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The Westin Excelsior Florence
Ranked #26 of 410 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 16, 2012

Rooms are beautifully appointed. Stayed in a Deluxe Suite with 2 balconies overlooking the Arno. Breathtaking to stand outside on the balcony at night. Equally awesome on a sunny morning. (Interestingly, if having double sinks matters, skip the balconies and get a slightly smaller room configuration. Balcony room only had a single sink.) Seems that rooms with separate showers aren't easy to come by, but we were lucky. Tubs all have a hand-held shower spigot with good water pressure in any case.

Through a series of mishaps--which the staff handled as best they could--we were given a room upgrade (after some mild insisting) and that accounts for the knowledge base being shared here with fellow travelers.

As such, I found the pillows (which were new) to be less comfortable than the pillows from the prior room. Direct requests make the most sense to the hotel staff. Can someone get the pillows from the old room (not in service to anyone) and bring them to my new room? Why, yes. King size beds and linens were very comfortable, though the twin top mattresses caused a noticeable sag in the middle which can make cuddling slightly haphazardous because the smaller body (me) can get crushed from falling into the crevice created by the separating mattresses. So, we had to scoot from one mattress top to the other and it felt like the width of my college dorm room bed. But, for sleeping, the comfort was maximal.

Rooms were very clean, though the housekeepers were inconsistent. Sometimes there were 2 bidet towels, other times none. Sometimes, 2 very large bath towels, sometimes just one paired with a smaller version. Who wants to keep calling (and tipping) for these things while on vacation? Not me.

In fact, we tipped generously to all. The average worker in Florence makes about $800 USD a month according to our guide. Florence (and its outskirt suburbs) are not inexpensive places to live. And tourism is the #1 source of income here.

English speakers at the hotel were quite fluent which was a relief since this was our first trip to Italy.

Hotel is located far from the crowded streets and noise, but close enough to all manner of shopping and restaurants. Bring comfortable walking shoes! On one day out, we wandered so far from the hotel, we had to cab it back. Public transportation very reliable, no need to rent a car. Besides, you see more on foot and I think it's easier to find parking in Manhattan, New York. Learn to say Piazza Ognissanti to the cabbie.

A visit to the Excelsior's roof restaurant is highly recommended for the vistas, especially at night. Dress was more formal up there (as were the prices). Food was kind of chi-chi experimental (you don't always know what you're eating from the looks of it). But the service was wonderful. On warmer days, you can sit outside, too. Such a romantic setting, too.

Took a sneak peek at the St. Regis. Different vibe altogether. Modern decor sensibility. Subtlety was emphasized (is that an oxymoron?). We preferred the antiques and chandeliers in the Excelsior's bedroom to the modular furniture and oversize picture books guests could peruse and borrow in the St. Regis lobby. Certainly, the location/views were not different (they're across the Piazza Ognissanti facing each other.)

We really enjoyed our stay at the Excelsior. Check-in and check-out were simple and expedient. The hotel supplied umbrella was a nice touch since it rained most of the days we were in Florence. No worries. Rain wet streets made our photos look like a Hollywood film set.

Room Tip: Our upgraded room would've cost an extra 50Euro a night, but we were comped because of a plumbin...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GSharpMajor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 6, 2012

A beautiful hotel, and one of the finest we have stayed in. Elegant rooms, clean and spacious. The hotel staff were friendly and most helpful. We loved it here.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Parker-Toronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2012

For my first - and my only - trip to Florence, we couldn't have done better than staying at the Westin. The St. Regis, which is a stone's throw away, was much more expensive, and I can't imagine what they have to improve on. The Westin is 'old Florence' in many ways, with antique furniture, stunning views of the Arno River, and incredibly gracious staff. Love the piano in the bar every night, love the location. Florence is such a small city - at least all the tourist attractions are moments from each other. You can walk easily everywhere you want to go within 5- 20 minutes of the hotel, and then when you are at the hotel you are not in the teaming, noisy tourist crowds. Perfect spot. If you have not been to Florence, do not consider a taxi ride most places. The streets are virtually all 'pedestrian malls' simply because the tourists are everywhere!

Room Tip: Spring for the river view. Spring for the small terrace, especially if the weather is warm. It's...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank johnandjudy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

The Westin Excelsior, Florence, is perfectly situated on the Arno River, a 10 minute walk to the historic center of the city and a 5 minute walk to the Ponte Vecchio. The hotel is most beautiful and the staff are extremely helpful and gracious.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a river view. The view is gorgeous.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank djsb131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for several nights and enjoyed every minute of it. The location was amazing and rooms were great. The rooftop bar is a must do views were amazing. We will definately be back.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank JerrySpigma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2012

We lunched there yesterday - a perfect early Spring day to sample prawns + rolled chicken and drink mature local sangiovese whilst looking out over breathtaking Florence. Lunch here is a must to finish your time in Florence and to commit to coming back.
Food presentation was excellent - as was the service.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RetiredWazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

Just returned from a too short stay at the Excelsior (3 nights) but can't remark enough about the level of service and location. You must have lunch and drinks on the roof-top restaurant/bar. The hotel exudes old world charm with extremely capable, attentive and professional staff. It's location allows one to drop into the mayhem of the tourist sites and escape just as quickly. Concierge staff can arrange any and all tours you may wish to join and restaurant recommendations were spot on (Iacopo is the best!). Enjoy your stay!

Room Tip: Ask for Arno view room but not really necessary
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Douglas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Westin Excelsior Florence

Address: Piazza di Ognissanti 3, 50123, Florence, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Santa Maria Novella
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Family Hotel in Florence
#19 Romantic Hotel in Florence
#22 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#30 Business Hotel in Florence
Price Range: $383 - $940 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Westin Excelsior Florence 5*
Number of rooms: 171
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Also Known As:
The Westin Excelsior Florence Hotel Florence
Westin Florence
Florence Westin
Westin Excelsior Florence

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