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Four Seasons - Florence

Four Seasons - Florence

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Old Jul 14, 08, 12:04 pm
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Four Seasons - Florence

Now open

Has anyone stayed here yet? Was thinking of taking my girlfriend for 3 days in early Sept.

I was going to go for the standard 'Superior' room at Euro 600 per night, unless anyone thinks I should take the Deluxe or higher?
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Old Jul 14, 08, 12:56 pm
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I'm going later in the month, so I'll post a trip report when I get back.
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Old Jul 14, 08, 1:10 pm
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Sorry - long answer - wrong hotel so I deleted the whole thing.
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Old Jul 15, 08, 2:32 am
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Originally Posted by Vitriol01 View Post
Now open
Partly open ... spa and 2nd wing don't open until later in the year.
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Old Jul 16, 08, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Partly open ... spa and 2nd wing don't open until later in the year.
Any idea when it opens fully?

Got a Virtuoso agent to get upgrade on arrival (s.t.a), breakfast for two, welcome amenity and 50 Euro spa credit thrown in.
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Old Jul 16, 08, 7:16 am
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"Autumn" is what the press article I read last week said. But given that the hotel has taken 8 years to build so far, I wouldn't hold my breath!
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Old Jul 16, 08, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
"Autumn" is what the press article I read last week said. But given that the hotel has taken 8 years to build so far, I wouldn't hold my breath!
Probably still worth it even without the spa. The reviews on TripAdvisor are uniformly excellent.
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Old Aug 4, 08, 12:40 pm
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Initial Review

Just got back from Florence. Short review:

- The public spaces and rooms are lovely. I particularly liked the bar, which I thought was just beautiful, but the lobby, gardens, and rooms are all extremely nice. The gardens are absolutely huge (when you look on most maps of Florence the hotel is easy to find because the gardens constitute a whole "park"-like space on the map). Considering how little green space there is in Florence, it seems very extravagant, and definitely sets the Four Seasons apart from the other hotel options in the city. There were a couple of minor maintenance issues in the room (TV acting weird and a shower seal in need of tightening, but I chalk these up to working out the kinks immediately after opening).

- Service was excellent across the board. I didn't really notice any "new opening kinks". It's unclear how many people were actually staying at the hotel (when we went to the bar at night, we were almost always the only people there), whereas we'd see lots of people leaving the restaurant, most of them heading out of the hotel. Staff to guest ratios seemed very high, but this may have been because not that many people are staying at the hotel yet.

- We only tried the restaurant for breakfast, which was very good. It was included with our rate, otherwise I probably wouldn't have paid 32 Euros for breakfast, but some people think it's a more important meal than I do. We probably should have tried the hotel restaurant for dinner instead of Enoteca Pinchiorri, which was a bit of a disappointment.

- There is a spa, which is open. I didn't visit it personally, but will try to get a report on how it was. I don't know if it's intended to be the permanent spa, but it seems somewhat purpose-built.

- Location is less than ideal (this is the trade-off for the gardens). You're at least 10-15 minutes brisk walking from most of the sites than at more central hotels. The closest site is the Gallerie dell'Accademia, and it's probably more than 10 minutes away. There's very little in immediate nearby nightlife, restaurants or shopping. It's also off the beaten track enough that taxis don't seem to hang out in front of the hotel, which requires the hotel to call one for you, which means both a bit of a wait and a more expensive taxi fare (the taxis start the meter as soon as they receive the call, not when they pick you up). Having said all of this, Florence is a fairly compact city, so while the location isn't ideal it's certainly manageable.

- Overall, it was an excellent experience. We also spent one night at the Excelsior, and there was a huge difference between the overall quality of rooms, public spaces, amenities, and service. The Four Seasons is also considerably more expensive, but if I were to return to Florence, I'd probably stretch my budget to stay at the Four Seasons versus staying somewhere like the Excelsior. Having said that, I haven't stayed at some other properties in Florence like the Savoy, so it's hard to make a truly informed comparison.
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Old Aug 4, 08, 2:37 pm
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Thanks so much for the report. We've been waiting years for this place to open ("we" meaning the perpetual inhabitants of the FT Lux Hotel forum).

Glad to hear of its attributes. Yes, the price does seem excessive ...as is often the case with Four Seasons (starting at around 600 Euros, right?). Sometimes people are suckers to pay the price FS' ask, and sometimes it is more than worth it. It sounds like this property is priced properly.
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Old Aug 4, 08, 2:47 pm
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Cheapest rooms are 500 Euros per night, I think. It's definitely expensive, but cheaper than the other Western European properties that spring to mind as potential comparison points (Paris, Provence, Milan, London).

If the dollar weren't so weak, it would be a lot easier to justify. Then again, I had a hard time justifying the dollar-converted prices of just about anywhere I've stayed in Europe recently. Time for more Western Hemisphere traveling for me, I think...
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Old Nov 8, 08, 7:44 am
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Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

Map| 9 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

Borgo Pinti, 99, 50121 Firenze, Italy Florence, Tuscany IT 50121

Four Seasons Florence (9 Photos)

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

Room

The room was also a disappointment at first compared to the green-tinged one on the website - what we had was all very nice but was nothing special, given the location.

The hotel is far from finished. The Conventino building, on the other side of the park, is still being furnished. However, I don't think you'll miss much. I was allowed to walk around and it is a fresco-free zone. There is not even a restaurant, only a breakfast room which is 10% as pretty as the beautiful Il Palagio restaurant in the hotel, which I didn't photograph. Unless the rooms themselves are something special, the Conventino bit seems to have little to offer especially as its a good 2 minute walk to the main building (not great in the rain). There is also a tiny coffee shop in the grounds which is not open yet.




Location

The gardens are fantastic and huge. In Summer, this will be a superb place to hang out, a real inner-city resort with its own private park. In Winter, though, its a trade off. You are a good 10-15 minutes walk (at a brisk pace) from the Rocco Forte Savoy Hotel, which is basically the centre of town. In Summer, the FS is a no-brainer. In Winter - having no idea of what the Savoy is like, of course! - you may want to think about it if you're not in good shape or don't like walking in rain.




Dining

The restaurant food is excellent, albeit it was lacking in customers! It seems to be after a Michelin star. The issue is that there is only one restaurant, apart from a very limited bar menu (and the bar is small so you're not certain of a seat). The hotel really seems to be crying out for a brasserie, especially as the formal restaurant is not great for children. They will knock up pizzas etc if you've got kids, but it is a VERY formal place for them to sit and eat. Waiting staff are, quite frankly, not yet up to speed. This was most telling at breakfast where they continually messed up our orders, took food to the wrong table or, in one case, delivered a missing basket of croissants and toast after we had finished and signed. Not good enough. The doors to / from the kitchen are also visible from around half of the tables.

It's also worth noting that the restaurant does not have a separate lunch menu. If you eat lunch in the hotel, you choose from the same menu that you get in the evening. I think this is a mistake, partly because you may simply want a change and partly because you get typical Michelin-style small portions (ie gnocchi with about 10 pieces of gnocchi) which is not necessarily what you want for lunch, especially if you only want one course.

Service

The staff are superb. Enough said. No complaints at all, although the concierge told me that the trains from Florence to Pisa were all regional trains with no first class - wrong (discovered too late!). The FS model of staff training and staff rotation (one of the doormen used to be a doorman at FS Hampshire, for example) continues to lead the industry.

Amenities

Easily the most beautiful internet room you will ever use!

Spa

Spa comes recommended by Ms Raffles. I didn't know they had a 365-day outdoor jacuzzi or I would have taken my trunks. I also didn't know the rooms had ipod docks. It would have been helpful to know this in advance or on the website.

Overall

'Good but not great' is the verdict, I think. To some extent, the hotel has oversold itself. In reality, despite all the pictures of frescos you see on the website, 80% (I guess) is in the top suites and the meeting rooms.

Four Seasons Florence

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Last edited by Raffles; Nov 9, 08 at 9:50 am
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Old Nov 8, 08, 9:55 am
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Thank you Raffles for a wonderful photo review. I must say the hotel does look beautiful but I was, too, underwhelmed by your room.
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Old Nov 8, 08, 10:48 am
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I think for the EUR50.00 more, the Jr. Suite would have been the room to take in this case. The balcony alone in the summer would be worth it. Granted you didn't go in the summer, but still I think the door / defined space might have made your room feel more special. Shame on the Virtuoso TA for not getting the upgrade!
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Old Nov 8, 08, 11:46 pm
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[QUOTE=Raffles;10685182]There are photos embedded in this post. To see them without clicking through the links, you need to go to 'My Flyertalk', 'Edit Options' and select 'Show Images'.

OK, we are back from 3 nights at the FS Florence. And 'good but not great' is the verdict, I think.


Thanks very much Raffles. As usual, the trade off for the FS seems often to be the distance -- not just access to the sights, but access to any other but their restaurants, bars etc. It is so hard to beat their service though!
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Old Nov 9, 08, 3:19 am
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As Four Seasons Florence comprises a 16th Palazzo and a 15th century Conventino, every room and suite is different, so they cannot show everything on the website. If I find myself in a bad room, I complain and ask to be moved. Why did you not do this?

We loved this hotel, but if you want to 'do' Florence then you are probably better off staying in the Savoy, which is right in the centre. FS Florence is more of an urban resort.
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