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St Regis Florence: world class luxury hotel with incredible location and F&B

St Regis Florence: world class luxury hotel with incredible location and F&B

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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:08 pm
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St Regis Florence: world class luxury hotel with incredible location and F&B

The St. Regis Florence

Map| 4 Reviews | 100% Recommended

The St. Regis Florence

Piazza Ognissanti 1 Florence, IT 50123

St Regis Florence: world class luxury hotel with incredible location and F&B (50 Photos)

The St. Regis Florence

My husband and I returned to Florence for the first time since 2005 and enjoyed a wonderful 5 night stay at the St Regis. We were met by my mother for our last 3 nights at the St Regis, after which we continued onto the La Bandita Townhouse Design Hotel in Pienza and the Atlantis by Giardino Design Hotel in Zurich.

The St Regis Florence truly is among the best hotels at which we've stayed and showcases an incredible Florentine sense of place. It is extremely well located adjacent to the Arno river just 10 min from the Ponte Vecchio. It's no wonder that almost everyone considers this to be among the best in the entire Marriott/SPG portfolio.

We booked the St Regis because it was so celebrated and because I was trying to maximize my SPG (now Marriott) Ambassador status and concomitant elevated service and award/upgrade opportunities before the Marriott/SPG merger--which officially occurred on August 18, 2018, just prior to our Sept 26 arrival. I originally had booked this hotel with SPG Category 7 pricing: a Junior Suite for our 5 nights for 280K SPG points and a regular Deluxe King room for my mother's 3 nights for 105K SPG points. With the August 18 merger, the hotel temporarily offered reduced Category 6 pricing (440K Marriott points for junior suite, 180K Marriott points for regular room), so I ended up getting a massive refund of 535,000 Marriott points (equivalent to 179K SPG points). Talk about a steal! 

On this stay, we also visited the nearby Hotel Lungarno for dinner and Four Seasons Florence for lunch. In 2005, we had stayed at the Belmond Villa San Michele in the Fiesole hills. Please check the Overall section below for my comparison and contrast. Suffice to say that we gladly and easily would pick the St Regis Florence again for any future (award or paid) stay. 

The hotel is right next to the Arno river, right across a square from the Westin Excelsior hotel. That's it with the Italian flag hanging outside. It's a restoration of a 15th century palazzo. 

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The public spaces were spectacularly beautiful and reflected a very authentic and yet elegantly modern combination of Renaissance, Medici, and Florentine decor.

The lobby entrance with concierge desk:

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Reception:

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Winter Garden by Caino restaurant and bar:

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We loved the hotel from top to bottom. It truly is a spectacularly beautiful property.

Check In

We arrived by taxi from the airport and were very quickly checked in. Although we had booked with points for the regular Florentine Junior Suite, we had been upgraded (2 categories) to the Junior Suite Arno View--even with the hotel being sold out for a major company retreat.

Again, the perks of having Ambassador status with Marriott/SPG.

After a quick check in we were escorted by the butlers to our suite.

My mother's arrival and check in 2 days later wasn't as smooth. I had arranged a private Mercedes E transfer for her, but there was a problem with the car being involved in some sort of accident. After some frantic calls, my mother simply took a taxi to the hotel--which the hotel covered with major apologies. Because of that mistake, the hotel also provided my mother with butler service (normally reserved for suites at this property) and free breakfast. 

Room

OUR ARNO VIEW JUNIOR SUITE

I had specifically asked for this particular Arno View Junior Suite if it were all possible. I actually preferred this Junior Suite over the Grand Deluxe Suite category, largely because I preferred one very large room over 2 smaller rooms--and because I knew my husband would love the river view and balconies.

The room was magnificent--truly one of the niest junior suites we'd ever enjoyed.

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My Ambassador knew we had celebrated my husband's 60th birthday on this same trip the year before...so she obviously had reminded the hotel!

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The balcony had a view of the Westin Excelsior and the river--including the Ponte Vecchio just 3 bridges away:

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The other balcony had a view across the river:

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The bathroom was beautiful and well equipped, but it was a bit small side--really our only criticism of the suite.

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The closet had plenty of storage room. We also used two of the cabinets in the main suite for storing folded clothes.

The air con was preset to 18 C on our arrival. Bliss. The air con worked like a charm throughout our stay. The St Regis bed was, as always, just the right balance--more soft and yet still solid--that I love. Shower pressure was great, too.

There was some slight noise of sirens and such during the day, being that we were on the second floor and a street was right below our windows. But we heard nothing at all that in any way bothered our sleep over the 5 nights.

The only issue we had aside from the small bathroom was wifi speed. The original wifi was only 7 Mbps down and up. To me, that isn't impressive. I called and complained, and they gave me a code to access their premium offering (which should have been offered originally)--and we enjoyed 50-70 Mbps down and up for the rest of our stay.

The room was so spectacularly beautiful and comfortable that I didn't even think about the big specialty suites I'd been craving for months. 

 

MY MOTHER'S DELUXE KING ROOM (COURTYARD VIEW)

My mother's entry level room was surprisingly spacious, I thought.

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I somehow missed taking a photo of the actual window, but you can see there was a fair amount of natural light coming into the room. The view from the window was of the small courtyard:

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Plenty of closet space too.

My mother loved it. For a regular room for one person, we absolutely would have been pleased, as well. For a regular room for two persons, however, we would have wanted a larger room!

Service

Service was almost perfect. But there were a few misses.

Of course, we had welcome prosecco and a lovely note from the hotel team and my Ambassador:

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The concierge had been wonderful with us even before our arrival. Their team helped us arrange (1) a private tour day to Lucca and Pisa with driver and guides, (2) a private tour day of Florence, (3) a private wine tasting day to Chianti with driver and guide, and (4) a private wine tasting day to Chianti and Siena with driver and guides, ending in Pienza at our next hotel. 

The concierge also arranged our dinners at 3* Enoteca Pinchiorri, 1* Winter Garden by Caino, 1* Ora d'Aria, and 1* Borgo San Jacopo.

After my mother was having some trouble walking around, the hotel manager who helped us below also arranged for us to take the house Bentley to dinner at Borgo San Jacopo on our penultimate evening. Very nice touch for which I made absolutely no request at all.

The food/beverage team was truly outstanding. Eduardo met us our first night while dining at 1* Winter Garden by Caino--and helped us with recommendations and tips and just checking in with us throughout the rest of our stay. The rest of the restaurant and bar staff were also fabulous. 

Valets and bellmen were great. Reception was great. Butler service was great. As always, they brought us morning coffees and biscuits. They also unpacked and packed for me! 

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We also had a change of heart our last evening and decided to dine again at Winter Gard by Caino at the hotel. Unfortunately, the restaurant was  fully booked. A call to a senior manager, however, and within an hour they had a new table installed in the restaurant just for us. THAT is what I call world class service!

But there were a few misses.

First, my mother's Mercedes E airport transfer (105 euros) was bungled. My mother arrived with no one waiting for her as had been arranged in advance. That she had to call us to help was uncool, and the hotel didn't quite respond as well as it should have when my husband alerted the concierge desk of the issue.

Ultimately, the problem was sorted and the hotel paid for my mother's taxi--and I was never charged. The hotel also provided my mother butler service and offered free breakfast for her stay. That was a reasonable service recovery to me. 

Second, housekeeping missed several requests for more water. After they missed it a second time, I called and asked what the problem was. Massive apologies followed. Along with a nice bottle of wine that appeared after our return that day.

Finally, it's a no-no for me to call butler service and not get an answer within 10 rings. That happened once, and I called to complain. It never happened again.

Overall, despite the few service misses above, the service really was excellent during our stay. Even with those misses, the hotel recovered nicely in each instance, apologizing and making it right--and being generous again to make up for it every time. And the staff really was amazing with us throughout. Eduardo was a true gem with us, too.

This hotel really knows how to provide luxury service. 

Dining

Wow. Just wow. 

The food and beverage here was just amazing.

Drinks at the Winter Garden bar were fab; the Manhattan here was my favorite of any restaurant or bar anywhere else in the city. That includes the Hotel Lungarno and even 3* Enoteca Pinchiorri. 

BREAKFAST AT WINTER GARDEN:

Breakfast was held on the terrace level of the Winter Garden restaurant--a really elegant scene to behold from above. 

The buffet spread was quite extensive and delicious:

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DINNER AT 1* WINTER GARDEN BY CAINO, FIRST NIGHT

Winter Garden by Caino dinner our first night was spectacular. The setting of course is already amazing:

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We really had not wanted to order a tasting menu on our first night...but the menu sounded so good that we couldn't resist. It was incredible. Almost 2* to our tastes.

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Lest you think we didn't notice the huge teddy bear in the restaurant (and the other in the lobby reception)...the sommelier and I had other ideas.

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DINNER AT 1* WINTER GARDEN BY CAINO, LAST NIGHT

We loved Winter Garden so much our first night that we decided to dine there again with my mother on our final night. This time, we did a la carte. Again, it was so darn good.

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In short, F&B here is spectacular. Didn't have a single F/B disappointment at all for our entire stay. And we dined at a total of 7 Michelin stars in our time in Florence!

Spa

I don't do spas, but my husband does. He had a massage and loved it. He said the treatment room was quite beautiful. 

Location

The hotel was extremely well located.

It was a mere 15-20 min drive from the airport.

It was a 10 min walk to the Ponte Vecchio, Ristorante Borgo San Jacopo and Ristorante Oria d'Aria, a 12 min walk to the Uffizi, a 15 min walk to the Plaza de Duomo, a 20 min walk to the Galleria dell'Accademia (with David), and even just a 30 min walk to the Four Seasons Florence. 

The hotel was very central. Very convenient to everything a tourist in Florence might want. 

Overall

We loved the St. Regis Florence. Even expecting as much as we did from this celebrated hotel, it exceeded our expectations. Even as we visited the even more celebrated Four Seasons, we vastly preferred the St Regis.

We previously had stayed in 2005 at the Belmond Villa San Michele. We thought it beautiful but way too formal for our tastes. The views over Florence were lovely, but the much better and so convenient location of the St Regis made us much happier. 

We walked to both the Hotel Lungarno (where Ristorante Borgo San Jacopo is located) and the Four Seasons.

We were really surprised and disappointed by the Four Seasons. It was a much longer walk to the major sights. It had a very disappointing and odd design scheme that didn't appeal nearly as much as the decor at the St Regis. The green color palette was really off-putting and didn't seem appropriate to the Florentine sense of place. The gardens were beautiful, and the pool area was lovely. The spa was curiously laid out and felt small. And the whole thing smacked of needing a refresh. 

The Hotel Lungarno, owned by Ferragamo, is eclectically lovely but still a bit tired and worn around the edges. Its design scheme is nowhere near as impressive as that of its restaurant Borgo San Jacopo, though. 

As it turns out, the St Regis Florence really stands out as the top choice for us in this city. We would return in a heartbeat to the St Regis were we ever to return to Florence. 

St Regis Florence: world class luxury hotel with incredible location and F&B

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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:54 pm
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Great review! We stayed there right before it closed for a renovation to become a St Regis. At that time it was a fantastic hotel so, as your review proved, I was sure it was going to only get better.

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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:58 pm
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What a beautiful hotel. And a belated happy birthday to your husband!
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Old Oct 8, 18, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by aa213bb View Post
What a beautiful hotel. And a belated happy birthday to your husband!
Thanks. And we actually don't really celebrate his bday for another 2 weeks at the SLS Beverly Hills with dinner at Somni...and 2 weeks after that when we're at the StR Bal Harbour for the Ft Lauderdale Boat show (his real gift). Spoiled alert...
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Old Oct 8, 18, 9:12 pm
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Great review! Did you check out the JK Florence at all?
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Old Oct 8, 18, 9:18 pm
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Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post
Great review! Did you check out the JK Florence at all?
Thanks. We actually toured right around it but I didn't bother to go check it out--no time at that moment.

Sigh. I can't review them all. I leave that for @BESVISOR, @MacMyDay, and the rest.
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Old Oct 8, 18, 10:04 pm
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Always makes me hungry looking at another fabulous @bhrubin StR post and review!
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Old Oct 9, 18, 12:38 am
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Really well written review, it really captures how amazing the hotel is!
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Old Oct 9, 18, 6:59 am
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Glad you enjoyed your stay in this beautiful city. For me most of the pictures donīt show. When I visited Florence in 2014 I had a look from outside and found location not so great and surrounding dirty. But says of course nothing about the more important interiour. Also agree itīs relative central.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 8:16 am
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Excellent review, as always. You seem to have gotten the best Junior Suite in the hotel. That looks like the best category to book, because it has everything one needs for a perfect stay. The larger signature suites are of course beautiful, but at the end of the day the only real difference seems to be added space.

Thanks for including lovely pictures of your tasting menu and ā la carte selections at Winter Garden.

The Bentley excursions offered by this hotel are very interesting. I would like to split a stay between St. Regis and Villa la Massa in the future, as the central location of St. Regis is ideal.

Fortunately, concerns re the Marriott merger seem to have been for naught. I really haven’t noticed any signs of devaluation based on your reviews and others.
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Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Oct 9, 18 at 8:25 am
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Old Oct 9, 18, 8:23 am
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Excellent review as always, and stunning photos. Thanks for sharing!

Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post
Great review! Did you check out the JK Florence at all?
We stayed there around New Year's Eve (December 2016) and really enjoyed it, though I've never stayed at the St.R so can't compare. Happy to answer any questions though.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 10:06 am
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We seem to have similar taste in suitcases as well as hotels. Glad you finally made it to the peak of the Marriott Group!
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Old Oct 9, 18, 11:04 am
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This looks great. Thanks for the excellent review as always. We stayed at the magnificent Four Seasons last summer. It is really special. A Florentine resort!
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Old Oct 9, 18, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
The Bentley excursions offered by this hotel are very interesting. I would like to split a stay between St. Regis and Villa la Massa in the future, as the central location of St. Regis is ideal.
I'd forgotten to include the comp'd use of the Bentley for one of our dinners, thanks! I went ahead and added that now.

I had looked into using the Bentley for one of our Chianti excursions, thinking it might be a fun way to whilst away the day. It was 3500 euros vs the 1000 euros we paid for each day's excursion. So we decided against it.

Fortunately, concerns re the Marriott merger seem to have been for naught. I really haven’t noticed any signs of devaluation based on your reviews and others.
There are still IT issues galore, but my Ambassador has worked to settle those for me in short order. So I'm fine.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
It was 3500 euros vs the 1000 euros we paid for each day's excursion. So we decided against it.
What was included in the excursion? Was it 2000 for 2?
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