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Pensione Bencista
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Reviews (391)
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All reviewsthe busfixed menupanoramic view of florenceold world charmpastamodern hotelfamily styleglass of winewatch the sunsetcommon areasa wonderful place to stayquiet placean amazing viewrooms are comfortablesurrounding hillsolive treessmall town
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Reviewed 21 October 2010

I stayed at the Bencista on a couple of occasions with my sister who has also visited
many times with her husband . We would like to extend our thanks to the Simioni family
for the friendly and courteous welcome to a beautiful house, with peaceful places to sit and enjoy the spectacular views over Florence, although a beautiful city it is noisy so what better to relax after a sight seeing than sit on one of the lovely terraces and enjoy a good book with a glass of wine
The rooms are charming with antique furniture, all have bathrooms on suite and lovely
views. The food typically Italian, fresh filling and more than adequate, looking foward to my next visit.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank banksia49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2010

After staying at Pensione Bencistá many times during the last four years, I sometimes enter Tripadvisor to read what others have experienced visiting my favourite place in Italy. I've never written a review myself - but I like to read others. The last review is from AverageGuy, and reading it upset me so much I just have to write something. I don't know what pills he took, but I agree that crazy pills sounds like a good guess ;-)
What did he excpect entering a house from the fourteenth century, full of antiques - taken care of and restored with a gentle touch to preserve the spirit of the house. Of course there are no sliding doors!
From where did they get the impression that the rooms have no bathroom? Because it's not true. All rooms have a bathroom.
I think he's the rude one, what he writes is not true.
Pensione Bencistá is, as the name indicates, a pensione. Not a hotel, with all the facilities of a hotel. It's also a quiet place, which is quite unique and exclusive these days.
But it has the warmest, friendliest atmosphere I've ever experienced - from the first time we got there we felt welcome. My husband and I actually changed our flight back home to be able to stay for five nights, not only three, the first time we visited.
All rooms are unique, some large - some smaller, but all with beautiful, old furniture.
And some with a wonderful wiew of Florence. The Pensione is situated in the hills outside the city, and if you don't have a wiew of the Duomo - you will have a wiew of the gardens or of the hills of Fiesole, the nearest village.
The Simoni family and their staff takes extremely good care of their guests, like the rest of the reviews of this site indicates. Allways friendly, helpful and charming - they make you feel at home.
This you will never find at a clean (in all meanings of the word) Holiday Inn.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ellenROslo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2010

It has been several years since I've been to Florence, a city I love and have visited numerous times over the last 30 years, and so this summer I made a return visit. Having stayed at the Pensione Bencistà on a couple of previous occasions, I returned there, as in my previous experience of the place the location, the ambience, the warm, family-like welcome and the good Tuscan food marked the Bencistà as something special.

I was therefore rather amazed when I sat down to log a review here on TripAdvisor, as I do regularly when I travel, to read the most recent post, by a Mr "averageguy" from Chicago. Amazed because I could not believe that anyone who has stayed there could have written such an unflattering review: it simply bears no relation to my experience of staying there, either on this occasion or on any previous occasion when I've stayed there.

The Bencistà isn't luxurious: it doesn't pretend to be. If you want luxury, there are plenty of hugely expensive hotels in Florence, or the nearby Villa San Michele, where you can spend many hundreds of dollars a night and be pampered. It's a few km outside Florence on the road up to Fiesole, but it's that location that gives the Bencistà its uniqueness. The rooms here are not done up like a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons, and some are basic but comfortable, others are more spacious with great views and large bathrooms. What I like about the Bencistà, in addition to its location with the wonderful views across Florence and the valley of the Arno, is its authenticity, its lack of pretension, the warm, genuinely family atmosphere (including the dogs), and the friendliness of the staff, some of whom have been there for decades. Also, I have always enjoyed the food served there, and this trip was no exception: good, simple "country" cooking served in a communal, usually convivial, atmosphere in the dining room. To sit on the terrace in the late afternoon, after a day in the city below, enjoying a coffee or a Campari, enjoying that view, surrounded by wisteria and grape vines, is one of the delights of the place.

For me the Pensione Bencistà remains one of the delights of visiting Florence, and I still consider it the most delightful pensione I have ever stayed in, in Italy or anywhere else. I shall look forward to my next visit to Florence and this charming pension.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled solo
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2  Thank felipeordonez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2010

After reading all these glowing reviews I must admit, that I feel a little like Will Ferrel in Zoolander, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Did we stay at a different place? Our story is this: After a long struggle to even find the place, (the sign is cleverly facing only one way, and we were coming from the other direction), we arrived in the rain and had to walk our bags from the parking lot about 20 yards to the front desk. We arrived at a glass door which was difficult to negotiate as we had all our luggage in tow. Making things even harder, was the family dog, who was wet and muddy, and dying to get inside as well. After awkwardly keeping the first door open, wondering whether the smelly, muddy beast was even allowed inside, we then had to negotiate a second glass door. As I used one leg to keep the door propped open and tried to make enough room for my wife, while she kept the second door open, I noticed the guy at the front desk just looking on. He seemed completely disinterested that two new guests were having a difficult time getting into the establishment to check in. We were told this was a family run operation, and that you were like family when you stayed there. This is one rude family.

Upon check-in we were asked to give over our passports. This felt very unfriendly as we’d stayed in many other hotels in Europe and had never had to surrender our passports. The check-in was curt and unhelpful and then we were told the “rules” of the pensione. Dinner times, breakfast times, etc. and the two night minimum. We’d had reservations for 5 nights, so it didn’t seem necessary to tell us we had to pay for a two night minimum. Once we saw our accommodations, however, we understood the need for the rule.

We had booked the most expensive room they had, which means it had its own bathroom. Please let me repeat that sentence again, because the other reviews here seem to think this is not a big deal. IT WAS THE BEST ROOM BECAUSE IT HAD ITS OWN BATHROOM.

Once we saw the room our hearts sank. It was ridiculously small with no furniture. Our luggage didn’t even fit inside, we had to leave our bags in the hall. It had one tiny monk-like window overlooking Florence (the best part of the room) an old chair, and that was about it. The bed, which had no boxspring, was just an old beat up mattress on a frame 2 inches off the floor covered by one sheet. No other bedding. The mattress was so lumpy I actually woke up in “happy baby” pose the next morning, stiff and freezing. Did I mention they wouldn’t turn the heat on even though the temperature inside the room was 62 degrees? We asked them to turn it on. They said “no.”

The bathroom was so small and cramped it’s only real use was as a toilet. A toilet, by the way, which was pleasantly situated about two feet from your head when lying on the bed. We actually used the public bathrooms because the one in our room was so ridiculous. Needless to say we paid our two night minimum and left the next day.

I’m really not sure how we could have had such a different experience from everyone else. This was, without question, our worst hotel stay in Europe. We’re not snobs, really, a clean Holiday Inn is just perfect for us, but this was just too rustic for average travelers. Great place for backpackers on an extreme budget who don’t mind sharing the floor with other travelers to cut costs. Anyone else, prepare for Spartan conditions.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank AverageGuy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
beatricesimoni, Proprietario at Pensione Bencista, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2010

My name is Beatrice Simoni, my family runs the Pensione since 1927,at that time Internet doesn't exists and anonymity exists and had a great value only to perform acts of mercy and charity .
Time are changing, unfortunately.
I am Italian and my English is not good as yours, so I apologise for some mistakes.
I am very sorry for you, Mr and Mrs Averageguy01,I am sorry that our dogs, Trilly and Otto were near the entrance door. They can be really smelly and muddy when is raining . For some guest ,who own dogs, this remind them being at home.
I am sorry for the entrance door spring , it is uncomfortable for us too, but because of Europeans security rules, it must be like this.
I am sorry for the guy at the entrance ,he should have come immediately to help you.
He personally apologise.
About the passports, I must tell you that every hotel is obliged to register the passports of the guests and send the information to the police. These are the rules for the security of the guests.
We ask to have the passports only for few minutes, the time to register them ,and then we give them back to the owner. I believe that this happened also in your case.
I want to clarify that all our rooms have a private bathroom since 30 years. At the time of my grandparents running the hotel we used to have some inexpensive rooms without bathroom , but not now.
You should have been more careful before writing inexact information. I want you to know that this morning we already received a message of a guest who was worried about having a private bath.
The best rooms of the house are the suite n.21 or the superior double n 18,both with balcony and a very big French window overlooking Florence, they both have a really large bathroom. They are a little more expensive of the one you probably had.
I don’t know which window is the “monk-like window “ of your review, but I must tell you that in fact our house was a convent in years 1750, so can be true that some windows haven’t changed.
About the “old chair”, we are proud to say that we only have antique furniture and I want to clarify that every room in our house have two night-tables, one wardrobe, one chest of drawers, one chair and one table, one armchair, one mirror, one headboard, three lighting, some pictures, curtains at the windows, a telephone connected 24h/24 with the reception.
In the wardrobe there are always some extra blankets, and it is easy to ask for some more calling the reception.
It is possible that in May the central heating was off, I am sorry if you were freezing. We have very god but sophisticated system with probe temperatures on the roof.
But it is impossible we charged two nights stay, if you stayed just one night.
We don’t have a rule of “ minimum stay of two nights” I am sure you make a confusion with another hotel.
If you stayed one night you paid one night , and if you didn’t occupy one of the best rooms describe as above you paid the price of a standard room.
I am ready to show to tripadvisor control your bill, if you give me your name, or I hope that the tripadvisor control will ask you to proof the truth of what you said about the two nights penalty.

Anyway I hope you could find another hotel nearby which completely satisfy your needs and you could enjoy your holiday in Italy.
Sincerely
Beatrice Simoni

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Reviewed 23 June 2010

Charming family run Pansione a wonderful building furnished in Victorian style, my suite had a panoramic view of Florence. Breakfast and dinner where excellent and good value, a wonderful atmosphere very friendly family and staff. It was very relaxing after a long day sight seeing in Florence. I also enjoyed the nice gardens for drinks.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank 2010Oliver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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