Florence is known as one of Italy's most enchanting cities, with total population of just a bit over half million, this city plays a big rule in Italian Tourism sector – listed on 3rd placed as Italian Tourist destination, shortly behind Venice and Rome.
There are plenty options when it comes to luxury accommodation in Florence – such as: Villa San Michele, Hotel Savoy, Villa La Massa, Villa Mangiacane, Grand Hotel Villa Medici, - Hotel Bernini Palace, Helvetia & Bristol, etc – But from all of them, not one of them grab my attention - as they all have common appearance – a bit too classical.
I am interesting for something that is a bit different. Something that is central located with a modern appearance.
The Continentale Hotel comes as my first option for hotel accommodation in Florence - not only for it strategically and marvelously located by Arno River (overlooking the Ponte Vecchio and the Vasari Corridor) but also because its modern architect/style. As I discover that the property is part of Ferragamo group, I made up my decision immediately to try this property. After all, I want to see if this new trend of Designer collaboration in Hospitality sector (Bulgari, Armani, Versace, etc) really works?
As a part of Lungarno Hotels chain (so far 9 hotels) – this small design/boutique hotel (44 rooms) has been features in many travel and architecture publications. Designed by Michele Bönan this hotel was inspired by modern 50’s and 60’s theme. This property is also a member of Design Hotels group.
I booked a deluxe room as this room type has 3 great windows and offered wonderful view of ponte vecchio, vasari corridor and arno river. The room is lavish in white color with sheer –draped beds and light wood furniture mix with leader and steel.
Arrival process was just standard – there is a lack of self initiative or personal touch in check-in procedures. This is very sad consider that this is a small property – which mean that the hotel personals actually have more chances to provide wow services. The agent does not even acknowledge regarding the purpose of the trip (special occasion, etc), what we had requested in advance and also what is included with room packages that we booked for. Our welcome amenity is not in the room upon arrival – and it was not there a few hours later after we return back in the room. We do have to call the reception to ask regarding our welcome amenity. This is just a lack of attention – especially for 44 hotel rooms.
The Breakfast is acceptable, the selections are limited but they are well presented. The Restaurant agents are very pleasant and helpful. I rate overall breakfast as “STANDARD” because during 3 days there - the buffet breakfast selections appeared the same. They should at least consider about making a bit variety / noticeable change on their buffet presentation– ex. Different fruits / cakes / muffins, etc. It does not take much to make small things great and attractive.
We had a chance to dinner at their sister property restaurant (Borgo san Jacopo – at Lungarno Hotel). The restaurant is small but great. We have requested an outdoor sitting by the patio (small – only 4 tables) with a beautiful view of Arno River. The food presentation and quality are above average but not over the top (again I believe it is just a matter of personal taste).
The service is acceptable and professional. One thing that came to my attention – I noticed that some agents gave warmer/friendly approach towards few other guests (native Italian speaker) – I wonder if the difference in service approach are because of the language barrier or while the others are more VIP/regular guests???
Whatever it is – I feel that they should give everyone a warm welcome feeling despite of the differences circumstances/conditions. I believe that is not only the food that makes a restaurant special – but the whole combine experience (food and service).
Departure process was a bit nightmare – the agent (who is manager on duty) gave me very unprofessional attitude. When I discovered later on at the airport that there were some mistakes in the room bill – I called the hotel back immediately and brought it up to his attention. The agent stated that there was nothing he can do as he already reminded me to verify the bill clearly upon departure. I do understand his explanation , but we all human and sometimes we might not give full attention especially when we are in hurry (which was my situation). As I understand, in most hotel (even the 3 stars holiday inn ) the guest can always contact the hotel back anytime should there is any questions regarding the bill.
I found his approach is unprofessional and so have no consideration – Was surprise me the most was this is come from managerial level. I was surprise to even hear his suggestion that I have to write a letter in order to process the claim - in which will take approx. a month to process the adjustment. The hilarious part is this claimed was about the welcome drink in a bar which was included as a part of our stay package (Hello ?? ). I believe he did not even aware that there was a "GLITCH" upon arrival that the welcome amenity was not in room upon arrival. At this point I decided to end up the conversation as i do not want to waste my time.
Later on I received an emailed stated that they will credit back the amount dispute – no sorry or apologize for the mistake. It show how unprofessional, and the funny part the email was not come from him but from one of the front desk agent/concierge.
Even though the service is AVERAGE , I have to be honest that this property is a good one in term of – central located, modern design/architecture and offered some wonderful view of Arno River (not all rooms).
I believe this hotel will be a great option for them who are not looking for some attentive services – or who are not very into services oriented. For them who is well travel and have hotelier perspective – then I will be better to try some others – such as the new Four Seasons Hotel Florence, the Savoy, etc.
PS: There is a new Modern approach - called Riva Loft (www.rivahotel.it) – the location might be not central, but it has very attractive architect/design approach.
Will I be back to this hotel ??? probably not .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A vibrant and dynamic yet romantic design and luxury hotel in Florence, beautifully evolved in the energy of the 50's. The Hotel Continentale is the place to see and be seen, a catwalk for fashion and desire in the heart of Florence. The elegant and inviting white colors chosen by Florentine architect Michele Bönan evoke harmony, simplicity, and fantasy. Discover refined design and attention to detail throughout this 4 star hotel in Florence near Arno, from handmade leather trunks used as a desk to witty clocks used as a side table. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Ctrip TA, Expedia, Agoda, TripOnline SA, Fastbooking, Ebookers, HotelsClick, Cancelon, 5viajes2012 S.L., getaroom.com, HotelQuickly and Evoline ltd so you can book your Continentale reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Continentale Hotel Florence
- Continentale Florence