Just beside the best sights of Florence, Hotel Helvetia & Bristol flaunts 19th century history, five-star service, and authentic Renaissance design
The Historical Center of Florence, or centro storico, is a symbol of the Renaissance period. Red tiled roofs dot the skyline as Brunelleschi’s dome rises in the distance, demanding the attention of any passerby. Roaming the seasoned cobblestone streets, you can’t help but detect an air of majesty and inviting sophistication. It’s crowded, extremely crowded, yet somehow we always manage to find our own special spaces...that’s the magic of Florence! Tucked in discretely, Hotel Helvetia & Bristol is at the center of the square, blending in with the weathered facades of the surrounding shops and buildings and our perfect escape.
Florence is full of so much history and beautiful style that we thought it made sense to check out a hotel boasting the same descriptions. Hotel Helvetia & Bristol is an elegant five-star hotel that gave us a taste of exclusivity from the moment we stepped inside. The hotel has a long history of notable aristocrats, academics, nobleman, and artists enjoying the property, and its eminence is modest but luxurious. Helvetia & Bristol was a perfect base for exploring Florence, while offering the kind of comfortable atmosphere that we love.
Extravagant Design and Hospitality
Dating back to the 19th century, Helvetia & Bristol is not only historic, but a classic Florentine institution. The design is archetypal Italian and steeped in elegance. Around the hotel you’ll find tons of gleaming marble, walls covered in colorful tapestry, and rich polished wood. The lobby is the perfect testament to the overall style of the hotel—velvet tufted couches filled the room ornately, along with antique furniture and gilded frames depicting old art and portraits of past guests and influential Italians.
Each morning, we started our day in the hotel’s atrium, known as the Winter Garden, enjoying a simple breakfast spread. Fresh pastries, cheese, charcuterie, fruit, and espresso were all available and deliciously fresh. In the lobby, you’ll find a quaint bar area for your evening aperitivo as well as Hostaria Bibendum Restaurant, specializing in genuine Tuscan cuisine. We loved unwinding on the outdoor terrace, which served as a great hub for an afternoon coffee and people watching. Whenever you’re ready for adventure, help yourself to the free bike rentals and see why Florence is so renowned!
A Charming Suite
During our time at Helvetia & Bristol, we had a large suite that was comprised of two separate rooms. There was one large living room area and a spacious bedroom, both of which were filled with antique furniture and adornments paying homage to the grandeur of the 19th century. The historical feel of the space was welcoming—we found our room extremely comfortable, relaxing, and perfect to return to after a day of sightseeing.
The service at this hotel is top-notch and is exactly what you would expect from a five star hotel. We had done some shopping and needed to get some items hemmed. Within ten minutes, a seamstress arrived at our door ready to fit us! Every team member we came across, was genuinely nice, knowledgeable about the city and always knew the best recommendations!
The Best Locale in Florentine
While the superior décor, ambiance, and service at Helvetia & Bristol takes the spotlight, its location is certainly a highlight. The hotel is right in the center of town, within easy walking distance to all the famous sights. It is a neighbor to the Palazzo Strozzi, one of the city’s most emblematic symbols of Renaissance architecture.
During your stay, you can also check out the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, where you can climb to the top and take in breathtaking 360-degree views of the city. Plus, the hotel is surrounded by cafes, gelaterias, and shopping to help you get the most out of your rendezvous in Florence.
For more information about Helvetia & Bristol, visit their website: