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“Reasonable, but just shy of great”
Review of Athenaeum Hotel

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Athenaeum Hotel
Ranked #215 of 409 Hotels in Florence
Reviewed 11 November 2013

Location. The Athenaeum is located centrally and is within walking distance of many of Florence's attractions. Walk straight down the street in front of the hotel which is Via Camillo Cavour which turns into Via dei Martelli which then leads you straight into "Duomo Square" which is dominated by the church of Santa Maria di Fiore and the Duomo. If you continue on del Calzaiuoli you end up in the Piazza del Signoria which has the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi museum next to it. All this is a 15 minute walk from the hotel.

Chanel and Ferragamo are near the Piazza del Signoria. Florence is home to Salvatore Ferragamo and the Ferragamo museum. You might consider visiting. After which a short stroll along the river will take you to the covered bridge of the Ponte Vecchio.

The Athenaeum is a nice business hotel with the usual amenities such as a kettle and a trouser press, although an iron and an ironing board might be niceer. These might seem like trivial things to comment on, but in most European hotels, it is not usual to expect to find a kettle or an iron in a room. Safes and mini-bars are fairly recent additions. Expect to pay about 15 Euros for an American style breakfast with eggs and bacon. The great thing about italy is that coffee is generally cheap with an espresso usually running about 1-1.5 Euros. You can add a pastry for another Euro or two to make it "continental". The fact of the matter is that Italians don't usually make a big deal about breakfast, it really is the least fancy meal of the day, consequently you should be prepared to pay "extra" for all the fuss that goes into making breakfast more fancy or more "American".

The water pressure is not great and the showers have a funky "half door" design (see my other review on the Surf and Sand Resort) which means that you'll have to be very careful showering in this tub-shower combo to keep the bathroom floor dry. It generally puzzles me when hotels adopt a tub-shower which in my mind is neither here nor there.

When the door closed on me and I was locked out of my room, it took the night desk clerk 15 minutes to come up and confirm what I'd just told her and then another 10 minutes for her to confirm that my door was locked from the inside and for her to get a master key to let me back in. I really can't imagine what might have been otherwise occupying her at 10pm on a week night, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt, this being my first time at the Athenaeum and all.

Finally, I had a room in November which had no air conditioning. I was told that central AC was only turned on during the summer months. I opened the windows to alleviate the stuffiness in the room only to be greeted by hungry Florentine mosquitoes and the noise of street traffic all night.

So yes, it's a nice hotel, good location with adequate facilities. Just some more tweaking to get that additional star and raising service standards to clinch that final star.

Room Tip: 118 and 119 connect to form a very nice Junior Suite. Ask for the "Accademia"
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Joe N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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139 - 145 of 707 reviews

Reviewed 11 November 2013

Located on Via Carvour, the hotel is around 15 mins walk from the main 'centre', ie: the Dome, Bell Tower and perhaps around 20 mins to the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Museum. If you don't mind the walk it means you'll avoid paying the premium to stay in the centre, which will give you a little extra spending money (you'll need it, Florence isn't cheap!).

Staff are friendly and always tried to help/advise.

The rooms are small and although we'd booked a twin, the proximity of the two beds essentially made it a double. We had to rearrange the whole room in order for the beds not to be touching each other. Rather disappointing. We were told ALL of the twin rooms were set out this way.

The cleanliness of the room and hotel in general could not be faulted. Do be aware of mosquito's though and take a plug-in with you! We left with a number of very irritating bites. Not the hotel's fault.

The hotel has it's own restaurant, but it's pricey and has very little atmosphere, so again, book here if you're happy with a 15 min walk closer to the action where you're spoilt for choice and there's the option of eating out for those on a budget. Little David's Via de' Martelli 14/R is very good and inexpensive.

Breakfast is typical continental style - cold meats and cheeses, breads, cereals and juices. Freshly cooked omlettes are available at an extra charge.

There is a gym at the hotel, but it's limited to a bike, running machine, and cross trainer. At the time of our visit only the bike was working - rather frustrating.

Overall a pleasant hotel. At a juxtaposition with the rest of Florence in that it has no character, but it's clean and smart and less than it's centrally located competitors.

Room Tip: "Twin room" means two single beds pushed together. Be prepared to do some room rearranging...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank CapeTownSj100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2013

We stayed for nine nights in this hotel in October, 2013. There is so much to see in Florence, and we took a couple of trips. First, the staff of the hotel, especially at the front desk, were very helpful and considerate at all times. We got great advice from Sonya, Jacobo, and many others. The thoughtfulness of the staff reflects the great training that must have been provided. The staff were very helpful in getting me the appropriate boarding passes for our return to the United States. Second the hotel was very well located to walk to all the important museums or to take the bus. It was near San Marco Square, and we took the bus directly to Fiersole. Make sure that you validate the bus tickets on the bus. The hotel was about ten minutes walk from the Duomo. Third, the room that we stayed in was very clean, and the beds were good. It was also very quiet. Because I have asthma, the hotel provided us with an appropriate room. Fourth, the breakfast had a decent selection of items, and we enjoyed the cheeses very much. The minute we walked into the restaurant for breakfast, the staff provided us with fresh coffee and hot water for tea. Fifth, we enjoyed using the two computers that they provided free of charge. We used the computers almost every evening. They even have a workout room, but we did not use it. Sixth, we enjoyed having a safe in the room. Seventh, the bathroom was a good size, and was very clean. The soap that the hotel provided was small, but we had experienced that before in other European hotels, and we brought with us two large bars of Ivory soap. We enjoyed our stay in this hotel very much, and it was especially made especially pleasant by the very thoughtful staff. I certainly would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Richard K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

The room is comfortable and very clean. People at the front desk are nice. The hotel is ok .
It is a litlle bit far from the centre but you can reach tthe Dome in about a 20 minute walk.
The only problem is that the replacement items during breakfast was very time consuming.
The restaurant could not serve us for two nights in a row because there were groups having dinner and they were unable to get more guests.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Lisabarbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2013

My husband disagrees, he feels it's a 4* missing a few touches. Personally, I think there are a more than a few things that could bring this hotel in line with other 4* establishments.

Although friendly, reception didn't advise us of breakfast times, hotel facilities, city tax (we knew about it but not everyone does) or anything else - our passports were photocopied and we were given a key.

I realised that I didn't have my laptop charger and telephoned reception who didn't have the one I needed, problem was they didn't say that there was a guest PC I could have used - I found that out the day before we left from another receptionist.

There were no tea making facilities in our room. A small bottle of mini bar water was €3. Room was clean and modern.

The breakfast area was very old fashioned and the toaster doesn't work well at all - a new one is needed.

It's a good 20 minute walk to the train station for us and we walk fairly briskly.

Overall we had a pleasant stay.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SandieB467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2013

Florence is wonderful; the location of the hotel is good and the hotel's atmosphere is clean and attractive. We had a room facing the street and as one might expect in a world city, traffic was a bit noisy in the early hours of the morning. Better sound proofing might be a suggestion? Bed and pillow quite hard as is the case across many Italian hotels in which we stayed. However, the reason our experience was diminished was the lack of service from staff in the restaurant for dinner. The waiters ignored us (we have a 12 year old) for 40 minutes in terms of even ordering a drink and when we eventually complained to the manager, he ordered a waiter to our table (even though he wasn't doing anything) and walked away saying he was "having a terrible night". Not the way to win client sympathy. Check in was also inefficient and with tour groups in the hotel, you are better to climb the stairs (we were on the fourth floor) than wait for the lifts.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that doesn't face the street to have less traffic noise; the central courtyard is...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Tom L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013

I dont know of the hotel that much, but the restaurant (the only one still open in the late evening in the surrounding) took very good care of us. The dinner was delicious, the staff very friendly and welcoming. The hotel owner has his own wine seller filled with bottles of wine from different regions across Europe.
The distance to the city center is also very convenient, a nice 10-15 minute slow walking.
I cannot complain about anything, I loved the city, I loved the restaurant and the night was just perfect.
Thank you Pietro :)

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Ginike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Athenaeum Hotel

Address: Via Camillo Cavour 88, 50129, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > San Marco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#104 Luxury Hotel in Florence
Price Range: £75 - £199 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Athenaeum Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Design, art and business in a 4-star Hotel in Florence. The Academy of Fine Art and the David statue are just round the corner! The ideal location for business or leisure visitors, Hotel Athenaeum in Florence is where contemporary design, modern style and classic materials skillfully combine with art and culture. Hotel Athenaeum’ strategic location in the heart of Florence is the perfect starting point for visitors willing to discover the town or business people alike. The Hotel offers a top international service and a warm welcome.Hotel Athenaeum has 60 rooms, a conference room, a restaurant, a bar and a capacious private garage. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Athenaeum Hotel Florence

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