Traveling to Florence these days is not like the post-apocalyptic weirdness of August when you could go to the Piazza del Duomo at midday and see not a single soul. Instead, it’s the same as it was in the 1970s except with Wi-Fi and better plumbing. It’s the perfect mini-break to visit Florence right now.
September is always a wonderful month to visit the Tuscan city. It’s less scorching than August; the sun doesn’t beat down directly on those narrow streets quite so ferociously. Even the mosquitos have given up by this point in the year. It is hot enough to eat out in the evening in shirtsleeves. And right this minute, it’s also got the optimum level of tourism.
So where do you stay in Florence if you are seeking unobtrusive spectacular river views? The Westin Excelsior Florence is your hotel and is a historical building, which sits right on the banks of the Arno river with its entrance located at Piazza Ognissanti.
Its location makes it ideal to visit famous landmarks within easy walking distance such as Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Della Signoria, and the famous Uffizi museum.
This is the view you get of Ponte Vecchio from the museum.
The little jewellers and mosaic makers on the Ponte Vecchio are all open and raring for business. The Antica Farmacia Santa Maria Novella – known as the oldest shop in the world looks like it’s set fair for another 400 years.
So what if you have to wear a mask while visiting? You can take it off to smell the pot pourri.
The reception area is stunning and a beautiful way to enter the hotel. The area has plenty of antique furniture and historical artwork alongside high ceilings, it sets the tone of being here in Florence. The bouquet of fresh flowers is a nice touch too. The Italian marble flooring is an art piece in itself.
The Westin Excelsior Florence has a digital device that measures your temperature every time you enter the hotel reception area. There are arrows for entry and exit of the hotel. There is plenty of hand sanitizer throughout the hotel, near the lift areas, restaurant, restrooms, and of course in the reception area. Masks are supplied for all guests and there are more in your room. Only on request, your room will be cleaned if you are staying for more than one day. The staff is always wearing masks.
Se-STO On Arno
The Se-STO On Arno restaurant has to be one of the most spectacular 360 views I have seen here in Florence. Having breakfast with these views was just wonderful. To be able to soak up the city like this and take in how beautiful Florence is was a priceless experience.
Regarding lunch let alone cocktails this is a place where even if you are not staying, is a must-do experience. There is a dedicated meeting room with views of Florence, so for business, I would certainly book.
Arno River Deluxe King Guest Room
I stayed at the Arno River Deluxe King Guest Room which had the pleasure of having a view of the Arno river as well as Piazza Ognissanti. The room came with a large terrace that came with comfortable outdoor furniture. Surprisingly the area was very quiet of traffic noise as it is located within the ZTL (limited traffic zone). So I enjoyed in calm, with a few glasses of Prosecco the change from day into night. I must say the sunset from here is spectacular.
Sipping beer, wine, and prosecco during my stay made it even more relaxing.
The interior design was modern, and the furniture was of high quality. I loved the green chair with the footstool which I could move around and look at the views. The dedicated working desk was very comfortable and large enough to get my work done during my stay.
The king-size bed was huge, and the bed linen felt and looked lovely. There were ample fluffy pillows to choose from by as well. I liked how there were plenty of cotton towels around the room. For me, this is an environmentally friendly idea. When in Italy one must appreciate the Italian fabrics they create.
A very large bathroom with a double sink meant no need to be fighting over sink space. The separate bath and shower access which was very relaxing and the use of luxury amenities from Aqua Di Parma just added to my wellness retreat. The towels were large and fluffy which I always love at any hotel.
With views of the Arno, the Riverview breakfast had to be my favourite past time. Due to COVID-19 there was no buffet and there was individual table service instead. You can download the restaurant menus via a QR-code onto your mobile to avoid touching a printed menu.
The local fresh fruit and cold meats were presented to a high standard. The eggs were delicious and the staff very friendly and professional. There was plenty of food to choose from and it was all very tasty. As for coffee, tea, and water, I just had to ask each time I wanted some.
The Weston Excelsior Florence is a beautiful hotel on a top location when it comes to views. The views of Florence and the access to the city make it perfectly situated. I loved walking over the three bridges that were close to the hotel. Throughout the hotel the décor is stunning. Instead of taking the lift, I would recommend taking the stairs to explore the hotel. The hotel is pristine in its cleanliness and the staff is very helpful and friendly.
We are here to rebirth everything Made In Italy. Welcome to the new Renaissance.
Thanks for a fantastic stay.
- Room reviewed: Arno River Deluxe King Guest Room
- Website: www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/flrwi-the-westin-excelsior-florence/
- Address: Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
- Phone: +39 055 27151