Florence Hotel Advice

Sep 14th, 2014, 04:57 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Here is an excerpt of what I wrote about our stay at the Hotel Bigallo in fall of '12. Our room overlooked the Duomo and it was no problem for us……also, there was an elevator.

---The Bigallo turned out to be ideal for us! It is by no means the best hotel in the world (or Florence, for that matter) but we arrived by air from London arriving at the hotel at midnight. The crowds in the street made us feel that we were arriving to a lively place and not at all that it was the middle of the night (which it was!) and altho we had a room overlooking the Duomo and the crowds, it was quiet by a combination of super heavy indoor wooden shutters on the huge windows, 15 or so foot ceilings that made it impossible to hear any noise from rooms above, and KEY for me, an individually controlled AC that did not make it nearly as cool as we would have liked, but had the vital element of a fan option that created soothing white noise to take care of any lingering sounds not shut out by the shutters.---
socialworker is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 07:08 AM
  #22  
 
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Socialworker- I found a great free app with dozens of sleep sounds, including "white noise". The cool thing is you can combine sounds! Try it- Relax Melodies.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 07:41 AM
  #23  
 
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Thank you, sarge! I failed to mention in my post that I also do/did use a white noise app on my phone but I do not know the one you mention and I will add it to my apps.

The main point of my post is that I do not feel that one must avoid the Duomo area, as the hotels there know about the noise and have made accommodations to manage it.

Also, I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful the view was, esp sitting in the lobby area, checking Fodor's while gazing out at the cathedral!
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Sep 15th, 2014, 10:31 AM
  #24  
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kybourbon---great advice. Your comments about Hotel Silla reflect my concerns about its location. We'd rather not stay near the train station and don't know why, but the Oltrarno location, esp. near the Ponte Vecchio, is appealing to us. We've never been to Florence, so if we're off base, that's what I need to know!

The Duomo location, on the other hand, certainly looks like it is the most central. The busy/noisy factors are a concern and after reading socialworker's comments, I don't know whether our room will have the soundproofing accommodations that her hotel offered. But what a view!
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Sep 15th, 2014, 10:41 AM
  #25  
 
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I just looked at the pics of the Silla, and while I do not see the wooden shutters on the windows shown, it looks like those might be the kind of triple-glazed windows that we had at a hotel in Strasbourg, which are also very sound-tight. Might you be able to email the owners or the front desk to ask about sound-proofing?
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Sep 15th, 2014, 12:06 PM
  #26  
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socialworker---the Silla hotel is across the Arno (and not near the Ponte Vecchio, but across the river from Santa Croce), so that's not where I'm concerned about the noise. It's the Hotel Duomo, which is right across from the cathedral. It doesn't have the high ceilings your hotel did and it is smack-dab across from the Duomo, right above where the crowds would be. You are so nice to be looking into this for me! thank you!
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Sep 15th, 2014, 01:44 PM
  #27  
 
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My SIL stayed at the Silla many years ago. She's not much of a walker and commented it was too far from the main sights.

What exactly do you want to spend? And what time of year are you going?
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Sep 15th, 2014, 02:22 PM
  #28  
 
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fwiw - and I do see you say you have a bad hip - but all the same, if I ever go back to Florence, I would like to stay on the Oltrarno side of the river. HOWEVER - it is very hilly over there. Much more peaceful though, and great views in many spots over the city...

We stayed in a hotel right on the Arno, Bertucci, I think? - I thought we paid too much for our room, but it was an ideal location, very central. Great breakfast buffet too, if you like big breakfasts. And it was quiet. One bridge over from Ponte Vecchio. On the Duomo side of river. Very close to Uffizi and Piazza della Signoria as well, and in the fashion district.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 03:13 PM
  #29  
 
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Hotel Berchielli, sorry. That was the name of the place we stayed. It was nice, but we didn't do a lot of planning, and it seems there are just as nice places (or nicer) for less. Great location, though, and a wonderful little rooftop terrace .

For your options - for the price and location, the Scaletta looks nice. I'm a sucker for rooftop terraces, though, and like I said, loved the Oltrarno.
Did not stay at Scaletta, though, so... I would check for review comments regarding hilliness. The pictures on tripadvisor suggest that maybe it is on a hill? Maybe not... That's the thing you want to check for, if you think you'll have issues with your hip.
And what time of year are you going? If it's winter, the terrace may not be usable, so money better spent may be more in the city center, where it's more flat.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 03:15 PM
  #30  
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Jean---we're going the middle of October and less than 200 euros/night. We've found some pretty good rates at the places I've listed by contacting the hotels directly, but time is running out. Thanks for the Silla info...very helpful!

BumbleB6---I think I saw where you stayed at is a little too much $$ for my dates.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 03:20 PM
  #31  
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Looks like we crossed in cyberspace, BumbleB6! Yes, the Berchielli was the one I saw and liked. I like those rooftops, too! I didn't realize hills in Florence could be a problem. Thanks for the heads up!
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Sep 15th, 2014, 03:32 PM
  #32  
 
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Hmm, gtr, I said Silla but I meant Duomo, as that is the one whose website I looked at. Sorry for the mixup. Is the one we stayed at--Bigallo-- too pricey? We paid $150/nt, also in October…
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Sep 15th, 2014, 03:47 PM
  #33  
 
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The historic center (on the side of the river with the Duomo/train station/Santa Crocer, etc.)is quite flat. Parts of the Oltrarno are flat and parts are hilly. For a 1st time visitor, with such limited time, I would lean towards staying in the center pedestrian area.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 03:57 PM
  #34  
 
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Ah, if you are going in October, you still might be able to enjoy the terraces! The side of the river where the Duomo and Ufizzi, Accademia, and most sights are, is not hilly. The Oltrarno is, though - but definitely worth climbing up the hill to see the view from San Miniato al Monte (which sadly, I didn't make it inside to see) and/or Piazzale Michelangelo. Very kitschy, with the postcard and souvenir stands, but great views across the town. Nearer to the riverfront, is not so hilly. Just a different vibe over there, more relaxed...
I loved Santa Croce btw. They were restoring the frescoes when we were there a few years ago, maybe they are done now? You will love it, if you love cathedrals and medieval/Renaissance art.
I also enjoyed wandering through the Boboli Gardens, but we did not make it into the Pitti Palace. Next time...
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Sep 15th, 2014, 03:58 PM
  #35  
 
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If you're going mid-October, one month from now, you've left it a bit late. October is a very popular month for Florence. I wouldn't wait too long to book something, perhaps a property with a good last-minute cancellation policy in case you find a better option in the coming days.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 09:38 AM
  #36  
 
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gtrgrl: throwing a couple more of my 2 cents in here: the Oltrano has a bit of charm, but to me, the area on the other side of the Ponte Vecchio isn't special at all.

I would stay in the Oltrano if I had a bit of extra time, or was renting an inexpensive apartment.

For a short stay, I think the center is best. JMO, of course.

socialworker, I have bookmarked the Bigallo. Great prices and views.

If the OP throws it open to other hotels, we can suggest a good many. I went with sandralist's above rec recently and was pleased.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 10:04 AM
  #37  
 
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BTW, I just realized that I--OF COURSE!--meant 150 euros in my post above---not dollars!! (DOH!)
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Sep 16th, 2014, 10:16 AM
  #38  
mrt
 
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I stayed at the Hotel Stilla a few years ago with a family of 4. it was one of the few hotels that had quad rooms. It is located a block from the Arno River on a quiet street. it is about a 2-3 block walk to the sites. It was not a big deal. The hotel is old and European. bathroom was good and the a/c was pretty good. They served a breakfast on the roof terrace but it is mostly pastries. We had a car and found street-free parking on the street 100 feet from the hotel. I cannot compare it to other hotels in the area but I liked it and the cost was reasonable.
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Sep 17th, 2014, 08:55 AM
  #39  
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socialworker---bigallo is slightly more $$ than what I've got for the others..It's all about timing, eh?

tuscanlifeedit---I'm not locked into anything, if you have another suggestion. I did look at sandralist's THG, but again, more expensive than what I have now.

mrt--Thanks for the Silla review. Yes, the cost is the best of the bunch, but with limited time and a bad hip, I'm still worried that it might be a bit farther away than we'd like. Seems like if you have a car,which we won't, that's a good place to be!
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Sep 17th, 2014, 09:27 AM
  #40  
 
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Yes, gtr, when it comes to hotel prices, timing is key. And you are right, that if you have issues w/your hip, that a central location trumps many other advantages! Walking is no issue for DH and me (knock on wood!) but I still would not choose to stay in Oltrarno, altho we walked over for dinner and it was a charming area and I can see why some would like/prefer it. That is one of the many great things about travel, that different tastes and likes can be accommodated.
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