Hotel choices for Florence

May 7th, 2007, 09:46 PM
  #1  
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Hotel choices for Florence

I'm having a bit of trouble choosing a hotel for the Florence portion of our trip in October.
I have researched the following hotels on Trip Advisor, Venere and they've gotten good reviews. Can anyone give me some feedback, has anyone been to any of these places? Or any other suggestions. Dont care if it's a small b&b or a hotel, just has to be clean and not TOO "basic". Trying to keep it under $200/nt, but less is always a good thing.
HOTEL BELLETINI http://www.hotelbellettini.com/standardenglish.html 140eur. a friend of mine stayed here and liked it. they provided a very nice buffet breakfast and was a very central location. seemed a little pricey for what i see in the photos though. my friend payed about 80eur in March 07

RELAIS CAVALCANTI http://www.relaiscavalcanti.com/english/rooms.htm 125EUR 10 rooms. This place looks great, drawback is that it has a long flight of stairs to get to the elevator, and they don't serve breakfast, but it sounds like they provide some packaged breakfast items in the common area.

RESIDENZA DEL PROCONSOLO http://www.proconsolo.com/index_eng.asp 135/165EUR This place is right next to Duomo. It looks nice, only complaint people have had is 'dark' in rooms. Breakfast served in rooms. No public area.

HOTEL ALBANI 190EUR http://www.hotelalbani.it/firenze/en...ni-firenze.php 190EUR
This place looks great on the website. It has pretty good reviews. Athough the price is on the high end of our range, it's pretty inexpensive for how it looks on the website. Has anyone been there?

RESIDENZA IL VILLINO http://www.ilvillino.it/home.cfm
133EUR 9 rooms, This place has a courtyard and provides breakfast

IL BARGELLO $US164 got great reviews, and looked nice but they lost me when they said 77 steps to get to the main level and no lift.

So if anyone has been to these places or has other recommendations, i would love to hear from you.
TIA,
dee.
ps. not sure if i pasted the site url's in correctly seem to be showing double for some reason... hopefully they will work..
dosu is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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Well, hopefully I can offer some perspective having stayed at both the Hotel Belletini(honeymoon in Sept 03) and Residenza Proconsolo (Sept 05 and Sept 06).

We stayed in an Annex Room at the Belletini and it was a beautiful room with frescoed ceiling and spacious bathroom. I can't comment on the regular hotel room. Their breakfast buffet as I recall is a typical European spread with cheese and cold deli meats - more than adequate for my husband and I. Location is fab - just down the street from the Medici chapels towards the duomo.

My husband and I have now stayed twice at Residenza Proconsolo - you can't beat the location behind the duomo! We've stayed in the Botticelli and the Dante rooms - both were spacious with very tall ceilings. I would classify the room decor as simple Tuscan - wood furniture and terracotta floors. The darkness stems from the fact that the rooms face an inner courtyard/air shaft. Granted there isn't much natural light but we are hardly ever in our room in Florence and we place more importance over getting a good night's sleep - their rooms are so quiet given their location.

The bathrooms are functional - great water pressure and in 2005 I loved the fact that I could take a bath - it was cold and rainy. Breakfast is simple - served in your room. Fruit cocktail, croissants, fruit juice and coffee. They offer a continental menu and you choose what you would like and when you would like to be served.

We've had positive experiences at both places however, if returning to Florence we'd likely look at Proconsolo again - the owners are great and it meets our needs of having a clean secure hotel in a central location.

Enjoy Italy in October - it's the perfect time to enjoy all the robust wines and hearty food!!


Hana is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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Just stayed at the Alloro B&B in April 07 and would stay there again. Very convenient, they have an elevator, rooms are large, and they serve a decent breakfast in your room when you are ready for it. (During a specific time frame).

Paid 99EUR for a double and walked everywhere. Plus it is really convenient to the train station if you are travelling by train between cities.
Deb15July is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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I, too, am booked at the Alloro in October. It looks very nice, excellent location, and the reviews on tripadvisor were good.
The rate for a double in october is 120 euros
dperry is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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MaureenB
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My daughter and I stayed at the Relais Cavalcanti last May. I will cut and paste my notes about it below. It is a very charming, personable little hotel, and a very good value.

One thing first: the flight of stairs isn't especially long. You open the door at street level, then walk up a narrow stairway one short flight to the elevator. The young women who own and operate the hotel are extremely helpful and insist on helping carry your bags. The location is wonderful, too.

"We took a short cab ride to the Relais Cavalcanti from the train station. a very charming little 'hotel', at Via Pellicceria, 2. It occupies one floor of a building located near the Uffizi gallery, in a very good central location. Because my daughter had just finished her semester in Florence, she was able to recommend her favorite location in town for lodging.

The Relais Cavalcanti building has been in the same family's ownership for 100+ years, the owner/manager of the new-ish Relais is Francesca. She said she inherited this one floor of the building, so she recently renovated it to create a little hotel.

It's relatively new, with beautiful tile bathrooms, showers, etc. The rooms are very charming, and good-sized. Our rate for a double/twin was 120EUR, which included an extra 10EUR/day for the better view. Francesca also offered a 5 percent discount for payment in cash.

You have the feeling of entering a very nice, private Italian home, when you unlock the Relais door and smell the potpourri set out on the beautiful tables in the hallway and entry way. It has a small elevator and a/c, too.

No breakfast is served, but even better I think is that they have a beautiful little dining room/kitchen that is open 24/7 for guests. You have always available the makings for coffee, hot chocolate and tea, plus containers of pre-wrapped pastries and dessert cakes. That's about as much as you get in any Italian B&B for breakfast, and this way you can serve yourself whenever. One evening we bought wine, cheese, bread, and fruit and enjoyed our own private time in this beautiful room.

The only thing to be aware of at Relais Cavalcanti is that the first floor of the building is the Old Stove Irish pub. The good news is that it's a decent little place for panini, and has free wi-fi. However, it attracts a lot of students and young people, so it is quite noisy into the early morning hours. Our room window was directly above the pub's patio, with a nice view of adjoining rooftops. The double windows, plus the wooden shutters, can block out about 90 percent of the noise from the pub below. I found that I could also turn on the a/c fan in our room, which would then totally cover any outside noise.

Francesca also cautions her prospective guests that she does not staff a 24/7 front desk. She is there during posted hours, mostly till 6 p.m., and has an emergency number on the door. But she is careful to tell guests that hers is not a hotel with full-services at night-time. I highly recommend the Relais Cavalcanti."
>-

 
May 8th, 2007, 08:01 PM
  #6  
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Thanks so much Hana, you seem to like the Proconsolo better, I will keep that one on my list! Do you remember if they had showers in the rooms, or just baths? That would be important for us. We do like to relax in our room some, so the room is rather important to us. Do like the idea of a common area to sit in the evening with a glass of wine, or breakfast in the morning, so we will have to weigh our options
Anyway,thanks so much for the reply.
dee
dosu is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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Deb/dperry... I did look at the Alloro before, not sure why I passed it by because it looks nice for the $$. Thanks.. it just might be at the top of my list. dperry, when will you be ther in October? We don't have our exact dates yet, but most likely will be in Florence for 4 days during the first 2 weeks of Oct. Did you book through their site?
Maureen, Thanks.. I think i read your review while browsing..Cavalcanti seemed to be well run from all the reviews. Good to know the stairs arent much of an issue. Did you typically go out for breakfast nearby? this is the only concern. Don't want to have to find someplace at 8am every morning. I understand we can pick up a few things and bring them in, but on vacation I really don't want to be bothered... nice to have someone serve me breakfast for a change!
dosu is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 09:59 PM
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We stayed in the annex at the Bellettini in 2002, which may be too long ago for you to feel like you can rely on my recommendation, but we liked it.

Here's a pic of part of our room, which shows the nice blue and yellow furniture, including a curtained armour, but more important, shows my sister's underwear and sox draped over every available fixture. It was taken to serve as a record to shame her but didn't work. She still drapes underwear to dry all over our hotel rooms!

http://tinyurl.com/2t3k9t

This photo shows the attractive atrium we entered to get to the elevator of the annex:
http://tinyurl.com/32oetk

There's nothing I would fault with the hotel, except that our room faced on a rather narrow and dark narrow street in front of the hotel. We always sleep with earplugs when we travel, so we typically don't complain about noise. However, vespas are plentiful and loud in that city, so keep that in mind if you sleep facing the street.
Mary_Fran is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 02:25 AM
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The Annex of the Belletini is now Alloro B&B.

I like Il Villino of those on your list.
kfusto is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 02:42 AM
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dosu - we will be at the alloro from oct 14-17. yes, we booked through their site and received a confirmation email within 24 hours
the owner also has offered to make our museum reservations for us.
i feel very good about this hotel choice. best of luck.
dperry is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 03:09 AM
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Just returned from our Italy trip and I couldn't recommend Il Villino more highly. The owner is the most helpful person we met, and If you let him, he will guide you through Florence. We had an amazing meal at La Giostra, which is only 2 minutes from Il Villino...I recommend it. And don't bother with Il Latini restaurant. It's a tourist trap with way too much average food. Ask Sergio where to go. Florence is so easily walkable that I don't think location is an issue. Have a great time.
debwhite is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Hi dosu -

Glad to see that others can chime in on some of the other options you're considering - isn't this site great?

Proconsolo bathrooms have both a bathtub (set into an tiled alcove) and shower. The shower head directs water directly in the tub - no curtain required the way that they have the tub set up.

Our last room had a small couch, table and a couple of chairs for seating. Again, the furniture is older but functional. There really is no common area to speak of - just a computer and chair in front of the reception desk. You can buy internet minutes from the proprietor.

There are stairs when you enter the B&B - less than 30 I would say. It's a straight shot up the stairs to reception and they are not narrow so getting luggage up is not a concern.

Let me know if you have any more questions. It sounds like your short list has a number of good options!
Hana is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 06:07 AM
  #13  
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Wow! Yes, what a great site!
Maryfran, so i should try not to get the room facing the street. Your sister shouldn't feel bad...we had our laundry hanging out to dry on the top of our barge while cruising the lovely canals through France!Very bad!

kfusto, so Belletini's annex IS Alloro!! I thought Alloro was run by father and son? Is it same family who runs Belletini? Interesting.. it's two different websites.

dperry, ah... we will return home as you are leaving. have a great trip!

Deb, thanks for the restauant rec. hotel is hard to choose with all the great reviews.

Hana, thanks for clarification...tough to narrow down my list!

dee


dosu is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 06:48 AM
  #14  
MaureenB
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Dosu, there was a small refrig in our room at the Relais Cavalcanti, so we kept a couple of yoghurts in there. It would also work for storing milk, if you wanted to get a box of cereal for an early morning breakfast. We aren't big on breakfast, so I'd just get fresh coffee from the dining room/kitchen.

If you want breakfast provided, be sure to find out what is offered, to make sure it's not just a hard roll, jam and coffee.

I have a couple of photos taken inside our room, and of our view, if you'd like me to e-mail them to you.
>-
 
May 9th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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dosu, not the same family. The annex was sold one year ago and is totally separate. It took some digging to get the information but the reservation manager at Belletini finally caved
kfusto is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 05:09 PM
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Stayed at the Hotel Casci last October & got it from referrals on this & other similar sites. Price was low, breakfast was excellent, water hot & plentiful, & cleanliness was everywhere-they cleaned it like it was their own home. Located mid-way between the Duomo & San Marco, around corners from San Lorenzo & Accademia. They have a website. Good luck. P.S.-I loved Il Latini.
The_Judge is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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kfusto,
I'm glad you informed me that the Alloro used to be the Annex of the Belletini. I was confused when I clicked on the Belletini site and saw pictures that looked just like the Alloro! Thought maybe the link was messed up.

dosu,
The Alloro is now run by a father and son and they were very nice, but their English can be just a little spotty, especially the Dad. There was a small refrigerator in the room and we used it to store extras left over from breakfast as they always served more than we could eat. It was mainly hard rolls, jelly, meat spread, honey, etc. but also yogurt, juice, coffee, cappucino, hot chocolate. Great part....served in your room so if you have a busy day of sightseeing you can go ask for breakfast and go back to your room to finish getting dressed.

They also made our reservations for both Accademia and Uffuzi which was great because when I looked at online sights the dates I wanted were not available. I did not try to call for reservations myself; some on this sight recommend that.
Deb15July is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Here's a suggestion that will be less than your maximum:

I stayed here about a year and a half ago, and here's my take on it:

Hotel Giada, Canto dei Nelli, 2, right in the middle of the leather market, directly across from the bell tower of the San Lorenzo church. While you can hear the bells, I was never woken up by them. Small room but only 75E for a single with ensuite bath and elevator. Small shower stall, but good water pressure and plenty of hot water. Included buffet breakfast.
SusanP is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 09:31 PM
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dosu, regarding your question about whether I'd recommend you get a room away from the street, I don't know what the other rooms look like.

Honestly, if I were going to Florence again, I think I'd look for a place with a view of the city or countryside. Our room did not have that, and while it was a lovely room, I wonder if part of the reason I did not like Florence (and it's among my least favorite cities) was that I often felt as if I were living in a tunnel, traversing narrow, noisy streets, dodging vespas. I think perhaps if I'd had a refuge where I could look on the city as a whole, I might have liked it better.

I had no problem with the hotel itself, and though our room was spacious and lovely, there was nothing to see out my window but a rather uninteresting and dark street.
Mary_Fran is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 02:43 PM
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dosu,
My room at the Alloro did not face the street, but it didn't have much of a view either. I was never bothered by noise and did not use ear plugs. Other places might have a better view of the countryside, but I don't know that they would be as centrally located. There are a TON of motor bikes, etc. That was one thing my daughter didn't like.
Deb15July is offline  
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