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“The famous house-museum”

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Belmond Villa San Michele
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Fiesole
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow
Level Contributor
465 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 375 helpful votes
“The famous house-museum”
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Villa San Michele is an Italian landmark, which has worldwide fame. The famous house-museum is located on the outskirts of Florence, near Fiesole.

The exact date of construction of the house-museum is not known, but most scholars are inclined to think that construction began in the first half of the 16th century. At that time, the monastery, which became the foundation for the house-museum has been expanded and completely renovated by Giovanni di Bartolomeo. In 1980 the company «Orient-Express» started a large-scale reconstruction of the building: the work of employees were involved in the Museum of Fine Arts in Florence. In recent years, much attention is paid to the state house-museum is not small money spent annually on the repair of complex Villa San Michele.

It allows the guests to the house-museum, and stunning, the hotel, enjoy the cultural heritage and the real beauty of this magnificent building. The refined architecture Villa San Michele stressed the magnificence of the landscape: the tandem formed by nature and tenderness, while at the same time, the grandeur of an architectural masterpiece. In this regard, the park at Villa San Michele, plays an important role in this composition. Statues, entwined with ivy and moss-covered, are scattered in the garden. The number of objects in the park, executed in marble, stone, mosaic is approximately six hundred fifty-five. Composition of wood, metal, ceramics and textiles - were about six-thirty. Such is the nature that surrounds one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. It is worth noting that all these songs, did not meant to attract the interest of visitors: each sculpture - a work of art, with its history, created by craftsmen of different eras, "living" in the Villa San Michele for many years.

Today, the walls of the house-museum expositions of various ages, from antiquity to the early 1900s, classical antiquity - Roman, Egyptian and Etruscan. There are archaeological details and frescoes.

Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Irunchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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San Francisco
Level Contributor
140 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 267 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2012

The views from and the history of VSM are extraordinary (facade by Michaelangelo, no less!) but all else needs work to warrant the price and reputation, in my opinion.
We had two connecting junior suites and both were in need of some modernization and beautification. The AC was glitchy, causing the temperature to flucuate greatly during the night. There was only one light switch for the whole multi-sectioned bathroom (so it was all on or all off with no possibility of a nightlight). The tubs and showers employed a dial to control water temp that was very hard to adjust. The TVs were embedded in oddly placed, unattractive, table-type things that didn't work very well. The doors could only be locked from the inside with a key, and the locks were sticky and hard to use. The decor of the rooms in general was old-fashioned and bland. The beds were hard and the sheets were rough.
There's a way to maintain a historical, authetic look and feel while still making things pretty and highly functional. VSM could learn a lot from the Four Seasons Florence down the road where they have masterfully converted an old palace and convent into a stunning, modern hotel. The rooms at VSM were just not very comfortable or attractive, aside from the gorgeous views.
Oh and the gym was one of ths saddest I've ever seen at a high caliber hotel. A tiny room filled with flies and bees (fresh flowers in a gym the size of a bathroom don't make sense).
The service was good but not exemplary. Some folks were very nice (gentleman serving at pool restaurant was wonderful, for example) but many were stiff and unfriendly. Because we were on our honeymoon, they put candles and "rose petals" in our room for us when we were at dinner one night. A very nice, unexpected treat. But the "rose petals" were made of paper which struck me weird, surprising and a little tacky?
The food was decent but hugely overpriced, especially at dinner. 12E for a bottle of water?!
Speaking of water, the ones in the minibar were also 12E, which seems exorbitant. And we were charged 6E for the Wall Street Journal, though there was no mention of that cost when we were asked at checkin which papers we preferred.
We visted many 5 star hotels on this trip to Italy. VSM had by far the highest room rate and was the only one to charge for water and newspapers. I don't like feeling nickeled and dimed when I'm spending thousands of dollars a night somewhere.
All in all, it was a rather disappointing stay that did not nearly live up to the cost or the reputation of the place. We'll happily remain at the Four Seasons next time (an absolutely FANTASTIC hotel in every way).

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank eh555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2012

It is a beautiful place, no doubt about it. And the staff were friendly and attentive and the setting magnificent, but we ended up moving to the St Regis after two days instead of the originally booked seven days and were so glad we did - even though we lost a lot of money with the booking, not a very friendly gesture as my companions could not get around the facility due to physical impairments.
If you're the least bit ambulatory challenged, as my companions were, it's the LAST place you want to be. My companions were unable to enjoy the setting and were pretty much stuck in their suite; one being very afraid of falling (no lifts) and since it's in the hills above Florence, in Fiesole, there are countless levels to contend with.
To their credit, they do provide an hourly shuttle to the center of town, but I taxied in and out at between 25 and 35 euros a trip (it was more to go down into town than up for some reason - perhaps there's a surcharge for getting up the hill? I couldn't figure it out)
I had no problem getting around and enjoyed my time, but when we got to the hotel in town, I realized how much I had missed being around shops, museums, people, tours, etc., in those two days.

Again, if you're looking for a getaway and not into easily seeing the city and people watching, and you have a lot of money, it's THE place to go For me that wasn't the case. I loved the city after I got into it.

The hotel could have been gracious in our obvious situation with one of my party with Parkinsons, the other with a bad knee, but they weren't, which is too bad and speaks poorly of the company's policy.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank LA_native_54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
1 review
Reviewed September 5, 2012

my wife and i just returned from a 4 night getaway to Florence where we stayed at the VSM. We must say that we found the hotel to be very warm, inviting and well maintained. the grounds were kept in excellent condition and the buildings/rooms were also in top condition. compared to many of the hotels we have stayed at during out 5 years of marriage, both my wife and i acknowledge that this was one of the best experiences we have had. a special thanks to the outstanding concierge Mauricio who spared absolutely no efforts to organise the hot air balloon trip we wanted to do. the F&B service both breakfast and dinner was also very professional yet not cold. the servers used our names and we always felt important and that they cared. finally, i would like to mention that we ended up eating every night at the hotel simply because the food was outstanding. the ingredients were all local and the cuisine was simply yet elegant. extremely tasty, making you want to eat more and more. this is my first review of any hotel but i really feel that one should give credit where credit is due, hence my review above.
i hope this helps anyone that is debating about visiting this hotel.
thanks
jerry

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank jerry n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Decided to visit Villa San Michele as a dear friend spent her honeymoon there many years ago. When she heard we were staying close by she said we must pay a visit even for a glass of bubbly as the view of Florence was stunning. We decided very late in the day to try for lunch. We turned up in our hire car to the most beautiful hotel and location ever! The concierge came out to greet us and took our key and parked for us and showed us into the hotel . It was 2.30 and the restaurant which was on a beautiful terrace was empty and possibly at the end of lunch service but despite this the headwaiter greeted us with such a warm welcome and sat us at a table overlooking the whole of the city of Florence. The menu was amazing and the selection of wines to compliment were exceptional. "Lovely touch was my menu had no prices on as I was the lady of the table - small detail but 5* all the way!" The food was simply delicious and the sommelier recommended the most wonderful Rose to compliment. This experience I will treasure for the rest of my life and hope one day to go back and stay! Thank you Villa San Michele.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelepemberton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Villa San Michele is located in Fiesole (a famous scenic height outside Florence) and it offers one of the most relaxing and most romantic spots I have visited.

This former monastery lies on a hilltop amid lush trees and terraced gardens with fantastic views over the surroundings and Florence.

Service was perfect and the food just fantastic. Villa San Michele is quite expensive but I must say I have understanding for their rates. It is a one of a kind hotels that you will remember for years to come.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank JPF_GOT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviewed August 19, 2012 via mobile

We stayed there for three nights before moving for a couple of nights downtown in Florence. We wish we could still stay there, what a shame! We are really missing everything, the location, the food, the swimming pool, our wonderful junior suite in the gardens and the delicious breaksfasts every morning in our privace terrace. But most of all we miss the staff! The service is simply perfect and we felt like being hosted by our family. Everybody was constantly taking care of us 24/7. We have never felt so pampered in a hotel and we use to travel a lot. We definitely recommend this hotel if you are looking for the right place to relax during a city break, you have both the city and the feeling of being in a resort plus the complete relax. We will come back soon!

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Alicia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Villa San Michele

Property: Belmond Villa San Michele
Address: Via Doccia 4, 50014, Fiesole, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Fiesole
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Fiesole
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Villa San Michele 5*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A short distance from the centre of Florence, Belmond Villa San Michele is housed in a 15th-century monastery with a façade designed by Michelangelo. It is surrounded by a large, wooded park and lush terraced gardens boasting magnificent views of the city and the Arno Valley below. The 45 bedrooms and suites are simple, peaceful and elegant while the Renaissance splendour of Florence is a mere 15 minutes away with the complimentary shuttle service, running every 20 minutes. La Loggia Restaurant provides a unique dining venue where guests can enjoy their lunch or dinner, based on Italian and Tuscan cuisine, while admiring the view over Florence. For a light lunch or a snack, the Pool Restaurant, situated directly by the hilltop panoramic swimming pool, is the ideal place. For food lovers, the renown Cooking School offers hands-on lessons to learn how to prepare the best Italian specialties. A Kids' Club and a dedicated Kids' Concierge are available to make the stay of younger guests truly unforgettable. The new Davanzati Room offers privacy and tranquillity thanks to its exclusive location, and a spacious terrace with a view for small banquets, cocktails and coffee breaks. Ideal for hosting meetings, launches and presentations, it also serves as a space for banquets for up to 100 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa San Michele By Orient-Express Hotel Fiesole
Hotel San Michele
San Michele Hotel
Belmond Villa San Michele Fiesole, Province Of Florence, Italy

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