I agree with Charlie635 - the service here is definitely not up to par with other Relais & Chateaux hotels or other luxury hotels. I'm surprised this hotel is even still in the Relais & Chateaux network - either the food and service need to be drastically improved, or it should not be included in the group anymore as these two elements were sub-standard and ruined the experience for us. I've had excellent experiences at Relais & Chateaux hotels in other parts of Italy, France and in the US. Details below:
The exterior of the hotel, lobby, bathrooms, breakfast area, grounds and pool are all beautiful. The shuttle service into Florence was also very convenient. Marco was the one exception to the bad service - he upgraded us and offered us complimentary breakfast after we had to wait twenty minutes watching the bellboy try to get into our room with a key that didn't work, and then couldn't get in the room again the next morning (same key issue) and it was only when I finally went downstairs to find someone else were we able to get in. The hotel should've offered us a quick and better solution immediately (Marco was not there till the next day but he resolved the issue in quick and professional five star fashion). Sleep quality, location and cleanliness were fine.
The food here is so bad (taste & quality) I ended up skipping my meals on the last day as I had gotten sick from the lunch the day before. This was really disappointing as Tuscan food is known to be delicious.
The rooms could also do with a bit of renovation. The furniture is a bit outdated and the decoration is not very tasteful.
Service - the concierge told my husband that one of the tourist sites was open Sunday morning when it wasn't so he ended up going all the way there to find out it was closed after all. Concierge's should know these things. Then when we asked for a non-touristy restaurant recommendation for dinner they sent us to a horrible tourist joint so we actually had to leave and find somewhere else upon recommendation from friends. Lastly I had gotten a late check out from one of the ladies at the front desk, and afterwards her counterpart told us we were supposed to check out already, in quite an unfriendly, unprofessional way. They do not seem to work together as they were clearly not on the same page.
- 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