Florence hotel guidance, please?

Nov 17th, 2009, 12:38 PM
  #1  
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Florence hotel guidance, please?

Searching for hotels in Florence provides embarrassment of riches. We booked a place, but are having second and third thoughts, and so we're looking for another. I can read hotel reviews as well as the next person, and have -- but I would really like some further input.

First, I've read that the area around the Santa Novella Maria train station isn't the best. On the other hand, we will be coming in and leaving by train. We'd contemplated the virtue of being in walking distance of the train station (yes, carrying the 26-in duffle bag as a backpack)...but is that *that much* of an advantage? Would it better to stay more in the center and walk further from the train or take a taxi? (I imagine it's not hard to find a taxi at the train station...?)

I've looked at a lot of the recommended hotels but am finding them dearth of triples or just plain too expensive. Besides the triple, here's my dream list: budget/moderate/midrange cost, "good location" relative to walking (whatever that means in Florence!), A/C, breakfast included, and reasonably quiet. We'll probably be hanging out at art museums a lot, if that helps, though we basically want to see the sights in general. Can anyone please help us narrow the choices down?

Thanks.

beeswing
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Nov 17th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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Is this three adults or two adults plus child? If the latter, what is the age of the child? If 12 or under, consider the Tourist House Ghiberti which fulfills your dream list.

http://www.touristhouseghiberti.com/eng/01-home.html

I wouldn't stay in area of the train station. There's nothing wrong with the area. It just lacks charm IMO. Taxis are easy to find there, and the distance/fare to almost any point in Florence isn't great. Wherever you stay, you'll be doing a lot of walking. There is a bus system that can be helpful in taking you to (or from) your farthest point of the day, but I usually just walk everywhere.

I'll also say I wouldn't be using a 26-inch duffle bag as a backpack, but it's your back and not mine.
Jean is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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The duffle bag was covered (and covered and covered) in another thread...I'd rather not go there.

It's my husband and I and our then-to-be-15-year-old daughter, so unfortunately the Tourist House Ghiberti isn't an option...but I apreciate the idea. Thanks, too, for the info on the train station area. That's what I'd been thinking. And we do want charm.

beeswing
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Nov 17th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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I agree about the train station area- it is the most crowded area and does lack charm. A taxi from the train station to a more central hotel will not cost much.

Have you researched on venere.com or florenceby.com?

Here are a few links for you to further research-

http://www.proconsolo.com/
http://www.florencegrandtour.com/index.php
http://www.rentinginitaly.com/villa/bbpiazza/
http://www.touristhouseghiberti.com/eng/01-home.html
http://www.residenzailvillino.com/index.cfm
http://www.hotelporcellino.eu/
http://www.hotelcestelli.com/
http://www.hotelbalcony.com/en/rooms.htm
http://www.hotelsantacroce.it/12,12.html
http://www.sanlorenzohotel.it/rooms.php
http://www.bbrepubblica.com/index.html
http://www.ilsalottodifirenze.it/en/index.php

This one is rated #1 on Trip Advisor and is very nice-
http://www.hoteldavanzati.it/

Apartments in Florence-
http://www.residenzailcarmine.com
zoecat is online now  
Nov 17th, 2009, 01:58 PM
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http://www.laresidenzahotel.com/en/

Just returned from a very nice lodging experience, the Hotel La Residenza on Tornobuoni Street....€85 for a double, caged elevator, complimentary computer access...also lounge, bar, excellent buffet breakfast, and rooftop terrace...all included. Access within easy walks to all of Florence's attractions. Recommended by Fodorite EKSCRUNCHY...

stu tower
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Nov 17th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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OK, 26-inch duffle it is, but I'll never get the image out of my head of an American guy at our hotel in Prague hefting a huge duffle onto his back, losing his balance and ... falling face-first into the reception desk.

zoecat has provided a helpful list, but what's your budget?
Jean is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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beeswing,
We stayed at the Hotel Globus in Florence. It's certainly not fancy but it was clean and in a location that, though not charming, was interesting (near the San Lorenzo market, the food market, and a short walk from the Duomo). The reason I mention it in particular is that our room was a large double with another small room that you walked through to get to the bathroom. The small room had a single bed in it. We just used it for our suitcases and clothes but it might be perfect for someone travelling with a teenager. The room was in the centre of the building and there was no view -- the two windows looked out on airshafts -- but the room was big enough that we didn't feel claustrophobic and it was certainly quiet. And breakfast was included.

Here's the website:
http://www.hotelglobus.com/
goddesstogo is online now  
Nov 17th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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We'd prefer about EURO 185 max for a triple, including breakfast, and less than that would be even better. I've already looked at a lot of the hotel listings, but I'm having trouble finding one that has the triple and meets the other criteria. We're not looking for anything fancy; in fact, we feel better in places that aren't. But I really want clean, quiet, well-located, and -- since we'll be there summer 2010 -- air-conditioned.

Thanks!

beeswing
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Nov 17th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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I just looked at the Globus website and they have a place where you can put in that you're traveling with a child and her age. I think it meets your price.
goddesstogo is online now  
Nov 17th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Have a look at the Hotel Casci. It's only a two-star, but I've never seen a bad review of it. It ticks all your boxes.
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 03:09 PM
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In September, we stayed at a wonderful B&B in Florence with our daughter. It's in the Santa Croce neighborhood, and called Casa dei Tintori, www.casadeitintori.it. It's a 10-minute walk, or less, of Piazza dei Signoria. We paid 160 Euros/night, including breakfast, for the green room (see the website). The room was spacious, quiet and clean, and the owners, Alberto and Valeria, are wonderful. Valeria prepares the breakfast each morning, and if you express the least desire, she will fulfill it - my daughter received chocolate pastries galore, and my husband got to have plain cornetti each day. You might want to check on the dimensions of the third bed, which is a foldout chair - my daugher is quite small (she's 10yo). I'm not sure whether it would accommodate a full-height person. I hope it can, though - I can't recommend this place highly enough! (As we were there in September, I don't know if it has A/C.)

As for staying near the train station, that doesn't make sense. It's worth it to spend a little on a cab and then have your lodging be centrally located for your time in Florence, so you can get around easily each day. And the area around the train station isn't so nice or interesting.
Lexma90 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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I think you should look for an apartment in the historical center. The Globus looks good, but it's almost back at the train station. The Casci is always well-reviewed, but their triple would seem to be out of your budget. Casa dei Tintori's rates for a triple (only 2 available) are above your budget even in the lowest season. Of course, you could always inquire about a hotel's availability/rates and counter with something lower, in cash or in advance (some incentive for them), and see what they say.

Many Fodorites have recommended this apartment service, but do a search here for specific comments.

http://www.sleepinginflorence.com/
Jean is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 04:39 PM
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I just looked at Tower's (and ekscrunchy's) recommendation of Hotel La Residenza, and it looks perfect for you if your trip is before May 2010. After May 1st, the rate for a triple is out of your budget.
Jean is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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I lived in Florence for a while. I can tell you that from Santa Maria Novella to the train station is not good. Every night the gypsies would meet in front of Santa Maria Novella before they went home.

The historic center of Florence is small. It's easy walking. On return trips we have stayed at the Pendini which is in Piazza Republica. Any of the suggestions above are good as long as they aren't facing Santa Maria Novella and the station. Some people may not agree with me about location, but as I mentioned befor I lived there and know what goes on.
Ann1 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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"The Casci is always well-reviewed, but their triple would seem to be out of your budget." It would?

For a three-night stay July 17 to 20, I get 117 Euro per night cash rate and 130 Euro regular rate.
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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We're going to be in Florence end of June/beginning of July. The cash rate for the Casci is showing as EURO 162 a night, with the standard rate as EURO 180. So it's within our budget and sounds really good for us. I'll have to look into the other options, too. Thanks so much for the leads!

beeswing
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Nov 17th, 2009, 05:11 PM
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We just got back from Florence and highly recommend Residenza Il Maggio B & B which was shockingly reasonably priced at 70E per night for a TRIPLE. Request room #3 which is VERY spacious and comfy. The bathroom is quite large also. It also had a small balcony. It is a 4 room B & B run by a very nice couple (Roberto speaks excellent English) located on an ultra quiet street across from the Maggio Teatro and the US Consolate is just down the street. So, it was both safe and quiet. The breakfast was also very good. It was near the Arno and just a 15 min. walk to the main attractions of Florence.

http://residenzailmaggio.it/index_gb.htm
adventureseeker is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Hey, Zerlina, I used the Hotel Casci Web site (http://www.hotelcasci.com) and got way different rates. Where did you see the rates you got? (Or maybe it's that the dates are just different?)
beeswing is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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One more thing. This last trip we traveled as a "Triple" with our 8 year old son. A Fodorite turned us onto the booking.com website which was extremely helpful since they listed Triple rooms available when the info was entered. It also had a drop down menu so you can have the rooms listed by least expensive (or popular, or best ratings, etc.). Also, I liked that it was listing in US dollars.

Another benefit is that the room is guaranteed by CC. So you don't have to prepay and cancelling is a snap.

Good luck.
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Nov 17th, 2009, 05:23 PM
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I also used the Hotel Casci Web site. It must be the different dates: Many city hotels offer lower rates in late July and sometimes even lower ones in August.
Zerlina is offline  

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