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“Perfect location, great old world hotel”

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Helvetia & Bristol Hotel
Ranked #142 of 421 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Perfect location, great old world hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2013

My husband & I stayed here 7/9-7/12 as part of a Tauck tour of Venice, Florence and Rome. The Helvetia is perfectly located in the center of everything you could want to see in the historic center of Florence. I don't think anything was more than a 5-10 walk from the hotel except for the Pitti Palace (that was about 10-15 min but it was HOT & we walking slow:)

The hotel is very pretty, old world inside, the lobby has a lot of dark wood & overstuffed couches with dark tiled floors, the breakfast room ceiling is all stained glass & curved almost like an old train car. Breakfast was ok, not the greatest but Americans are picky about their breakfast I will admit! The bar/lounge rooms are dark but welcoming and a very cozy place to tuck in for a drink ( they put out a few snacks for you as well which is a nice touch if you are having a pre-dinner drink as restaurants in Italy don't open for dinner til 7:30.

Our room was huge-it had it's own hallway leading to the bedroom, 2 large closets & a big marble bathroom (recently updated) with plenty of shelf space for toiletries so they didn't have to clutter up the sinktop and get all wet (love that). The bed was 2 twins pushed together to make a king & was pretty comfortable w/ good sheets/duvets but mushy pillows. The only downside to our room were the "fake" windows-there were thick stained glass windows that you couldn't actually see out of. Oh well, we weren't in Florence to look out our window:)

The front desk staff was very efficient, I can't comment on the concierge as we did not need to use his services.

Overall, if in Florence again, we would definitely consider staying at the Helvetia again.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a window you can see out of:)
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank need2travel2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, 30 July 2013
Dear Guests,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Helvetia & Bristol for your trip to Florence with Tauck tour and for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor, that we found spontaneous and nice.
It was very pleasing to learn that you had a very enjoyable stay with us and that you appreciated the Hotel’s ideal location within the heart of Florence.
Once again, thank you for posting your feedback and for staying with us. We sincerely hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again to the Helvetia & Bristol in the near future.
With best regards.
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513 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
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English first
Level Contributor
125 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2013

We stayed at the Helvetia and Bristol for three nights. The location is perfect-within walking distance of all the sights we wanted to see. The concierge was extremely helpful and arranged a private walking tour for us. They gave us good advice about sightseeing and restaurants. The room was beautiful and spacious. There was noise one night from the street, however, the other nights we slept very well. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet and ate outside. The bar was nice and the staff very attentive. We would recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ladyright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, 19 July 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Helvetia & Bristol for your trip to Florence and for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor.
It was very pleasing to learn that you had an enjoyable stay with us and that you appreciated the hotel’s excellent location within the historical center of Florence.
It was thoughtful of you to write your opinion concerning our staff and I shall be delighted to convey your kind words of appreciation on to them.
We sincerely hope to have the pleasure to welcoming you again in the not too distant future,
we thank you in advance for your support and send you our best regards.
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Colchester
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights in an Executive Double room which was spacious, clean and very well presented.
The service from reception and the concierge were excellent they were extremely helpful and one step ahead at all times
Staff in the bar and restaurant were very on the ball and responded to every request in a polite and friendly manner; nothing was ever too much trouble even when they were busy
The hotel is a great location for exploring Florence as it is close to everything that you could possibly want to see; all are walkable.
We will return to this hotel it is a real gem

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lilolilColchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Helvetia & Bristol and for taking the time to post your feedback on TripAdvisor.
It was great to read that you had a wonderful stay as well as you appreciating your comfortable and well-appointed room. The hotel’s amazing location in the heart of Florence is indeed well placed for tourism being a stone’s throw away from many major sights, fashionable shopping areas and transport links.
It was certainly very pleasing and encouraging to learn that you appreciated the friendly and helpful service provided by our staff as they are a great asset to the hotel. I have shared your kind words with the team.
With renewed thanks for your review, we do hope that you will continue to make many more enjoyable visits to the Helvetia & Bristol. We very much look forward to seeing you again soon.
With best regards.
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Rome, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2013

This is an "old world" 5 star hotel with beautifully decorated rooms. This hotel is within easy walking distance of just about everything you'd want to see in Florence. The staff is friendly, rooms are clean, housekeeping does an excellent job. They did a great job at getting us some advance reservations. Great breakfast. And, dining at night at the hotel was a pleasant surprise.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HowardT49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Helvetia & Bristol for your trip to Florence and for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor.
It was very pleasing to learn that you had a very enjoyable stay with us and that you appreciated the hotel’s ideal location within the heart of Florence.
Once again, thank you for posting your feedback and for staying with us. We hope that you will continue to make many more enjoyable visits to the Helvetia & Bristol and Royal Demeure Hotel Gourp. We very much look forward to seeing you again.
Sincerely.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2013

My first impression of Florence was disappointing. I was given a suite next to the lifts and this was very noisy. I did not need a sitting room anyway! I just wanted a quiet room. I had asked for that in my emailed request that was obviously ignored. I had the stress of having to request another room that was very nice but it too was near but not adjacent to another lift. Fortunately with the air-conditioning turned up high I could not hear the lift noises. Tour groups were booked at the same time and I heard comments from some of these travellers of noise from lifts making sleeping difficult. Don't expect too much for your money here unless you are fortunate enough to get one of the really good rooms away from lifts.

Room Tip: I do not know how you can chose a good room at this hotel. If you pre-pay as most guests do, then y...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 323dawnee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
Dear Guest,

Firstly please let me thank you for taking the time to write a review on our hotel. However, I was sorry to learn that your first impression of Florence was disappointing. Please accept my apologies for the noise by the lifts.
I hope you will pay us a return visit to the Helvetia & Bristol on your next trip to Florence, when I would like to assure you one of quieter rooms.
With my best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
76 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2013

The hotel is a short walk from the Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. Our room was a suite with a reasonably comfortable sitting area and a nice sized bedroom with a large bed. The furniture could use an update, but it was clean and comfortable.The bathroom, while spacious, was not so well thought out for the storage of personal items. Also, it takes a while to figure out the shower. Nonetheless, the overall experience was pleasant. The front desk staff was helpful and friendly. The bar, while pricey, is open late. we would consider it for a return trip, but will also explore other venues. We were with a Tauck tour and so did not book the hotel ourselves.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jpsphr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luana M, Assistant General Manager at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
Dear Sirs,

It was thoughtful of you to write your comments. We consider any impression or report concerning our hotel a great help for us to maintain the highest standard of our services, to the benefit both of our Clientele and of the Travel Agencies, who honour and support us with their patronage.
We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that our staff and services have somehow contributed to render your time in Florence a successful one.
We sincerely hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the not too distant future.
With best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Coast, USA
Level Contributor
44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2013

Contrary to other reviewers, we had an extremely spacious room on the top floor, which only contains two suites. Room 560 has an interesting terra cotta vaulted ceiling with two bathrooms, a large sitting area, and a large sleeping area with a king-sized bed. The bed was rather firm, but still comfortable enough. The bathrooms were well appointed with Penhaligon's products, heated towel racks, and lots of fluffy towels - everything was immaculate and in excellent condition. We had a difficult time keeping the room cool enough, but it was exceptionally warm during our stay and the top floor location probably added to that.

This is a smaller hotel, and the public rooms have less of a grand hotel feel, and more of a quaint, clubby atmosphere. The breakfast was very nice - not expansive, but plenty to choose from and of high quality. One recommendation - for those who stay for several days, it would be nice to vary the menu a bit from day to day. The concierge staff is helpful and efficient, though not as friendly as I've encountered in other hotels. They do seem to send guests to the same restaurants as other hotels - we recognized several other guests of the hotel at a few places. I would make a point to ask for something a little different, if that is a problem. The location of the hotel is ideal - walking distance to everything, yet on a quiet part of the street.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms are largest.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ravellodreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luana M, Management Assistant at Helvetia & Bristol Hotel, responded to this review, 16 July 2013
Dear Sirs,
thank you for staying at the Helvetia & Bristol and for your very nice review!
We are most grateful to you for your courteous words of appreciation and positive feedback regarding your sojourn at our hotel.
We are delighted to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us and that our services have somehow contributed to render your time in Florence a successful one.
We usually receive good valuations on our Concierge staff, therefore we are quite perturned to hear the contrary. We may think that the presence of beginners and the coincidence of the busy high season period may have caused some aloofness, for which we sincerely apologize.
We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the future.
With best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Helvetia & Bristol Hotel

Property: Helvetia & Bristol Hotel
Address: Via De' Pescioni 2, 50123, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Duomo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#81 Business Hotel in Florence
#82 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#100 Family Hotel in Florence
#106 Romantic Hotel in Florence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Helvetia & Bristol Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Helvetia & Bristol, a historic property located amongst Florence's many cultural treasures. The Hotel Helvetia & Bristol is undoubtedly the only place to stay when in Florence. As a World Heritage site and magnetic cultural destination, it is the focal point for any visitor, and we are blessed by being at the heart of it all. Our front door opens onto the Palazzo Strozzi, a masterpiece of Florentine Renaissance architecture, along with an enviable location in the luxury shopping district. Our rooms and suites offer tasteful colour palettes and the carefully chosen antique furniture, objects d'art, paintings and rich furnishings are our hallmark in design. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Helvetia And Bristol Hotel
Helvetia Bristol Hotel
Helvetia Bristol Florence

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