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“Great location, but not much else.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Minerva

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Grand Hotel Minerva
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Piazza Santa Maria Novella 16, 50123 Florence, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #78 of 461 Hotels in Florence
St. Louis, MO
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Great location, but not much else.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

I was at the Minerva for three nights in June 2012 -- and I'll start with the positives. The location was very convenient, and my window overlooking the Piazza Santa Maria Novella was lovely, as was the Piazza itself -- and of course the church, which was magnificent. We were there during the feast of Corpus Domini, and being able to listen to the midnight service over the loudspeakers into the public square was really special. Proximity to the train station was another plus. The rooftop bar and swimming pool were very nice -- it was too cool for the pool when I was there, but I enjoyed the panoramic view of the city all the same.

However, the hotel itself left a lot to be desired in terms of comfort. The beds -- yikes. They were simultaneously hard and astonishingly lumpy. The lumps in the mattress were visible even through the comforter -- I mean, they were BIG. The hotel can be confusing to get around, with some corridors and elevators not heading to where you might think, and the staff is not particularly helpful.

The food at the hotel restaurant was very tasty, but the head waiter did not endear himself to me when he was rude to an elderly gentleman in our party who did not clearly understand the Italian menu and asked for clarification about an item. The wait staff at breakfast was also less than pleasant, which was something I didn't encounter anywhere else during my stay in Italy.

I'd love to return to Florence -- but if I do go back, I'll be staying elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FilippoBurroni, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel Minerva, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear Guest,
Let me thank you for your stay at Grand Hotel Minerva and for your review. I am deeply sorry that your stay has not matched your expectations. What really upsets me most is that our staff have so deeply disappointed you. We normally receive high praises for their helpfulness and professionalism, but I’d rather not go into more detail about that and refer our readers to reviews from our guests on this same website. I sincerely would like you to accept my apologies for this but at the same time am prone to thinking there has been a series of unfortunate events which I am sure you would hardly encounter again if you will ever give us a second chance.
As to the matrasses: I am sorry they were not comfortable enough for you but I assure you that if informed about your discomfort we could have changed them.
Let me also add that it is not easy to get really lost in a 5 storied / 100 rooms hotel. I agree with you that it can be sometimes confusing if not addressed to the proper elevator and I sorry if you were not delivered the proper information. It is a fact that ancient buildings like ours are not so logically displayed as you may expect from a modern hotel, but I think this may be expected when you lodge in a hotel which works as such since the 19th Century and which main building dates back to the middle ages.

With my best regards,

Filippo Burroni
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1,187 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights and was in a great location and the hotel is really very nice. The website does not do it justice.

Its only 5mins walk from the train station. Cross one road, then head to the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. And you are home.

We were lucky enough to get a beautiful large room which opened up onto the Piazza. The restaurant is nice (maybe a tad expensive) but there are plenty of little authentic restaurants close by.

I ended up being sick on this trip (5th week of our 6 week holiday) and we were only supposed to stay for 2 nights. But the staff were very accommodating and were able to get us a room for a 3rd night, move our bags, and deliver exceptional service the whole time we were there.

Good breakfast, great rooms, and excellent service. We will stay here again next time we go to Florence. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the piazza with a balcony if you can. So nice to sit in the warm evening and j...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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FilippoBurroni, General Manager at Grand Hotel Minerva, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for choosing our property and for reviewing it with such nice words. I would take this opportunity to inform TA readers that we have very recently built a brand new website, with lots of information and a very intuitive and fast booking system.
We are looking forward to your next visit!
With my best regards,
Filippo Burroni
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

We enjoyed our 4 days in September at the hotel. The location is fantastic, just around the church from the station with a beautiful piazza in front of the hotel. We had two balconies in our room which was large with a walk in closet and excellent AC. Breakfasts were quite good and the root top bar and swimming pool were great. We took some wonderful fotos from the roof while enjoying a drink. Staff was helpful and attentive. We would rebook.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed at Grand Hotel Minerva for four nights in early January 2013 which is located within an easy walking distance from the train station. Traveling with our daughters we booked connecting rooms and were not disappointed. They were lovely and well appointed. The staff were friendly and helpful particularly when I had an issue with inconsiderate children making way too much noise into the early hours of the morning (what were their parents doing?) We found the hotel's walls a little thin and it didn't help that the hallway on our floor was not carpeted but tiled so unfortunately noises were amplified outside our room. Having said that, the staff at reception tried hard to assist us and offer other rooms however not connecting which didn't suit our needs at the time. Overall, a very good hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

This hotel was very convenient to the train station --- easily walkable with LOTS of luggage!! The staff was very helpful in all aspects of our stay ... in fact, the recommendations for restaurants in Florence were the best of our entire trip. Room was large and comfortable, overlooking the piazza and always cleaned efficiently - and sufficiently. Convenient for walking to all the places we wanted to see in Florence.

Our stay included the Christmas holiday and we understood that many establishments would be closed that day for dinner and were advised to book dinner at the hotel for that night - we did - but would have been better off finding a pizza joint. Even though the restaurant was not so crowded, the wait staff made it seem like they were trying to get us in and out --- this also occurred often at breakfast ... just always seemed in a rush. The meal started out very nice, a complimentary glass of champagne (which we don't care for, but a nice touch) - it went downhill from there. Anyway, our meals were inedible, in that the meats (veal and pork, I believe) were so tough they could not be chewed. Both my wife and I embarassingly left partially chewed meat on our plates, with the most of the plate left untouched.

As it turned out, the reataurant manager (we didn't know it was him at the time) came to take our plates ... not so much of a mention of "how was everything?" ... or even inquiring about the primary part of the meal being left on the plate - partially chewed !!! Just took the plates with food left, and full glasses of champagne ... and brought the bill - with no thank you for coming ... nothing.

When we passed the front desk (these people were ALWAYS very helpful) after dinner, they asked how dinner was --- and we explained - honestly - and they apologized. Later, the restaurant manager came to our room with 6 chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne (Ugh!). While dropping it off, he explained that he heard we had complained at the front desk and reprimanded my wife for not complaining at the restaurant --- basically turned it into our fault. No apology for the terrible food.

Short of the review is --- feel great about staying here!!! --- don't eat here!!! Only problem with this was that breakfast was free --- but coffee was instant (I think --- the same stuff left in the room (in the little tubes)) --- and eggs were dry and tasteless.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the piazza were interesting for people watching.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FilippoBurroni, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel Minerva, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Dear Guests,
Let me first of all thank you for having chosen our property for you stay in Florence and for your benevolent review. I am really sorry about your negative experience at our restaurant and I hope you will accept my apologies for this inconvenience. Please accept apologies also from our Restaurant Manager, Pietro Bellifemine, with whom I had already discussed this issue as I came back to the hotel from my Christmas break. I think there has been a series of misunderstandings that have led to a very unpleasant and unusual situation. As you may well understand Pietro has not come upstairs to your room with some cookies and champagne to reprimand your wife, but he only intended to apologize and express his regret not to have realized first that you had not enjoyed your meal and consequently not having been able to offer any alternative dish as long as you were at the restaurant. He apparently did not succeed in transmitting his best intentions and he is truly sorry for this.
I also reviewed orders for that same night and the same dishes you have been served have also been ordered by other guests and I have no record of any complaint on the subject. Obviously you cannot expect everybody being so earnest and open as you have been (and I sincerely thank you for that, because I think that feed back from our guests is the best way to improve ourselves and to try and avoid errors): I sincerely believe that the standard of our dishes is good and am prone to think that the chef has made a mistake and simply overcooked your meal (which should not but may happen).
I take the liberty to invite TripAdvisor readers to compare your experience with that of previous guests and in particular to read a recent review published on Dec. 16 where the same Pietro is mentioned as a great maitre d’ and our food is praised for its deliciousness.
As for our coffee: we serve espresso, cappuccino and latte made fresh with the typical Italian expresso machine. American coffee is actually instant coffee.
I look forward to welcoming you back to our property. I hope you will give our restaurant a second chance and accept an invitation for a complimentary dinner.
With my best regards,
Filippo Burroni
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We visited the Hotel Minerva for one night as part of an anniversary trip. We had an amazing suite that had two baths, a living room with fold out couch (which was important because we were traveling with our children), a patio, and a spacious bedroom with television. The hotel is located in the same piazza as the beautiful Santa Maria Novella church. We had the view of the church from our patio. The hotel provided valet parking so we didn't need to worry about parking once we arrived. They offered a large breakfast consisting of a variety of foods including but not limited to standard Italian pastries, eggs, bacon, stewed tomatoes, sausage, hot/cold cereals, fruit, muesli, and teas/juices/coffees.

We were a few blocks north of Florence Cathedral, Dome, and Medici Castle, and within walking distance of a number of other attractions (leather markets, pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, etc.). Other reviews I had seen told us to beware of the "drug" pushers hanging out in the piazza, but to my knowledge no one looked to be selling drugs nor dangerous looking. There was a carabinieri post right in the piazza as well so maybe that was added in recent years, but no one appeared to be overtly dangerous, but as always be aware of your surroundings.

There were some highly rated Italian restaurants within a block or so of our hotel and Florentines did not disappoint.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

We returned to Florence to stay an additional night during our honeymoon. We previously stayed at Hotel Santa Maria Novella and Brunelleschi Hotel. Grand Hotel Minerva was by far the best hotel out of the three. The rooms are spacious and well designed. The breakfast was delicious and the staff really helpful. The location is within walking distance of the train station and all other major attractions. We wish we would have stayed here the whole time we were in Florence. There is also a rooftop terrace with a pool so it'd be great in the summer too.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FilippoBurroni, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel Minerva, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Dear Guests,
Thank you for your benevolent review. We are really flattered by your comparison to properties that we regard as two of the best four stars in the city. We look forward to welcoming you back to our hotel in the future and hope to match your expectations again!

With my best regards,

Filippo Burroni
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Minerva

Address: Piazza Santa Maria Novella 16, 50123 Florence, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#36 Luxury Hotel in Florence
#42 Family Hotel in Florence
#51 Business Hotel in Florence
#86 Romantic Hotel in Florence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Minerva 4*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Hotel Minerva is a 4-star superior hotel in the heart of Florence's historic center in its illustrious Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which is close to the main railway station. Florence’s key tourist attractions are all just five or ten minutes’ walk from us as well as the Congress and Fair Center. The hotel boasts 102 rooms, suites and family solutions and a breathtaking rooftop terrace (open all year round) with an open-air swimming pool (open from May to September). It also offers a restaurant with its "al fresco" extension on the Piazza and five meeting rooms with day light. Wi-fi is free in all common areas and rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Florence

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