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“Almost perfect but needs a little guidance....”

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Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort
Ranked #132 of 411 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 September 2013

I have just returned from a lovely week at the Villa Tolomei. I am going to start with saying that Mija is a true gem in this hotel and her salary should be doubled immediately. She is absolute perfection in all that she does to assist guests and she makes you feel like a best friend from the minute you arrive. I cannot say enough good things about this girl who is the heart and spirit of this beautiful old building and clearly has a natural way with people. To her I send my absolute warmest thanks for helping me get through a difficult time that was the reason for my break away.

Now for the few niggles and I am saying these to help the hotel not criticise. This hotel has the potential to rival the Florence Four Seasons, if it plays its cards right. But it needs to do its homework and the very nice owner who kindly invited me to join a private party on the first night, needs to help some of his staff to turn this into the greatest little jewel it deserves to be.

I am not going to point out minor niggles of things that went wrong - largely down to the hotel not being quite finished yet. They perhaps needed to finish off a few things before opening as this would have prevented some of the earlier more negative reviews. There were a few things in my room that needed to be done but other than that it was plush and they had upgraded me to a Junior Suite which for a solo traveller who usually gets the worst room in the hotel was an absolute treat.

If you want to travel alone, this is a safe a peaceful location and quite frankly the walk into Florence is really not that far for anyone who is reasonably fit. On one occasion I managed it in just 12 minutes, but that was at a very brisk pace as I was rushing to catch a bus. Coming back it is up hill so bring a good pair of trainers and throw your mules in your bag as I did. Then you can always put better shoes on when you go into places.

If however, you prefer taxis or can't manage the walk, then 10 Euros will get you to town. Centre and train station cost slightly more but it certainly isn't a fortune. I like to emerge with the Italian culture so I did a lot of buses - the open decked buses are very good and you will see alot and quickly whilst getting a bit of local info. Buy a ticket for 2 or three days - it is much cheaper than going for one and then you can also use all the local buses as well. For two days, I paid 25 euro whereas for one it was 20. This will take you to places like Fiesoli up in the hills which is pretty and give you a good overall flavour of Florence and Tuscany.

For anyone who wants to see outside Florence, Lucca by train is easy and is a walled city with no cars - it is very pretty and a contrast to the hussle and bustle of Florence. I also went to Pisa and my tip there is if you are going to shop, wait until you go outside Florence - particularly for local touristy gift like items - you will pay half the price outside of Florence. However, if money is no object then the wealth of designer shops will be your destination. I was fortunate enough to be there for the Vogue Fashion Night and it was absolutely spectacular and great fun.

The villa is very imposing and very refined. It is pure elegance and when they tie up the loose ends it will be wonderful. The pool was heated and everywhere was clean and spacious.

The bar staff are friendly and I felt no nervousness about being a single woman in the hotel or enjoying an espresso at the bar. It was easy to chat to the guys and other guests and no one made me feel out of place. I have experienced difficulty in other hotels.

Okay now for the guidance I promised earlier. Some of the staff need more training. A lot of the problems are caused by not being able to speak English. That is fine in a three star hotel, but this hotel is likely to be used by international businessmen and women for conferences, as well as those looking for a peaceful location. The clientelle will mainly be older and more refined guests and they will expect to be understood. I am saying this from a place of authority because I am an accent reduction and English specialist and I would love to have been able to work with some of them to help their communication skills. (If the owner decides he would like my help, he is welcome to contact me.) I will happily come out and teach them English inhouse or over Skype and he may contact me at info@voice-training.org If not me, then he must get someone else to do this because he is risking his reputation by the very fact of the poor level of English of some of the front of house staff. It is acceptable not to have maids etc speaking English but the reception staff are the first person a guest will meet and if they don't understand what is needed or wanted then they are going to complain and this will lead to bad reviews which will not help the hotel to get established.

I am not going to name names but one man just doesn't have the training and he was on duty for four days that I was there. I was experiencing some problems with my room and needed his help. He just didn't seem to understand well enough what I needed. I also think in September there should be the option for heating in a room. I had to ask for a second duvet as I was cold and it took a long time for this man to find anything at all to give me. That is not five star treatment and needs to be addressed. There should be access to a linen cupboard or a blanket in the room if nothing else but as the weather was mixed, as it can be in September this far North, then guests should not be calling reception at 1am to ask for a blanket.

There were several other niggles like no light fixture in my wardrobe but to be fair to them they did try to resolve things quickly and offer a token of their apology. But this is not the best way. This is treating sypmtoms not curing the problems. It is far better to get these things right from the start and bringing tea and cakes on a tray without so much as a napkin to cover them with when their are flying mozzies - unavoidable at this time of year- then that is very one star and I really want this hotel to climb the ladder of success and succeed.

This is my honest review of the hotel which is charming and lovely and don't be put off by my comments because they are meant to help this hotel do better and I know it can. The minor teething problems are likely to be a thing of the past before too long. I cannot stress enough that in this day and age where so many speak English and the hotel's aspirations as a conference centre, as well as luxury retreat, are one of its primary aims, it must make sure that the front of house manager is fluent in English. One poor couple had just had a bereavement and could not get their internet to work. I was lucky enough to have someone show me how to get it going and I suspect that was what they needed. It is different in Italy and you need to know how to change your device but the man at the desk didn't really help them and they were back and forth. I did not want to interfere but they were clearly distraught wanting to contact someone and this handled badly. PLEASE GET YOUR STAFF SOME ENGLISH LESSONS AND MAKE THIS THE HOTEL IT DESERVES TO BE. IT IS AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL AND LUXURIOUS, DON'T LET LACK OF TRAINING BE ITS DOWNFALL!!

That's really all I wanted to say...I love this hotel and I do hope they will take on board the criticisms in the spirit they are made, which is that I want them to succeed and I want to come back and give five stars next time.....JO xx

Room Tip: I was in 27 and it was a Junior Suite but didn't have the best views. But some of that was down...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank VoiceTraining
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelliniGianluca, Direttore at Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2014

Dear Valued Guest,
thanks for your wonderful review and kind words shared on TripAdvisor.
Your comments are very important for us to improve our services.
We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Villa Tolomei and look forward to welcoming you back soon to experience again our property.
Warmest regards

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191 - 197 of 505 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2013

My Fiancé and I chose the Villa Tolomei based upon previous reviews and wanting to stay at an "out of town" Hotel, to have the benefit of being close enough to the centre of Florence to get there with ease, whilst being able to be away from the congestion of town within a relaxing and quiet environment if need be. The Villa Tolomei proved to be a perfect choice in this respect. We were able to walk into Florence within 15-20 minutes and if we didn't want to walk back, a short Taxi ride did the trick (there was never a shortage of Taxis available). Villa Tolomei has a great team of very helpful staff and achieved the right balance of being visible if you have any needs, but not being intrusive. As highlighted in a previous review, we were provided with a great breakfast to go when we needed to leave early for the Airport. Breakfast is very comprehensive and the evening meals are of a very high quality. The Hotel setting is delightful and provides you with a real Tuscan experience. Would thoroughly recommend Villa Tolomei to anyone looking for a relaxing and pleasurable break.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Andrew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelliniGianluca, Direttore at Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2014

Dear Andrew,
thanks for your wonderful review and stunning words shared on TripAdvisor.
The hotel is just 5 minutes by taxi from the city center and 25 minutes walking. it is the perfect place to relax after spending a day downtown.
We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Villa Tolomei and look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Kindest regards

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Reviewed 14 September 2013

My family had the good fortune of staying at Villa Tolomei for three nights at the end of August. Our traveling companions, two different parties, also stayed at the hotel during the same time. I'll never forget the drive through the front gates. I felt as if I was in a movie where the main character is being driven up to an estate and passes through a long tree-lined driveway before stopping at an impressive facade. That's how I felt. The hotel and its grounds is stunning. Even a couple of our taxi drivers during the trip were amazed at their first sight of the hotel. Although the hotel is located outside of the city center, it's a short, inexpensive taxi ride into the thick of things. Had we not been traveling with our toddler, my husband and I would have certainly braved the walk into town. At check-in, we learned that we would be upgraded to a suite (we had paid for a junior suite through Expedia) and our friends would in turn be upgraded to the junior suite meant for us. We were escorted to our room, #135, by one of the front desk staff (everyone there was absolutely wonderful). Our suite was very spacious with two bathrooms, a large living room area, bedroom, and a sitting area outside of our room with an amazing view of the Tuscan landscape. We did not dine at the hotel restaurant for dinner, but their breakfast spread is amazing with a good variety of cold meats, cheeses, pastries, juice, and cooked food like eggs and bacon. The swimming pool is to-die-for, probably one of the best in Florence. Laying out by the pool with such a spectacular view was one of the highlights of our stay at the hotel. I have to say that Sylvia, the pool attendant, deserves an extra-special mention. She doted on our son once we arrived at the pool and provided us with arm floaties and a beach ball. The hotel also has a gym, which I only used once. It has a few pieces of cardio equipment and a set of weights, pretty basic but it does the job. One mild criticism was that most of us in our big group (six adults and two children) were bitten by some type of flying insect. I would definitely recommend packing insect repellent. Finally, I want to share that when we checked out very early in the morning on our last day, the gentleman at the front desk handed our parties two bags containing breakfast. This was totally unexpected and very much appreciated. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone. Grazie mille, Villa Tolomei!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ouiparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelliniGianluca, Direttore at Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2013

Dear Valued Customers,

thank you very much for your stay at Villa Tolomei Hotel & Resort and for such awarding words, that is fantastic! Please accept warmest greetings from Silvia and from the Whole staff to you all, we look forward to welcoming you again!

Sincerely,

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Reviewed 11 September 2013

We had a Junior Suite in this Tuscan villa style hotel. The room was clean, big bathroom and a very convenient and big bed. The breakfast buffet offered nearly everything what a normal person needs in the morning. We enjoyed breakfast every morning at the fantastic terrace which offers a wonderful view over Florence and the country side.
On some days we walked to the center of Florence where you can reach e.g. the Ponte Vecchio in 20-25 minutes. Alternatively you can also take your car or a taxi, but we preferred walking. We also spent quality time at the pool which is also very nice. You can have drinks and snacks at the pool. The only negative comment is that the water of the pool was a bit too warm with around 26-28 degrees.
The staff in the hotel was also very friendly and therefore we can definitely recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Junior Suite was a good choice.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JohannesSt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelliniGianluca, Direttore at Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2014

Dear Guest,
thanks for your wonderful review and such awarding words shared on TripAdvisor.
The hotel is just 5 minutes by taxi from the city center or 25 minutes walking and is the perfect place to relax. Our swimming pool is heated and the temperature is 25-26°C.
We are very glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Villa Tolomei and look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Warmest regards

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Reviewed 10 September 2013

Stayed here three nights. It is a lovely hotel. Daniela helped us arrange our transportation from the airport to the hotel. She was wonderful to work with. We even got dinner our first night in celebration of our Anniversary and retirement. Our room was on the first floor with a little outdoor space overlooking Florence and the Tuscan hills. Spent one afternoon enjoying the delightful pool. The breakfast buffet was absolutely wonderful. Great food and great presentation.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank 2PenceTx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelliniGianluca, Direttore at Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2014

Dear Guest,
thanks for your wonderful review and such awarding words shared on TripAdvisor.
It was a great pleasure for us to assist you, our Staff is always at our clients' disposal during the stay.
We are very glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Villa Tolomei and really hope to welcome you back in the near future.
Warmest regards

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Reviewed 8 September 2013

We stayed at the hotel in early Aug and thoroughly enjoyed the stay. As a family of 5 we required two rooms and the hotel was able to provide adjacent rooms. The rooms were large and well appointed and we all slept well.

The pool and restaurant areas provided fantastic views of Florence and the Tuscan country side. Eating breakfast overlooking the city or taking a break poolside from the 35 C weather was a fantastic addition to our day. The breakfast buffet was always great with lots of fresh fruit and other selections to interest all of us.

Being in the hills getting to and from the hotel took a bit of time but was enjoyable traveling through the narrow streets. Taxis to the downtown area are not that expensive and usually quick to arrive. We used taxis daily and found this took a lot of stress out of driving ourself and finding limited parking.

Overall an enjoyable stay and we would not hesitate to book this hotel again.

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
Thank GWBCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelliniGianluca, Direttore at Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2014

Dear Guest,
thanks for your wonderful review and such amazing words shared on TripAdvisor.
Our property is just 5 minutes by taxi from the city center, usually the cost is approximately € 10 per way.
Villa Tolomei is for sure the perfect place to relax by the pool after spending a day downtown especially in summer when it is very hot.
We are very glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Villa Tolomei and really hope to welcome you back in the near future.
Warmest regards

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Reviewed 3 September 2013

I just got back from a four night stay at Villa Tolomei and I can't say enough great things about this hotel and resort! The service was AMAZING, I've never received such great service before from the staff. The grounds were gorgeous, the view from the pool and restaurant are to die for! It's just far enough away from the main center of Florence, but only about a 10 euro taxi ride away from the action. I definitely will stay here again!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank JD3779
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelliniGianluca, Direttore at Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2013

Dear Valued Customer,

we wish to thank you very much for your amazing review about Villa Tolomei Hotel & resort, this is a prize to our efforts to make our clients' stay a most comfortable and memorable one. We look forward to welcoming you back, warmest regards from the sunny hills of Florence!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort

Address: Via di Santa Maria a Marignolle 10 | up from Porta Romana, 50124, Florence, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #132 of 411 Hotels in Florence
Price Range: £88 - £330 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Tolomei Hotel & Resort 5***** is the fantastic luxury hotel in Florence with panoramic swimming pool and restaurant with terrace and view for all of you seeking the convenience of a hotel combined with the privacy and comfort of a unique residence just 2,7 km-1,5 miles from the famous Ponte Vecchio on the historic city centre of Florence. Free Parking and Wi-Fi. ... more   less 
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