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The Westin Excelsior Florence
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Reviewed 6 June 2012

The Westin Excelsior, Florence is situated on the banks of the River Arno with splendid views across and towards the Ponte Vecchio. This is a great location for exploring this wonderful city on both sides of the river, a city best seen on foot, in spite of the cobble stones and traffic!

After being met by the uniformed Doorman, entering the hotel gives an immediate feeling of spacious opulence. The grand lobby is particularly elegant.

Check in is quietly efficient and friendly, with guests being escorted to their rooms. We booked a de-luxe room and paid a little extra for a balcony and river view, which was well worth it. The room was well equipped (fridge, safe, hospitality tray on arrival with champagne, fruit and other delights, bath robes, high quality toiletries, bath mats, weighing scales, slippers etc) and appropriately decorated for a majestic building such as this. There was more than ample wardrobe and drawer space too. The bed was ‘heavenly’, and lived up to its name, affording a very comfortable night’s sleep. What is more, there is allocated space for two suitcases, an important point missed by so many hotels these days! The only (very slight) point about the lovely bathrooms with their walk in showers and baths is that the plumbing is noisy on occasion, though this is a very minor issue.

The lighting in the room was pretty dim (or, perhaps it is called ‘subdued’), quite unsuitable for reading in the evenings.

The flat screen television reception was poor, with very limited English channels, and the ‘Guest Services’ facility pages were not working. This was such a pity, especially in view of the fact that the majority of hotel guests during our 7 nights stay seemed to be American of British. (Heaven preserve us from the constant repetition that is Sky News!)

The in room Guest Directory offered a wide range of helpful, additional personal services, too many to list here, available 24 hours a day. These include arranging an escorted tour of the city by limousine or open-top ‘bus, room service, garaging, personal shopper service, shoe shine, luggage and MP3 city guide to rent.

The rooms are kept spotlessly clean and there is a turn down service. As we never saw the chambermaids, we concluded that they were ghosts who were spirited in when no-one was looking!

The buffet breakfast is a very sedate affair in beautiful surroundings with an extensive range of hot and cold food, the former being prepared to order by the Chef, and the service was always courteous, attentive and friendly.

There is a fitness zone on the first floor, but we didn’t use the facilities.

The Concierge service was extremely knowledgeable and helpful with handy tips for getting about and for the excellent recommendations for appropriately priced eateries. This is always most useful when in unfamiliar surroundings.

A recent addition to the hotel is the roof top (6th floor) restaurant and terrace bar (‘Sesio on Arno’) with breathtaking views over the magnificent city skyline. The drinks are extremely expensive here and the food, whilst good, is not as good as you might reasonably expect from a hotel of this high standard. Nevertheless, it has become one of the favourite evening meeting places for Florentines and a spot for great people watching, especially at the weekends! Don’t be put off by the prices as you must visit this area at least once, just for the experience and to view the sunset.

There is so much to see in Florence that we shall be returning to the Westin Excelsior at the first opportunity (but not in June, July and August when the heat is really oppressive and the queues even longer!)

This hotel is ceainly worth a much higher ranking from guests than is reported at present on the Trip Advisor site!

Room Tip: High floor river view rooms are quieter and enjoy a better outlook
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Manxtravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2012

My husband's family treated us to a Tauck Tour of Italy and we stayed at this lovely property in Florence. The location on the Arno is perfect. You can walk anywhere you need to and I especially enjoyed strolling across the Ponte Vecchio Bridge for some major people watching. The rooms are large, elegant and have everything you need and/or want. The rooftop bar is great and offers tremendous views. Our room was very quiet and the bed very comfortable. The staff members were all wonderful and we enjoyed every minute of our stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Smiles4miles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2012

I am a big fan of Westins but this hotel was a bad experience. I could not recommend the hotel unless you could guarantee a room facing the river. Ours faced the street on the opposite side and the bar across the street consistently had 20-30 outside who were falling down drunk (literally). The considerable noise kept us awake until 2:00am or later and then the bar starts dumping the empty bottles in the metal trash receptacles right below our window. The windows in the room seemed to offer little in the way of noise reduction. Its a nice building with good staff so it is a real shame there isn't something to be done about the noise

Room Tip: Get a room on the river
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DougK25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2012

Loved the hotel and its location. Food was good as were the two bars. SeSio on the 6th floor roof top was tremendous. The place is a virtual palace. The only glitch we had was that we had a noisy fan on the air conditioner. We reported it twice and it never was looked at. It got loud enough that we just turned it off.

Room Tip: Join Starwood at spg.com and use starpoints on your next trip.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank DashAmpersand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2012

The rooms were enormous. A nice change from many European hotels. The bar/restaurant on the top floor has a spectacular view of the city at night. While the drinks are pricey the view is worth the price. The staff was extremely helpful. Exactly what you want when you have to be away on business.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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Thank roctraveler1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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