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“Beautiful But...”

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Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo
Ranked #21 of 672 Florence B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
North Potomac
Level Contributor
54 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful But...”
Reviewed 26 October 2012

We just stayed at the Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo. Yes, it is a beautiful palazzo with the most
fabulous furniture. Yes, it is steeped in history and yes it is right behind the Duomo. Also, the location can not be beat.
Now for the practical experience. Our room was way too small and we wanted to upgrade (we would pay) but, being October this small hotel was booked. We were told that they would try to move us and they did for the last two nights (we were there for four nights). We were moved into the "fabulous" room #9. Room #9 is a gigantic room with a very very high ceiling. It faces the Duomo which is good and bad. Good is the fabulous views. Bad are the bells ringing from the church at various times. Bad also is the fact the the room is furnished in the most beautiful antiques and here lies the problem. Because of the furniture there are signs around the room to not put glasses here or wet things there. We can appreciate that and treated the room with the utmost care. The problem was that the room just wasn't comfortable. There wasn't really anywhere to sit and relax other than the bed for the furniture was delicate etc. etc. We couldn't eat in the room because there wasn't anywhere in the gigantic room to sit and eat. I think you get the picture.
The staff here is very nice but, not really that helpful. Florence is THE place to buy leather goods but, you have to be careful of some of the places . Some are knockoffs and some are imported from outside Italy . Some of these stores slap a label on the product and call it "made in Italy". I asked for help to find a quality leather store and was told "they had no idea" .Hmmmm.
Next we asked about upscale restaurants they could recommend and they came up with nothing. By accident we came across a wonderful restaurant call Barretto (Via Del Parione) and brought a card back for the desk in case someone was looking for a very good restaurant. They promptly lost the card. Another Hmmm.
They serve a light breakfast here which is nothing special. The lovely lady in the small dining room will make you a hot breakfast but that will cost extra. I personally just need a cup of coffee. Anyway this same woman made the most delicious lemon cakes. The problem was she served the leftovers the next day along with some fresh cakes and some fresh fruit which was no longer fresh.
We tried this hotel and it was an interesting experience. Next visit will be somewhere else. Somewhere with less hype about the history, etc. Please don;t get me wrong. We appreciated our surroundings. We just need a little more.

Room Tip: Make sure you select your own room and don't let your travel agent tell you they will upgrade, n...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
niccolini, Proprietario at Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo, responded to this review, 28 October 2012
Dear Mrs. Nancy, thank you for your review.
I strongly regret that you did not have the best experience with us, also because part of the inconvenience I believe is due to some kind of misunderstanding:

- You were upgraded to a suite that you “would pay” but that you didn’t because we never asked you to. We always try to satisfy our clients as much as we can and so we did with you, without success. The Empire suite has antique furniture and not always people realize it, that is why we put a sign asking for carefulness, but certainly the armchairs are real (there are two) as well as the sofa (there is one) and they are made to sit on them. There is no dining table, true, but had you factually ordered a meal we would have served it to you on a perfectly set table just like the majority of respectable hotels do.
- The town center is full of churches big and small each with its bells that ring “at various times”. As you said, being right beside the cathedral has its good and bad points, at any rate as far as I know (I live in the same building as the hotel) bells only ring at appropriate times, not at night or too early in the morning.
- I guarantee the fruit salad and the cake are freshly made every morning. No doubt.
- We have a long list of restaurants of any kind and level made after a ten year experience of dealing with guest requests, I really can’t think of a reason why we couldn’t suggest one for you and I am sorry for that, as well as for the leather shop.

I hope I’ll have the chance to have you with us once again, to be able to show you our other rooms and to find the best one for you.
Best regards,
Ginevra Niccolini di Camugliano
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2012

My spouse and I went to Florence for the weekend, and he found this absolute gem of a hotel located right next to the Duomo. My spouse booked the hotel as a surprise, so I had no idea what type of hotel or room we would be staying in- I wish we could have gotten pictures of my expression when I walked into our room. My jaw must have been on the ground for the first 20 minutes, every thing about it was so lavish and exquisite, I practically felt like royalty back in the 1700's (the building is original from the 1500s and all the items in the room are original from the 1700's- our room was one of the suites and on the 2nd floor I believe).

The room was breathtaking, from the furniture to the ceiling to the windows.The ceiling had gorgeous painted frescos and was at least 15 feet high. The bathroom was just as beautiful, a little more modern than the room since it has a renovated shower and other bathroom amenities. The windows were almost ceiling high and opened up to a beautiful view of the Duomo, it doesn't get any better than that! The bed was extremely comfortable and there were curtains to block out the sunlight when morning came, so I felt like I could sleep for hours.

The breakfast was great as well, we ordered scrambled eggs and they were made fresh to order, and there was also a buffet style of other assorted breakfast croissants, cheeses, etc. Of all the trips I have taken in Italy, this is by far my favorite and most cherished trip, mainly because of the hotel we stayed in. I could not say enough good things about the rooms, the location, the staff, the breakfast. I am just elated and cannot wait to return!!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank andan24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
67 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2012

lovely boutique hotel in a perfect location. Rooms are beautifully decorated and bathrooms are totally renovated and look brand new! The concierge is wonderful, the atmosphere very Italian, and the living area where breakfast is served is marvelous. Wouldn't hesitate to come back in a heartbeat!!

Room Tip: you may want to splurge for a suite
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank angie54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2012

This property is in excellent location in Florence right near the Dumo.It's off a small quiet road within a private entrance to a court yard and the surprises don't stop there.Boutique at its best.Old world architecture with all the modern conveniences and helpful and attentive staff. As good as it gets.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank goofball59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level Contributor
88 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2012

This is a grand old home (small palace) located right next door to Il Duomo in the heart of the old city. The building is quitbeautifully, is dripping with history and is generally very well maintained. I was told that only 8 or 9 rooms are rented to guests. Some other areas of the old palace are occupied by long term residential suites and, of course, the Niccolini family.

Our room was less impressive than those shown in some of the promotional material but was very satisfactory with its high ceilings and more than ample, modern bathroom.

Breakfast is served in a beautiful, large, palatial room steeped in history and is a fairly nice selection of cold cuts, cheeses, toast, preserves, croissants and (at an extra charge) very nice omlettes.

The staff were all polite, friendly and well informed. I have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to those who are looking for something other than a grand hotel but who want something much nicer than a B & B.

Tip: if you arrive with heavy bags take note that there is a small elevator adjacent to the entrance inside the courtyard.

Room Tip: Some have spectacular old world charm, others less so.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank WillieVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 9 October 2012

We stayed at Palazzo Niccolini during a romantic escape to Florence and definitely the hotel was far beyond our expectations! Its a wonderful, very exquisite hotel for those who want to experience the life of noble class of previous centuries. Although its in the very center of Florence, it is very quiet, away from hordes of tourists and allows the guest to feel very comfortable and cozy. It is family owned and run- Signora Niccolini- and has only 9 rooms, all wonderfully decorated and well equipped. The decoration of the entire hotel is amazing- although its lower floor entrance does not reveal its excellence. The location - right in the heart of historical center- is very convenient for those who want to walk around the city and still use the car for excursions at the outskirts of Florence. Very friendly and helpful staff. Definitely going back there again.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Marina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 October 2012

The Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo in Florence is an exquisite place with wonderful, gracious service.
The rooms and suites are fabulously furnished with original frescos from historic Florence.
Go to their site to see the magnificent taste with which these rooms are decorated.
But beyond that, the service is impeccable. We got wonderful recommendations for restaurants each night we were there (we stayed eight or nine nights in total)
The staff are so thoughtful and accommodating -- and sensitive to individual guests needs.
We LOVED the Palazzo Niccolini and hope to stay there next year.
Breakfast, by the way, is superb -- nothing is done half-way, everything is superlative.
---Jane Katims

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JaneKatims
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo

Property: Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo
Address: Via Dei Servi 2, 50122, Florence, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Duomo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 672 B&Bs / Inns in Florence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Comfortable and beautifully decorated rooms set in a grand, ancient house that has the uniqueness of a private aristocratic residence.Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo is located in the heart of historical Florence, 30 mt. away from the Cathedral, in the centre of the shopping area and at walking distance from the main monuments and museums. It’s origins date back to the 14th century. The great sculptor Donatello (15th century) had his workshop here. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palazzo Niccolini Al Duomo Hotel Florence
Palazzo Niccolini Al Duomo Florence

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