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.
- 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