I rarely write a bad review. I generally give the benefit of the doubt to hotels and restaurants. But this case is quite an exception. Tis was one of the worst represented establishments I have ever visited. Far from being close to the city, far from being welcoming or comfortable, this place is in poor condition, quite distant from the city, and under poor management. We stayed all of 45 minutes before having the owner call and cab and leaving for a new place. We refused to stay the night.
We had asked our travel agent call ahead and tell the owner that we would be arriving somewhat late that evening which she had done. However, when we got there, the front door was locked, the lights were out and the place looked absolutely abandoned. Even my cab driver asked us if we wanted to go somewhere else. That should have been a clue. If it were not for encountering a nice couple outside taking a stroll outside, we would have been forced to leave - and should have. We rang the bell a number of times and finally the owner came to the door. I will make no characterization about his demeanor or lack of conviviality as others have done that in previous posts, but suffice it to say we did not feel welcome what so ever. Our arrival felt like a deep imposition. He did not even know how much to charge us for the room as this had been negotiated by our travel agent but was apparently a mystery to him. We should have left at that point but it was around 10 PM and we were ending a very full day of travel back from the Cinque Terre.
After completing the required paperwork under the dimmest lights imaginable, we were eventually ushered back outside to a wing of the building (where we would not have had evening access to the main house and lobby) and up several flights of stairs to a hotter and hotter floor. The air conditioner did not appear to be working, and we quickly refused that room and asked for another. Back down with luggage in tow we went to another room that was equally unacceptable. Florence was as hot as blazes that evening and it defies logic to think why they would not have conditioned the room for guests they KNEW were arriving let alone leaving a light on or the door unlocked. Opening the screen-less windows was simply not an option.
There were a few more elements to the story but I will leave it at that.
Other reviewers have suggested that this Villa could be good place in Florence under different circumstances. I might agree but certainly not under the current management. They have no sense of accommodation or hospitality, they are operating on a shoestring in a place that requires considerable work and attention. I felt for the couple that remained as they clearly indicated a great discomfort with the accommodations and I sensed their desire to hop in our cab and flee too as our conversation with them while we waited for our cab revealed.
We are faithful users of Trip Advisor but in this case neither my wife nor I looked at the reviews for this property and that, I will freely agree, was entirely our fault. Despite that shortcoming, this property is not as represented and I have never felt so unwelcome in a place in ALL of my travels.
I urge travelers to be very careful of booking this property and do your homework before hand. I have only refused accommodation once or twice before - so it generally takes a lot to get me to that point - but I did it quickly and gladly in this case for the sake of my family's comfort and our peace of mind.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa Ulivi is a beautiful and luxurious fifteenth century Florentine Villa located very close to the gistoric centre of Florence. Access to the downtown is attainable via a comfortable walk or a short bus ride down the famous Via Bolognese. With vineyards and olive orchards that beautify the grounds, Villa Ulivi allows for a relaxing retreat from the hustle-and-bustle of the nearby city centre. Rooms and apartments at Villa Ulivi are large, comfortable, furnished with antiques and illuminated by the Tuscan sun. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, HostelWorld, Cancelon, Hotwire, TripOnline SA and Evoline ltd so you can book your Villa Ulivi Dimora Storica reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Villa Ulivi Dimora Storica Hotel Florence