We stayed at the Il Guelfo Bianco for 7 nights late in April. The hotel had great rating on Trip Advisor and a great location only a long block and a half from the Doumo. The check-in was easy and they provided our room by 1:30 in the afternoon. The room was large for a European hotel with very high ceilings. The furnishings were a mixture of older looking and maybe really old furniture. It had two large windows that opened onto the street but had multiple layers of windows and a shutter to cut off noise and light. More on that later. The bathroom was again extremely large and well laid out for a European hotel with a full bathtub and shower that had plenty of hot water. There was shampoo, bath liquid and a shower cap that were replaced daily. The room had a small icebox mainly filled with stuff they wanted us to use so they could charge us for them. I think all we ended up using was one bottle of still water until we could get to a store and stock up on some of our own.
The room had two TV's, one which was connected to a satellite channel and another that seemed to only get local channels. But we didn't come to Florence to watch TV so we only used them in the evening before and after dinner. There was a desk for setting up a laptop and a small table by the window that my wife used as a dressing and makeup area because there was not a lot of flat area in the bathroom. There was a makeup mirror in the bathroom but it would have been more useful over by this small table.
There was a lack of drawer space when you were staying as we were for a week. There were 3 drawers in closet and no other drawers in the room. The lighting in the room was also a problem as they were using relatively low wattage fluorescence bulbs which meant except for the bathroom or near the windows it was hard to read or in my wife's case put on makeup.
Generally the bed was comfortable and after I found an extra pillow for each of us in the chest with the extra blankets we each had 2 pillows. I guess I'm used to cruise ships and American hotels where the beds almost always are made up with at least 2 pillows per side,
The location was fantastic right in the middle of Renaissance Florence. It was about a block from the Academia and a block and 1/2 from the Duomo. Many other major museums and sites are also within walking distance and there is a city bus available if you want to use it for trips further afield.
The desk personnel all spoke English although some were better than others. But given neither of us spoke Italian beyond the absolute minimum they were a Godsend.
The breakfast was a very nice typical European one with meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, hard boiled eggs, fruit, juice and coffee or tea that was served to you by two great young men who really worked hard at making it a good experience. You didn't need to leave hungry unless you were expecting pancakes and eggs with bacon and sausage.
Checkout was painless but remember there is a 3 euro per day per person city tax you have to pay the last day of your stay. In our case it was an extra 42 euros.
The staff was glad to make dinner reservations or arrange a trip out of town with one of the tour companies. They also recommended the Florence card which gets you into most of the museums and churches and also provides you with bus transportation. We got it for 3 days during our visit and it cost 50 euros each but we got way more than that back in visits. Plus you get to get in quicker because you get to go in the reservation and Florence card line which saved time and allowed us to see more art than we would have been able to otherwise.
All in our we enjoyed our stay but if we ever go back we probably would consider staying somewhere a little quieter during the evenings. I should also mention we were there during their summer break for school kids and they were everywhere in big groups. We will also do research next time to avoid them as in general they were rude and loud in the museums and churches but then when aren't teenagers that way. I guess when they aren't in big groups without their parents.
Again all the people who worked at the hotel were great and we didn't bring the lighting issue or the noise from McDonnell's up with them as I didn't think they could solve either issue.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hotel is right in the city center, between Piazza Duomo and Piazza San Marco , few steps away from Accademia (the museum where you can see the famous DAVID by Michelangelo). It's house in two late 15th century building next each other. All rooms are different in size and position - executive rooms have a standard size - superior rooms are larger - de luxe and junior suite are very large with a sitting area. We have rooms overlooking the courtyard, gardens and several rooms overlooking Via Cavour which is the main street but 70% pedestrian and so it's not too noisy. All rooms have triple glasses and double windows. WI/FI available in all the rooms and the drawing rooms and it's free of charge if you have your own laptop or i-phone or i-pad. Bistrot restaurant next door "IL DESCO" open every day (11 till 8,30 pm) with good menu' all day long (many organic products directly by the owner's farm. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Il Guelfo Bianco Florence
- Il Guelfo Bianco Hotel Florence