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“It's up to you....”
Review of Torre Guelfa Hotel

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Torre Guelfa Hotel
Ranked #86 of 410 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 July 2009

This is a difficult review to write. The location of the hotel is wonderful. Very convenient, yet quiet at night. Our suite was huge...including the bathroom (although the shower was just in the middle of the floor with no surround, so the bathroom floor was slippery), and well air conditioned. The breakfast wasn't great...rolls (the bread in Tuscany is their great culinery let down), jam, fruit. Typical for Italy. The staff was competent, but not overly friendly. The bad...we had no hot water for showers on four different occasions over four days. When we called the front desk, they were usually able to get the hot water started. We only had two showers that were completely cold, but frankly we didn't want to have to call the front for hot water every time we showered. On the other hand, our time on the tower was magical. Although I am a "cram it in, don't stop" type of traveller, Florence has a downtime in the evening between everything closing and dinnertime starting. I didn't expect to use the tower, as we rarely are around to use hotel amenities, but we used it everyday. The time we had in the breeze at the end of the day, watching the day fade over the rooftops of the city was wonderful. And the staffer in charge of the roof was delightful. The slowed down time going back over our day provided some of the best moments of the trip. We skipped going to Piazzale Michelangelo, because we couldn't imagine that that view could compete with what we had at "home". So I guess it depends on your priorities....if we had hot water we'd give it a definate thumbs up.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank jenmol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 July 2009

I can't wait to get back to Firenze and stay at the Torre Guelfa. It is a true gem. Unbelievable central location. You can walk everywhere in the city from here. The staff is the greatest in this wonderful historic building. There is a rooftop happy hour with wine and beer where you will get some of the best pictures of your whole trip - guaranteed!!! I was traveling with my teenage daughter and we loved our room - plenty of space for 2 - great bathroom. You get a real feel for the city when you stay here.

  • Stayed: July 2009
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1  Thank WayMoTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2008

We stayed at this hotel as part of a tour group, and as with most things in life, it is dependent upon one's expectations. I would say this is probably closer to a 2.5 star hotel, rather than a 3 star hotel, and while we liked it just fine, we would not opt to stay here again on our own time.

Because I was traveling with my father, we were assigned a 3-bed, 2-room suite, #37, which was really nice. The rooms were clean and well-maintained, and the maids cleaned it daily. The shower is a good size, and one of the more well-behaved showers I have experienced in Italy, but the toilet seat is awkwardly large and I found it especially uncomfortable. We were never able to open our large windows, but since there was only a street and another building outside, we did not mind too much. The downside of being on the outside wall was we did pick up a lot of traffic noise, as well as the city's bells. Not enough to really be a problem, but someone who is sensitive to noise will probably want to request a room on the opposite side.

Breakfast is served in a bright and open terrace area on the top floor of the hotel, but not on the tower. It is self-service of pastries, yogurt, and fruit, as well as water and juice. On each table is an additional basket of pastries, and the servers will bring you coffee, tea, or cappucino. The desk staff is very helpful and friendly, and will hold your key for you when you go out, if you wish.

There is wi-fi available, and a computer where one can purchase 5 euros/hour of internet time. The cheapest internet points in Florence are near Santa Maria Novella, and on Via Faenza. The hotel itself is practically around the corner from the Ponte Vecchio, which puts it in the more pricy tourist zone, but Florence is so compact I found it well worthwhile to venture after the cheaper internet cafes.

Because I prefer smaller, homey B&B style hotels, I would probably not have picked this hotel on my own, nor would I stay there again. However, someone who wants to stay in an old tower building, in a safe, clean hotel with a helpful, English-speaking desk staff, could do a lot worse.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank thornmist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2008

Hotel Alessandra which is located across the street from hotel Torre Guelfa was booked and so my husband and I stayed here for 2 nights. What a upgrade. Not only was it less expensive but this hotel has more charm. Our room was huge with vulted ceilings and our bathroom was even bigger. For breakfast we sat in a indoor terrace on top of the tower. The staff was nice and very helpful. We would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a quite, safe, and clean hotel to stay at in down town Florence.

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

I have stayed at Hotel Torre Guelfa in 1995, 1996 and again in September, 2008, and the wonderful experience remains the same.
Location: It is built in a 14th(?) century Palazzo right in the heart of Florence. It is 2 blocks from the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi (my wife took a bathroom break to the hotel while we were waiting in line at the Uffizi (btw - RESERVE your tickets in advance, either by calling over 24 hours ahead or going to the website - the line is very long), it is so close to everything). Yet, it is on a narrow, quiet side street and with the windows closed our room was very quiet. One night with the windows open we were awoken by all the vendors dragging their stalls to the center. The windows close out the sound very well, though. I have been to Florence many times and I cannot think of a better location.
Staff: The staff is extremely helpful and nice. They made dinner recommendations for us each night and were able to tailor them to what we wanted. We have found that some hotels just recommend the fanciest restaurants, but when we said we wanted a quality trattoria they directed us to a wonderful small, local place with amazing food. They made dinner reservations for us each night and in general were extremely friendly and helpful.
Breakfast: This seems to be a common complaint about this hotel. You're in Europe! Don't expect a huge breakfast. The coffee is made to order (order cappucino or latte in Europe - cafe americano is usually espresso with water added, which in my opinion is rarely any good) and there is a selection of croissants and rolls and yogurt as well as juices. The fruit selection isn't great. Above average for Europe. You can't eat on the tower, but I was not expecting to from their website and I don't think they advertise this. They have a nice breakfast room with big windows overlooking the courtyard.
Room: Our room (22) was HUGE (about 20x20ft) with 20 ft ceilings, a couch and tons of room. The bed was a little disappointing - 2 twins pushed together and pretty hard. The bathroom was small but recently redone. Yes, the carpet was a little threadbare and the furniture was a little old (antique, with a gigantic armoire), but we thought it added to the feeling of staying in an old Palazzo.
TOWER!! The tower is really the reason to stay at this hotel. From 6:30-9:30 (I think) wine is served on the tower by the hotel staff. There are tables and you can take in a view of Florence rivaled only by the top of the Duomo or the Bell Tower. You sit on the highest private point in Florence, looking over the red rooftops and staring straight a the Duomo or down the Arno at the setting sun. We had a wonderful time drinking wine with other couples staying there each of our nights at Torre Guelfa. Truly an experience not to be missed and makes the hotel worth every penny.

Bottom Line:
If you are looking for a U.S. style Holiday Inn type experience with plush carpets, new beds, and scrambled eggs for breakfast (as some negative reviewers on this site seem to want), this is not the place for you. If you want to stay in an old palace right in the center of town with great staff and experience the most amazing view of Florence, then this is the place for you. It is a unique place.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jacko1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2008

My wife and children were in Italy for three weeks, from July through early August. The hotels we stayed in during our trip ranged from decent to surprisingly nice EXCEPT for the Torre Guelfa.

It is not that the hotel did not seem quaint when we first walked into the "tower" where the hotel was located, but it was after taking the elevator up to our floor did we realize that the hotel's own website was completely misleading. The hotel seemed dingy and although our "suite" was large, it appeared not to have been updated in a very long time. The walls needed to be repainted and the carpets were old and stained. We were not impressed at all.

But the best was yet to come. When we awoke the next day for their so-called delicious buffet breakfast on the much talked about terrace with it's amazing view of Florence, we were instead greeted by two people who led us to a third floor table. The food being offered consisted of a small basket of bread and fruit, which looked completely unappetizing, and the coffee was terrible, and when we asked if we could eat on the terrace, they told us that was not possible.

We left without eating, and took a walk up to the terrace on the roof of the hotel. It seemed that no one had been there in ages. The iron tables were rusted, and it was just so dirty. What brought our attention to the hotel in the first place was the fact that we could eat our breakfast or have a drink on this terrace. We realized that all of the pictures on their website were just totally misleading. It was a real letdown.

After that, we just could not wait to leave. We did not stay in the hotel much in our four days in Florence, but like all travel destinations, it makes every day better when you appreciate and like the hotel you are staying in.

BEWARE. Find another hotel!!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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8  Thank LovinLifeinMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
proprietarioFirenze, owner at Torre Guelfa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 December 2008

Dear Sir,
we are sorry that you and your family did not like our hotel. This happens once in a while, because obviously you cannot please everybody. We respect your opinion, however we would like you to take into consideration the following aspects which may have caused some misunderstanding.

1) All rooms have been restyled and repainted recently. We are located in an authentic "medieval palazzo"; for this reason we generally use antique painting techniques to maintain the character of the building. To an unskilled eye these walls might seem to be ready to be repainted, because they are not uniform and modern.

2) We have never advertised a "delicious buffet breakfast" nor have we stated that breakfast would be served in the Tower. The breakfast which we serve is not American style but is a rich Italian breakfast, in line with the Italian culinary culture and tradition.

3) The space in the tower is limited and is therefore used as a Wine Bar during certain hours in the seasons which the weather permits (the tower is subjected to continuous winds and rains, so it's cleaned just before opening the Wine Bar) . Review our web-site one more time, you can clearly see a table with a bottle and a glass of wine on it, but no breakfast.

In view of these three aspects, you should understand why we can not accept the idea that the pictures on our web site are misleading.
In any case, we sincerely belive that the originality of our hotel might not encounter everybody's taste

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2008

The Hotel Torre Guelfa was in a perfect location for first time visitors to Florence and for those who had visited before. Easy to see the important sights and sites from this ideal location and the price was reasonable. The rooms were large and had simple but comfortable furnishings. The breakfast was more than adequate. The staff was efficient and pleasant.
I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank travelbebe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Torre Guelfa Hotel

Address: Borgo Santi Apostoli 8, 50123, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Uffizi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#50 Family Hotel in Florence
#75 Romantic Hotel in Florence
#84 Business Hotel in Florence
Price Range: £95 - £231 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Torre Guelfa Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Safety box Minibar ... more   less 
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