This was a fairly last minute booking through hotels.com as our travel plans had to be changed from another location. I chose the hotel for the location, five minutes from all the major sites and seven minutes brisk walk to the main train station. We stayed in room 1308 a twin bedded room with a private bathroom. The website stated that 'most of our rooms have views of the Duomo'. This is in fact not true as all the rooms behind reception and the one off the breakfast room couldn't have as they face the other way or into the alleyway as ours did with a brick wall three metres away.They should put 'most of our more expensive rooms have a view of the Duomo'. Being woken by the Duomo's bells at 7.45am every morning was charming at first and then rather annoying even though bizarrely there was a two hour delay on Sunday (9.45am). People who wish to stay here also need to note that the ambulance station was below our room with the accompanying noise late at night on several occasions when the station moves round the corner (thank God) onto the square itself, although still very loud within the room. There is no double glazing to eliminate outside noise and we heard drunk Americans screaming all night long on Via Calzaiuoli! We complained about the room on arrival and asked to be put somewhere else. We were first told they were full and then that they had another room but it had a double bed (we needed a twin bedded room) and then we were offered, by the owner, to upgrade to a suite with a view of the Duomo if we would pay another 50 Euros per night .For 5 nights that's 250Euros-I declined and was told I was lucky that I was in a discounted rate room at Euro140pn as it was usually Euro190pn. I told the owner she must be joking charging 190 Euros per night for a 3 star hotel with a view of a brick wall!!!!!! I soon realised that the Italian tolerance of noise and disturbance is very different to mine. Also bookers please note that there are several steps up to the (tiny) lift and with lots of luggage this is tough even for fit people. The hotel starts on the third floor which is common here if unusual to most tourists.
On the plus side the reception staff were excellent. Both professional and courteous and thankfully kept the tv volume down on the computer at night as it was right next to our room. I was awoken most mornings by the staff setting up the breakfast which was right outside our room at about 7am, this meant we had to make sure we were in bed at 11pm( to get our eight hours (in bed at least if not asleep). Being woken at 7 and then 7.45 every morning except Sunday meant we felt continually tired as walking all over Florence all day coupled with disturbed sleep is not a happy combination.
The rooms were kept very clean and the towels were changed daily- the housekeeping was first class. The tv was a nightmare as the remote control didn't work properly and please note overweight people you will not be able to get into the shower in this room's bathroom as the vanity unit is pointlessly blocking the opening of the glass fronted shower unit and so you have to enter the shower side-ways. We are reasonable slim but anyone slightly chubby would just not get in to have a shower. This needs to be changed immediately, as the bathroom is huge and there is no need for this- it is just bad workmanship. The breakfast was plentiful and fresh with the odd exception of the ham (something you would think would be a treat in Italy)-it was low cost no name cheap counter ham of the worst variety. The cheese and salami were good though. The best thing is the coffee machine which does ten different types of coffee and you can just go and refill yourself-10/10.
Overall we didn't have a bad stay- the location is fantastic if noisy and the staff are very professional- I do however believe it is over priced as it seems more like a bed and breakfast than a hotel and I think the cost is extortionate for the rooms and facilities offered.
- Also Known As:
- Bigallo Hotel Florence
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