Review: Four Seasons Florence, Italy

Review: Four Seasons Florence, Italy

NAME: Four Seasons Florence
LOCATION: Florence, Italy
DATE: April 2023
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Four Seasons Florence combines history with modern luxury, in a way few hotels do. There are so many things to love about this hotel, from the 10-acre garden, to the Michelin star restaurant, to the friendly service.
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EXTRA PERKS AVAILABLE Enjoy breakfast, upgrades, & more

Want to take advantage of Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits, including a space available room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

For the continuation of our trip, after a couple of nights in Dubai (at the Burj Al Arab and Bulgari), we spent three nights in Florence. Specifically, we stayed at the 116-room Four Season Florence, which is an exceptional city hotel.

The Four Seasons Florence is my favorite kind of hotel — it’s a historic property that’s oozing with character, while still having all the modern touches you’d hope for. But it goes way beyond that, offering many things you wouldn’t expect from a historic city hotel. The property has an incredible gym (housed in its own building), a Michelin star restaurant, a beautiful bar, a 10-acre garden (which is unheard of for a city hotel), and more. Let’s get into the review…

Booking Four Seasons Florence

As I think everyone knows, Italy is a ridiculously hot tourist destination at the moment, and rates at the Four Seasons Florence reflect that. Rates at the hotel currently range from €600 per night in the low season, to over €2,000 per night in the high season. For our April dates, the rate would have been around €1,200.

Full disclosure — Ford had won an incentive stay through work with Four Seasons, and used that for our stay here (he actually won a week-long stay, which we split between the Four Seasons Florence and the Four Seasons Megeve, which I’ve already reviewed). So in this case our room was complimentary, though all opinions expressed are my own.

Anyway, the best way to book any Four Seasons property is through a travel advisor affiliated with the Four Seasons Preferred Partner program. You pay the same rate you’ll find directly on Four Seasons’ website, but you’ll receive extra perks, including things like room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and a hotel credit.

Booking Four Seasons properties through Preferred Partner is better than booking through programs like Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. That’s because upgrades are generally prioritized for Preferred Partner guests, and on top of that Preferred Partner perks can be stacked with virtually any publicly available Four Seasons rate.

You can’t beat getting all of these extra perks just for booking through an eligible travel advisor. Ford is happy to help book Four Seasons properties through Preferred Partner, and can be reached at [email protected].

Four Seasons Florence location

The Four Seasons Florence is located on a quiet street, and the entrance is rather unassuming. You could totally walk past it without realizing it’s a Four Seasons.

Four Seasons Florence exterior

The hotel is about a 10-minute walk from Florence’s most popular tourist sites, ranging from the Duomo, to the Uffizi Gallery, to Michelangelo’s David in Accademia Gallery.

I’ve heard some people say that they don’t like the location of the property, as it could be more central. Personally I preferred that the hotel wasn’t right in the center of the action, since Florence is outrageously busy with tourists. For example, Hotel Savoy (a Rocco Forte property) is right in the middle of the action, but that area is just indescribably busy. I kind of enjoyed being able to retreat to a quieter area.

Beautiful Florence

As far as getting to the hotel from the airport goes, Florence Airport (FLR) is just around 20 minutes from the hotel, while Pisa Airport (PSA) is just over an hour from the hotel, and then Bologna Airport (BLQ) is a bit further than that. We arrived in Bologna, as Emirates flies there nonstop from Dubai.

Four Seasons Florence lobby & check-in

While the Four Seasons Florence opened in 2008, the building dates back to the 16th century. This was the private residence of Florentine nobles for five centuries, before becoming a hotel. This building’s history is evident from the moment you step inside, and throughout the property.

For example, when you enter the hotel, you’ll find a beautiful lobby sitting area. The details in the design are endless.

Four Seasons Florence lobby
Four Seasons Florence lobby

Even just walking down the hall makes you feel like you’re in a museum, and I love that.

Four Seasons Florence lobby
Four Seasons Florence lobby

There’s a chapel off the lobby, where you can have a private dinner, or have some sort of a small ceremony.

Four Seasons Florence chapel
Four Seasons Florence chapel

Off the lobby was the reception desk and concierge desk, where we were quickly checked in, and then shown to our room.

Four Seasons Florence reception

As you’d expect from a hotel this old, there are several different wings of rooms, so there’s not just one set of elevators.

Four Seasons Florence elevators

Our room could most easily be reached by going up a staircase right by reception. Again, look at that design…

Four Seasons Florence staircase

Four Seasons Florence suite

We were assigned room 118, a 60 square meter (646 square foot) Gallery Suite, as it’s called.

Four Seasons Florence suite exterior

I’d say this was more of a junior suite than a full suite, in the sense that there was no separation between the living area and sleeping area. My gosh, what an epic room. You can see the amount of effort that was put into preserving the historic aspects of this room.

The room featured a signature Four Seasons king size bed, a sitting area with a couch and a chair, a desk with a chair, and a TV.

Four Seasons Florence suite
Four Seasons Florence suite
Four Seasons Florence suite
Four Seasons Florence suite

The ceiling was ridiculously high (it must have been over 15 feet), and on top of that, had the original paneling.

Four Seasons Florence suite ceiling

There was a minibar with drinks and snacks for purchase, as well as an illy espresso machine and some complimentary water.

Four Seasons Florence suite minibar
Four Seasons Florence suite minibar
Four Seasons Florence suite coffee machine

There was also a lovely welcome amenity, consisting of some fresh fruit, sweets, bottled water, and sparkling wine.

Four Seasons Florence suite welcome amenity
Four Seasons Florence suite welcome amenity

The room faced the street, and there weren’t any noise issues, which was appreciated.

Four Seasons Florence suite view

The bathroom was also quite large, and had double sinks, a soaking tub, a walk-in shower with two shower heads, and a toilet and bidet.

Four Seasons Florence suite bathroom
Four Seasons Florence suite bathroom
Four Seasons Florence suite bathtub
Four Seasons Florence suite shower
Four Seasons Florence suite toilet & bidet
Four Seasons Florence suite toiletries

What an incredible room. Even though it was historic, it had all the modern amenities you’d hope for from a Four Seasons. There was also twice daily housekeeping.

While the room had Wi-Fi, it was a bit spotty — it worked perfectly most of the time, but would sometimes cut out. I think it’s fair to be a bit forgiving of that in a building that’s hundreds of years old.

Four Seasons Florence garden

Probably the most stand-out feature of the Four Seasons Florence is that it has a 10-acre garden. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life stayed at a city hotel with a private garden like this. The garden had everything from beautiful trees and manicured lawns, to statues and art, to ponds, to gazebos and benches, to play areas for kids.

So many city hotels have virtually no outdoor space, so this property is in a league of its own on that front.

Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden
Four Seasons Florence garden

Four Seasons Florence gym

Four Seasons properties are known for consistently having top notch gyms. Shortly after arriving at a hotel, I always like to walk around and look at all the facilities. I was expecting that since this hotel is in a building that’s hundreds of years old, it might have one of the less impressive gyms. Well, nope.

The Four Seasons Florence’s gym is in its own building off the garden, and it’s spread across three floors. The gym is officially open from 7AM until 10PM, but the staff are happy to unlock it for you if you’d like to visit earlier or later.

Four Seasons Florence gym exterior

This is possibly the most impressive gym I’ve ever seen at a (relatively) boutique city hotel.

Four Seasons Florence gym

The first floor had a huge amount of cardio equipment, while the second floor had weights.

Four Seasons Florence gym
Four Seasons Florence gym
Four Seasons Florence gym
Four Seasons Florence gym
Four Seasons Florence gym
Four Seasons Florence gym

Then there was a basement level to the gym, which had changing rooms, a sauna and steam room, a relaxation area, and more.

Four Seasons Florence gym changing room
Four Seasons Florence gym relaxation area
Four Seasons Florence gym sauna & steam room

Interestingly the gym actually connects underground to the spa, which is in yet another building.

Four Seasons Florence spa

The Four Seasons Florence spa is off the garden across from the gym, and is open daily from 10AM until 8PM. I didn’t use the spa during our visit, but you can find all the treatments here. Much like the gym, this appeared to be an impressive setup.

Four Seasons Florence spa exterior

Four Seasons Florence pool

The Four Seasons Florence has an outdoor pool and hot tub, open daily from 9AM until 8PM. We were visiting the hotel in April, which is a little before the summer season, so we weren’t really looking to use the pool. That being said, the pool is beautiful, as is the seating around it. There’s also a pool bar there with food and drinks, but it wasn’t yet open for the season. Like many of the features at this hotel, you’ll quickly forget that you’re in a city hotel.

Four Seasons Florence pool
Four Seasons Florence pool
Four Seasons Florence pool
Four Seasons Florence pool seating

Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio

Il Palagio is the Four Seasons Florence’s signature restaurant, and it has a Michelin star. The restaurant is open for breakfast, and then reopens for dinner. The restaurant is a pretty good size, and there’s even an outdoor terrace if you’re visiting in summer.

Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio indoor seating
Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio indoor seating
Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio indoor seating
Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio indoor seating

The Four Seasons Florence serves breakfast daily from 7AM until 11AM, and you can find the menu below (if you book through Four Seasons Preferred Partner, breakfast is included).

Four Seasons Florence breakfast menu

One breakfast option is to enjoy the hot and cold buffet, which is quite good by European standards. The buffet had everything from cold cuts and cheese, to fruit, yogurt and cereal, to bread and pastries, to several hot options. You could also then order eggs or other items off the menu.

Four Seasons Florence breakfast buffet
Four Seasons Florence breakfast buffet
Four Seasons Florence breakfast buffet
Four Seasons Florence breakfast buffet
Four Seasons Florence breakfast buffet
Four Seasons Florence breakfast buffet
Four Seasons Florence breakfast buffet

The cappuccinos were simply divine, and I enjoyed the freshly squeezed orange juice as well.

Four Seasons Florence breakfast

One morning Ford ordered the avocado toast, which looked amazing.

Four Seasons Florence breakfast

That morning I ordered the Mediterranean breakfast, which was a set menu. This came with fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola, to start.

Four Seasons Florence breakfast

I was then offered a basket with all kinds of bread and pastries.

Four Seasons Florence breakfast

Then there was a dish with fried eggs and tomato sauce, as well as smoked swordfish and bresola. What a breakfast!

Four Seasons Florence breakfast

One evening we also had dinner at Il Palagio, and you can find the menu here (though it has changed since our visit). The meal started with an amuse bouche, and some tasty freshly baked bread.

Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio dinner
Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio dinner

The first course consisted of marinated baby pink pawns with reduced shellfish cream and tapioca.

Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio dinner

Next up was the livornese cockerel agnolotti with parmigiano reggiano cheese, garlic, and monk’s wart.

Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio dinner

For the main course, we had sea bream with parsley, candied lemon, broccoli with garlic, and almonds.

Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio dinner

Finally, for dessert we had a caramelized puff pastry with rhubarb compote, ginger, and yogurt.

Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio dinner

Then the meal finished with petit fours.

Four Seasons Florence Il Palagio dinner

When you go to Michelin star restaurants, sometimes the food is really tasty and up your alley, and sometimes it’s just really interesting. We had an amazing meal, and particularly loved the agnolotti and dessert. The starter and fish were both a bit salty for my liking, but that’s just a function of personal preference.

Four Seasons Florence Atrium Bar

The social hub of the Four Seasons Florence is the Atrium Bar, which is open throughout the day, whether you want to grab a coffee or cocktail. This is such a lovely space, especially in the evenings, when there’s live music. I love (love, love, love, love) any bar with live music, and could sit there for hours listening. This was one of those places.

Four Seasons Florence Atrium Bar
Four Seasons Florence Atrium Bar
Four Seasons Florence Atrium Bar

The bar also has a gorgeous outdoor terrace, which was a lovely place to get a drink in the afternoons.

Four Seasons Florence Atrium Bar outdoor seating

The Atrium Bar has an all-day dining menu, and you can find that here. It also has a unique cocktail list, with some house specialties.

Four Seasons Florence Atrium Bar cocktail menu

Ford and I both loved their take on the negroni, along with the bar snacks.

Four Seasons Florence Atrium Bar cocktail

Four Seasons Florence service

Four Seasons is known for having consistently great service, though the staff at the Four Seasons Florence were especially awesome. I feel like at some of the historic five star hotels in Europe, staff just have a great sense of pride in their jobs, and that felt like it was the case here. It wasn’t just that staff were professional and attentive, but they were also personable.

Bottom line

The Four Seasons Florence is a spectacular hotel. It’s not often you get to stay in a city hotel that’s not only hundreds of years old, but so well manages to preserve that history. Add in a 10-acre garden, an amazing gym and spa, a great restaurant and bar, and friendly service, and this is among my favorite city hotels in Europe.

What do you make of the Four Seasons Florence?

EXTRA PERKS AVAILABLE Enjoy breakfast, upgrades, & more

Want to take advantage of Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits, including a space available room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

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  1. jetset Diamond

    Was the pool heated? I was disappointed that the Four Seasons San Domenico palace didn't heat their pool (or plunge pools) - I mean for $1200+ a night you'd think a luxury hotel could install a pool heater even if they close for the winter season.

    Looks like a beautiful city hotel. We avoid splurging on city hotels since you can only reasonably spend so much time in the hotel vs. exploring but this one...

    Was the pool heated? I was disappointed that the Four Seasons San Domenico palace didn't heat their pool (or plunge pools) - I mean for $1200+ a night you'd think a luxury hotel could install a pool heater even if they close for the winter season.

    Looks like a beautiful city hotel. We avoid splurging on city hotels since you can only reasonably spend so much time in the hotel vs. exploring but this one looks like it actually has more to enjoy than most.

    I really enjoy the Four Seasons reviews though - it's actually harder to find (in depth) reviews of these hotels vs. points properties so they're very useful.
    Highly recommend the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco next time you're in Italy! Rated #1 in the world by Travel & Leisure last year.

  2. jetset Diamond

    Was the pool heated? I was disappointed that the Four Seasons San Domenico palace didn't heat their pool (or plunge pools) - I mean for $1200+ a night you'd think a luxury hotel could install a pool heater even if they close for the winter season.

    Looks like a beautiful city hotel. We avoid splurging on city hotels since you can only reasonably spend so much time in the hotel vs. exploring but this one looks like it actually has more to enjoy than most.

  3. Zeek Guest

    Pool looks a little too green. I assume that's the color of the pool tile, but it's not very inviting.

  4. Scott Guest

    For me, the most memorable part about this hotel was the amazing service. I had some car rental challenges and some logistics to sort out and the Four Seasons team basically set about to determine the options for me and to arrange everything for me once I decided. They encouraged us to relax in the Atrium Bar while they sorted everything out, and I remain really grateful for the help they provided.

  5. Kiwi Guest

    My wife and I stayed here last spring and it was amazing and while we didn’t get a suite upgrade I did keep the cost down with my Citi Prestige benefit.

    The attention to detail simply blew our mind. At breakfast on Day 1 I must have mentioned that I was Type 1 diabetic when requesting my Diet Coke. The next day different staff member at the maple syrup that was bought to the...

    My wife and I stayed here last spring and it was amazing and while we didn’t get a suite upgrade I did keep the cost down with my Citi Prestige benefit.

    The attention to detail simply blew our mind. At breakfast on Day 1 I must have mentioned that I was Type 1 diabetic when requesting my Diet Coke. The next day different staff member at the maple syrup that was bought to the table was sugar free.

    The rooms were incredibly comfortable and the historic nature was so beautiful. It’s worth noting that April 2022 the gym building was under total renovation and closed

  6. iamhere Guest

    Agree with James about how this blog has become increasingly revenue stream and your recommendation for certain hotels and brands have become biased. Furthermore, this "review" is not much of a review as you did not really comment much about anything. Mostly shared photos. Some of your comments and expectations show that while you travel for the blog mostly you in fact do not have much "real" or extensive travel experience except for the review....

    Agree with James about how this blog has become increasingly revenue stream and your recommendation for certain hotels and brands have become biased. Furthermore, this "review" is not much of a review as you did not really comment much about anything. Mostly shared photos. Some of your comments and expectations show that while you travel for the blog mostly you in fact do not have much "real" or extensive travel experience except for the review. There are many similar kinds of hotels throughout Western Europe, particularly that of Italy and France with similar features from the decor to the junior suite, etc. I could not help notice that you showed an avocado toast breakfast in Italy! While I agree with you I prefer a hotel that is not in the very center of the action I equally do not want to stay in one that is on the opposite side of town, which is common for many luxury hotels outside the US.

  7. Cheryl Barker Guest

    loved this review! just got back from a tour of 4 cities in Italy with Florence being one of them. We stayed at the Kraft hotel which also was off the beaten path.

  8. Ed Guest

    I think many of these comments are downright nasty. Ben provides an excellent (and free) blog and does not deserve to be questioned about his integrity. Andrew, I enjoy a gym and gardens in Florence, so stop being so preachy. If the content offends you, stop reading the blog.

    1. Michael_FFM Diamond

      It is not bad, and I appreciate the broader range of pictures compared to the stock pictures on the FS Website. Nevertheless it is more a paid advertisement than a "neutral" review, per virtue of it being sponsored by FS: "Full disclosure — Ford had won an incentive stay through work with Four Seasons, and used that for our stay here", and one of its purposes is to drive business into Ford's direction. Nothing wrong...

      It is not bad, and I appreciate the broader range of pictures compared to the stock pictures on the FS Website. Nevertheless it is more a paid advertisement than a "neutral" review, per virtue of it being sponsored by FS: "Full disclosure — Ford had won an incentive stay through work with Four Seasons, and used that for our stay here", and one of its purposes is to drive business into Ford's direction. Nothing wrong with that, and of course his opinions are Ben's own. But of course that doesn't mean his opinions are unbiased.

  9. BKAloha Guest

    I stayed here in December 2019 and enjoyed every minute of it. The staff at breakfast were so pleasant. Even though it's a bit of a hike from the city center, it was always nice getting away from the madness that is Florence. However, I will say that even when I stayed at the Palazzo Vecchietti, which is near the Piazza della Repubblica, the street noise was not noticeable. However, if you really want to live it up, the Four Seasons can't be beat.

  10. Mike Guest

    Ben, excellent review. I have had the privilege of staying there several time and your photo and comments accurately describe this wonderful oasis.

    Question, I was told that at some point before this property was converted it was a convent? We actually had a meeting in the former chapel in the second building.

    Keep up the great work.

  11. Santastico Diamond

    Other than the outdoor areas, this hotel looks a copy and paste of the St Regis Florence which I stayed with my family and loved it.

    1. Andrew Reiser Guest

      Agreed, I love the St. Regis and much better location. Also who goes to Florence to hang out at a property garden or pool?

  12. David Guest

    I've stayed at the Four Seasons Florence. It is visually very nice but there were too many service flaws, and the breakfast food was unimaginative with less flavor and quality compared to other luxury hotels in Italy. The price is also very high compared to other hotels in Florence and at an unjustifiable level. When we returned to Florence, we stayed at a Hyatt hotel on points, which also provided a very high level of service and much more value for money.

  13. Grey Diamond

    55 EUR for a very mediocre breakfast buffet? That's just taking the piss...

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Grey -- Well nobody should be paying for breakfast, simply by booking through a program that includes it. I'm not saying the price is good, but this is in line with what luxury hotels in Europe charge for breakfast. Just to look at a couple of points hotels, the Park Hyatt Milan charges 60 EUR for its breakfast buffet, and the Park Hyatt Paris charges 54 EUR for its breakfast buffet.

    2. Santastico Diamond

      That’s why I like smaller local or non branded hotels when in Europe. Going for 2 weeks this summer staying at all local boutique hotels with amazing properties, great rate and breakfast included.

    3. Santastico Diamond

      Also, in a place like Florence, I usually go to local pastry and coffee shops where I get amazing food for a fraction of the price of a hotel breakfast. I can’t see myself eating American style breakfast in hotels while in Europe. A cup of cappuccino and a local pastry is all I need.

  14. Luis Guest

    Last 6 hotel reviews

    Number of points hotels: 0

    1. Andrew Reiser Guest

      If you are looking for the same concept in Florecne but with points, highly recommend the St. Regis. Amazing hotel on the river, with wonderful service and an easy 10 minute walk to everything, but far enough that it is quiet. I like it much more than the Four Seasons there as I do not need a pool or a massive gym in Florence.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Luis -- I hear you, and that's not the ratio I want. For what it's worth, the six reviews before that were of points hotels, and the next four reviews will be of points hotels.

    3. Colin Guest

      I have to say I love the non-points hotel reviews - they are, generally speaking, just so much more interesting, unique, and and fascinating to read about.

      There are already so many reviews of points hotels on this blog as it is, and it's still great to see new ones and old ones revisited, but I really do get a lot more from hotel reviews such as this one.

    4. Schar Diamond

      who cares? if its not for you, keep scrolling. I love these hotel reviews.

  15. Michael_FFM Diamond

    Can a Four Seasons be rated less than 5 stars by Ben? I have my doubts, but challenge him to visit and rate the Four Seasons Bora Bora. And closer to home, the Four Seasons Abu Dhabi.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Michael_FFM -- It sure can be. Just check out my most recent Four Seasons review prior to this.

    2. Michael_FFM Diamond

      Compared to an Airelles, which you adore... But I am really curious how you will rate the Four Seasons Bora Bora or Abu Dhabi.

    3. Drew Guest

      I would also like to see a review of the FS Abu Dhabi. I found it superficially luxurious in most respects but ultimately sterile and somehow robotic in the service provided. Plus the restaurant where breakfast was provided was totally lacking in any character interest or decor. At least in the UAE I'd expect some gaudy bling as a distraction, this property offered nothing memorable.

  16. criced Guest

    Its so nice to read when Ben is happy about something :)

  17. Nick Guest

    2nd fav FS…fantastic hotel!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Nick -- Happy you had a good experience as well! Curious what your favorite is?

    2. Nick Guest

      Such a subjective thing…but the original Seychelles (despite the spotty service)

  18. Never In Doubt Guest

    That hotel looks lovely, but it’s a 20 minute walk to the Ponte Vecchio. It seems like a great place to stay if you have to be in Florence, but don’t really want to be in Florence.

    You were there in April, was Florence really choked with tourists then?

    Also, even acknowledging your business imperatives, I hope you ate more places than the hotel restaurant, and spent some time out of the hotel.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Never In Doubt -- Yeah, it was SUPER busy. As it turned out, it was a holiday weekend in Italy, which we weren't aware of. People were basically shoulder-to-shoulder in most of the tourist spots. And yes, of course we ate outside the hotel as well (aside from breakfast, we only had a single lunch or dinner in the hotel), and in particular had some delicious pizza.

    2. Donna Diamond

      Agree. It’s not a ten minute walk to the Ponte Vecchio, much less the big attractions.

  19. James Guest

    Love your blog Ben but the Four Seasons stuff is a little dishonest IMHO. How can you honestly say your reviews are impartial based on the fact this is obviously a very lucrative revenue stream for you and Ford (that part I’m not fussed about) but impartiality used to make your blog stand out from the rest, that is sadly not the case anymore.

    1. Jeff Guest

      I've actually commented about this in the past, but in this case, I have to say I appreciate the transparency, which seems elevated from past disclosures. His partner is free to do what he wants for a living -- and Ben is a travel blogger, so the "conflicts" are inevitable. He said he stayed for free -- now you can decide how to factor that in to how you read the review. The other options...

      I've actually commented about this in the past, but in this case, I have to say I appreciate the transparency, which seems elevated from past disclosures. His partner is free to do what he wants for a living -- and Ben is a travel blogger, so the "conflicts" are inevitable. He said he stayed for free -- now you can decide how to factor that in to how you read the review. The other options are a) he doesn't disclose anything or b) he doesn't stay at Four Seasons properties. I prefer the route he chose.

    2. David Diamond

      I feel like comp-ed or subsidized stays just shouldn't get a rating at all, good or bad. At the same time, the stay wouldn't be completely wasted with no review at all.

  20. JK Guest

    I love the blog but the review trips have been so slow lately. It's insane how different the blog is from say 4-5 years ago. I am quite patient but honestly it's a bit ridiculous at this point. Sorry but I have to be honest.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JK -- I hear you, and I'm working on increasing the speed going forward. Sorry, it has been a really busy few weeks on a personal level (having an infant is time consuming and exhausting!), not factoring in the amount of airline news there has been (due to Paris Air Show, Aircraft Interiors Expo, etc.).

      And just factually, I've published more trip report installments in the first few months of this year than at...

      @ JK -- I hear you, and I'm working on increasing the speed going forward. Sorry, it has been a really busy few weeks on a personal level (having an infant is time consuming and exhausting!), not factoring in the amount of airline news there has been (due to Paris Air Show, Aircraft Interiors Expo, etc.).

      And just factually, I've published more trip report installments in the first few months of this year than at any other point in the past, so I promise that's my goal.

    2. Guy Guest

      What do you mean, he took this trip in "April 2024"!!

    3. reddargon Diamond

      Well, he does have a young baby... maybe cut him some slack.

      That being said, the reviews seem to be mostly pictures with very little actual description of the experience. I'm not sure if it was always like that or this shift has occurred over time, but I find myself just quickly scrolling through the reviews to look at pictures as there's not much to actually read. I also don't really see the point of...

      Well, he does have a young baby... maybe cut him some slack.

      That being said, the reviews seem to be mostly pictures with very little actual description of the experience. I'm not sure if it was always like that or this shift has occurred over time, but I find myself just quickly scrolling through the reviews to look at pictures as there's not much to actually read. I also don't really see the point of the ratings when almost every single review gets 4 stars or higher--I guess that's to be expected when staying at hotels that cost $1,000+ a night, but maybe it would be more useful to somehow provide more granular detail at the top on the strengths/weaknesses of each hotel against other hotels in its price range.

    4. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ reddargon -- Let me know what other details you'd like, and I'm happy to try to incorporate them. Most of my hotel reviews are 4,000-5,000 words, so I tend to assume that I'm writing too much, rather than too little.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Jeff Guest

I've actually commented about this in the past, but in this case, I have to say I appreciate the transparency, which seems elevated from past disclosures. His partner is free to do what he wants for a living -- and Ben is a travel blogger, so the "conflicts" are inevitable. He said he stayed for free -- now you can decide how to factor that in to how you read the review. The other options are a) he doesn't disclose anything or b) he doesn't stay at Four Seasons properties. I prefer the route he chose.

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Luis Guest

Last 6 hotel reviews Number of points hotels: 0

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James Guest

Love your blog Ben but the Four Seasons stuff is a little dishonest IMHO. How can you honestly say your reviews are impartial based on the fact this is obviously a very lucrative revenue stream for you and Ford (that part I’m not fussed about) but impartiality used to make your blog stand out from the rest, that is sadly not the case anymore.

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Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
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