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Looking for help choosing hotels in Rome/Florence/Venice

Looking for help choosing hotels in Rome/Florence/Venice

Old Nov 29, 15, 4:01 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by flyr16 View Post
Great update OP. We are heading to Florence and Bologna soon and narrowing out hotel choices. This info is helpful.
A brief update on our recent hotel stays in Bologna and Florence:

In Bologna we stayed at the Grand Hotel Majestic Baglioni, mentioned above. We booked through Luxury, a frequent poster on this board. He obtained for us a very nice upgrade to a suite. The hotel is certainly the best option in Bologna. It is old, but well maintained. The suite was covered in yards of fabric, very nicely done with a very large bathroom, covered in marble. A deep soaking tub, acres of marble around the double sinks. Comfy bed and - outstanding sheets. Large balcony with chairs. The location is just a block from the main square, in the middle of everything. Very good bkfst spread, typical Italy and well done. Service was good. Overall, likely the hotel still could use some updating to bring in "current" yet, that may be part of its charm. We enjoyed our stay.

In Florence we chose the Savoy. Again Luxury obtained for us a nice upgrade. We had an oversized room, with double high ceilings, certainly over 20 feet. A very large balcony overlooking the main piazza. The bathroom is well done but on the small side. Excellent water pressure and excellent bath towels. While the Savoy too is an an old building, it has been completely renovated and even while we were there they were updating/redoing some carpets and other items. The lobby is on the small side, with a few comfy couches and such. Service was excellent. Great front desk and an outstanding concierge(s). They know the city well and every request was me with "absolutely" "we can do that." Irene is the hotel's restaurant and it is pretty, and gets a local crowd at lunch and dinner. Nice seating area outside. Very good bkfst spread again. We were in Florence in November, low season and, thus, it was not nearly as crowded as we have seen it in summer. It really is more enjoyable when less of a madhouse.

In contrasting the two cities: we had never been to Bologna before and found it very "livable" so to speak. Great to wander, much less crowded with tourists and the food shops and such are just outstanding. Great food. Friendly restauranteurs and shop owners. The two cities are but 35 mins away from each other by train.

We likely will return in a couple of months time and will probably add Milan to that trip, we will look for someplace that is "old" but "updated" for that stay.

Thanks for the feedback from others.
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Old Dec 12, 15, 11:55 am
  #62  
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flyr16 thanks for this update. I totally agree with you about Bologna's livability. I would definitely return there on a future trip to explore it more fully. And, while the Majestic Baglioni has a "vintage" feel to it, I think I would still choose to stay there again. Great location.
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Old Dec 27, 15, 11:13 am
  #63  
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Originally Posted by BENLEE View Post
Also what about St Regis Rome?
That likely would be my first pick for Rome as of now...but then I find value in earning points when choosing between luxury hotels of comparable quality and price. There is no consensus choice for a best hotel in Rome, or even a best group of hotels, either due to location or style preferences, so to me the St Regis is as good a choice as any other.

IME, the general Luxury Hotels FT consensus seems very anti-SPG and particularly not so fond of St Regis when compared to other luxury hotel brands. I couldn't disagree more, but I appear to be an exception. I think many herein perceive St Regis (and Park Hyatts and SPG Luxury Collection) to be "lesser" simply because it's possible to get a free room or suite using points/upgrades. The fact that Virtuosos allows upgrades or that a great travel agent can do the same at places like FS, MO, Pen, or Aman doesn't seem to bother anyone...but the fact that the "masses" can achieve that with St Regis or PH seems to create a challenge for some in the perception of their quality.

Last edited by bhrubin; Dec 27, 15 at 8:29 pm
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Old Dec 27, 15, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
That likely would be my first pick for Rome as of now...but then I find value in earning points when choosing between luxury hotels of comparable quality and price. There is no consensus choice for a best hotel in Rome, or even a best group of hotels, either due to location or style preferences, so to me the St Regis is as good a choice as any other.

IME, the general Luxury Hotels FT consensus seems very anti-SPG and particularly not so fond of St Regis when compared to other luxury hotel brands. I couldn't disagree more, but I appear to be a exception. I think many herein perceive St Regis (and Park Hyatts and SPG Luxury Collection) to be "lesser" simply because it's possible to get a free room or suite using points/upgrades. The fact that Virtuosos allows upgrades or that a great travel agent can do the same at places like FS, MO, Pen, or Aman doesn't seem to bother anyone...but the fact that the "masses" can achieve that with St Regis or PH seems to create a challenge for some in the perception of their quality.
Amen Bhrubin! I lurk here quite a bit and I often times in reading this forum I agree with your thoughts/observations.

I can imagine the heartache in this forum if Aman resorts came out with a "points program"!!! Lol it would be fun to watch! I have never had a bad stay at a St. Regis yet.

I enjoy this forum quite a bit and appreciate the insights here but the negativity on legitimate luxury options that can be had on points are "poo-poo'd" by most here. However if the place charges $1600/night for the room and can keep out the "riff-raff" its a winner here. I always imagine most of the regulars posting here doing so from the back seats of there rolls royces!
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Old Dec 27, 15, 9:51 pm
  #65  
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Hotel situation in Rome leaves much to be desired, true, but having stayed with most top properties, St. Regis is a favorite (never points stays). I also had few great NYE celebrations at their Ritz Ballroom. This summer went with Hassler and would have most likely switched for St. Regis if it weren't a short stay. Would always recommend staying there.
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Old Dec 27, 15, 10:36 pm
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Rome - best choice near trastevere?

Any reccomendations that are easily accessible or near the trastevere area? I will be visiting family that live in that area but in my understanding not a lot of luxury hotel choices on that side of the river. Thanks
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Old Dec 27, 15, 11:44 pm
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off2rome - - look at Hotel Forty Seven, just over the bridge from Trastevere. I will be staying there myself in two weeks' time, having eliminated just about everywhere else for mostly geographical reasons.
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Old Dec 27, 15, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by BLV View Post
Hotel situation in Rome leaves much to be desired, true, but having stayed with most top properties, St. Regis is a favorite (never points stays). I also had few great NYE celebrations at their Ritz Ballroom. This summer went with Hassler and would have most likely switched for St. Regis if it weren't a short stay. Would always recommend staying there.
Thanks! I'd love to hear your comparative thoughts on the St. Regis, Hassler, and any other luxury hotels at which you've stayed there in Rome.
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Old Mar 14, 16, 7:16 pm
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Is the Waldorf Astoria in Rome any good?
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Old Mar 15, 16, 3:14 am
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Originally Posted by HumbleBee View Post
Is the Waldorf Astoria in Rome any good?
Many here like it, it was discussed at another thread recently.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
off2rome - - look at Hotel Forty Seven, just over the bridge from Trastevere. I will be staying there myself in two weeks' time, having eliminated just about everywhere else for mostly geographical reasons.
Hi @Pausanias - did you end up staying at Hotel Forty Seven?

If so, would love to know what you thought.

We're toying with a Christmas-time trip to Rome, and the price-value ratio at the top hotels seems way out of whack.

I'm also considering the red level at the Gran Melia, the Majestic and the Villa Spalletti Trivelli.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by LM225 View Post
Hi @Pausanias - did you end up staying at Hotel Forty Seven?

If so, would love to know what you thought.
Yes I did, for four nights. We were upgraded to the suite on the top floor which had a terrace with a nice view. The bedroom was excellent. However, the sitting room was terrible with awful seating and bad design. I remember the bathroom lacked a bathtub - not an issue perhaps in summer but we missed that in winter after long walks. So we visited off season and the hotel was virtually empty. The reception staff arranged a car for us on one day of slightly remote sightseeing and they threw in airport transfers. We loved the location - we walked everywhere and there were several restaurants nearby, notably in Trastavere. This is by no means a luxury hotel, just a pleasant place to stay. Would I go back? Probably not.
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Last edited by Pausanias; Mar 22, 18 at 5:36 am
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Old Mar 22, 18, 4:28 am
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Originally Posted by dr58 View Post
I second everyone here who recommended Aman Venice. Assuming it fits your budget, I would recommend it without hesitation.

My feelings about the FS Florence are a little more mixed. Yes, it's a great hotel by any measure -- lovely rooms, wonderful dining, terrific service all around -- but a little too far removed for my tastes. I love to walk around and get lost in big cities, but late-night walks from the historic center of Florence to the hotel seemed to go on forever, particularly when you factor in the inevitable getting lost time. We were there for a while, so we got used to it, but for shorter visits, I'd recommend something more centrally located like Lugarno or Portrait.

Finding a good hotel in Rome is much less a challenge. There are many great hotels in different areas, so I'd do as others suggest and pick the attractions you want to see and find something nearby. We most recently stayed at the St. Regis and were very happy with it. It's on the larger side and not as close to the key tourist sites as other hotels, but the walking distances weren't too bad and the hotel itself was fantastic.

I third Aman Venice although there is no pool. Belmond Cipriani is also wonderful (i have reviewed Aman and Cipriani on my site) as it has a great pool. For cheaper luxury, JW Marriott has nice rooms and numerous pools. I am not usually a Marriott fan but this hotel is quite special.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 5:57 am
  #74  
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We highly recommend the Gritti Palace even over the Aman Venice, especially if (1) budget is a factor, as the Gritti is usually a bit cheaper and has the same incredibly high level of service and food/beverage, (2) location is a factor, as the Gritti is much closer to St. Mark’s while still being outside the main tourist area, or (3) one loves a sundowner or cocktails/drinks on the water, as the Gritti’s wonderful Riva bar is right on the canals, as opposed to the beautiful but interior bar with no real water view at the Aman. The Aman is a beautiful hotel, but its entry level rooms are wildly overpriced and very small and uninspiring. The Gritti is a very worthy competitor to the Aman at which you don’t really sacrifice anything, comparatively speaking. There aren’t that many hotels in the world that can say that. The Gritti is one of our best hotel stays of all time (Oct 2016).

We stayed at the St Regis Rome this past Oct 2017. Its public spaces are spectacularly beautiful, the best in the city IMO, and the rooms and suites renovations are expected to be completed by this summer. We concur on it not being right next to anything, yet it’s only a 15-20 min walk to the Hotel Hassler and Spanish Steps, a 10 min walk to the Hotel Eden, a 10 min walk to the Trevi Fountain, etc. Service was to a very high standard, and food/beverage and concierge were outstanding.

We will stay at the St Regis Florence this Oct 2018 and will have the opportunity to see several of the other top hotels in Florence (FS, Lungarno, Portrait, JK Place, etc). We previously stayed in Aug/Sept 2005 at Belmond’s Villa San Michele in the Fiesole hillls above the city. We found the Villa San Michele to be lovely but too formal for our tastes, but with spectacular views onto the city—an excellent location for lunch but not so great for us as first time visitors to the city (or being less formal).

Last edited by bhrubin; Mar 22, 18 at 6:09 am
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