The best thing about Residenza Belli is the pair who runs it. I have to mention how helpful they were in checking us in, making restaurant reservations for us, and offering suggestions. If not for the the two of them, we probably would have left the next day.
Unfortunately, the hotel itself was disappointing. The hotel occupies the 3rd floor of a building from the 1970's, which is also home to two other hotels (on separate floors) as well as dentists' offices and perhaps private apartments. The public stairwell and elevator shaft bisect Residenza Belli's floor so anyone in the building can walk up the stairs and right up to the door of your room.
The signs on the building's front door include the other two hotel names and offices but not Residenza Belli, which is why everyone keeps missing it.
When we arrived, someone buzzed us in and we took turns bringing our luggage to the 3rd floor using the one person elevator. Entering the dim hallway, the reception consisted of a small office desk pushed against a wall with the receptionist, his laptop, a fax, and a lot of paper. It turns out there is no reception--just a hallway where we awkwardly sat against a wall to check in. In short, someone converted some condominium units in a building and converted them into "hotel" rooms, unfortunately leaving out the reception and rest of the hotel.
Although the room did have air conditioning as previous reviewers mentioned and the bathroom was spacious, the bedroom was tiny, maybe 10 sq.m. (100 sq. ft.), with a view of the courtyard. We could barely walk around the double bed. The TV was tiny and the remote control was missing. We also realized they did not change the sheets after they cleaned the room. The next day we did notice some other rooms which looked much bigger than ours.
Overall, we felt that even if we had a decent-sized room at Residenza Belli and even if the staff were helpful, it wasn't enough to make up for the lack of lobby, services, signage, and security. The location was okay, but as others mentioned, the street is quite downmarket and the Lorenzo area at night may make some travelers uncomfortable. It was strange that they asked for a credit card guarantee but did not accept credit cards. We booked judging from the reviews and the website but it did not match the real thing.
- Also Known As:
- Residenza Belli Florence