If you are looking for a hotel in Florence that offers value and comfort but without the kinetic energy usually afforded a city centre location then Hotel David fits the bill. Before arrival the booking process was easy, considerate and amiable and my emailed questions in the run up to arrival were answered swiftly and fully. This is a hotel with customer service at it's heart.
When my wife and I have city breaks we look for a base to rest our weary heads at the end of a long, exhausting day. Somewhere clean. Somewhere well connected and most importantly somewhere nice to live for 4 days. Hotel David certainly lived up to these expectations.
Getting to the hotel by taxi from Florence airport was no problem and cost the advertised 20 Euros. We were greeted with smiles and a cheerful welcome. Our first impression was that we had arrived somewhere very homely and comfortable. The lounge area just off reception was furnished with extremely comfortable sofas and provided a lot of useful literature: magazines, travel guides, newspapers and also internet access.
Our room followed a similar theme; very spacious and light, extremely clean and amazingly well appointed. In fact I've been to 5* hotels that weren't as well appointed. I'd also recommend the local red wine served in your room on arrival it certainly made light work of unpacking!
We didn't really make use of all of the hotel facilities but they were certainly there and easy to use: relax room, terrace, happy hour, free parking, free calls and internet. The free Wi-Fi was fast and reliable and it was easy to connect to my iPhone. The free room minibar was also very useful and well stocked. All proof that the hotel was keen to go above and beyond what to expect in a 3* hotel.
Most days were spent treading the well worn paths around central Florence but the location of Hotel David provided opportunities to make discoveries all on your own. In particular we would recommend Piazalle Michelangelo with it's magnificent views, San Miniato al Monte which is worth the steep trek up hill, the beautiful Boboli Gardens and a relaxing walk along the River Arno towards Ponte Vecchio. Walking into central Florence takes about 15-20 minutes but can feel double that after a long day exploring. We used the public transportation system which we found very cheap and very easy to use. It helps to have a few words of Italian in your arsenal but generally a good map and a smile will suffice. Tickets for the bus can be purchased at Hotel David or the café next door. The bus stop outside Hotel David runs directly to the central train station and we became so comfortable with public transport that one afternoon we caught the train to Pisa to visit the leaning tower.
Another important aspect of the location is the café next door, part café, part bar, part patisserie, all part of the Italian experience. I enjoyed a beautiful Espresso most mornings at the bar with locals who amused themselves at my pigeon-Italiano but more importantly welcomed me into their daily routine. The day usually ended with a Peroni and a cake sat outside giving our aching legs and feet the break they deserved.
It is hard to fault Hotel David but the only aspect that stands out as below par was the breakfast; under appointed and under staffed this small room felt like an afterthought when it clearly isn't. The tiny plates and hard-to-find cutlery was just a little odd. Having said that the breakfast was adequate and kept us going until lunchtime. And I am being overly critical.
To summarise don't go to Hotel David expecting a central residence with all of the bland monotony usually associated with the box rooms of a chain hotel. This is a manor house with character, it is a guest house rather than a hotel but it makes so much effort it is hard not to classify it as anything less than a very fine place to stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just a short walk to the historic center or to the surrounding green hills, the Hotel David in Florence is a perfect place to begin and end the day in one of the world's most beautiful cities. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- David Hotel Florence