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“Great Location, Modern Design BUT AVERAGE SERVICES”
Review of Continentale

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Continentale
Ranked #32 of 409 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 October 2008

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 .

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank luxadvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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590 - 596 of 964 reviews

Reviewed 3 September 2008

Excellent choice, best service, kind and helpful people

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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Thank Stavr0s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2008

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights at the beginning of our honeymoon, and it was fantastic. The hotel is located in an ideal location just on the bridge and river, but they managed to make the rooms peaceful with minimal noise from the outside world.

The rooms are luxuriously decorated in white, which made for amazing nights of sleep - perfect for the much-needed rest after the whirlwind of our wedding. The rest of the hotel is a lot of fun - interesting lounges and reading nooks, and it never seemed too crowded. The overall feel of the place was urban and sophisticated. We didn't get to see the outdoor rooftop bar area at all unfortunately since there were private events going on all nights that we were there - and the bar was not open during the day, so that was the one minor disappointment. Nonetheless, we loved our stay at the Continentale!

  • Stayed: September 2007
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Thank ssjj2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Continentale in June 08 for 4 days. It was perfect for what we wanted; central to all the main sites, trendy hotel, spacious room and a good breakfast. When you are in Florence you aren't in the hotel that much however it is important for us to stay somewhere we feel comfortable.

It is very cool fashion boutique hotel. The concierge was extremely helpful, booked all of our restaurants and never complained when we changed the dates and times repeatedly.

i have heard that in Florence hotel rooms are small but ours wasn't, it was a great size and we paid the lowest rate. We didn't have the view over the river but that didn't matter because as soon as you step outside the hotel you can see it.

I used the sauna which was fabulous after a long day shopping and sight-seeing.

Unfortunately we didn't get to sit on the hotel's rooftop terrace as it rained for the 4 days we were there.

Would have loved a bath but our room only came with a shower.

We asked for a double bed but we got two singles pushed together. We could have asked to change rooms but once we were settled we didn't bother.

The rooms have CD players so take CD's or you can plug your iPod into their system.

You have to visit Villa San Michelle. the most stunning hotel i have ever seen, it has the best views of Florence. We ate lunch there which was lovely but you don't need to, you can just as well have tea or champagne in the grounds to take in the setting.
We visited the discount stores: D&G and Prada. Half price bags - the same stock as in the shops. My boyfriend bought 9 shirts and 3 belts!

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank emanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2008

My husbant and I had an unfortunately very short stay at this wonderful hotel. Perfect location! The room we stayed was spacious, very clean and simply but slylishly decorated. I cannot express any special opinion about the service of the hotel (I didn't need anything special) but I can say that the stuff was very polite and helpful. We would definitely go back sometime.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dimitess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2008

My daughter and I stayed for 8 nights in April at this hotel to celebrate my 60th birthday. Florence has always been a favourite city of mine as for many years I was an art history teacher. From the beginning of our stay, the staff were welcoming and I was upgraded to the deluxe room 402 with some of the most beautiful views over Florence! My daughter was given a lovely room too but without the views, Room 205. We loved the modern ambience of the hotel with the white curtains, wooden floors and designer furnishings. The bathrooms were outstanding with brilliant showers and excellent lighting. It was very clean and the sheets were changed every day. For my birthday the hotel staff gave me a complimentary bottle of red wine on arrival. After celebrating at the restaurant of the Hotel Lungarno which is on the opposite bank of the Arno, we were amazed to find a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket waiting for us when we returned to the hotel - it was such a kind and generous gesture! We liked the boutique style of this hotel which gave a more intimate ethos than some of the larger grander hotels might have given. Unfortunately due to the rain, we were unable to use the rooftop bar although we did see it on the first evening. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for a good location to see the sights of Florence. The staff were always willing to ring for a taxi if needed or to make a reservation for a restaurant. The desk service was excellent and nothing was too much trouble. Although there is no restaurant, there are plenty in the vicinity and room service is available.

There were a few minus points but these were not enough to spoil our overall experience. My daughter's room was facing the street and there was some noise occasionally at night and in the early morning when the bin collections were happening. Some TV noise and furniture being moved across the ceiling could be heard but she did not know from where. If anything, carpets and heavier curtains would have absorbed some of this sound. However they would probably spoil the visual appearance of the minimalist design.
Breakfast was included in our holiday package. Coffee and toast was provided for everyone as they arrived and the buffet worked well. We did not use the fitness area/gym so cannot comment on this. The public sitting areas were comfortable and tastefully presented. Don't miss the "room" lift in the foyer which takes you to the breakfast room. It is very unusual...

We would like to return to this outstanding boutique hotel oneday to see more of Florence.

  • Stayed: April 2008
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1  Thank Traveltoad48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2008

We have just returned from an amazing stay at the Continentale. My husband and I went to celebrate our wedding anniversary and this hotel certainly delivered. From the minute we walked in the hotel with it's trendy reception area we knew we'd made a good choice! The room was great - very modern, sleek bathroom and a huge, comfy bed surrounded by white curtains. It had a double balcony and orange 'mood' lighting that made it very special at night time. I think the photos on their website don't do the place justice to be honest. The location of this hotel is great - you are so close to all the tourist attractions and can walk everywhere.
Breakfast was yummy (the best cappuccinos!) and we found the staff very friendly and helpful at all times. The only negative we could find was the lack of tea/coffee making facilities in the room but that's probably because we're English and like a good cup of tea!
When we return to Florence (and we definitely will!) we'll be staying here again. Wonderful!

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank boomerangturtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Continentale

Address: Vicolo dell_Oro 6r, 50123, Florence, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Uffizi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Spa Hotel in Florence
#27 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#34 Family Hotel in Florence
#35 Romantic Hotel in Florence
#37 Business Hotel in Florence
Price Range: £183 - £463 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Continentale 4*
Number of rooms: 43
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 
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Also Known As:
Continentale Hotel Florence
Continentale Florence

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