Many other reviews note that this hotel exceeds five star standards. I couldn't agree more.
The hotel itself is beautiful. It is a historic building but has been recently renovated to provide every modern convenience and luxury. From what we were told, up until 2011 it was a Luxury Collection hotel that closed for huge renovations and somewhat recently reopened as a St. Regis. To its great benefit, this is a smaller hotel and is never swarming with tourists. It is quiet and dignified, spotlessly clean, and its employees are rightfully proud of it. I was highly impressed with the antiques in the lobby and the efficient staff who greeted us upon arrival. From stepping out of our taxi from the train station we were whisked to the front desk without needing to even think about our luggage.
Before arriving I received an email from the hotel offering us an upgraded room (from the basic "superior" room to a "deluxe" room) for a very reasonable additional charge. I accepted the offer and am very pleased that I did. Our room was amazing -- it was huge! It felt like a suite. I was later offered an additional upgrade to a true suite for an additional 150 EUR per night, but I felt that our current room was perfect and did not change it. The woman at the front desk whispered to me that that was a smart move and that she wouldn't recommend the upgrade.
Our bedroom was enormous, the decore was classy, the bed was one of the most comfortable hotel beds I've ever slept in, and there was loads of separate space for our luggage and places to store our belongings. The bathroom was giant, too, and like the rest of the room it was very luxurious. We really enjoyed the rain shower and the large soaking tub. My partner loved the TV embedded in the mirror.
Our rate did not include breakfast and we are late risers anyway, so we never had the opportunity to try it. The dining room was spectacular, though, and I would love to go there on our next visit.
The concierge staff was a bit cold, but they were always willing to answer any questions and provide us with directions upon request. I can't say that I blame them for being unenthused about answering questions about the Uffizi and the Accademia for the five billionth time.
While we were in Florence we poked around some of the other hotels for a comparison, Truly nothing that we saw compares to the St. Regis -- not even close. The Westin lies just across the small square in front of the hotel. It was quite nice, but it didn't compare to the St. Regis at all. We were given full privileges in the Westin facilities as they are "sister hotels" (both are Starwood properties), although they told us that Westin guests are not permitted to use St. Regis facilities, probably because the St. Regis is much smaller and cannot accommodate the Westin guests. The Westin seemed much bigger and was filled with people. We liked the ice cold towels they offered for guests to cool off in their lobby (it was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit each day that we were there).
The St. Regis is well located, but I wouldn't exactly say it's in the center of town. It's probably better that way. It's in a quiet quarter just a few steps from the U.S. Consulate and other diplomatic and governmental offices. It is easy to walk to any tourist destinations or to the center of the city; in fact, that's oftentimes the only way to get around given that most of the older part of the city is closed to vehicles. We were easily able to walk everywhere that we wanted to go, even in the sweltering heat.
This particular St. Regis property really exceeded all of my expectations, which were very high after reading the reviews here on TA. I'm extremely picky about hotels, but this was definitely one of the finest properties that I've ever had the pleasure of staying in. It is one of those rare hotels that so exceeds the five star standard that it deserves a separate category of its own. I highly recommend it and look forward to returning some day. It really made our trip to Florence so much more enjoyable. Don't even think twice about whether to stay here -- it is absolutely fantastic.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in a sumptuous palace in the heart of the city, The St. RegisFlorence is a privileged base from which to experience Tuscany'stimeless attractions. A short stroll will bring you to the iconic Uffizi,Duomo or Ponte Vecchio’s elegant jewelry shops. Legendary for its history, Florence’s streets offer inimitable treasures.The St. Regis Florence offers 19 exquisite suites enriched with refinedfurniture and antique artworks, together with 81 elegant guestroomsdecorated with the prestigious Medici, Fiorentino and Renaissancestyles. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The St. Regis Florence Hotel Florence
- Florence Grand Hotel
- Grand Hotel Florence