This is a real “hotel” unlike some of the other places we stayed at in Italy, so it is hard to compare. It did not feel very personal or intimate, yet I don’t think it was attempting to be so. Very high level of service, with everyone super-fluent in English. The hotel has many amenities, including reading room, computers, pervasive free Wi-Fi, gorgeous garden/patio area (albeit with aggressive pigeons). Can’t quite get to the fifth star on this one, even though it was nice. I think it comes down to not feeling very personal. I never learned the names of the people at the front desk, nor did they learn mine.
Pros — Historic building. Large and grand rooms. Very quiet. Varied breakfast with fresh juice. High levels of service. Very near Academia (David) and San Marco (Fra Angelico and Savonarola). On the site of the garden in which Michelangelo was “discovered” by Lorenzo the Magnificent.
Cons — A bit off the path for Florence. Long walk from train station and always a bit of a trek home each evening. Not very personal.