.30am and the lobby was packed of Asian tourists.
The issue with this hotel is that this is not a luxury, business hotel but a 4 star touristic hotel serving large groups. The hotel is a Leading Hotel of the World, as a Leading Hotel Member I usually stay at a LHW but the Helvetia & Bristol cannot be part of this chain.
Never again!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank fmanci01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luana M, Asssistente di Direzione at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Dear Sir,
thank you for taking the time to bring to our attention your remarks concerning your recent stay at our hotel. We would like to apologize for any disservice suffered by you and we are truly sorry that the matter was not brought to our attention at the time.
As far as the bellman service is concerned, we suppose it was caused by a minor staff shortage at that time.
Small classy parties are welcome to our hotel and as you may understand in an era of fast moving economy, the travelers are more and more cosmopolitan.
According to the Italian law, the iron is not permitted in a hotel bedroom, so we are quite surprised to learn that other Florentine hotels do not follow this legislation, which is also in the interest of our guests’ Health & Safety.
The Helvetia & Bristol is a deluxe historical hotel, which has been always up-to-date throughout the years since the day of its opening. However, in 2013 a new refurbishment process will take place.
As information, certainly not as justification, being right in middle of a tourist city as Florence, it may cause night noise beyond our control.
Concerning the comments about the breakfast meal, we must admit a certain surprise, as our guests may enjoy a large hot and cold meal selection from our Buffet, where the freshness is one of our main purpose.
We trust you may pay us a return visit in the near future and give us the opportunity to revise your impression of the Helvetia & Bristol.
Sincerely.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corte Madera, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

This is an old hotel and from the two rooms we saw, others we peeked into, and the up and down reviews I suspect that the rooms are very different from each other, possibly each one unique. The first room we saw faced on an airshaft in which the ventilating machinery was located, giving off a constant hum. The bellman tried to discourage me from drawing the window shade to see where the noise was coming from. We requested another room and were shown to a beautiful junior suite (one shown in the hotel brochure) facing on the piazza. We took it despite the warning from some of the reviews that there was a lot of street noise. Well, we were at the hotel five nghts, including a busy weekend, and noise was no problem. We slept very well and enjoyed our stay in the beautiful room. Experienced European travelers have no hesitation in asking to see a couple of rooms in an expensive hotel. Deferential Americans sometimes take the first room shown. Unless you are sure you like the first room in the H & B, don't do it here! You can have a great stay or possibly a disappointing one, depending on the room you get. The hotel location is incomparable-- an easy walk to the great sights of Florence. Restaurant was very ordinary-- we tried it only because a meal was included in the American Express package we were on.

Room Tip: Ask to see a couple of rooms. Rooms facing the piazza are NOT too noisy and the urban view is inter...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert D
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, November 7, 2012
Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments regarding your stay at the Helvetia & Bristol, we continuously strive to meet your needs therefore your feedback is very important to us. As you've experienced, each room in our hotel is very different, and I apologise that the room you were first taken to was not up to your expectations. Let me take this opportunity to explain to you that the Helvetia & Bristol is a historical hotel with only 67 rooms. The room categories go from Classic Double to Royal Suite, and apart from the size, and obviously the views, they all offer the same facilities and comforts at different rates. I am surprised to hear that you found our restaurant ordinary, I am sure that you would change your mind if you had the opportunity to try it again. I am however happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay here without any further issues.

Best regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oswestry, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

Although this is a somewhat up-market hotel we found that it lived up to the claim to be your home in Florence. Our room was snug but with an excellent bathroom , large comfortable bed and efficient air conditioning. This was the quietest room we have ever experienced in a hotel all be it we were at the rear viewing a wall! Literally the only sound we heard were church bells a couple of times in the morning-(early!). Breakfast was better than most in Italy. Central location. Feet worn out. Staff very friendly and helpful and great room service twice daily. Recommend!

Room Tip: Quiet at the rear
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Igig I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, September 20, 2012
Dear Sirs,
Thank you for taking the time to write your review and for staying at the Helvetia & Bristol.
I sincerely hope that you will always make the Helvetia & Bristol your “home” whenever you are in Florence.
Looking forward to the pleasure of welcoming you once more to the Helvetia & Bristol, I send you my best regards.
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: Helvetia & Bristol Hotel
Address: Via Dei Pescioni, 2, 50123, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Duomo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#72 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#82 Business Hotel in Florence
#101 Family Hotel in Florence
#107 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. The 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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