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“Second time even better” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Annalena

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Hotel Annalena
Ranked #232 of 421 Hotels in Florence
London
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Second time even better”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

It seems wrong and slightly disingenuous to write a review of the same place again, but I must!

This was my second time at the Annalena and really, it felt like my Firenze home! From the moment I arrived and was welcomed by Hector (as I call him, being English, but infact his name is Heitor or Ettore) with a warm "Welcome Home" to the time I left just five nights later when I had a feeling I really was leaving a residence, rather than a hotel or pensione the Annalena had found a special place in my heart.

Aside from its formidable and exotic history (worth checking online!) it has a great location (20 euro in a taxi from the airport and located opposite the amazing Boboli gardens - a sort of uber Hampton Court crossed with Hyde Park(!) extravaganza, it is also a place with oodles of atmosphere. This is worth mentioning in a place like Florence where lets face it, there is so much overbearing tourism, such expensive impersonal restaurants that one cant avoid feeling ripped off - but staying at the Annalena grounds you, it makes the experience of tourism, human and real.

Because it is Oltrananro, which means this side of the Arno river it is not so shouty and touristy and the entire area is full of charming little ateliers and markets and shops selling everything lovely and there is a different market in Santa Spirito piazza every day worth checking out (Wednesdays is great for comfortable shoes--which you need in Florence!! -- I got a pair for 30 euros, and they would have cost three times that if I had crossed the Ponte Veccio, which by the way is only five minutes walk from the pensione). It is fairly 'bohemian' area more like Shoredith than Camden though, ie stylish rather than vulgar. (Am not sure anywhere in Italy, could even BE vulgar..but you get the point!)

The Annalena has beautiful authentic comfortable and luxurious rooms, (I can't bear it when hotels have 'pretend' retro tat in the room bought from Ikea) each with its own personality and if you are lucky, a terrace :)) (A tip: Ask Antonio for advice about which room will suit you!) And they just feel SO very Italian, very Florentine and because the staff have been there for a long time (Guiliana has been there for longer than the present owner and she taught HIM how to make a great cappuccino as he himself confided to me), you have the same feeling of cosiness and continuity that you feel when you visit an old and dear relatives house.

The other thing I really like about this pensione is that you have a feeling you are somewhere special and at the same time it is kind of 'your place'. For instance it is intimate enough to wish everyone Buon Giorno at brekfast, and have a glass of Chianti and a chat with whoever is at reception, once you have arrived back after a hard days sightseeing or shopping, and at the same time it is a grand villa complete with imposing statues of Italian writers and gorgeous fresocos on thew all. That juxtaposition and mix just feels like a bonus for a holiday that you have long looked forward to.

Staying at the Annalena made me feel I was getting great value out of my ENTIRE day and that is one of the best things I can say for any holiday. Nowhere else I'd stay in Florence! I even know which room I love best...but I'm not telling;) I'll be there again soon and I dont want it to be occupied!!

Room Tip: Ask Antonio or Hector for descriptions!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lili37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

We arrived at the Annalena hotel hot and bothered from our journey and stepped in to the cool, calm entrance of a beautiful period building. The Annalena has so much character and charm that it is hard to do it justice here. Our room had a door out to a court yard where we could sit and have an evening drink- the only sounds we could hear were the pigeons cooing and someone in a nearby apartment softly practicing the piano and violin. It is truly the most peaceful place we have ever stayed in and we slept really well.
The staff were very friendly and helpful and the location was ideal. I was surprised to see that so many people had complained about the stairs as we really didn't find them a problem however we do travel fairly light and are fairly fit and healthy. The Annalena is located just outside the very touristy area of town but only a 15/ 20 minute walk to all the main attractions so a perfect balance. There is also an entrance opposite to the Bobboli gardens! Breakfast is basic but does the job and we found our room clean and comfortable.
All in all we had a wonderful stay and look forward to returning to the Annalena very soon.

Room Tip: I think others have mentioned that it is worth requesting a room that leads out on to the terrace as...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LondonLucyB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level Contributor
111 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2012

Truly enjoyed our stay at Annalena. Fascinating history of the place, hotel located on 2nd floor (no lift) of a 600 year old building. Room was large (nr. 5), and ours came with a fantastic balcony (terrace) overlooking the hotel garden. Breakfast never changed over the 7 days we stayed there, but what was on offer was more than adequate. They served freshly made coffee on demand - the best in Florence! Desk service was good, the sitting area stacked with books on Italy, music mostly classical. This is truly a pensione, they get to know you and it becomes almost a familiar place within a day or two. Walking distances to several parks and the main bridges, but too far to walk to the train station. Would definitely recommend it - esp room 5 with the largest terrace!

Room Tip: Ask for room with terrace!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AucklandKat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brasil
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

Very well located, close to Palazzo Pitti and Ponte Vecchio, this hotel has nice staff and a fair price. Great for those who want to stay close to the amazing attractions of Florence.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ABorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2012

I was disappointed in this pensione. My single room (No 22) had a very very slim twin-sized bed; the room itself was barely twice the width of the bed, so difficult to manoeuvre around the space. I would describe the furniture in the room as shabby rather than antique. (I have visited Italy twice a year for over a decade; this is almost the smallest room I have ever had in a hotel.)
I quickly discovered a leak in the bathroom; each evening when I returned to the room there was a large slippery pool of water all over the bathroom floor; the staff offered to move me the first night, but said I would have to move back after one night as the hotel was then fully booked. There seemed little point, therefore, in moving so each evening when I returned to the hotel I had to go to the front desk and request half a dozen towels and bath mats to mop up the water. They didn’t seem to be making any effort to repair the leak.
Only one of the three little bulbs over the bathroom mirror functioned. (There was no other source of light in the bathroom.) I assumed the maids would replace them but when they did not, I removed the dead bulbs myself and left them on the bed, indicating that new ones were wanted. When I returned that evening, the chamber maids had taken the dead bulbs and put them back in their sockets above the mirror! I was forced to remove them again and take them to the front desk to ask for new light bulbs.
Neither the plug in the basin, nor that in the bath functioned.
The breakfast buffet is pretty standard fare. You’ll only get ‘real’ coffee if you specifically ask for it. Otherwise they bring a watery undrinkable coffee-like beverage. There was almost no fresh fruit on offer; at the first breakfast the fruit bowl held some half rotten apples and four kiwi fruit. I stayed for 4 breakfasts, eating a kiwi fruit each morning, leaving nothing on the last day except the rotten apples. The fruit bowl was never replenished.
If you are planning to take taxis to and from Vespucci airport then the location is not too bad. If you plan to take the 5 euro airport shuttle bus into town, then the hotel is a 10 euro taxi ride from SMN.
There are some excellent and very reasonably priced restaurants in the area (Casalinga, Mangiatoia) but otherwise a hotel on the other side of the river might be more convenient.
The staff were pleasant if useless and a bit feckless.
I am sorry to say that I will not being staying here again.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Louise_Shepherd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2011

I promised myself that the next time I stayed in Florence, I would stay in the Oltrarno - and I found exactly what I was looking for in the Annalena when I stayed there for seven nights in November.

What I wanted was a small, good value hotel with the "pensione" atmosphere of yesteryear housed in an ancient building - and the Annalena offers all this and more. You can read about the palazzo's history on their website.

My single room had high ceilings, lovely old furniture and an extremely comfortable bed which I think was probably a double, the private bathroom was absolutely fine and everything was kept spotlessly clean. My son also stayed there for two nights (he seems to have inherited a love of Florence) and his room was even bigger than mine.

Like me, he loved the Annalena, as soon as he went through the portone and started to climb the staircase to the hotel he exclaimed that he felt that he was entering another world - well, I don't know about that, but the building certainly exudes a sense of history. He also appreciated the free internet access.

All the staff were helpful and friendly, the breakfast was good and I can't think of one thing which I didn't like.

You have to climb some stairs in order to reach the hotel, but I am no longer young and am becoming increasingly arthritic, yet I managed. It's definitely worth the effort.

I arrived in the city after dark and walked to the hotel - however, I am familiar with the streets of Florence. There are buses which run very near, I noticed a number 37 and I think the number 36 does also, but the hotel website would be able to confirm this. I think the taxi fare from the station would probably be somewhere in the region of 10 euro.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this hotel to anyone who, like me, loves to stay in an historic building which hasn't been "modernized" out of all recognition.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ladybracknell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2011

Hotel Annalena is just not comfortable. There are 3 flights of stairs that you have to negotiate when you arrive without any hotel staff waiting to assist with your luggage. The beds are old, thin and uncomfortable. The wifi does not work. Also the showers are so small and poorly designed that it is nearly immpossible to use them. In addition to all of this some of the rooms are located next to a workshop. So you have the pleasure of waking up to hammering. I do not recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank huckleb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Annalena

Property: Hotel Annalena
Address: Via Romana 34, 50125, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #232 of 421 Hotels in Florence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Annalena 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All the rooms are very quiet, very elegant and suggestive, but even if the style reminds to the old Florence, there are all the necessary comforts like a private bathroom, tv, phone, minibar, haidryer and air conditioning. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Annalena Hotel Florence

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