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“Beautiful, romantic hotel”

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Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni
Ranked #16 of 411 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed December 25, 2013

Really great place to stay in Florence. Great spacious rooms, good facilities, clean, accommodating and central. However, the lack of tea and coffee facilities in the room itself was quite annoying...

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Masha F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 22, 2013 via mobile

I will give you an honest review of this hotel. This may be a long review, but I had to write it. Having stayed at numerous hotels across the states I really thought this hotel would live up to all the hype posted on TripAdvisor. We were completely wrong. Honestly, I still don't see what some of these other folks have seen.

We checked in on my birthday. We were upgraded because it was also our honeymoon, but it was really just a very large and dated apartment. It wasn't luxurious at all, but we tried to deal with it because the location was great (had a view of the Arno from our room) and the view from the terraces is amazing! However, after being in our room for a while we started to feel uncomfortable. The shower was disgusting and I didn't want to touch anything nor step in the shower. There were ants crawling all over the bathroom, the shower turned cold if someone was running water at the sink, and then the shower drain was clogged backing up water and God knows what else while showering. Definitely not my idea of spending my honeymoon. The air turned off at night among other things. I was so disgusted that I wanted to leave.

We reported the issues to the girl, Marina, at the front desk who said that she would send someone up to look at the drain and try to move us to another room the next day. So we went out to dinner for my birthday. When we returned we asked if the drain was fixed and we were told that the guy went upstairs but he couldn't fix it until the next day so we just had to "deal with it one more night." I just couldn't take it anymore. I reported it to our travel agent that we were dissatisfied with the room and didn't want to stay there anymore. She said she was sure they would credit us the rest of our stay. So the next morning (after one night) we went downstairs and talked to Marina again who said that she was trying to get us another room, which we couldn't see until the afternoon. We were gone on tours all day so if we returned in the evening and didn't like that room then we would've been stuck. Besides, after seeing our friends's room (#505, which was 3x worse than ours) I had no faith in the hotel. Marina called the manager in front of us and stated that we could check out and we would not be billed for the entire stay. (Second mistake: we never got anything in writing or a print out; trusted that they were honest. First mistake was listening to our travel agent about staying here). So we head back upstairs and grab our belongings and then head back down to check out.

Weeks after we return home we found our that this hotel had charged us for the ENTIRE stay!! Now, I could see if they charged us for the night we stayed, but the entire trip?! We would've never checked out if we had known, but again, we trusted that they would do the right thing and stand by their word. Wrong! They made claims that they never told us we could check out and that we would not have to pay. The manager was extremely nasty to my husband and has no concept of good, quality customer service. They continued to lie about us reporting any issues to them and made false accusations against us like we brought our things to check out before even talking to them (all lies - I wish there were video cameras in there). Not to mention we have several emails back and forth with our travel agent detailing our issues and corroborating our story. Their claims were that we didn't like the decor and that's no reason to leave, etc. Yes, we didn't like the decor but we left because the hotel was nasty and one step above a hostel! They didn't live up to their word and single handedly almost ruined our views of Italy.

The pros - the location is GREAT!!! It is near a ton of designer shops. It is like being on 5th Avenue in NYC. The bar at the terrace was a nice touch and we enjoyed the honesty bar. And of course the terrace views. But that's it! When we pulled up to the hotel we were impressed but that changed quickly once we entered!

The cons - everything else you can think of. It is not a full-service hotel. Staff leave early each night and lock the front door. You have to use a fob to get in. We asked what happens if we are locked out, etc. - who do we call? "Oh, there is someone that lives in the building." Would've been nice if they told us when we checked in. We found this out right before they were locking up for the evening, and we still didn't know how to reach this person. It is not like we could use our cell phones nor was contact information provided to us. I can't even say the front desk staff is okay because Marina and the manager are flat out liars and extremely unprofessional (watch the nasty response I will probably get back from her and then think about why you would want to stay here). I've read some of the responses she has made to previous guests who complained on TripAdvisor (nasty attitude and unprofessional). If you are looking for just a plain old place to rest your head then stay here. If you are looking for a real 4 or 5 star luxurious hotel - this isn't it!! You can take advantage of the terrace views (which is their selling point) without staying here! One terrace is open 24 hours and the other until 10pm. Don't let this be the reason you stay here. There are a ton of hotels nearby that are cheaper and WAY better than this one. For example, the Hotel Lungarno (who welcomed us with open arms) was right across the Arno and truly gave us the experience we were looking for AND it was cheaper.

After our experience with the staff at this place, I could and will NEVER recommend this hotel to anyone!!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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10  Thank LaIppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tornabuoni_1, Direttore generale at Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear LaIppy,
I'm sorry if I'll be very short because I do not want to have the "nasty attitude and unprofessional" that you mentioned in your comment.
I'm very sorry that you consider a mistake follow the suggestion of your travel agent, especially because she is one of the most professional travel specialist I've never meet and I should admit that she is the unique reason why you didn't spend any money for your stay in Florence.
I should also apologize about the staff in fact, unfortunately we had no enough fantasy in finding any ants in your room or problems with your shower.
I'll take the opportunity to inform all the reader that we have a porter available all night in case of emergencies.
Regards,

Maria RIta Bellini
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Far and away our best hotel experience in our two weeks in Italy.

The view, the service and the room were all top notch. We paid far more for far less at other "5-star" hotels in Rome and Venice and none compared. The location was excellent. Really, I could rave and rave about staying here but you should find out for yourself and go.

It's rare that you find such value and service but we did here. When we return, we won't stay anywhere else.

Room Tip: We had a standard room and it was big and comfortable overlooking the street and square out front.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank newspindoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is situated in the heart of the high street shops and only a stone's throw from the main sights of Florence. The views from the Panorama bar and rooftop viewing terraces give you a bird eye's view of Florence, especially at sunset. We were greeted with a bottle of Prosecco and personal note from the hotel as we had noted that we were on our honeymoon - a great touch! The rooms are spacious and very comfortable. There is a good DVD collection in the reception for enjoying nights in! A great hotel overall!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank dchen82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013

Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni is a perfect blend of outstanding service, excellent location, comfortable rooms and incredible views. We stayed at this hotel for four nights in late October. Our suite was very spacious, well-appointed and had a private balcony facing the river. The location could not be better, I do not believe that there is a nicer or more convenient place in all of Florence. Our room faced the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio. I would find myself gazing out the window for long periods of time. Breakfast is served in the top floor with a choice of either indoor or outdoor seating in the terrace. The terrace, which is open all day and well into the night, offers 360 degree views of Florence. I highly recommend this hotel. If you go to Florence you needn't look further

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the river
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank RPG625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I wish I could give 5 stars for this lovely hotel and still recommended this hotel to my niece for her honeymoon next May. But the missing star is my dissatisfaction about the huge difference between rooms within the same 'classic' category & the same rate. My sister from Japan and I stayed there for 3 nights at the beginning of November 2013. We were very impressed with a breath-taking view from the roof-top terrace. Breakfast has a variety of choices with some variations every morning and staff are all friendly and helpful (brilliant English speakers). We were given a pleasant room with a view of the river/town square for the first two nights but when we return from Venice after one night stay there, we couldn't get the same room or a room of the same standard although they are at the same rate within the same category. Our second room only had a shower, no bath tub. It also had a jammed bathroom door which needs to be slam-closed and drafty windows with a broken knob, so it was freezing (even if it was a relatively warm day)! The room was so tiny that one of the twin beds almost touches the main door when it's open. The view from the room was only a scaffolding over the next door building. They compensated with a discounted rate for our 3rd night so their service is excellent but I still do feel they need to spend money on refurbishment of 'essentials' such as windows and doors for comfort before splashing on decors. I asked the reception for the same or similar room for our 3rd night, yet the room we got couldn't be so far from the room we were given for the first time. They told me to request a bathroom with a bath tub as well as shower next time, but considering the rates and posh decor of the place, I could not imagine there would be a bathroom without a tub! We booked our room two months before. 日本人の方には特に、予約の際にバスタブのある部屋と必ず依頼なさる事をお勧めします!シャワーだけの場合、位置の調節の不可能な天井シャワーです。私達が泊まった際には、ホテルの備えつきシャワーキャップは2つとも箱が空のままでした。部屋に入ったら直ぐに、お部屋の備品と窓の閉まり具合を確認しましょう!

Room Tip: If you can spend more, upgrade your room for a guaranteed view and quality/size of the room. For st...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank YD D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

We stayed at the Antica Torre for 8 nights in mid-November and loved our time there. The location and the hotel itself are top-notch.

We were a bit skeptical when we checked in due to the tiny reception area, but once we saw our floor and room (104--Grand Deluxe Romantic), we were sold. Everything about this hotel (except maybe the reception area) is beautiful. Our room was huge--with a separate (large) dressing area which also contained on one end a jetted tub. We had a sofa in the room, a desk, a small table with 4 chairs, and the room was still spacious. The bathroom was a bit cramped, but was nicely appointed and scrupulously clean. It did have ample storage space beneath the vanity. There were also 3 large windows in the room, which overlooked the Arno. How wonderful it was each morning to open the shutters and casement windows to the beautiful view!

The bed was comfortable and the bed linens crisp and lovely. We had requested down pillows, which we had, but there were only two. We requested two more, and they were delivered within a very few minutes. The toweling in the bathroom was also high quality--large and thick.

The breakfast buffet was something to look forward to each morning. It was quite elaborate; in fact, I never got around to sampling everything even though we were there for so many mornings. The breakfast room overlooked the river and had an adjoining terrace. The servers were friendly and accommodating.

The terraces are mentioned everywhere in the TA reviews. All I have to add about them is that all the raving about how beautiful they and the views are have not been exaggerated! It's all true. The bar adjoins one of the terraces. It was fun to sit in the bar for a late-night glass of wine and look through the wall of windows at the lovely view.

Though the reception area was small, the people working there were all gracious and most helpful.

The location of the hotel is ideal--close enough to everything to walk, yet in an area that is not totally overrun with tourists.

We had an early flight out on our last morning--before the people in reception came on duty and before breakfast was served. We were quite worried about our cab and what we would do for breakfast. When we came in from our last night's dinner, we found two beautifully appointed trays for our breakfast the next morning--with a big bowl of fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, several kinds of tea and an electric kettle. Beautifully done! Reception arranged a cab for us the day before, and it arrived at 6 A.M.--exactly the time we requested. Our worries were all for naught!

Only two things were missing: a clock and robes. Other than that, this small boutique hotel on this end of the wide, lovely, relatively uncongested Via Tornabuoni is perfect.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank r0ckhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tornabuoni_1, Direttore generale at Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2013

Dear r0ckhill,
what can I add? I just can thank you for the detailed descrition of our property and I'm so proud to read your experience on Tripadvisor.
We always do our best to satisfy the guest' needs and I should inform that bathrobes are available on request so, I'm very sorry if we didn't provide you but, at the same time, we will do our best to organize clocks in every room.
Please, feel free to contact me anytime.
Sincerely,

Maria Rita Bellini
General Manager

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 Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni

Address: Via Dei Tornabuoni 1, 50123, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Uffizi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Florence
#5 Business Hotel in Florence
#5 Green Hotel in Florence
#7 Spa Hotel in Florence
#13 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#15 Family Hotel in Florence
Price Range: $240 - $574 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We personally enjoy welcoming our guests, we wish to reinvent the concept of hospitality, and we have the inspiration to provide the warmth of home in every detail. This is how the Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1, Florence came to be: a tower-house built in the mid-12th century by the Guelph family of Ruggerini. At the beginning of the 20th century, this palace became "Pensione Piccioli," and quickly turned into a privileged residence for aristocrats and English writers. Closed after the Great War, Pensione Piccioli reopened in 2001, as a Period Residence called "Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1." Thanks to attentive restoration to preserve all its original charm, the evocative ambiance of the Palace on Via Tornabuoni has regained life and warmth. This magnificent complex is considered one of the typical "tower-houses" of Mediaeval Florence, and, to this day, it still preserves all its characteristic architectural elements: it is an admirable example of the human ability to convert buildings built for war into oases of peace, culture and hospitality. In this ancient tower, we have created a world of harmony, privacy, and attentiveness to our guests' needs. Luxury, peace, and beauty are all in traditional Italian style, and give the concept of comfort new aesthetics. Almost all rooms enjoy an enchanting view of the city or the Arno River, and all are furnished with the highest in comfort: satellite plasma TVs, DVD players, wireless internet connection, direct line telephone, minibar, electronic safe, air conditioning and heating, private marble bath with tub and/or shower, hair dryer, slippers and shoehorns. Some of the Rooms and Suites are decorated with a Renaissance flair: with frescoes, drapes in coloured precious fabrics, bathrooms in red Alcantara or Gold Calacatta marble, and romantic four poster beds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Antica Torre Di Via Tornabuoni Hotel Florence

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