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Italy luxury Hotels 3 cities: help me choose?

Italy luxury Hotels 3 cities: help me choose?

Old Sep 15, 19, 11:31 am
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Italy luxury Hotels 3 cities: help me choose?

I'm spec'ing out a trip to 3 cities, and in each city I'm on the fence by skimming the various threads over the years...

Rome: St. Regis (Junior Suite category) or Fendi Suites (Corner Suite / room #7 ).

St. R in Rome seems like a good choice regardless. I was initially going for Fendi Suites, because it seems like a unique experience... but after reading reviews I'm less sure. Some speak of noise from the upstairs restaurant in room #7 (I'd consider a different one any were available). Also many have said breakfast is kinda underwhelming for the price. No gym / spa... I can live with that. Overblown? Location advantage to either?

Florence: St. Regis (Junior Suite category) or Portrait Firenze (Superior Suite River View).

A few recent comments regarding at the St. R Florence were not encouraging. Bad water pressure, temperature, noisy inside, possible outside noise. Portrait Firenze also has quite a few reports of street noise too, though. It seems like everyone agrees FS is the great on property but also far away from things I'd probably want to sight-see.

Venice: Aman Venice (Bedroom or Chamber) or Gritti Palace (maybe Landmark Grand Canal view?).

Aman Venice has an aura of exclusivity, but reading the threads about Aman rooms I'm hearing reports of bad noise insulation (MacMyDay had to move rooms because of a crying baby in an adjacent space, offerendum said, "It was loud"), entry level rooms underwhelming for the price, etc.

Are the Gritti Canal view rooms noisier than the Giglio Prestige courtyard rooms?
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Old Sep 15, 19, 11:44 am
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I would choose Fendi Suites, StR Florence, and Gritti Palace. StR Rome is also great, so you can't go wrong between that and Fendi Suites. StR Florence is spectacular, and beloved in this forum. Despite being a big Amanjunkie, Venice was my least favourite property, though YMMV.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 1:03 pm
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I've stayed at the StR Rome (pre-renovation of rooms/suites), StR Florence, and Gritti Palace. You can find all my reviews here in the Luxury Forum.

I loved them all.

We are Amanjunkies (11 Aman properties thus far) but we definitely preferred the Gritti to the Aman Venice. The Aman is beautiful but sometimes feels antiseptic to us. The lack of a canalfront bar/restaurant really made it seem lackluster in contrast to the Gritti's Riva bar and Restaurant right on the Grand Canal. The Gritti also was impeccably Aman-esque with service.

The StR Florence is spectacular. We loved it far more than the FS Florence for its design, F&B, ambience, location, and service. But if you wanted a pool, the FS is the better option.

The StR Rome's renovation is also spectacular. The public spaces made it the best hotel in Rome to our view. The newly renovated rooms and suites make it as good an option as any in the city, as well. We had tremendous service and F&B.

I've heard nice things about your other options, too, FWIW. Don't mean to disparage on any of those.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 1:05 pm
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I always had wonderful stays at The Hassler. In Venice, I would definitely choose Gritti over Aman,
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Old Sep 15, 19, 1:27 pm
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Am I the only only to love Aman Venice?
You need only an entry level room there as public spaces are so quiet and beautiful.
The small size of the property makes you feel like a royalty in his own palace.

In Florence my favorite choice is the FS, suites in la Villa are really special.

I don’t know Rome that much, I just wish we did not stay at Hotel de Russie which is one of my worst hotel stay ever. It was quite a long time ago, so may be they improved. Shall I go back I would try the St Regis, or may be the new Hotel de la Ville. Has someone tried the ‘Rocco Forte House’ yet?
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Old Sep 15, 19, 4:42 pm
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Are you aware of the location of the St Regis in Rome? We almost stayed there, and after walking by once we were in town, we were *very* glad we had chosen to stay elsewhere, near the more active areas. We stayed at a somewhat lesser hotel, and although we thought it was great (terrific location), we definitely wouldn't recommend it to someone with a short list like yours.

We loved the St Regis in Florence. They surprised us with a room with a view of the river and of the "the bridge". NICE surprise!
We considered the FS, but chose otherwise because of location. However, the St Regis also wasn't right in the middle of things, but it was a more pleasant location than in Rome.

In Venice, we had a suite right overlooking the Grand Canal, and to us, that's part of "being there"!
We were at the Bauer Il Palazzo (not the "Bauer Hotel", which is not directly on the Canal, although they are right next to each other).
Again, with your list, although we'll return to the same next time, I'd probably recommend something like the Gritti for you.

GC
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Old Sep 15, 19, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
Are you aware of the location of the St Regis in Rome? We almost stayed there, and after walking by once we were in town, we were *very* glad we had chosen to stay elsewhere, near the more active areas.
I am always amazed and curious why so many say this. It's a 12-15 min walk or 3 min taxi ride from the StR to the "better located" Hotel Eden or Hotel Hassler that are pretty much at the Spanish Steps. It's a 12-15 min walk or 3 min taxi ride from the StR to the Trevi Fountain. It's a 20-25 min walk or 8 min taxi ride to the Coliseum. It's a 12 min taxi ride from the StR to the Vatican. It's a 10 min walk or 3 min taxi ride from the StR to the train station. It wasn't more than a 5-12 min walk or taxi ride from the StR to any of the Michelin restaurants at which we dined, as well.

We loved the StR as a hotel. We loved the StR for its proximity within easy walking distance and certainly easy driving distance of less than 15 min to all of the major sights and best restaurants. What's the issue?
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Old Sep 15, 19, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I am always amazed and curious why so many say this. It's a 12-15 min walk or 3 min taxi ride from the StR to the "better located" Hotel Eden or Hotel Hassler that are pretty much at the Spanish Steps. It's a 12-15 min walk or 3 min taxi ride from the StR to the Trevi Fountain. It's a 20-25 min walk or 8 min taxi ride to the Coliseum. It's a 12 min taxi ride from the StR to the Vatican. It's a 10 min walk or 3 min taxi ride from the StR to the train station. It wasn't more than a 5-12 min walk or taxi ride from the StR to any of the Michelin restaurants at which we dined, as well.

We loved the StR as a hotel. We loved the StR for its proximity within easy walking distance and certainly easy driving distance of less than 15 min to all of the major sights and best restaurants. What's the issue?
Why?

Because when we are only spending a few days in a special location, we very much enjoy stepping out the door and right away, knowing/feeling "where we are", when that is possible.
Obviously, not everyone feels this way. But it is quite important to us!
And similarly, we'd want that "room with a view" rather than something perhaps larger but without the view, etc.
Perhaps if we were staying longer in one place, that would change, but we haven't had the luxury of time for that... yet.

GC
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Old Sep 15, 19, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
Why?Because when we are only spending a few days in a special location, we very much enjoy stepping out the door and right away, knowing/feeling "where we are", when that is possible.
Obviously, not everyone feels this way. But it is quite important to us!
And similarly, we'd want that "room with a view" rather than something perhaps larger but without the view, etc.
Perhaps if we were staying longer in one place, that would change, but we haven't had the luxury of time for that... yet.
Well one could stay at the Palazzo Manfredi (also home for 1* Aroma restaurant) and get a wonderful view of the Coliseum--but it's not nearly as good a hotel. Not for me.

One could stay at the Hassler or Eden, again a short walk from the StR, but then you have the hordes of tourists constantly descending all around you at all times of the day. Not for me.

And regardless, whichever location one picks for a hotel still means that you have to walk or drive to the other locations. Rome doesn't have a single location with most sights.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Well one could stay at the Palazzo Manfredi (also home for 1* Aroma restaurant) and get a wonderful view of the Coliseum--but it's not nearly as good a hotel. Not for me.

One could stay at the Hassler or Eden, again a short walk from the StR, but then you have the hordes of tourists constantly descending all around you at all times of the day. Not for me.

And regardless, whichever location one picks for a hotel still means that you have to walk or drive to the other locations. Rome doesn't have a single location with most sights.
Well, this is why we aren't all fighting for rooms at the exact same hotels!

GC
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Old Sep 15, 19, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
Well, this is why we aren't all fighting for rooms at the exact same hotels!

GC
True dat!

Cheers!
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Old Sep 15, 19, 6:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Pierre&Cédric View Post
Am I the only only to love Aman Venice?
You need only an entry level room there as public spaces are so quiet and beautiful.
The small size of the property makes you feel like a royalty in his own palace.
..
Good to know , thanks . Hope to be pleasantly surprised
Well , having just had a spectacular stay at ZOE , am looking forward to AMANCGV , now AMANVenice , on Saturday .
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Old Sep 15, 19, 11:03 pm
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Well, these places are WAY out of my price range, so I can't comment on that part.

But I've spent a LOT of time visiting Italy. So I CAN talk about location.

Rome: St. Regis is actually a convenient location, around the corner from Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa, the bulk of the archeological museums, etc. Termini is close enough to the hotel to be convenient, far enough that you don't feel like you're in the sleazy terminal area. Fendi would be in a quieter neighborhood, but not as close to any major attractions. However, it might be more central overall, since it's closer to the Tiber and Vatican Museums.

Florence: the St. Regis's location sucks, IMHO. You have walk a long way to get to the sights, and the Piazza Ognissanti isn't that scenic. The only reason to go way over there is to see the Church of the Ognissanti, and its most famous work is only viewable very limited hours. The Portrait looks much better located, near the Ponte Vecchio where all the tourists are--and the reason they're all there is because it's near the center of everything.

Venice: interesting case. The Aman is near the Rialto Bridge, and I kind of hate that area. It's always such a mob scene. But of course, Venice itself is a mob scene. It is, however, pretty much in the center of everything. There's a vaporetto stop not too far away, so that's good. The Gritti is close to San Marco in a well-traveled touristy area (more touristy even than Rialto, but doesn't bother me as much, maybe because it's more open and less claustrophobic). But the Gritti is such an iconic hotel, I'd certainly want to stay there just to say that I had.

So there's my 2 cents.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
Florence: the St. Regis's location sucks, IMHO. You have walk a long way to get to the sights, and the Piazza Ognissanti isn't that scenic. The only reason to go way over there is to see the Church of the Ognissanti, and its most famous work is only viewable very limited hours. The Portrait looks much better located, near the Ponte Vecchio where all the tourists are--and the reason they're all there is because it's near the center of everything.
Again, I'm always wondering how little others walk! It's barely a 10 min walk from the St Regis Florence (in a location that supposedly sucks) to the Portrait Firenze (in a supposedly much better location).

It's amazing how a mere 10 minute walk can create such a wildly different location.

IMO they're pretty much in the same vicinity.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 8:21 am
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I'm not a fan of the StR in Florence at all. The hard product isn't great, and the location isn't my favorite either. I love the Four Seasons' location--a sanctuary from all the tourists.
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