This is a very difficult review to write. Largely because the very high price of the stay obliges me to be extremely critical, even fussy.
The approach to the Villa via Taxi is lovely. An automatic barrier beckons you through and then you enter a world of secluded luxury. The winding 's' bending uphill road up to the front of the hotel sees you being received by 3 people. They open your taxi door,smile and take your cases and you are booked in at a tiny front desk and very relaxed. Then you are offered to take an unhurried glass of Prosecco on a terrace with wonderful views of Florence. You can see the Dome. Then, when you are ready, you are shown to your room. The hotel is like a large square house with several "nooky" rooms and a wonderful library - with drinks. Our room was on floor 3. It was very nice, but no wow factor. Quirky luxuries like TV behind a huge mirror, remote controlled lighting, waterfall shower, which was oddly the other side of the room from the bathroom and WC. A huge painting on one wall was lovely. Yet the room seemed a little spartan, Plain yellow walls, wooden flooring (no carpeting or even a rug). Can a room be spartan, yet luxurious? An open mini bar displays stuff you dare not use. A Snickers bar at 5 euros and then upwards. TV - just 3 English channels, but then you are not there to sit in your room, right? The bed was large and comfortable. Nice big shuttered windows. Beware Mosquitos! Even at this early part of the year, I was eaten alive on the second night. by one single Mosquito, I think.The hotel has several lounge areas, place to just chill out. The gardens are lovely, 5 acres of land I think. We walked down to the pool via the gardens, which was interesting. Lots of tended shrubbery. I imagine Lord Lucan could easily has found his way to this place and remained undetected for ever.It was late April and weather not great. Pool freezing, but all Englishmen have to do it, whatever the weather and coz of that it was all mine and mine alone. The expletives used upon jumping in caused the spa / masseuse lady to come running out from the adjacent spa. I guessed she thought there was a drowning occurring. But she then realised it was some idiot using a freezing cold pool.
Breakfast is a veritable feast to suit all tastes. A silver platter of everything. The fresh fruit and fruit juice being the highlight.
We arrived late afternoon so had booked dinner at the hotel. Kind of a mistake. Not that the food was not good. It was fine and very expensive. A glass of good Italian red was 20 euros. That's when you learn how to sip wine, let me tell you. Food was very Italian and up scale. The problem was that we were the only couple in the restaurant, all night. This made us uncomfortable, us two and then 5 people waiting/cooking. No atmosphere of course. We were goldfish in a bowl.
All the staff were ultra polite and smiling and very attentive and professional, perfectly so. They treat you like VIP's, which is nice, but being a down to earth guy, it makes you feel uncomfortable. eg. When we departed, a lady at front desk insisted on loading the taxi with my heavy case while I watched. No like, sorry.
In summary (and I know I have rambled on), this is truly an opulent experience. I think you have to be a certain type of person who is comfortable with being pampered to the extreme. If so, come here (assuming price is not of great concern). BTW. I read a few reviews complaining of the remoteness. Get over it. It is but 10 mins to the centre by free shuttle bus. A real haven from the bustle of the city. I have given this 5 stars, but kinda think it is really nearer 4, but cannot explain why, so 5 stars it is.
Tip: Try to get a front facing room (for the view).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This award winning luxury hotel, located on the rolling hills of Fiesole, offers the most spectacular views of Florence. Accommodations range from the Villa Rooms, the Green House Suites and our Signature Suites. Each offer a very different experience but all have inspiring views of either our private park, the Tuscan landscape or the famous Duomo view of Florence. Guests will enjoy a la carte breakfast, wi-fi, parking, in room movies, in room coffee and tea making facilities and hourly shuttle service (15 minutes) to the center of Florence, all complimentary. Our service philosophy is all about creating unforgettable experiences for our guests in an informal setting. Our guests consider the Hotel, the Villa, their home away from home, a tranquil haven after a day of exploring Florence or the Tuscan countryside. The Spa offers four treatment rooms, each with its own steam shower, and a dedicated team of therapists specializing in aroma therapeutic relaxation and anti-aging treatments, a fitness center with the latest in Technogym equipment and our pools overlooking the Tuscan countryside. Our kitchen is dedicated to locally sourced Italian cuisine and can be enjoyed in either the library or on our terrace overlooking Florence. Innovative, creative and unpretentious. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Il Salviatino Hotel Florence