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Old Feb 3, 04, 6:32 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, US
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Arrow Westin Excelsior - Florence, Italy [Master Thread]

I just want to say this hotel was fantastic in their treatement toward a platnium member. As a present to a friend, I set them up at this hotel while traveling overseas. The hotel placed them into one of their fantastic upgraded room. Furthermore they were thrill with the service and treatment while at the hotel. So if the SPG Lurker is around I want to make sure this hotel gets their recognition they deserve.

[This message has been edited by thoche (edited Feb 03, 2004).]

Last edited by AZ Travels the World; Jun 23, 07 at 5:30 pm.
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Old Feb 3, 04, 7:30 pm   #2
 
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I wish that I had sent an e-mail last year when the trip occurred but I also had an absolutely incredible stay at the Westin Excelsior.

Upgraded room was exceptional and the service matched the room.
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Old Feb 4, 04, 6:29 am   #3
 
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I consider the service my wife & I received the WE to be the finest we have ever had anywhere!!

We turned up last April after midnight fresh from the airport where we had spent over an hour trying to find out what Alitalia had done with our luggage.

They took our baggage claim tickets & promised to sort it out, showed us up to a giant balcony room and brought us some hot tea.

In the morning I called Alitalia trying to discover where our luggage might be, only to be told that "Your hotel has already called & we are on it".

Alitalia told me, after they had found the luggage, that they would be sending a van into Florence "In the afternoon or the evening" with everyone's luggage. The hotel convinced them to put it in a cab & get it to us pronto, so that we had it before we left.

I can not speak too highly of the entire staff at this hotel. It was the first hotel where I have ever asked to speak to the GM in order to congratulate him on their service.

The irony is that we will almost certainly never, ever, stay at the hotel again, as the purpose of our April trip was to sign the deeds to buy our house 45min outside FLR.

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Old Feb 6, 04, 3:23 pm   #4
 
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DITTOS! I think this is probably the nicest property in which I've ever stay, in terms of the overall stay.

VERY nice attitude from all the staff, from front desk to concierge to housekeeping. LOVED the piano bar, location, view from our MASSIVE balcony. I was disappointed we weren't travelling with friends, because it would've been a great setting for a coctail party, overlooking the river at night.

I only wish that it had in-room hi-speed internet access. Had to walk across the courtyard to the Grand's business center (ok, it was one computer actually). While we wouldn't have "surfed" while in lovely Firenze, we were actually there on business, and needed access in order to firm up some appointments. More info than you want, I realize, but for you other biz travellers, thot you may appreciate the heads-up.

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Old Feb 15, 04, 10:33 am   #5
 
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We had stayed at the Westin Excelsior last year as well. We unfortunately only going to be there for one night. A hint of the service we were going to find, when the valet asked if we wanted to have him park it. When we asked how much parking was, he told us it was 50 euro. When we hesitated, he said, "Don't worry about it, I will find you a space." Our car was parked in a space out front the entire time for nothing more than a tip.
The service went up from there. We found champange & strawberries & a cheese tray in our upgraded suite. The suite had a breathtaking view of the river. Like a previous poster had mentioned, the balcony would have been perfect for a cocktail party.
Directions from the staff were given to a perfect dinner place and lovely breakfast the next morning.
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Old Apr 18, 04, 11:29 am   #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Westin Excelsior Florence

I am planning a trip to Italy and will be spending 3 days at the Excelsior in Florece. I am a Plat member and Iím wondering what the proper procedure is to request/gaurentee an upgrade in advance (call/write to hotel?). I've read a lot about the hotel on this board and I would love to get a room on the 5th floor (top) with one of the huge balconies overlooking the water.

I typically stay at Starwood properties on business and I really donít care about upgrades; however, this will be a personal vacation and a special trip. I am going to ask my girlfriend of 10 years to marry me. I want this to be perfect and I would appreciate any advice anyone can provide.

Thanks in advance,
RMaz4
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Old Apr 18, 04, 11:39 am   #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Irvine, CA; SPG Plat, HH Gold, AS MVP
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This is a great property. I'm not sure of any way to guarantee an upgrade to a suite; however, it might be beneficial to spend 1500 pts a night and guarantee a Grand Deluxe. At the mininum you'll have a great room in case the suite doesn't come through.
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Old Apr 18, 04, 12:25 pm   #8
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Reading several reports on Tripadvisor, it seems the Excelsior upgrades quite frequently, even for Golds and reward nights. I got one myself when I was last there in Feb. As far as I know, I've heard they sometimes upgrade Plats to the suites.
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Old Apr 19, 04, 11:40 am   #9
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Email them and they may confirm an upgrade in advance.

If the reply is not favourable, at least it gives you an opportunity to use points etc to secure a room of your choice.

The staff at Westin Excelsior Florence are very friendly and accomodating.
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Old Apr 19, 04, 12:53 pm   #10
 
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RMaz4,

I'm very happy to hear of your upcoming proposal! I love romance

I looked back at some of my records since we've stayed here many, many times and the front desk manager knew us very well and always expected and upgraded us. Unfortunately, he has moved to the Danieli in Venice, so unless you plan to go there, I can't really offer any assistance. Cristina Francescon has been appointed Front Desk Manager of the Westin Excelsior in Florence now. I have never had the pleasure of meeting her, but you can always try writing to ExcelsiorFlorence@westin.com. Good luck on your upgrade and happy traveling!
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Old Jan 20, 05, 1:08 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Service
I am happy to report that the Excelsior is still providing exceptional service. Of special note is the concierge service. There were always at least 2 and often 3 smartly dressed concierge available to answer questions/give suggestions. The restaurant suggestions we most appreciated were Bucco Mario's and Cafe Italiano.

Rooms
We had a grand deluxe room on the fifth floor with a large terrace equiped w/ two chairs and a small table overlooking the duomo and surrounding hills. The interior of the rooms are comfortable but not luxurious, i.e. they have "heavenly" beds but do not have plasma tv's, seperate showers, or designer toiletries. The lights beside the bed were small and difficult to read by.

The rooms on the lower levels have been remodeled more recently than those on the higher floors i.e. they have larger lamps besides the beds, cream marble in the bathrooms instead of red, and ivory wallpaper rather than green leaf patterns. Rooms on the second floor (or noble floor) have higher ceilings.

Loyalty Treatment
If you are a platinum member the highest category they will upgrade to are the grand delux suites of which there are two. These rooms have seperate showers and are slated to have plasma televisions installed.

Gym
The gym was recently remodeled with Technogym machines, the best I have ever used. Each cardio machine has interactive touch screen tvs w/ fan. If you don't want to touch the screen there is a toggle on the right side which allows you to control the speed functioning in the same way as a joy stick. There is a small refrig. stocked with sports drinks and juices for no charge as well as a small fruit basket. The bathroom has a wonderful marble shower but oddly no place to put toiletries. The westin brand toiletries are well stocked and located just outside the bathroom. Towels, robes, and slippers are also provided.

Other Hotels
We visited The Grand across the piazza and felt that the decoration of these rooms was slightly nicer than the Excelsior but none of there rooms as a large terrace or views of the city, some of their rooms have small balconettes or views of the Arno.

For true luxury in accomodations but similar, perhaps lesser service the Lungarno is worth considering. The decoration of there rooms was fresh with high quality fabrics, cool colors throughout, and excellent lighting. Almost all of their rooms have small balconies with views of the Arno and Ponte Vecchio. On the downside, their rooms are significantly smaller and at the time we checked more expensive than the Excelsior.

Florence Suggestions
Book in advance for the Uffizzi or you will wait in line for hours...The luxury hotels can make reservations for you.
Visit the Pitti palace in the morning or the early afternoon so that you can enjoy the gardens behind the palace.
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Old Feb 16, 05, 8:18 am   #12
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Westin Excelsior Florence-No breakfast?

Sorry, the search is disabled today, so I have to ask this here: currently residing at the Westin Excelsior Florence. A wonderful hotel, but brekkie is Ä30 a head, and Platinum doesnt get it for free (no lounge). They offered it to us for 6,000 SPG points per day, but you can guess how desirable that is (???). So anyone got good recommendations in the neighborhood? Thanks!
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Old Feb 16, 05, 9:01 am   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SST
A wonderful hotel, but brekkie is Ä30 a head
Are you sure it is "only" Euro30 per person ?

We stayed there last year and I remembered it as the most expensive breakfast I ever had though we had it included in our rate.

Every "bar" in Italy serves a good cuppucino and a warm crossoint, but you pay more to sit down. There are a few "bars" off the Piazza della Repubblica which caters to the locals though those on the Piazza itself are very touristy.
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Old Feb 16, 05, 10:08 am   #14
 
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I remember it as being more too......

in the low 40's........ its not worth it and your status will not matter for Breakfast at this or most SPG properties unless there is a concierge lounge.

Pick up a croissant or find your way over to the train status and get an egg McMuffin..... much cheaper
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Old Feb 16, 05, 10:56 am   #15
tyn
 
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When you step out of the hotel in Piazza Ognissanti turn right and take the street that goes toward the city center, in the opposite direction from the Grand Hotel, can't remember the name off my head. On the other side of the street from the Excelsior there's a nice shiny neighborhood bar that has good croissants and costs a third of what you pay in the posher places near Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Repubblica.
Unfortunately it's not open during the weekend (it's a nice wine bar at night too)
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