I am writing this review in the departure lounge at Pisa airport; having stayed at the hotel for 3 nights. The hotel is located in the centre of Florence (Firenze) just a few minutes walk from the Duomo. We chose to enter Florence by train and arrived from Pisa Central train station into Florence SMN. First thoughts were dampened by the appearance of the station and surrounding area - but were quickly forgotten once we entered the main centralised area in which the hotel is located after a 10 minute or so walk down the main road.
Initially, we walked to the Duomo to get our bearings. Once we knew where we were, we proceeded to the hotel down a few marked side streets.
Upon entering the hotel, we were greeted by Sergio (the guy with the antique style glasses). He seemed friendly and followed the routine of taking our passports, credit card for incidentals and quickly giving us the sales pitch for the hotel restaurants and tower, with a handy map provided to give you the location of the hotel.
Depending on what room you are in, you should be escorted to your room by a member of staff. Be advised, this hotel is set across several buildings spanning several floors. We found navigating the hotel quite simple and were located in an executive room (203), a few steps and a flight of stairs away from the breakfast hall.
The room was exquisitely decorated with a stylish and modern shower room, four poster bed in a compact but elegant bedroom and clothes storage area; all connected by a small corridor. We did not use the beverage bar, as with a lot of the amenities in the hotel, it was slightly overpriced, with a small bottle of cola costing €8. I am by no means tight, but find wasting money for the sake of laziness unacceptable, so purchased our in room drinks/snacks from a local shop at a fraction of the price.
The breakfast was without fault, located next to the main tower overlooking the front courtyard above main reception, with a buffet style selection of cereals, fruit, pastry, cold meats and cooked sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and sliced potato, along with a selection of fresh juices and a mid-ranged Prosecco. A-la-carte options are also available with a charge. The breakfast room itself was bright and fresh, with both modern and authentic touches. Our fellow guests however were far from cheerful or engaging, alas, nothing to do with the hotel.
Our checkout was swift at 12:00, with our luggage being cared for whilst we continued to enjoy Florence.
To summarise, Hotel Brunelleschi is a modern and conveniently located hotel, with strong ties with the past. The pricing structure of this hotel is out of sync with similar hotels of it's size and rating in Florence and other cities, however, I believe you are paying not just for the room, but also for the history of the hotel and convenience that the hotel affords it's guests. Your view of the city will obviously depend on your room, so check in advance before booking if you want a view of the Duomo etc. in order to avoid disappointment.
Unfortunately, you should expect a certain degree of snobbery from some of your fellow guests in this hotel if you are young like myself and my partner, or, if your face does not fit. Expect a few looks of bemusement :)
Ces't la vie! :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our 4-star Hotel in Florence overlooking Brunelleschi's Cathedral is firmly established as one of the best and most famous hotels in downtown.The highly sought-after Uffizi Gallery, together with many other Museums and other primary attractions, are all within close distance. The 96 bedrooms and suites are equipped with all amenities and features of a charming property such as direct dial telephone, Internet Access, Satellite TV and in-room minibar. Wireless connectivity is available throughout, including our conference areas and the American Bar. The 4-star Brunelleschi Hotel originates from the recovered invaluable historic structures of the ancient tower named 'Pagliazza' and the medieval church of San Michele in Palchetto. For those who love going back to the past, our very own Private Museum, with exhibits unveiled during the reconstruction project, is a moment not to be missed. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Brunelleschi Hotel Florence