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“Don't stay at the Minerva”

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Grand Hotel Minerva
Ranked #49 of 410 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Terrible hotel - DO NOT STAY HERE. Our room contained newly varnished furniture, which we were forced to sleep in. The only other room they tried to put us in smelled like cigarettes. I asked to have the Manager contact me, Mr Borroni, and he never did until I stopped by the front desk the next day. We were never given an adequate explanation for making me and my family sleep in a room with oil-based paint fumes, which is known to cause brain cancer (clearly labeled on any varnish can). To add insult to injury, we were never given anything for our troubles, not even measly water bottles in the room we eventually moved to. Completely unacceptable experience.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank MauriceDiMeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FilippoBurroni, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel Minerva, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2014

Dear Guests,
I am really very sorry that you had a bad stay at our hotel. What you experienced is really far below our usual standards and I perfectly understand your dissatisfaction.
Please allow me to offer some more details as a comment to your review for the benefit of our common readers.
In the morning, prior to your arrival, we had used some wall paint in the room, which is absolutely innocuous. As it seems, the maid did not leave the window open long enough to let the smell vanish: this has been an obvious fault on our procedure, but I can assure you that we would never use dangerous products: please believe me, we value our customer’s and staff’s health more than anything else.
As to my records you were offered another family room (132), more modern and with similar features but with no view on the square (as room 111 had). You initially accepted room 132, your luggage was transferred, but you then thought otherwise and decided to go back the room 111 despite the smell, most probably in hopes that it would vanish during your time at dinner. At around 10 pm you contacted reception stating that the smell was actually not acceptable. You were offered a room for those members of your family who were more affected by the smell (since the other family room was no longer available). That is the room you describe as smelling like cigarettes (117). So you decided to stay all in 111.

Having been informed by my collaborators of your discomfort, I arrived at the hotel at 7.30 the next morning, but preferred not to call you in the room in order not to disturb. I alerted the staff at reception to call me as soon as they saw you and in fact we met at 7.45 am. Two Superior rooms with a view on the square and the Duomo on the top floor were put at your disposal for night 2 and 3 of your stay.

I ordered one fruit baskets for each of your new rooms. Have they never reached your rooms? Well, this is really unacceptable and I will start an internal audit to understand how did may happen. For what it may count I am here apologizing again for this last (but not least) inconvenience.

I hope this bad hotel experience did not spoil your entire stay in our beautiful city and that you eventually took home some nice memories with you. I also hope you will considering visiting Florence again in the future, and maybe are willing to give us a second chance.

This is my direct address: fburroni@grandhotelminerva.com

With my best regards,

Filippo Burroni – General Manager

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530 - 536 of 2,059 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2014

The roof terrace, the pool, and the view are the most memorable things about The Grand Hotel Minerva. Not many hotels in Florence have a pool so this is why we chose The Minerva, We knew Florence would be hot and our children (us too!) would need a swim after our days of sightseeing. Minerva's pool is not huge by any stretch but it served its purpose beautifully. The pool is on the roof and the hotel is very centrally located which makes for a spectacular view of the Duomo and surrounding Florence. But the pool gets really crowded from 3 on so best to get your swim in early if possible. Lunch and tapas (at cocktail hour) can be had on the roof deck which was a real treat. The tapas that were on the menu were not at all memorable but small detail. The staff is extremely pleasant and helpful...remembering our children's names after the first several hours. The rooms at the hotel are average and not remarkable. I think there may be a renovation effort going on as some rooms looked to be more modern than others, Nonetheless, our rooms were a bit of a disappointment but were ok. The hallways were drab and there needs to be attention paid to the elevator button panel...the duct tape is coming off! Coming back to the hotel after a walk around town we were faced with a large tour group from the US checking-in. So, clearly this hotel caters to large tour groups which may be a turnoff for some. Breakfast was nice but not overly so. And the staff was consistantly great and helpul. Also we did laundry which was excellent. So, if you are looking for a decent hotel close to the train station Havd fun!

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the Piazza.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank SheaJL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We stayed at this hotel with our 8 year old daughter.
Pros:
- amazing location - walking distance to all places of interest and right beside train stn
- rooftop patio with pool (which was chilly) and stunning views
- mini patios on each floor
- decent size rooms and good bed linens
- great breakfast (included) with lots of variety
- A/C worked well

Cons:
- rooms that accommodate kids all face inside at a wall (not the piazza)
- pool was cold and seating very limited

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank NDLM72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I will be recommending this hotel to anyone who is planning on visiting Florence. The hotel is in the perfect location if you are flying in from Pisa (2 mins walk from the bus drop off/ station). The rooftop pool is stunning - beautiful views and great for a cocktail after a hot day of sight seeing. The restaurant has a great tasting menu with lovely accompanying wines (great value too). The rooms were great with all the usual facilities and were kept very clean. The staff were consistently friendly and helpful with our queries.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank VicNicholas2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Our family loved this hotel. Location was great, we walked everywhere. Staff was helpful with reservations and recos. Room was large, airy, with comfortable beds and nice linens. The breakfast buffet has cheerful service and good quality food. The highlight is definitely the roof top pool. It has breathtaking views, and is very tranquil. My only complaint of the entire stay is that the pool area is not serviced enough - dirty towels and drink glasses everywhere, and they do not get removed promptly. I would stay here again anytime!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank CWMassey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Stayed in this hotel this month - it was excellent, the room on the fifth floor overlooking the square was comfortable and the bathroom similarily looked out over the square. The air conditioning was very quiet.
The hotel is near the railway station so arriving on the train or bus from Pisa was easy. It was also centrally located for visiting all the places of interest. It is situated in a beautiful square by Santa Maria Novella and has a lovely outlook.
The hotel staff were very welcoming and friendly and they willingly gave advice on places to visit including bus times.
There was a pool on the roof with a fantastic view over the city of Florence
Overall an excellent hotel and no complaints at all.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the Piazza
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Robin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

My mom and I spent a week at this hotel in July. We had a wonderful view of the piazza. We struggled a little with the lack of storage. I think some of the furnishings are poorly chosen in regards to the traveler and desperately needed drawer space. However, I realize this is an older location, and we resourcefully turned our open suitcases into sliding underbed storage space. Roberta at the front desk was amazing. By the time we left, I'm sure she dreaded seeing us enter the lobby because we always had questions for her about restaurants and sites. She was great. She would call ahead and make reservations for us and made sure to always ask for the best table or a great view. She set up a day trio with private driver for us. I do have two cons. Our trip was during the World Cup. Because I'd time differences, the games were shown very late in florence. One night in particular Germany won and the incredibly loud (drunken) celebrations woke us up at 3:00am. The police would not respond to the hotels repeated calls. I know this isn't the hotels fault, but everyone who chooses to have a room on the piazza should be aware that with the great view comes the opportunity for "great" noise; the night clerk told us that the hotel would do something nice to make it up to us. We did not expect them to do anything, but once you say you will you set up an expectation. Nothing was done. Just noting. The second thing was that there was a sewer gas smell on the fourth floor and in our room. The air conditioner would kick on and every once in a while it was straight sewer gas. I'm fairly certain they were aware of it because of the air fresheners located on tables on the fourth floor. It did not bother us except for when we would return from a day of site seeing. All in all, this hotel was in a wonderful location and had great staff. Their driver took us to Volterra, San Gimignano, and Siena. He stopped to take pictures and gave us great information about Tuscany. Roberta recommend Giovanni's (our favorite!) and Buca Mario. Go eat at both of those places. You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Southerngirl109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FilippoBurroni, Direttore at Grand Hotel Minerva, responded to this reviewResponded 31 July 2014

Dear Guests,

Thank you for having stayed with us and for your very generous praise of our staff, especially to Roberta.
We are very glad you have appreciated our service.

I am very sorry you were disturbed during the night after the football match by people walking on the street around the hotel. Sorry if our night audit, although he had called the Police, was not able to solve the problem.
Sorry also for the problem with the sewer gas smell on your floor; I can assure to our common readers that it’s not a daily problem but during this month we did have some problem to the central system and air fresheners are located everywere in the hotel just for a better air comfort for our guests.
I truly hope you will come back to Florence in the future and hope you will contact me directly in this case. It would be a pleasure to arrange things for a most pleasant stay; my direct email is: fburroni@grandhotelminerva.com

With my best regards,

Filippo Burroni – General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Minerva

Address: Piazza Santa Maria Novella 16, 50123, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Santa Maria Novella
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Family Hotel in Florence
#37 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#48 Business Hotel in Florence
#61 Romantic Hotel in Florence
Price Range: £126 - £400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Minerva 4*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Hotel Minerva, renovated in 2015, is a 4-star superior hotel in the heart of Florence's historic center in its illustrious Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which is close to the main railway station. Florence's key tourist attractions are all just five or ten minutes' walk from us as well as the Congress and Fair Center. The hotel boasts 97 rooms, suites and family solutions and a breathtaking rooftop terrace (open all year round) with an open-air swimming pool (open from May to September). It also offers a restaurant with its "al fresco" extension on the Piazza and five meeting rooms with day light. High speed wi-fi is free in all common areas and rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Florence

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