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“How very disapointing, is all show but no substance!”
Review of Hotel Brunelleschi

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Hotel Brunelleschi
Ranked #24 of 410 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 October 2011

My husband took me here as a surprise for our 1st wedding anniversary as it was a hotel we both had wanted to stay in for many years and how disapointed I was.
Firstly my husband had spent time liasing with the hotel before we went, I soon found out by booking a trip and a restaurnat for us the night of our anniversary, so you would have thought that maybe the hotel would ahve done something nice for us, oh no.
Upon arrival we are taking to the lifts by Mario who tells us in the lift he would like to show us to a room that is available as an upgrade and tells us the fee associated (my husband I later learn was very annoyed by this and found it rude that he said in front of me, when he knew this was a surprise trip) and then he says he would take us to our room after that we had actually booked! I was astonished, how unprofessional. I travel a lot and never once in my luife even on our honeymoon had we experienced this. Anyway we go to this room and my husband decides as it is our anniversary he will take the upgrade, much to my dismay. So out stay goes on and on our fuirst night, we realise the phone upstairs in the bedroom does not work, so we had to call someone to fix and had to wait 20 mins downstairs to let them in as you cannot hear the phoneor door downstairs when you areupstairs. After fiddling around with it, (I am no engineer but cold tell the guy knew nothing of what he was doing) for what seemed like an eternity, he cannot fix it. we thne go out for a lovely anniversary dinner and stroll back to the hotel for a nightcap about 11.20. We get to the hotel bar, which has about 3 tables occipied, ask the bar manager/waiter if we can get a drink, he says yes so we sit down. 20 mins later no return of him (but can see him inside cleaning up) so my husband goes inside to get a menu from inside, another 10 mins or so pass, we had to actually call him to take our order and he says, oh no you cant have coffee now, the machine is swicthed off ina very rude manner. My husband orders a gin and I order a glass of prosecco, oh no you cannot have that by the glass but you can buy a bottle. I say no as we are going to bed and only wanted 1 drink that we have been trying to order for aout 30-40 mins now. Anyway he then walks off and picks up a bottle of prosecco from an area behind him that was opened and gave us 1/4 glass each, abruptly puts on the table, whilst carrying what apeared to be table cloth'sin his hand and walked off. After this experience, we gave up with the hotel as clearly they do not actually want to serve customers.
The followign mornign go down to breakfast, service quite good, however hygeine, not so good. Flies on the meat and crumbs all over the table and chairs. Davide out waiter though was very polite and helpful at all times.
We head out for the day and return on our last night and want to use the hot tub on our balcony, it does not work due to the display saying water level low and hygeine setting needed, ie.e. cleaning. So I ring reception on downstairs phone as of course the upstairs one still has not been fixed. Eventually I get through and am told someone will come up now. 15 mins pass and still no-one and so I ring back again and I speak to someone else who ahs not idea that we had already rung. She lightly says someone will be there, when I press her for a timeframe, she says I dont know. When I explain this is our last night and is holding us up, begrudgingly she agrees someone will come up, which they do. However, he clearly knew nothing of what to do, stared at the machine for 15 mins, my husband had to speak to him in italian and tell him what the display on the side of the hot tub said as it was in english and it clearly did not know this. Anyway about 1 and a half hours later, the probelm is rectified, however the sun has now set and we have now miseed the opprtunity to sit on the balcony in the hot tub, on our last night oh and are both now so wound up and annoyed at the staff and their lack of helpfulness.
The folloowing day, my husband calls down to confirm out late check out time and to request that the bill, especially the upgrade fee be looke dinto ahead of our check out. Well of course it was not when we checked out. My husband spent about 20 mins discussing with Mario who eventually agreed to take off one of the upgrade fees for the last night but that was it. Poor customer service, we should not ahve to ask, and certainly not argue for it.
Clearly a sign that further proves this hotel looks beautiful from the outside, however inside it does not have the substance to match up.
Also if your looking for a traditional hotel, dont stay here, it is far too modern inside. If I was in Dubai, fine, but this is Florence where you are surrounded by culture, but not inside this hotel, their are glass staircases near the bar.
Oh and when they say their building /renovation work will be finished by Spring 2011. they are lying, it is still going on. The stairs next to the lift were closed off due to work. I understand things take longer but Spring has long gone now.
Overally would not recommend this hotel to anyone and would not stay here when return to Florence in the future.

Room Tip: Dont stay here!
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank n4pla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelBrunelleschi, Direttore generale at Hotel Brunelleschi, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2011

Dear Mrs N4PLA,

We were truly sorry to read the comments you made regarding your stay at our hotel. We were surprised by the negative feedback considering the fact that before leaving the hotel your husband had a lengthy conversation with Mario regarding your stay and seemed to have painted a completely different picture. Comparing the two we must therefore conclude that their conversation had not been truthful.

The first day :
It is our policy to offer a superior accommodation to our Guests at a small additional charge if these rooms remain unsold at arrival time. We thought that it would be particularly nice for you, a couple on an anniversary trip, to have a suite with a balcony, with views of the Cathedral all at a very low price. Most Guests appreciate having the opportunity to enjoy a higher level room with a view at a price much lower than our normal asking price or the going rate. This of course can only be offered to our guests at the time of arrival. We agree that it may have been tactless of us to discuss openly in front of you what the charge was but our staff had absolutely no idea that the trip was a gift.
We would also like to point out that at the time of the proposal your husband was happy to hear that the Suite was available and once he was aware of what came with the upgrade, his reaction was “if a bottle of champagne is included in the upgrade, I will take it.” Our answer was yes, and at around 6:00 p.m. we offered you a bottle of champagne.
Regarding your experience at the bar, we recall the following to have taken place: Your husband came down to the bar alone at around 11:30 p.m. asking the bar manager information about different places to go have a drink. Our staff provided this information and your husband left the bar. About 15 minutes later, he came back down with you and asked if it was possible to have a drink there at the bar. Our answer was yes, of course but we informed you that we were closing at midnight. We are not sure why you had a problem finding a bar menu because they are on all of our tables. After a few minutes, our staff asked you if you were ready to order but you still had not decided. At ten minutes past midnight you requested two coffees.
Usually upon closing the bar we have a system to purify our coffee machine. Since you had originally asked for a drink our staff had not thought of waiting to perform the purification process. To apologize, we offered you, free of charge, two glasses of Prosecco wine and some biscuits and we would like to point out that this, not being able to make you a coffee, was the only wrongdoing on the part of our staff. We do not remember requesting the consumption of a bottle, but we do remember picking up the bill.
The food served at our breakfast buffet is protected by plexiglass dome shaped objects, that according to the Haccp plan, keep the food cool and maintain freshness. It is possible that flies can enter and/or fly inside the room, but these are used for that very reason, to ensure that the food is protected.
The following day, your husband did not in any way complain or attempt to contact us regarding the problems that you mentioned, which would be expected regarding the telephone in your Suite (it shouldn’t happen that a telephone isn’t working, but we would also like to point out that there are three telephones in this Suite) and in the hot tub on the terrace. Again, this should not have happened and in fact we agreed to offer you a discount for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
As previously mentioned, we do not understand the reason for this attack, especially when nothing was communicated during your stay or at check out after having directly spoken with your husband.

Claudio Catani
General Manager

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1,774 - 1,780 of 2,833 reviews

Reviewed 29 September 2011

overall I would stay again and reccommend but not if you like to drink in hotel bar or use Internet or like a friendly rather than snobish welcome.

Pros

location! Walking distance to everything!

Decor - beautiful hotel, very chic
good room size, walk in wardrobe

Breakfast - size & quality. Fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, cereal, meats, cheeses, fresh OJ and lots more!

Historically important building (tower)

cons
same album played over and over again for breakfast daily and dinner!!! Toooooo much! Think it was cafe del mar? Ibiza style chill, great once but not ALL the time.

Snobish staff - unwelcome vibe, trying to be better than they actually are? If they desire an exclusive hotel perhaps they should raise room prices instead?

bar prices €18 gin & tonic, wine started @ €27, cheap prossecco €60 (same brand as served locally for €25 in nearby restaurants) €7 water. Florence IS expensive but g&t in main tourist areas with views is €10 as a comparison.

Internet prices €10 for an hour Internet or €18 for 24 hours - far too much!

As part of our package we recieved a free meal in the "tower restaurant" in fact this is the lounge bar. Poor quality food, rushed service and expensive drinks prices - eat elsewhere, even if free! Time too precious to waste in this beautiful city.


BUT I loved the location and room so would stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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2  Thank Laetitia1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelBrunelleschi, Direttore generale at Hotel Brunelleschi, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2011

Dear Sirs,

I had the chance to review Your comment and to leaern about Your dissatisfaction during Your stay with us.
I appreciate Your detailed comment and honest feedback as these will help us polish our Hotel services as we undergo our current renovation.
I empathize with your dissatisfaction and apologize for services which didn’t meet your expectations, seeing that we often receive high regards from most of our Clients.
From the other side I am very happy to understand that you did enjoy your breakfast, the décor of our refurbished rooms and the historical building Tower of La Pagliazza where our Osteria della Pagliazza and Tower bar are located.

Further to your comments I would like to give You our feed back on the following issues :

Music, we are doing a big investment on our sound facilities for having different music in different areas at different time; this will be ready in a couple of months

Snobish Staff, sorry to learn about this dissatisfaction as from our internal audits on 1.109,00 reviews we do have a Staff rating of : Courteous 4.9/5.0, Efficient 4.7/5.0, Helpful 4.6/5.0

Bar Prices, our bar rates are duly indicated in our price list and are equal to other American bars in upscale International Hotels

Tower Restaurant, You are wrong saying that the tower restaurant is the tower bar. The location is an area at the ground floor of the Pagliazza Tower clearly indicated in our web site

We hope that You will give us the opportunity to host once again and provide the service that we are so proud to maintain at the Hotel Brunelleschi.

Hotel Brunelleschi
Claudio Catani General Manager

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Reviewed 28 September 2011

I had high hopes for this hotel based on other reviews on this site, and I loved the location and my room was small but nice and with an exciting view out my window. The serving staff was very nice and breakfast was better than average, but the front desk staff couldn't have been more rude, in fact I felt as though my presense in the hotel actually bothered them. I have never experienced anything like it before... anywhere. I go to Florence twice a year and will likely never stay here again.

Room Tip: Request a room with an outside view.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Daniel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelBrunelleschi, Direttore at Hotel Brunelleschi, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2011

Dear Guest,

I have had the opportunity to read Your comments about the stay You recently spent at our Hotel Brunelleschi and would like to thank you for your positive opinion about our breakfast, our rooms and our serving staff.

We are sorry to hear that the front desk staff performance didn't exceed your expectations, seeing that we mostly receive high regards from most of our clients. An internal audit has already been taken; however, receiving additional information about this inconvenience would help us to better understand what did not work with our staff attitude.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon in Florence.

Best regards,

Claudio Catani

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2011

The hotel was very beautiful. The room was perfect, but the shower was a bit small. It was within walking distance to everything we wanted to see. The only negative about the hotel was we asked the desk to arrange a taxi for the next morning to take us to the train station and he said we could call from our room, we did ask a nice lady later that day and she took care of if for us. The breakfast buffet which was included with our stay was very disappointing.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sharon0927
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

The included breakfast was excellent, very large spread. The rooms were very large compared to other European hotels, on par with the size of American hotel rooms. Only complaint was that our room smelled like smoke one night (it is a non-smoking hotel), and our shower would flood every time we showered. They are doing construction on the main staircase and elevator, so getting to our room was a bit complicated. Overall, great hotel, great staff, and I would definitely stay there again. The location was excellent - when you first arrive you may think it's inconvenient. But after walking Florence for a day, you realize what a great location the hotel has. It's very close to the Duomo, shopping, restaurants, etc.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Todd R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

Once again we stayed at the Brunelleschi for 8 nights (3rd time) and each time gets better !!
With the new renovations the Hotel looks fantastic and position wise cannot get any better !!
My compliments to the professional staff ,Stefano,Antonella,Simone,Daniele and others for making our stay special. The inhouse restaurant also good .
Definitely will be once again my preferred place to visit lovely Florence.

Paul Orso (Cape Town - South Africa)

Room Tip: Choose anewly refurbished Room ,they are excellent and spacious,preferably on Via Dei Calzaiuoli
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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Thank paoloCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

Great location, rooms are very small, bathrooms too modern...no counter space. Excellent location, but I would not stay there again.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank EileenS181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Brunelleschi

Address: Piazza Sant'Elisabetta, 3, 50122, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Duomo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Florence
#12 Romantic Hotel in Florence
#16 Family Hotel in Florence
#21 Luxury Hotel in Florence
Price Range: £147 - £722 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Brunelleschi 4*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our 4-star Hotel in Florence overlooking Brunelleschi's Cathedral is firmly established as one of the best and most famous hotels in downtown.The highly sought-after Uffizi Gallery, together with many other Museums and other primary attractions, are all within close distance. The 96 bedrooms and suites are equipped with all amenities and features of a charming property such as direct dial telephone, Internet Access, Satellite TV and in-room minibar. Wireless connectivity is available throughout, including our conference areas and the American Bar. The 4-star Brunelleschi Hotel originates from the recovered invaluable historic structures of the ancient tower named 'Pagliazza' and the medieval church of San Michele in Palchetto. For those who love going back to the past, our very own Private Museum, with exhibits unveiled during the reconstruction project, is a moment not to be missed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Brunelleschi Hotel Florence

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