We stayed here for three nights, in room 301, two weeks ago. I got a good price on the room via an opaque travel site, and was somewhat alarmed about the hotel after reading some of the negative reviews here, but fortunately we had no issues. The in-room safe is too small to hold a laptop, but I didn't bring mine after reading of some allegations of theft at the hotel. My iPad and Kindle were in the room, stashed away in my luggage, and had no issues.
The sewage smell seems to have been addressed by the liberal installation of large room fresheners, especially in the elevators. We'd occasionally catch a whiff of sewer, but the perfume of the fresheners masked it fairly effectively, so it just made you wrinkle your nose a bit, but wasn't overwhelming. Our room had no odor issues, so this didn't really bother us at all.
The location of the hotel is fantastic, just a block from the Duomo and the heart of Old Florence. The room was a good size for Europe, and the bathroom was large as well. The mirror was in serious need of re-silvering though, as it had large spots all over it that sort of gave it a dumpy feel, though everything was actually clean, those mirrors just need to be fixed as they'd make the bathrooms feel of a much higher standard.
Our biggest complaint was that the bed was very hard, it was two singles pushed together, which was fine, and is common in Europe, but the mattress was far too hard for our tastes, and was the hardest I've ever slept on in a hotel. I saw the manager said they were "orthopedic" in response to another review, that must be Italian for rock-hard, as I literally woke up sore one morning from the bed.
The breakfast was decent, cold cuts, rolls, coffee, yogurt, cheese, cereal, and fruit. Nothing amazingly fancy, but absolutely nothing to complain about.
Wi-Fi wasn't free, so we didn't use it. The lobby was nice, and the staff was friendly and helpful. New beds, free wi-fi, and a re-silvered mirror would have made this a great stay. As it was, I wouldn't stay there again, simply due to the uncomfortable beds. The location, however, is fantastic, and truly can't be beat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Currently closed for renovations. Modern Hotel in a 5-story, 18th-century building, originally a Florentine Palace. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fenice Palace Florence
- Hotel Fenice Palace