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“Wonderful view, but a little disappointing overall”

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Belmond Villa San Michele
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Fiesole
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
113 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Wonderful view, but a little disappointing overall”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2014 via mobile

My wife and I spent 4 nights here as part of an Orient Express 1-week package. We have been to Florence at least annually for the past 20 years and always thought that we would stay at VSM on some occasion, but we have always stayed either in one of the few 5* city centre hotels or in a rented villa in the Florentine countryside.

Our first impressions lived up to our expectations: we stayed in a junior suite separate from the main house which enjoyed its own outside private seating areas with full views of the city. The pool, also separate from the main house area via a series of steps to the uppermost terrace, was set into woods with amazing views of Florence. The food too was delicious. The main strengths of this hotel are (1) the views, and (2) the food.

However, our overall impression is that this is a hotel that is not quite as good as it's reputation suggests. Most of the staff are excellent but attention to detail and anticipation of guests' wishes is better in some of Florence's other top hotels. When we were disappointed to learn that the courtesy shuttle bus only runs between the hotel and Florence until 8:30pm, we were very pleased when the hotel made convenient arrangements for us via taxi. Our main disappointed was that it was not possible to eat from the different hotel menus in each dining area of the hotel, particularly given the prices that are charged for the delicious food.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank MD G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron K, Direttore generale at Belmond Villa San Michele, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Dear MD G,

thank you for your recent comment on TripAdvisor, and for having chosen our 1 week package to return to Florence and trying our beeloved Villa San Michele. I was delighted to read that you found our views and Food to be devine and will make sure to share it with the team that I am sure will be very delighted to read this.

I am sorry that you feel that my team did not anticipate your needs as they strive very hard to provide the best in customer service, and I am sorry that they did not achieve this with you during your last stay with us, as any Hotel a courtesy shuttle or car operates on a time frame and we think that 20:30 pm is a reasonable time frame considering that the first shuttle starts at 8:30 in the morning.

If you could give me some more details of wich Menu you wanted to dine from and that request was not granted for which I apologize sincerely, you can reach me at anytime at aaron.kaup@belmond.com

Hoping to be able to welcome you soon again with us and making sure that your sojourn with us will be a very memorable one.

With my best wishes,
Aaron Kaupp
General Manager
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384 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014

We had high expectations of this hotel and the staff did their utmost to make sure it delivered. It's not inexpensive but then why should it be - it's an experience and a perfect one, and all the staff work tirelessly to make sure it is the best it can be. Go with it, enjoy it and come back refreshed.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron K, Direttore generale at Belmond Villa San Michele, responded to this review, 6 July 2014
Dear Mark G,

greetings from Florence and thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor, it was a pleasure to have you with us and I am delighted to read that your high expectations were met by my team and that everyone took great care of you. Indeed coming back from a Holiday " refreshed " is what makes a Holiday a perfect one, thank you and we do look forwad to welcoming you back with us very soon.

With my very best wishes,

Aaron Kaupp

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bloemendaal, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
131 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

The hotel was advised to us by some friends and at last moment we changed our hotel booking from 'downtown' Florence to Belmond and boy were we happy we did.

From the moment you step into this small gem you feel the world is just downstairs in the valley.
The people are extremely friendly, shake you hand when you arrive and try to go the extra yard. Quickly people know your name.

Its an old and classical Italian building with lots of charm. The gardens are beautiful, the pool on the highest level terrace but boy, the view. The view to Florence at your feet it attracting your eye's all the time.
The weather was very nice during our long weekend meaning the light at breakfast was exceptional looking down, again in the evening the sky turned slowly reddish and again looking at Florence while slowly turning dark.

But as mentioned the service in both restaurants (as well as bar/garden) was exceptional for Europe. Extremely attentive, a little stiff in the evening but always correct and with a smile.

A lot of people mention the prices are steep. Yes, its on the higher side but then its a special place and the food is very good, irrespective which restaurant or time of the day. Bottom-line, I rather pay more when its all right then less with bad service or lacking quality.

Its a perfect place to combine with work or leisure and with Florence which is a short ride away by own minibus (driving all day free of charge.) or a taxi. Count on 20 min or so.

Don't forget to book the restaurant for the evening, its frequented by the locals and thus not always easy to get a table on the beautiful veranda.

If I am to make a critical note I like to share 2 points.

We booked a junior suite, were upgraded to a exc suite upon arrival (thank you) but the rooms are typical Italian. For our taste to bear and classic and not really a suite in my view.
I realize taste is personal but it lacked the luxury touch/comfort which I personally look for and the air-condition was loud and ticking all night and every night. In all fairness I forgot to mention and I am sure they would have dealt with it smoothly.

What bothered me most was the lack of water in the room, in the evening per person a small bottle of 33cl. For me, a hotel should always provide plenty of water on the room when drinking from a tape is no option. The water in the garden (and maybe minibar too, not sure) was charged at some 10-11 euro per larger bottle.
Although expensive I feel that is not the point, but with a room of more then 700 euro's per night plenty of bottles should be in the room.

Anyhow, in my view you don't go there for the luxury of the rooms but for the gardens, pool, restaurants and views in combination with Florence activity.

I am sure you will love it, its really special.

Room Tip: Book a room with a view, its worth it when you have time to enjoy it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Roger S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron K, Direttore generale at Belmond Villa San Michele, responded to this review, 6 July 2014
Dear Roger S,

I am delighted that you were happy with the last minute change and your Sojourn with us at Belmond Villa San Michele was a delight and that my entire team went above and beyond to make you as comfortable as possible, that is what they do best and are proud to do so.
I appreciate your valued feedback and suggestions and will make sure that we take them into consideration for the future. I do hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back with us very soon.
In the meantime I wish you a wonderful remainder of your Summer.

Kindest Regards,
Aaron Kaupp
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
59 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

It is located on the upper hill with a stunning view on Florence. The place keeps this ancient spirit, you can feel it everywhere. We stayed in a junior suite, a very nice room, enough space, great service, we really enjoyed the dinner at their restaurant. The pools are nicely located in the middle of this abundant cultivated vegetation. It is really worth going there.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Morgenstern8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron K, Direttore generale at Belmond Villa San Michele, responded to this review, 6 July 2014
Dear MORGENSTERN,

thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor, I was delighted that you enjoyed the comfort of your accomodations and the magical views of the city we have from up here yet so close to the city center surrounded by the wonderful gardens. Vottorio and his Restaurant team will be very happy to know that you enjoyed your dinner with them as they take great pride in their work. I do hope to welcome you back with us soon again.

Best wishes,
Aaron Kaupp
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

We stayed at Villa San Michele for four days in June. It was our second stay there. We were with our daughter, son-in-law, and their one-year old. We had two junior suites overlooking Florence. The experience was exceptional in every way. The staff is warm, friendly, highly competent, and could not have been more helpful. (Before we arrived in Florence, it appears the baby had started to develop conjunctivitis, and when her eyes got puffy on our third evening there, i called the front desk and was told they would have a pediatrician to us in a half hour -- and indeed a half hour later, the pediatrician arrived.) My daughter and her husband, who are foodies, said the dinners were the best they and ever had, and we agree the dining experience is hard to match. Even their more informal dinner option by the pool was outstanding. The rooms, beautiful setting of the hotel, and the facilities (great pool) all combine to make this hotel a gem. We heard from other guests who had just been to the Belmond hotel in Ravello that it too is outstanding, so we plan to try that as well.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WilliamB1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron K, Direttore generale at Belmond Villa San Michele, responded to this review, 6 July 2014
Dear William B,

it was a pleasure to welcome you back "home" with us and am delighted that you and your family had a very pleasant sojourn with us and that even the newest memeeber of your family was taken care of and in assisting with all neccesary arrgangements. I am sure that our entire Food and Beverage team including our Chef and his team will be very pleased to know that you thought the highest of their quality and service they provided during your stay. Comments like your surely put a big smile on our faces but most importantly make us thrive even harder to go the extra mile.

I do hope to welcome you back with us in the not too distant future.

Kind regards,

Aaron Kaupp
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
58 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

Many similarities between this Belmond Villa San Michele of Fiesole and the San Domenico Palace Hotel of Taormina, a distance of nearly a thousand Km also this beautiful hotel is a former monastery and very expensive too, but it is worth all the money it costs.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ELIOLAMARI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron K, Direttore generale at Belmond Villa San Michele, responded to this review, 27 June 2014
Dear Eliolamari,

thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor, it was a real pleasure to have you with us and was delighted to read that you enjoyed the Villa San Michele and appreciated the beauty of the former Monastery and Hotel today.
I am sure that my team took wonderful care of you and I do hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back with us in the not too distant Future.

With my best personal wishes from Florence.
Aaron Kaupp
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mossley
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2014

This was the Second of three Belmond hotels we stayed at on our 'Grand Tour' of Italy, the others were the Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello and the Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice.

Transfer from and to Naples rail station were included at the Hotel Villa San Michele when booked on the 'Grand Tour'. The driver met us on the platform, helped us to the car(with free WiFi) and was pleasantly chatty during the 30 minute drive to the hotel.

The welcome at the hotel was like arriving at Downton Abbey with the staff lined up to greet us, very special.

Our room was large and spacious with a private terrace. Doors either side of the bed led into the joint bathroom with massive shower room, bath, wardrobe, the 'usuals' and his and hers sinks.

Florence! wow. Got to go back again again.....
Again, the hotel provided a shuttle bus between the hotel and Florence that ran hourly.
We'd booked a tour of Florence and the Uffizi with Dr. Alessandra Bernabei(see Facebook), you need a guide to point you at the salient pieces or you'll just overload! Alessandra was fabulous, you need to book her!!

The other days we just jumped the shuttle and walked our legs off around the city for hours.

The last day we were transferred back to the rail station.
WiFi and VPN worked fine in the hotel buildings.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jo_Nigel_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron K, Direttore generale at Belmond Villa San Michele, responded to this review, 17 June 2014
Dear Jo_Nigel_UK,

Greetings from Florence and thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor.
I was delighted to read that we were the 3rd Belmond Property that you stayed at during your Grand Tour package which indeed is a nice way to explore the wonders of Italy and our wonderful collection of Hotels. My team goes above and beyond in making sure that everyone is made to feel special and I am very happy that you received a warm welcome from everyone and that you enjoyed what the Hotel and Florence had to offer.

I do hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back with us in the not too distant future.
Sending you my best wishes from Florence.

Sincerely yours,

Aaron Kaupp
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Villa San Michele

Property: Belmond Villa San Michele
Address: Via Doccia 4, 50014, Fiesole, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Fiesole
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Fiesole
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Villa San Michele 5*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A short distance from the centre of Florence, Belmond Villa San Michele is housed in a 15th-century monastery with a façade designed by Michelangelo. It is surrounded by a large, wooded park and lush terraced gardens boasting magnificent views of the city and the Arno Valley below. The 45 bedrooms and suites are simple, peaceful and elegant while the Renaissance splendour of Florence is a mere 15 minutes away with the complimentary shuttle service, running every 20 minutes. La Loggia Restaurant provides a unique dining venue where guests can enjoy their lunch or dinner, based on Italian and Tuscan cuisine, while admiring the view over Florence. For a light lunch or a snack, the Pool Restaurant, situated directly by the hilltop panoramic swimming pool, is the ideal place. For food lovers, the renown Cooking School offers hands-on lessons to learn how to prepare the best Italian specialties. A Kids' Club and a dedicated Kids' Concierge are available to make the stay of younger guests truly unforgettable. The new Davanzati Room offers privacy and tranquillity thanks to its exclusive location, and a spacious terrace with a view for small banquets, cocktails and coffee breaks. Ideal for hosting meetings, launches and presentations, it also serves as a space for banquets for up to 100 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa San Michele By Orient-Express Hotel Fiesole
Hotel San Michele
San Michele Hotel
Belmond Villa San Michele Fiesole, Province Of Florence, Italy

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