I arrived before my room was ready, but was able to leave my bags with the desk. When my room was ready, they even helped me carry my bags up the stairs to my room, despite my insistence that it wasn't necessary. The room was a double bed, for just me, so it was quite large. I was visiting a long-time friend in Florence, so wanted her to be able to stay with me if she wanted. The room was very clean, and had a mini-fridge which turned out to be very handy. There was a nice, private balcony with chairs and a view of the duomo, adjacent to a bathroom that was very clean and refreshed every day with new towels and toiletries. As I'm from the US, I always love the towel warmers in European hotels, and this one did not disappoint.
The location is ideal - literally right across from the duomo, so within walking distance of everything, really. For a woman often arriving back to the hotel alone and rather late, it was a bit disconcerting having such a public place of entry to the hotel. Usually that just meant about a minute of nerves as I approached the hotel, strangers watching, and waited to be buzzed into the gate; it's a gated entry, which was a nice comfort once it opened and I was inside. I'll get to the hotel's security system more later.
The breakfast included is totally worth it, too! I think it was 6 euro per day, per person, and it's a very nice spread. Also, pretty "American," which was a nice comfort. Hard-boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, pastries and bread, yogurt, juices, coffee, whole fruits and fruit salad...etc.
My only complaint, I think, would be the noise. The walls are quite thin, so I heard all conversations in the hallways and even some downstairs by the front desk. But the hotel was pretty quiet, in general; definitely a family atmosphere, so no one was getting back absurdly late really. Which, as a young person there visiting friends, did make me a bit uncomfortable, actually.
Their system to keep rooms secure is to keep the keys at the front desk, so upon entering you need to ask for your key from them. As a woman traveling alone, that was both comforting and strange. I would have rather owned my own security, but it was comforting to know they sort of screened guests upon entry. The other strange thing, though, is that the hotel is on the fourth floor of a building with a gated entrance, so there's a buzzer to get to the elevator. During the day, the gate is just open, but after a certain hour (21:00 I believe, though I noticed it open later), it's supposed to be closed so that you need to be buzzed up by hotel staff. It's sort of nice, but there's a note in the hotel rooms to kindly let the front desk know when you'll be out late, which just made me feel worse than I should have being out late. I guess my point is that it felt more like staying with distant family or a collective tour group than at an anonymous hotel....like they were always watching and judging me (a bit paranoid, I'm sure). That did, as I hope I've conveyed, have its pros and cons.
Overall a very nice place, just not entirely what I expect from a hotel. I was very grateful for friendly staff, a clean hotel, and an awesome location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- There is no hotel in Florence that can be proud of their location like us.If you lean out the window'rooms you feel like you touching the Cathedral with your hands.Eating breakfast under the "Brunelleschi's Dome" will be a unique and unforgettable experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Duomo Hotel Florence