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“Fit for a princess”
Review of Villa Cora

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Villa Cora
Ranked #7 of 420 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
St. John's, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fit for a princess”
Reviewed 20 June 2011

We booked the Grand Hotel Villa Cora for 5 nights based on the latest reviews from Tripadvisor, (post Dec 2011) even though the older ones were what peeked out interest. We were looking for a quite but within walking distance hotel to Frienze center.
My wife and I arrived in Frienze airport in the early afternoon and took a taxi to the hotel,
(note: every taxi driver we had knew instantly where the hotel was).
Upon arrival at the hotel (we should use the term Villa as you feel more like walking into a private home than a hotel) we were immediately struck by the quality and sense of history of the place.
There is no conventional hotel desk area but rather a informal (personal) small table with a couple of chairs near the entrance where you check in, which was polite, quick and efficent. You are then invited to take a tour of the property and given the history of the Villa. The staff are justifiably proud of the Hotel and the surrounding grounds.
I has seen the pictures on the internet and read several reviews but was still not expecting such quality and attention to detail. My wife who had only seen a few pictures was completety blown away. (She said afterwards that she felt like a princess in a palace).
Words do not do it justice. Here are the facts.
Location - excellent (they have shuttle till 8 pm always available and the taxi ride back to the Villa never exceeded 12 euros)
Rooms - excellent (we had a top floor one in the Villa with a terrace and a view of Frienze, it was quite, very well appointed and dare I say it - romantic)
Staff - excellent ( polite, professional, personable - they remember your name and make you feel welcome)
Amenities - excellent ( the restaurant food was some of the best we had on our vacation and the wine list layout charming, breakfast made starting the day elegant and relaxed:
we had drinks most everynight - either after dinner at the hotel or arriving late back from Frienze, it was a great way to end the day sitting in one of the many salons or on the trrrace and being transported back in time to a more genteel age)
I sorry to say we did not have time to try the pool or spa as we were on the go every day.
Overall an "hotel" stay we will remember (and compare others to) forever.
Thank you Villa Cora and your amazing and gracious staff.

Linda and David Leonard
Paradise, NL, Canada

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank fromthelandoflegends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2011

My 22 year old daughter and I stayed here for 1 week 8/6 until 15/6 and it is truly a wonderful 5 star hotel. I believe it was completely refurbished last year and is immaculate.The room was delightful, only slight criticism bathroom was a bit small. However the beds were very comfortable with egyptian cotton sheets and cosy duvets. Satellite tv with a great range of english movie and comedy channels.The hotel has a lovely pool, essential in Florence in summer with a wonderful spa. Guests also have complimentary use of sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. The food is wonderful, Michelin star standard. Great breakfast with freshly squeezed orange juice and wonderful coffee. It is a 30 minute walk to Ponte Vecchio but the hotel has a complimentary bus that runs all day up to 8.00 pm. Florence is one of the worlds great cities and now I have found a great hotel to stay in when I go there!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank janetl_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salvador, BA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2011

The decoration and architecture of the hotel is a work of an artist.
Do not count with anything more than that.
If you want, to stay in a hotel where will you feel like a special person, please look for another hotel. I can suggest two where we've stayed: IL Salviatino and Le Maschere.

When we arrived there, a really unplesant receptionist made us, me and my groom, think twice, about stay in Villa Cora. For the first time in my life I felt like I was not welcome to a place. But i was really exausted, then we decided to keep the room which we had booked. In our room the lights didn´t work, we´ve called to reception and they sent to our bedroom, a boy who carried our bags, to check the problem.
He doesn´t resolved the problem and went out. Then two men, dressed inappropriately arrived at our bedroom accompanied by a person who I believe was the hotel manager. After 10 minutes, they had failed in resolve the problem, again, then they decided to offer to us another room . We sent some clothes for the laundry of the hotel, the person responsible for the service, filled the form out of our room and left us with no copy at hand. A pair of trousers that was part of a suit disappeared and the concierge said to us, we had never sent this to wash. As we had no copies of the form, with us, we couldn't prove. That remained our word against the maid words . They do not take responsibility for the disappear of the pants and my groom had to buy another one with his own money, to go to a wedding party. The wedding party was the reason why we were in town.
It´s hard to you to believe that, but i´m talking about a five star expensive hotel. Everything about the hotel is really cold and i´m not talking about the weather.
We had booked a room for four days but we stayed only two days. Never more...

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank jbettencourt10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarissa18, Responsabile reception at Villa Cora, responded to this review, 22 June 2011
Dear Guest,

We thank you for the time you dedicated to us with your comments.
We would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused and we assure you that what happened was only an unfortunate episode.
Since we have reopened , 27th December 2010 , this is the first time that a guest felt as you described at your arrival.
Regarding the electricity problem, we normally as procedures send the porter to check the real cause. (Sometimes clients insert the key in the wrong way in the key reader and they do not have electricity in the room). Otherwise, if the problem is more difficult to solve, we call our technician and the electrician (they came to your room with the front office manager). In your case, we could not solve the problem because a fuse was broken. We showed you immediately a Deluxe Room on the first floor with a free upgrade in order to compensate for the inconvenience.
Referring to the lost trousers, we agree with you: your words against ours. As you wrote you were supposed to leave 2 days later (June 4th). On June 2nd, in the morning you informed the reception about the trousers matter and, as it was holiday in Italy, we could make the researches only in our property since the laundry was closed. After that, you advised us that you wanted to leave in an hour and solve immediately the problem. We called the owner of the laundry and he kindly opened the shop in order to allow us to check whether the trousers were over there. Our Concierge went personally to the laundry. We took the report that you wrote and we sent it to the insurance.
Finally, we would like to add that our front office manager, when you walked-in at the hotel without a reservation (they just called us from Il Salviatino asking if we had a cheaper room then their last room), asked you about Il Salviatino and you answered him that you did not overnight in that hotel. This is very strange as you are recommending this hotel without having spent a night there.
We would like to thank you for your preference, hoping that your next stay in Florence may always bring you smiles and good memory.

Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2011

My husband surprised me by taking me to Italy for our honeymoon. Florence was scheduled for the second leg of our trip, after four days in Santa Margherita at the Grand Hotel Miramare where they blew us away with beauty and service. I didn't think that there was any way that the Villa Cora could top or at least live up to our experience at the Miramare. Wow! They made a believer out of me as soon as our taxi drove through the gates in the driveway. The Villa Cora is remarkably beautiful. It somehow balances clean modernity with the ornate oppulence from centuries ago. The staff is professional, friendly and very, very helpful. They all speak English very well. Upon arriving, you are taken on a tour of the property and you can't help but wonder at the beauty and intracacy of each room, one grander than the next. It was a dream to actually be able to stay in a place that beautiful.

The hotel is located on the other side of the Arno but is walkable to everything, if you're up for a little hike (15 mins to the Arno & bridges). It's much less touristy and more relaxed and from the rooftop you've got a view of the city that makes standing in line at the Duomo seem totally unnecessary!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Miggysgirl44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2011

My husband were given this room as our other hotel was full. It is amazing! There are sweeping views of florence, impeccable service and the restaurant was some of the best food we've had. The only thing for my husband and I was it was a little awkward for us, we arn't 5 star hotel people and being waited on hand and foot is great for some, but for us it did get a little overwhelming at times. The breakfast was wonderful, as was a dinner we had there on the 1st night. It is out of town but they have a driver who will take you where you need to go. Overall a great experience.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank becky_boo66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2011

From the moment you first see the Villa Cora as you drive on the winding road, the Viale Machiavelli to the moment you walk through its doors, you are completely taken aback by the sheer beauty and opulence of the place. The years it has been closed for renovation have not been in vain.
It has been beautifully and tastefully restored, reflecting the Florentine art and style.

After reading the Condenast, we were expecting a lovely hotel, but not to this standard and certainly could have have imagined the exceptionally warm welcome from its staff, who are so outstanding that they it really sets the Villa Cora apart from other 5 star hotels.
The staff were always more than happy to see to your every need, without being intrusive. Our amazing Concierge service organised personal tours and recommended and booked fantastic restaurants. Thanks so much Michele and Antonio!

A massage at the luxurious spa by Joya was unbelievably good! Highly recommend her!! The Spa has a steam room, sauna, turkish bath and a small gym in addition to the treatment rooms.

The Pool restaurant has an excellent food and wine selection, with both healthy and decadent foods on offer, with a great chef who is happy to make whatever you wish, all led by the very special Giampiero, who is the Maitre'D.

Although this hotel is not in the city centre, it has a shuttle that takes you to the city centre whenever you need, and allows for true relaxation, as you can sleep in if you choose without the noise of the city centre.

In spite of this being such a high end luxury hotel, it is not pretentious or haughty, but rather very warm, welcoming and homely. It has managed to achieve this rare casual ambience, while epitomising elegance and class.
Thank you to all who made our Anniversary Holiday really unforgettable!!!!

Room Tip: Choose the 3rd floor with terrace, amazing views!!
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank PSZTT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2011

Wow. If you want to experience luxury unlike anywhere else, go to Villa Cora. Nestled just a few minutes outside of the hustle of Florence sits a hotel that is fit for royalty. We took our family of 5 (2 teens, one 8 year old) to Villa Cora and they all adored the staff, ate everything that was prepared, and ran around the grounds as if they were the only guests. Marco, the manager, is smart, accomodating and should be in the movies, Jean Piero manages a restaurant where food melts in your mouth. He will prepare anything for you, just tell him what ingredients you like. My son asked "What kind of pasta do you have?" And Jean Piero replied, "250, just tell me what you like and I will surprise you." After the first meal, the staff knew which child loved tomatoes and which didn't like onions and for ther rest of the stay, they were served accordingly. Feliche is delightful. Everyone can't do enough to make you feel special and taken care of at every moment. Truly a hidden gem.

Room Tip: just ask.
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank TKF123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Cora

Property: Villa Cora
Address: Viale Niccolo Machiavelli 18, 50125, Florence, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Florence
#1 Family Hotel in Florence
#6 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#11 Romantic Hotel in Florence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa Cora 5*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
VILLA CORA is a 5 star resort located in a 19th century mansion with a large park, bordering the gardens along Viale dei Colli, within walking distance from Boboli and Oltrarno and considered the "grand lady" of Florence southern hills. Its 46 rooms and suites, heated pool in the park, Gourmet's Restaurant and Spa make it the ultimate, exquisitely sophisticated "city resort". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Florence
Grand Hotel Cora

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