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Hotel River
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Reviews (975)
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All reviewsminute walkoverlooking the riversanta croceroof terracesmall courtyardlovely hotelthe hotel staffair conshort breakpastriesfourth floorcontinental breakfasttrain stationsuperior roompiazzale michelangelomain attractionsquiet location
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Reviewed 15 July 2012

We chose Hotel River by Best Western as we are fans of the brand and overall, this hotel met our expectations of a Best Western facility over our 5 night stay. The hotel is a bit out of the way of the heart of Florence, but within easy walking distance of most the headlining attractions. We found the location to be safe and quiet, very close to the river which made for a nice stroll back to the room when we were done sightseeing.

Two minor issues we encountered was at check-in, when we were assigned the room directly behind the lobby (room 200), despite requesting a room on a high floor away from general sources of noise. After trying the room for a little while, it became apparent that noise from the front desk and lobby would not allow for a peaceful stay. Our request for a new room was quickly accommodated and we found ourselves in room 308, which was perfect.

The other issue was due to the fact we arrived an hour before check-in, as our room was not ready. While this was not an issue, we were told that we could leave our bags at the hotel and step out for lunch. Despite a luggage room available and visible by the bar, our bags were left in the lobby, where any guest could have gone through them while we were out. I had mistakenly assumed that they would be moved to the luggage room once we left, which was not the case. While I should have clarified this with the staff, I found it disconcerting that no effort was made to secure our luggage in our absence, after being directed by staff to drop our bags in the lobby.

Also, the hotel's website lists that it has "guest laundry" facilities on site, which I took to mean a washer/dryer somewhere on site. It turns out that this is not the case, but you can have your items sent out for cleaning offsite (for rather high prices), or take them to a local wash-and-dry. Just a heads up if you are counting on doing your laundry in Florence and staying at Hotel River.

The only major complaint I had about this hotel was the breakfast service in the morning. While the staff did a good job cleaning dirty dishes and setting new places, we were disappointed with the lackluster efforts to refill food items as the ran out. There were times where we arrived very early for breakfast, yet found items like the juices or pastries gone, with no effort to refill these items through the duration of our meal. We also arrived late for one breakfast (around 9:30am, ends at 10am), and it was a nearly pointless visit. Very little food was left, and nothing was refilled while we waited. We managed to make a meal out of the remnants, but it was not the service I expected from a Best Western.

When available, we found the food selection to be pretty good, with a nice selection of bread products, cereals, hard boiled eggs and meats/cheese to choose from. There were also some very elaborate pastries available that looked like what one might order for dessert. While too sweet for our tastes at breakfast, they looked lovely and very tasty.

The cons out of the way, the rest of our stay was very pleasant. We found the staff to be courteous and helpful in most of our interactions, and the hotel itself is beautiful, both in the lobby and in the rooms themselves. Our room was very spacious by European standards, including the bathroom. Housekeeping did an excellent job everyday keeping everything neat and tidy and we found the bed and linens to be very comfortable. Like our hotel in Rome, we found the mini-fridge in our room never brought the items it held to temperatures we Americans would consider cold (the chocolate inside was melted!), but maybe the fridge was working by Italian/European standards. The A/C in the room was outstanding, which turned out to be a Godsend on some of the warmer and more humid days we encountered in Florence.

The hotel was within easy walking distance of the Uffizi Gallery and Ponti Vecchio by walking along the Arno (~10-15 minutes). Piazza Vecchio was between a 15-20 minute walk, and the Duomo and Accademia were about 20-25 minutes by foot. The train station, Santa Maria Novella, was about a 30 minute walk, which we did several times as Florence proved to be a a good "homebase" for other points in the region, such as the Cinque Terra and Siena. A taxi ride to and from the hotel took about 10-15 minutes and cost between 12-15 euro.

Overall, I would prefer to give this hotel a 3.5 star rating, but will leave it at a four as most of the trouble we encountered was at the beginning of our stay and was of little consequence once corrected by the staff or my husband and I. For the size and cleanliness of the room, the air conditioning, the location and the breakfast, I'll leave the rating at a four. All told, I would stay here again and have mostly pleasant memories of our time at Hotel River.

Room Tip: Not near the lobby!! Room 308 was great!!
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank dream1717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simone C, Direttore at Hotel River, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for staying at the Hotel River and for posting such a nice review.

Please know that we have recently renovated the Hotel, its facilities and services and in case you return to visit us we will be able to make your stay even more pleasant.

Sincerely

LHP - Hotel River
Florence

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2012

This was our very favorite hotel during our travels to Italy during the summer of 2010. The hotel was a pretty hefty walk from all the tourist attractions but we didn't mind it considering it allowed for a more peaceful and quiet surrounding to the hotel. Our room was on the first floor, in a corner room. The air conditioner was quite powerful and we loved how it almost froze us at night. Since the summers in Italy can be quite brutal, the freezing, chilly air was a blessing to come back to after a long day of sightseeing. The breakfast in the morning was very good and just what we needed before a long day on our feet eating nothing but endless amounts of gelato!! We loved this hotel and would absolutely stay here again on our next visit.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank educ8tor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simone C, Direttore at Hotel River, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for staying at the Hotel River and for posting such a nice review.

Please know that we have recently renovated the Hotel, its facilities and services and in case you return to visit us we will be able to make your stay even more pleasant.

Sincerely

LHP - Hotel River
Florence

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Spent 4 nights at hotel river on a romantic long weekend with no complaints! Location is wonderful, close to all the main sights literally a 10 minute walk away, and right on the river Arno a great view from the terrace upstairs! Perfect sight seeing base as you a far away enough to relax in peace and quiet, but close enough to reach everything by foot! River front rooms come at a premium though as the hotel is narrow, so doubt be expecting a room with a view. Guess rooms are a little dated but everything is so much better than I excepted from a 3 star, already recommended this to friends and family, who have equally enjoyed this hotel! Breakfast is good, and all in all this hotel was great value for money. Will be staying here again without hesitation!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank HMacc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simone C, Direttore at Hotel River, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for staying at the Hotel River and for posting such a nice review.

Please know that we have recently renovated the Hotel, its facilities and services and in case you return to visit us we will be able to make your stay even more pleasant.

Sincerely

LHP - Hotel River
Florence

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Have just returned from 5 nights here.Holiday was to celebrate our Ruby Wedding so didn't get off to a good start when our case didn't arrive in Pisa which meant that we decided to walk from Santa Maria Novella station (had looked at hotel brochure which said 1.5km, think they meant 1.5 miles!) - do not try when the temp is in the 30s!! Hotel is next to the river which has lots of algae so not the prettiest sight but hotel is lovely. We had a room on the second floor, basically up a slight slope as their first floor is our ground floor,overlooking the courtyard. Although small the bed was big, though a bit hard for our liking which made it average rather than v good, the a/c was excellent without being noisy and the shower was strong but most of all it was quiet. Yes, as others have said you could hear your neighbours but that applies to many hotels and we've known worse! Breakfast was continental buffet with hot water and a variety of tea bags powder for hot chocolate as well as coffee and the usual cereals, toast, ham, cheese and bread but with lovely tarts every day. Position wise it's quite good as not far from Santa Croce as well as being 5 minutes easy walk to Ponte alle Grazie and the other side of the river.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank beanandbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simone C, Direttore at Hotel River, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for staying at the Hotel River and for posting such a nice review.

Please know that we have recently renovated the Hotel, its facilities and services and in case you return to visit us we will be able to make your stay even more pleasant.

Sincerely

LHP - Hotel River
Florence

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2012

We spent 3 nights at Hotel River, and were pleased with our experience. I was not happy with the location initially; however, once we got our bearings, it was fine. The hotel is a short walk from Piazza Santa Croce which we dined at each evening (try the lasagna at boccadama and gelato from Gelateria de Neri on via dei neri) and a 15 minute walk from Piazzale Michelangelo which as beautiful views of the city. This area is not as crowded with tourists and a little but out of the "hustle & bustle" which was nice. As a point of reference, we walked back from the train station one evening and it took us about 35-40 minutes....20 mins or so to the Ponte Vecchio.
The hotel itself is clean and nice. Our hotel in Rome did not have a shower door, so we were thrilled to not soak the bathroom every time we showered here. The bed was comfortable and the AC worked well. The free wireless left a little to be desired, but that was fine...part of being on vacation is disconnecting! Breakfast was fine..good coffee and something to fill the void until lunch.
The hotel staff was friendly, always meeting our needs, but sometimes a little smug for lack of a better description. Overall, this was the best hotel we stayed in during our trip to Rome, Florence, and Venice.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank DPLou56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simone C, Direttore at Hotel River, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent stay at the Hotel River and for posting such a lovely comment.

Please know that your satisfaction is a fantastic reward for everybody working at the Hotel; we do really appreciate it.

We can't wait for your return to offer another wonderful Florentine holiday.

Sincerely

LHP - Hotel River
Florence

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