The hotel is listed as a historical property built in the 11th century. The hotel has rich tapestries on the walls, magnificent stained glass, frescoes in some rooms, and many period antiques and furnishings, which are found in the passages and stairways.
There are two Starwood properties facing each other in Florence, in the Piazza Ognissanti: the Grand and the Westin Excelsior. In comparing the two properties, both are historical in nature, both are luxurious, but for the money, you get a better deal at the Westin Excelsior, plus the Westin has a great gym (Westin Workout)!
We received a very warm welcome from the Concierge and the Front Desk staff. We had booked a Premium room (#330), which is considered a large room for Italian standards, and this room had a gorgeous view of the Arno River. But, since we are Platinum Starwood members, I requested an upgrade the next day, and they gave us a penthouse suite (#558), not facing the river, but we had the ubiquitous “A Room with a View” setting, with a magnificent, picture-perfect view of the Duomo and other important Florence buildings.
What makes this hotel special?
Apparently, the Excelsior brand is a luxury name in Italy, and this property lives up to the name with opulence and richness in the decor of the public areas, the staff’s impeccable dress code, and impeccable rooms, bars and restaurants. This hotel was renovated almost ten years ago, but it still looks great; the hotel has 171 guest rooms that are uniquely styled, and elegant.
As mentioned, the hotel is located in the Piazza Ognissanti, facing the Arno River, and flanked by the magnificent Church of Ognissanti. The hotel is waking distance from the historic center of Florence. There are plenty of trattorias and restaurants in the hotel’s vicinity, but if you’re not in the mood to go out for dinner, you can always eat in at the hotel’s Orun restaurant, a pricey alternative.
Local Area (About 10-15 minutes walk)
Santa Maria Novella Station
Old Bridge (Ponte Vecchio)
Accademia (Michelangelo’s David)
Rooms and Bathrooms
All rooms are equipped with the famous Westin Heavenly Bed, and offer beautiful and luxurious bed linens that cradle you in comfort. The spacious bathrooms are different in design, some offering separate showers and tubs. Our first room had a beautiful, modern bathroom, and our second, the penthouse suite bathroom was smaller, but no less comfortable. All bathrooms receive premium toiletries, wonderful towels and bathrobes.
The staff truly goes out of its way to accommodate guests; they are genuinely warm and friendly. The hotel is beautiful, historical, and the location is just perfect for me. Of course, some things are really expensive, like breakfast at €39 per person, and a very pricey laundry service, but when it Italy, everything seems to be expensive! We did receive free Internet access, however, being a Platinum member.
The Concierge staff is wonderful and accommodating! All in all, this hotel is wonderful, and the location is perfect! I recommend it.