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“Old-fashioned charm, centrally located”

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Helvetia & Bristol Hotel
Ranked #138 of 421 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Old-fashioned charm, centrally located”
Reviewed May 1, 2006

I stayed at the H&B for three nights. The hotel is centrally located which allows for stops during the day to drop off shopping, use the facilities, or put up your feet. The style of the hotel is well-appointed, old-fashioned European. The common rooms feel a bit like your grandmother's house where you need to sit straight and cannot put up your feet to rest.

The bedrooms are not overly ample but also not cramped. Average sized with queen-sized bed, sitting chairs, desk, drawers and two small-ish closets. I was traveling on my own. If there were more than one person in the bathroom at one time, it would be quite tight.

I used the help of the conceirge prior to arriving to arrange museum tickets and dinner reservations. They hotel added a surcharge to the tickets (which is to be expected). If you are handy on the computer you can avoid the surcharge and purchase most tickets right online. Their recommendations for meals were helpful.

The breakfast buffet was a bit standard with meats, cheeses, muffins/cakes, and canned fruts. I would have hoped for something with more imagination and diversity (after 3 mornings). And, at a cost of more than 25 euros (if not included in your room rate) what I would consider a bit of a 'rip off'.

Everyone who works at the H&B is quite welcoming. They know your name and address you by your surname.

Two mistakes were made ... I was overcharged for tickets purchsed (but had my original email with the tickets price quoted) and my roomrate was misquoted (mistake corrected). I would like to think they were both honest mistakes given the hotel's reputation for service. These errors remind me to always keep email quotes and confirmations.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank EAWinNYC
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 (86)
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Milan Italy
Level Contributor
108 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2005

After being at the Royal Demeure in Siena, I have booked through American Express this hotel in Florence and I must say it was a very pleasant discovery.
Apart from the high luxury furniture of our junior suite, perhaps a bit small,but this is quite common in palaces of the XVIII century in Florence, the room was delicous and decored with real antique furniture and a lovely mirror...
The staff was very kind and helpful in many ways,typical of a 5 stars luxury structure.
The only thing that I did not appreciate was a suggestion to visit a restaurant in Florence called Enoteca Pinchiorri ,where we did not eat italian cuisine as we requested and paid for a dinner for two 800 euros...the wine was also over priced.
The following night we decided to dine at the hotel ,we spent only 60 euros in high luxury because of a 50 per cent discount for american express customers.
The day we left the girl who sent us to 'Enoteca Pinchiorri' apologized because she said she would not know that the price was so high at that restaurant.
Apart from that,I had a lovely stay.

Helpful?
6 Thank gwillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix,AZ
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2005

Spent 5 nights at this hotel recently on our first
visit to Italy. Our room, though compact, was nicely decorated; marble bathroom had a glassed in shower.
Housekeeping provided nightly turndown service with
treats, and fresh towels daily. Our included buffet
breakfast was extensive, and good - scrambled eggs and bacon or sausages;cereals;yogurt;cheeses;fruit;
bakery goods;coffee,tea,cappucino,hot chocolate;
juices. It was served in the hotel's small but pretty restaurant, where we also enjoyed one of our best
dinners in Florence. The lobby was lovely and inviting.
The front desk staff and concierges knew our names almost immediately, and were very gracious and accommodating. The hotel is in a wonderful location -
around the corner from Piazza della Repubblica, where there is always something going on - and a short walk to most of the major sights. I would definitely stay at Helvetia & Bristol again.

Helpful?
5 Thank UmaS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2005

Stayed at this hotel Sept. 20th for 4 nights. We were 3 ladies, and booked a Jr. Suite so we would have some room. The hotel is in the historic district of the city. The staff was very pleasant, but the hotel is in need of an update. I had booked a Jr. Suite and was very disappointed with my room, the front desk had said upon check-in that they upgraded me to a Suite (which I think was a line of bull), what that consisted of is 2 small single rooms, one with a double bed and the smallest bathroom I have ever came across, and a sitting room. The bathroom toliet was situated that if you were sitting and someone opened the door, they would break your knees, that is how close everything was in the bathroom. The outlet in the bathroom did not work, so they had to bring me an extension and run it out of the bathroom into the other room. The rugs were dirty, furniture was worn. They put the extra bed in the sitting area right underneath a window, so you really felt closed in. We practically had to climb over the chair in the sitting room to get on the extra bed. We were at the back of the hotel, and the noise at night is terrible, motorcycles, cars, people singing, talking, police sirens, just the worst. For the price we paid, iwhich was over 600 Euros it was very dissappointing. The furniture in the lobby looks a little worn. I did ask for a change of room (we were 3 ladies) but none were available when we checked in, I was told they were fully booked. However, the next day they did say another room was available, but it just was not worth packing everything up and wasting our time doing so. I would not recommend this hotel soley on the fact that the room size are so small especially if you are booking a Jr. Suite. Throughout my whole time in Italy we had booked Jr. Suites (Milan, Venice, Rome) and the Jr. Suites were beautiful in each. Breakfast was very small which was included. I think for the price we paid there are much better hotels.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Frang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 22, 2005

We stayed in hotels throughout Italy and this one was by far the best! We had a triple room that was really a suite - two rooms! There were flowers in both rooms upon arrival. The bathroom was a luxury, as well! Jacuzzi tub, separate shower, great lighting! I imagine there are different types of rooms, but ours was 5-star! The staff was delightful - helped with extraordinary problems, such as trying to contact our hotel in Latvia! We ate at the hotel and we all felt the meal was among the best we have ever had. It is also on a more quiet street, which was nice. They have wooden shutters to close at night to further mask any noise - we were on the first floor and all slept through the night without being awakened. Worth every penny!

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern IN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2005

We spent two nights here and would love to have stayed longer. Our room was spacious, beautifully decorated and very comfortable. How often do you get to sleep on well-pressed linen sheets? The staff was charming and friendly and recommended several local restaurants in a number of price ranges. The location couldn't be better and we would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AnneNorthernIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2005

The accomidations of the Helvetia and Bristol are wonderful. Our room was very comfortable and our linens were expertly pressed. The room was cool and quiet, the bed was welcoming. The hotel is located close to many sites including the duomo. There was, unfortunately, one problem. The front staff and concierge were not of five-star quality. We often stood for several minutes at the front desk with no acknowledgement, not even eye contact. They, collectively, did nothing to make us feel welcomed or, at times, existent. We overheard the concierge offering other guest musem tickets and telling of great restaurants, but offered us nothing. When we inquired where we could here some "live music, jazz perhaps" we were told, well, basically that where they would normally send people was too expensive. Who were they to say what was appropriate for our budget? To say our visit was okay, is not reflective of the accomidations, just simply the front staff. They successfully made our visit unpleasant.

Stayed July 2005
Helpful?
9 Thank Ethel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Helvetia & Bristol Hotel

Property: Helvetia & Bristol Hotel
Address: Via De' 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:
#81 Business Hotel in Florence
#81 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#100 Family Hotel in Florence
#106 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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