As part of our Italian tour after a week's Mediterranean cruise that ended in Genua onwards to Milan for 3 nights then next stop Florence, which I must admit I really was looking forward to since it has been almost 20 years since I was last there, I was quite happy upon seeing that our hotel is nicely situated just a stone throw away from the majestic Duomo Cathedral of Florence. But after we checked in and took a look of the room assigned to us, I was dismayed as the window faced a blank ugly wall with no proper ventilation. Despite the winter season, I'd love to let some air in at night plus of course have at least a more decent view! Considering that this hotel, which used to be a Palazzo is quite expensive, one would expect his money's worth instead of being thrown in such an awful box that isn't even fitting a single star category! Anyway, after I profusely complained, they gave us a better room with windows facing the main walkway leading to the square that provided a nice view of the Chapel of Saint John which is adjacent to the Duomo. Vis-a-Vis was also another sweet church and an array of shops and restaurants right next door. However, the room is quite rundown, definitely not the kind you would expect from a 4 star hotel, one that is labelled a palace! Internet access is very expensive, the room is equipped with a tiny television awfully positioned that one must practically hold it in his hand to be able to watch, use of safe isn't free (imagine!) and the worst is the very weak pressure of water that needless to say takes quite a while before getting warm! The staff at the reception and breakfast are mostly at the end of their nerves and hardly gave a smile, well except for the 2 bellboys who were friendly and very attentive. The buffet serves good breakfast but you need to come down early and not at 10 (tho service is til 10:30) coz otherwise you might find it already empty and the ladies in charge could hardly manage to replenish it for they seem to be so stressed despite the fact that it isn't a huge hotel with hundreds of guests. The lobby is quite nice, very tidy and sweetly decorated and furbished but this hotel loses its flair once you realize that the people working there seem to be either a bunch of cold unsmiling robots or nerve-wrecked, a far cry from the warm and cheerful attitude of the staff in our hotel in Milan called The Hub... Sad really for this must have been "once upon a time" a lovely hotel. Oh and BTW, the garage tried their trick on us! We were told it will cost €31/day but when the valet service brought back the car, they billed us €39 which of course I refused to pay! I guess there are better hotels in Florence worth staying specially when one is ready anyway to pay for comfort which we unfortunately didn't really get! But Florence itself? Oh, it is as gorgeous as I remembered it to be!!!
- 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