Hotel Helvetia & Bristol

  • City Breaks, Italy, Florence

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An Italian gem in the heart of Florence, Helvetia & Bristol, part of the Starhotels Collection, delivers luxury and opulence on a grand scale. The hotel has been offering travellers from all over the world a luxury bolt-hole in Florence since the late 19th Century. Set between the fashion boutiques of Via de' Tornabuoni and the Piazza della Republica that has marked the centre of the city since Roman times, it couldn’t be better situated base for your stay in the Tuscan city. Take a short wander from the hotel through the centro historico and you will be struck by the artistic and architectural treasures of Firenze, such as the renaissance art of the Uffizi Gallery and the beautiful Ponte Vecchio bridge that crosses the Arno.

The hotel re-opened its doors in April 2019 after refurbishment. The décor embodies the merging of art and history that Florence possesses with its elegant and opulent atmosphere that dates back to the Renaissance. Each room is different and has been re-modelled with unique furnishings, antiques and are adorned with the finest Italian artisan fabrics. They are beautifully laid out, providing a comfortable and charming environment to relax in after experiencing the wonders of Florence.

Try a delicious cocktail from the Historia Bibendum bar, made by one of the master mixologists. The bar is the perfect spot to enjoy an aperitif before heading over to the hotel’s Historia Bibendum restaurant. The gourmet restaurant serves the finest Tuscan gastronomy. Get the full “Firenze Experience” and taste an array of dishes of the most delicious and authentic Tuscan delicacies, all sourced locally using the highest quality produce. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the magical ‘old world’ feel of this beautiful Tuscan city, Helvetia & Bristol offers this and much more.

Transfer time: approx. 30 minutes by private car from Florence Airport or approx. 1 hour 20 mins by bus & train or private car from Pisa Airport.

Added value

Save between 10 - 25% on the hotel price for holidays of 2 nights or more (offers exclude

Complimentary room upgrade on stays between 03 Nov - 26 Dec 19, 06 Jan - 26 Mar 20, 09 Aug - 03 Sep 20 (subject to availability)

Save up to 10% on the hotel price for holidays between 27 Dec 19 – 05 Jan 20, 01 May – 11 Jul 20 and 11 Sep – 17 Oct 20 booked at least 30 days prior to departure (offers not combinable)

Save up to 15% on the hotel price for holidays between 01 - 02 Nov 19, 27 Mar - 30 Apr 20, 12 Jul – 08 Aug 20, 04 - 10 Sep 20 and 18 – 31 Oct 20 booked at least 30 days prior to departure or between 03 Nov - 26 Dec 19, 06 Jan - 26 Mar 20, 09 Aug - 03 Sep 20 booked at least 15 days prior to departure (offers not combinable)

  • No. of rooms: 29
  • Official rating: 5


Superior Rooms are about 20-28m² and sleep two people. The rooms are designed with a contemporary-classic style, with beautiful period features and understated elegance.  All rooms have bath robes, toiletries, wifi, air conditioning, TV, safe, minibar and 24 hour room service. These rooms are available on request, please call to book. 

Deluxe Rooms are about 28-32m² and sleep three people. These rooms are available on request, please call to book. 

Junior Suites are about 30-45m² and sleep three poeple. These rooms are available on request, please call to book. 

Suites are about 36-50m² and sleep up to four people. These rooms are available on request, please call to book. 

Single Occupancy Rooms are about 15-18m­². These rooms are available on request, please call to book. 


  • Lift accessible: No
  • Lift serves all floors: No
  • Access ramp: No

The Tuscan capital of Florence is a city made by art lovers for art lovers. The Renaissance took its first steps here in the 15th century, painting the city with architectural wonders like the Palazzo Pitti and Uffizi Gallery.

Climb to the top of Florence Cathedral – Il Duomo – to admire a skyline sculpted from Gothic towers, domes and terracotta rooftops. That’s where you’ll also discover how small Florence is. Best explored by foot, you can easily wander the UNESCO-listed city centre in a day.

Had your fill of Michelangelos and da Vincis? It’s time to explore Florence’s other love – food. Finish off your day with a Florentine steak or settle down with a glass of Chianti sourced straight from the Tuscan countryside.

Inghams operate a telephone Rep service in Florence.

Things to do in resort

Piazza della Signoria

You’ll find yourself drawn to this sprawling L shaped piazza frequently as you explore Florence. The Piazza della Signoria is the main square and marks the heart of the Renaissance city. Dominated by the towering structure of Palazzo Vecchio, close to the Ufizzi, Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo, it’s the gateway to many of the city’s most famous attractions. The piazza remains largely unchanged, lined with ancient terracotta houses and palaces. There’s plenty to see in the square itself as its filled with sculptures and fountains, including a replica of the famed Michelangelo’s David (see the original in the Accademia Museum) and the Fontana del Nettuno with its beautiful sculpture of Neptune.

Museo di Palazzo Vecchio

Florence’s town hall is a symbol of Florene’s powerful past. Built in the style of a castle with a tower reaching 94 metres, the building stands tall in Piazza della Signoria. Art and history have been bound together here for centuries. Take a look inside to discover Giorgio Vasari’s "Salone dei Cinquecento" (the hall of the five hundred). The great hall measures 54 metres long by 23 metres wide and was decorated by two of the great Florentine artists, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Ponte Vecchio

This is possibly the most famous bridge in the world and one of the few in Italy that survived WWII. The bridge makes up part of the Vasari Corridor, a passageway that connects Palazzo Vecchio with Palazzo Pitti and crosses the River Arno. The enclosed bridge is lined with artisan shops selling glittering jewels. Many of the shops that remain have been passed down from generation to generation. Browse the shops as you wander to the other side of the river.

Palazzo Pitti

On the south side of the River Arno the striking Palazzo Pitti stands at the base of Boboli Hill. It was built in the mid 1400’s by the Florentine Banker, Paulo Pitti to challenge the Medici family and is thought to have been designed by the great renaissance architect Brunelleschi. Unfortunately, the ambitious banker died before its completion and in 1550 it was bought by his rival, Cosimo I di Medici as his Grand Ducal residence.

Boboli Gardens

Located just behind Palazzo Pitti you’ll find the Boboli Gardens. The green expanse was established by the Medici family in a layout that is now known as the Italian style, a model used in many European court gardens. Today it’s a lovely tranquil space in the city, it’s not just a garden but an outdoor museum where you’ll see beautiful examples of Renaissance sculpture, the unique rococo architecture of the 18th century Kaffeehaus pavilion, fountains and even grottoes. Get a real feel for court life as you take a stroll through the manicured gardens.

Oltrarno Craft Shops

The labyrinth of streets that surround Palazzo Pitti are home to lots of tiny artisan shops and workshops like shoemakers, bookbinders and ceramicists. The Oltrarno area literally means ‘the other side of the Arno’. It’s just over Ponte Vecchico and is much quieter than the heart of the city. It has lots to offer with friendly bars and small family run restaurants and is great for those who want to wander slightly off the beaten track.

Mercato Centrale

Mercato Centrale is also known as Mercato di San Lorenzo and has long been a destination for Florentines and tourists alike. It’s a vibrant covered market in the heart of the town where you’ll find fresh Tuscan produce and a feast for all of the senses. The beautiful building has a wrought iron and glass structure and was designed in the 1970s by Giuseppe Mengoni. After a redevelopment in 2014 the top floor has become a foodie destination where you’ll find some of the best street food in the city as well as gourmet cuisine. Head hrer for delicious food and to experience an authentic Italian market.

Uffizi Gallery

This is a must see attraction for any art lover. The world famous Ufizzi Gallery is home to outstanding collections of paintings and sculptures from the middle ages to modern times, housed on the first and second floors of the beautiful 16th century building, designed by Georgio Vasari

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

The iconic cathedral with its magnificent Renaissance dome, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, began construction in the 13th Century and took two centuries to complete. You’ll understand why when you see the amazing architecture and beautiful artistic detail that has gone into it. From its innovative design, in the early 15th century when the dome was constructed it was the largest in the world, to the beautiful artworks, a fresco of Last Judgment adorns the dome was designed and painted by Giorgio Vasari and Frederico Zuccari in 1572. You can even climb the 463 steps to the top of the cupola where you can admire the frescos up close.

Accademia Gallery

The Galleria Dell’Accademia is home to Michelangelo’s large marble sculpture of David, housed in the Hall of the Prisoners. Although it’s one not to be missed, give yourself time to explore the other halls in the gallery. They will be much less busy and hold some of the finest examples of painting, sculpture and even ancient musical instruments in Italy.

Local foods to try

Schiacciata is a thin salted bread coated in olive and seasoned with herbs. Try it topped with cheese for a tasty afternoon snack.

Bistecca Fiorentina is one of the most popular dishes in Tuscan cuisine. It’s a grilled Florentine t-bone cut steak seasoned with local herbs and it’s typically served rare. The meat is from traditionally from Chianina cattle – an ancient Tuscan breed.

Crostini di Fegato are bite sized pieces of fresh (usually white) bread topped with chicken liver Pâté.

Ribollita is a Tuscan bread soup made with canelli beans, potatoes and vegetables such as Kale and carrots, creating a creamy textured hearty dish.

Tagliatelle Funghi Porcini e Tartufo is a pasta dish made with local truffle and porcini mushrooms. The thin, flat tagliatelle pasta is tossed in the mushrooms sauce, creating a simple yet delicious dish.

Lampredotto is one for the adventurous pallet. It’s a sandwich made of thinly sliced tripe that’s boiled in broth and seasoned. This is a traditional street food dish for the adventurous palette that you’ll either love or hate, much like the locals do. Try it with spicy red sauce.

Papardelle al Cinghiale is a dish made with Papardelle, the long, wide and flat pasta, coated in a rich meat ragu sauce. The meat is usually wild boar.

Gelato is famous thought Italy, but Florence has some of the best the country has to offer. We’d recommend seeking out the small batches of hand-made ice cream rather than being enticed by the artificial coloring often sold by street vendors near to tourist attractions. Pistachio is a firm favorite!

Location in resort
  • Longitude: 11.2500663
  • Latitude: 43.7718039

For more information on travel and transport visit our Florence page


Bars & Restaurants

Hostaria Bibendum is the gourmet restaurant at Florence’s Hotel Helvetia & Bristol, serving fine Tuscan gastronomy using the most exquisite local ingredients. Serving contemporary Italian cuisine, guests also have the option to choose the “Firenze Experience”, a menu that offers a selection of authentic Tuscan specialties such as pappa al Pomodoro soup, rabbit ragout and typical cantucci almond biscuits. The restaurant has an extensive selection of wines that are expertly chosen by the sommelier, with a focus on the finest local Italian producers.

The Restaurant serves breakfast from 7.00am - 10.30am, lunch from 12.30pm - 3.00pm and dinner from 7.30pm -10.30 pm.

Bar Hostaria Bibendum is the perfect spot to relax with an evening aperitif, served by highly qualified staff in a chilled and elegant atmosphere. Decorated in warm tones with art deco furnishings, crystal chandeliers, Baroque mirrors and Liberty wall lights that create an elegant, yet informal ambience for guests to relax in during their stay. The bar serves a wide selection of beverages including cocktails and long drinks, all prepared by knowledgeable mixologists, who are happy to recommend drinks to your taste.

The bar is open from 11.00am to 12.00am.

General Facilities

  • Free high speed wifi
  • 24 hour room service
  • Bike hire at a local charge
  • Bar
  • Bike hire
  • WiFi
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Breakfast service:

    The buffet breakfast is an extravagant collection of fresh breads, pastries, fruit, cheeses, meats, freshly squeezed juices as well as hot options, made fresh each day using the finest local produce. Breakfast is served from 7.00am – 10.30am.

Board basis options available

  • Bed & Breakfast
Location in resort
  • Longitude: 11.2500663
  • Latitude: 43.7718039

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This accommodation is not available to be booked online, please call our Reservations Team on 01483 791111 to book or for further information
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