Where to stay in Florence: Westin Excelsior Florence review
When you think of Tuscany, rolling lush hills, cute B&B’s, fields of sunflowers and of course, glorious vineyards come to mind. You’ll tick all of these boxes in towns like beautiful San Gimignano. But whatever you do, don’t miss the city side of Tuscany with a stay in the capital, Florence.
The rich culture, great shopping, delicious food, friendly locals and amazing sunsets make it one of my fave spots in Italy. Should you find yourself visiting this gorgeous city, I highly recommend you stay at the Westin Excelsior, Florence and here are six reasons why:
1. The place has history
If elegance and old-world charm is your thing, you’ll be in heaven at the Westin Excelsior. From the grand foyer complete with chandeliers and stunning flower displays, to the high ceilings with lavish art works, it really has the finer-things-in-life touch.
Originally a 13th century mansion, the hotel combines eight centuries of Florentine history with contemporary accommodation so you’ve got the best of both worlds.
2. The celeb factor
Even if you’re not a Kanye West and Kim Kardashian fan, if the Westin was good enough for Kimye’s celeb pals during the wedding festivities this year, it’s good enough for me.
3. The rooftop you need to visit in Florence
There’s always a must-visit hotel rooftop in any city and when you’re staying at the Westin Excelsior, you don’t need to travel far to experience Florence’s!
SE•STO on Arno Restaurant and Bar is definitely worth a visit or two.
On our first night we venture up for cocktails and take advantage of the complimentary food spread on offer (the budget conscious could make a meal out of the generous spread).
What really impresses though is when we return to the restaurant for dinner: how’s this for a last night in Florence view?
The 360 degree views over Florence are spectacular and I’m pleased to say the food, wine and service match the setting.
4. Location, location, location
Florence is a walking city – you have to work off all that gelato somehow! – and the Westin’s central location makes this easy. With the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio Bridge, the church of Santa Croce and the Uffizi Gallery all within one kilometre of the hotel, you feel right at the centre of Florentine culture. Not to mention all the boutiques you need to visit between cultural stops 😉 Even the train station is just a short taxi ride away.
5. A room with a view
Our deluxe suite impresses with its high ceilings, charming furnishings and the comfiest bed of our trip, plus a huge bathroom complete with him and her sinks, separate shower and bath and marble finishes.
It’s our private balcony with views of the Arno River though that really gives the wow factor.
6. The best buffet breakfast ever
It’s a big call but the Westin Excelsior is home to the best hotel buffet breakfast I’ve ever had. From granola with the creamy yoghurt and the freshest of strawberries to made-to-order omelettes and too-good-to-refuse pastries, it’s the perfect way to kick off a day of sightseeing. The grand dining area and five-star service adds to the appeal.
In fact it’s so good I need another fix. We actually skip breakfast on our last day in San Gimignano so we can return to the Westin for one last brekkie when we return our hire car to Florence a few days later! Now that is buffet commitment 😉
Are you a Florence fan? And what’s the best buffet breakfast you’ve ever had?
Nicole stayed as a guest of the Westin Excelsior Florence.