Contemporary art meets Renaissance history in this maze-like 15th-century building. Throughout the hotel, guests will wind through a labyrinth of antique furnishings, original frescoes, and modern paintings as they make their way to the unique and spacious rooms. The friendly staff are at the guest’s beck and call and the downstairs bistro is an attraction on its own. The best part, the hotel is only 3-minutes away from the Duomo.
Unique accommodations continue the mix of contemporary and antique as each room had to be built around the ancient arches, brick walls, and ornate ceilings of the centuries-old building. Throughout you’ll find high ceilings, pastel colored walls, patterned carpets (some hardwood floors), and views of the bustling street below. One last thing, rooms are equipped with multi-charging stations where you can plug in every kind of electronic device at once.
If you book three or more nights, the hotel will set you up with welcome drinks and snacks upon arrival. They can also get you discounts on museum tickets.
The bathrooms, like the bedrooms, are a mix of styles, colors, and size. Some have shower/tub combos, while others come with solo showers. All have bidets and towel warmers and organic bath products are by Erbario Toscano.
The narrow lobby features red leather lounge furniture, a coffee bar, and diner-style booths that are ideal for working during the day. There’s also a computer terminal with a printer in case you need to print out tickets.
Breakfast is included for all guests and is a buffet style with Italian treats and hot coffee. On warm mornings, an outdoor courtyard beckons for long meals. Later in the day, the hotel’s highly-rated Desco Bistrot serves up organic fare for lunch and dinner with fresh produce taken directly from the hotel’s farm in the Florentine hills.
One of the ideal parts of this hotel is that it’s on a main thoroughfare with fewer car restrictions than the rest of the city. If you decide to rent a car (not really needed), you can pull up to the front of the hotel and they’ll take your car to a garage. Otherwise, get out and walk. The hotel is walking distance to every major attraction as well as great restaurants, bars, and shopping.
For a traditional trattoria with excellent Tuscan fare, head over to Ristorante Accademia (2-minute walk). If you’re craving the perfect Florentine steak, check out Le Fonticine (7-minute walk).
Just behind the hotel is the super hip La Ménagére (3-minute walk), perfect for late afternoon sips. Cocktail connoisseurs should walk over to Kitsch Deux (3-minute walk) just up the street.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A great mix of old world and new, Il Guelfo Bianco is a friendly, centrally-located hotel that won’t break the bank while providing solid amenities. The hotel is ideal for families (there are large rooms that can fit 3-4 people) and budget-conscious travelers and is on a main thoroughfare for easy car or bus access. Ultimately, the service is friendly, the rooms spacious and historic, and the bistro is worthy of your day or nighttime reservations.
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