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“Yes and No” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Howard Guest Houses

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Casa Howard Guest Houses
Via della Scala 18, 50123 Florence, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #255 of 541 Florence B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Singapore, Singapore
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Yes and No”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

-This guesthouse was very responsive on the email when I wrote in to enquire about booking for our stay in May 2014.
-The guesthouse is well-located near the train station. Very convenient if you need to catch trains in and out of florence.
-Breakfast was simple but delicious.
-Some of the rooms were really beautifully designed. Like a decorated house from a design magazine.
-We weren't told of the breakfast charges and the need to record choice of breakfast timing. We verbally told the housekeeper when we like our breakfast for our stay but after our first breakfast, we waited in vain for the second one, only to find out that we had to write on their record book to get breakfast. That was the morning that we really needed our breakfast as we had to take a 2.5 hours ride out to the vineyards, we ended up having to endure hungry pangs all the way till lunch.
- Some of the rooms are really small and aircon can be noisy.
What I cannot understand is that with so many feedback about less than satisfactory service from the Housekeepers, why haven't the owner done anything about it? I saw the reviews before I went and I thought this should have been fixed by now given that correcting bad service attitude should be paramount for this business. I can tolerate small rooms, disturbing sounds from aircon but certainly not a tempermental service attitude.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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310 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
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English first
Canada, Kentucky
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

My friend recommended Casa Howard for our first visit, but I found that this hotel is a poor guest house over our stay in Italy. The entrance have smell of drainage. When we check in, we ask to the housekeeper the aircondition, and they said we cannot use the aircondition because still part of the heating, We cant manage to sleep at night and we left our window open for all night so we can get some rest after 24 hours of travel but the problem is the street noise and full of mosquitoes. Also citing on the website of an internet connection but very poor.The only good thing for CASA HOWARD is the two friendly ladies that giving us informations, directions. The place is close to tourist attractions and near to the train station.

Room Tip: Not at all....
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

We had booked both the twin rooms, but had a major problem with smell in one of the rooms. They did change the room right away. We had come here direct from a stay at Casa Howard Via Capo Le Case in Rome and the quality of service provided in Rome was definitely superior and the housekeeper there was friendlier.

The location in Florence too is central and makes it in easy walkable distance of most places, or the train station and buses are available very near.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014 via mobile

This was my fifth visit to Casa Howard, which is a beautifully designed set of rooms near the train station and next door to the wonderful Officina Farmacia Santa Maria Novella.

The rooms are all different and I have had enjoyable days before in the Drawing Room, Library, Fireplace Room and my favourite, the Owner's studio. I have always had excellent service and love the location and aesthetic. This time I booked and prepaid for the Fireplace Room - a lovely room to share, with both a free standing bathtub and a walk in shower. As it was my fifth visit I was told I would receive complimentary breakfast.

On arrival, the first thing I noticed was a rather funky smell in the downstairs lobby area which I had never noticed on previous stays. Once inside the hotel the smell was diminished but it was still a little off-putting every time we returned to the hotel.

I was greeted by one of the two Filipina housekeepers - she tried to charge me again for the rooms and was quite put out when I showed her the confirmation email acknowledging full pre-payment. She then offered me breakfast at 8 euros per night. Again I was able to dig out an email confirming that it was complimentary. And on being shown, somewhat brusquely into the room, I had to dig out my blackberry again to prove that I had asked for twin beds.

Being proved wrong didn't help her mood but her blatant surliness (we didn't get a smile or a civil word from her for the rest of our five night stay) didn't live up to the promises I had made my guest about the excellence of the establishment.

After some rather derogatory and insulting grumbling to her colleague which I only understood in part - my Tagalog being a little haphazard - the initial hiccups were glossed over without apology. Thereafter whenever possible I tried to deal with Mina, who we dubbed "Smily", rather than her colleague "Surly".

Breakfast was actually very good by Continental standards with fresh fruit, yoghurt, a rather sweet croissant, toast, honey, butter and Nespresso coffee with warm milk. On one day when there was no yoghurt it was replaced with a perfectly soft boiled egg. We supplemented it with some sliced salumi and cheeses from the central market and it made a lovely start to each day.

The only issue is that each day you have to write in a logbook the time you want your breakfast the next day. One day we were doing a day trip to Sienna and San Gimignano, so the book was not out when we left at 8:30am. And by the time we got back at about 10:30pm I forgot. I remembered the next day at 6:00am when I heard movement in the pantry next to our room - I am a light sleeper - and I got up to find Surly setting out three breakfast trays. I asked if it was too late to order for 8:00am. I was told that two of the trays she was preparing were for 8:00am so I could have it at 9:00am. (We had had breakfast for the first three days at 8:00am each morning).

Now I said the breakfast was good but it was hardly Heston Blumenthal and cutting up and apple wasn't likely to take an hour. But I wasn't Surly's favourite person so I left it.

Maybe three stars is harsh. I got what I ordered eventually though I had to fight for it. And the apartments are as pretty as they always have been and in the same excellent location.

Perhaps if I had not had such good service on my previous stays, and if the lobby had not smelled like a street sleeper was living in it, I would have given five stars. But I could not in all conscience say that this stay was very good. The apartments are not cheap and in the circumstances it is things like cleanliness and service which make the difference between an okay stay and something better.

I will be looking other options next time I visit Florence.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

I booked the Hidden Room for my husband and I for a 3 night stay in April.

The two lovely ladies that takes care of the place were very pleasant and very helpful with everything we needed. The room was extremely tiny with barely any space to store or open up your bags. This was a mission and we actually couldnt wait to leave Venice because it was a rather uncomfortable and unpractical room.

The shower and sunken tub was in the bedroom, the shower had a wooden flooring which is so uncomfortable under the foot, my shower time was rather fast due to this, the sunken tub was right next to the shower and directly in front of the bed, the water temperature was not warm enough to even fill up the tub and enjoy this feature of the room.

The TV was situated behind the tub and on the floor, we couldn't even see the TV from the bed. The toilet was situated as soon as you enter the room on the left, again very tiny and the only mirror situated in the room was in the toilet. Poor lighting in the toilet as well.

Advice to travelers, if you have big luggage or like space, DO NOT choose this room, you will be claustrophobic during your entire stay. Not worth the price we paid.

Room Tip: Choose a bigger room if you have luggage
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

We picked Casa Howard be coz of its location. Walking distant to/from Firenze SMN station,don't wanna find the hotel hardly with heavy luggage always. However,10-15 mins to get there but still takes time to find exactly it is. Guest house is on the second floor of a building,it s a little difficult to it find out if u forgot to take a look of their front door pictures...

My husband n I were stay for 2days in a twin room left which is tiny(12 inches from the toilet) but in well decoration.

We both like the location of Casa Howard which is convenient to visit Firenze but room is too small for the price that I paid.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

We were 2pax and we stayed in the Drawing Room which could really sleep 4pax or a couple with 2kids. We chose it because the pictures showed a beautiful and elegant room. It was indeed. Very very spacious open concept room. 2 large
beds and a living room space.
Wardrobe and vanity area space is a little small, although there are many drawer spaces and small cupboards in the apartment. There is 1 toilet and 1 separate shower area. Very clean apartment. The 2 ladies who take care of Casa Howard are very nice and helpful. There is a lift in Casa Howard too.There is no parking at the apartment tho.
One thing that bothered us was the loud slamming sound you will hear through the walls and floors whenever someone goes in and out of the main gate and door at L1. And it does occur any time through the night. And if you take the first floor room, then get ear plugs.

You could get in-room bfast served at your preferred timing at an extra cost or you could go to the many cafes and restaurants along the same street.
There is also Halal food across the street called The Grill Restaurant which serves kebab, briyani, rice dishes. We had meals there too and it was good. €8 per pax on average. The restaurant does not serve alcohol.

We love Casa Howard for its very convenient and accessible location, its proximity to food and its beautiful rooms. Oh the sign 'Casa Howard' is a small plaque on the wall. A more prominent sign would be helpful esp if one arrives at night. Anw, use your phone's google map, it will locate it precisely ;)

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Casa Howard Guest Houses

Address: Via della Scala 18, 50123 Florence, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #255 of 541 B&Bs / Inns in Florence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
CASA HOWARD Guest Houses – Rome and Florence The Art of Hospitality. Casa Howard Guest Houses are not hotels. Each Casa Howard is a beautiful private house, in an outstanding location whether an apartment, palazzo or farmhouse, which gives personal service, and where some typically "hotel" ideas, methods and services have been borrowed. With uniquely designed, cosy rooms it’s like staying in a very relaxed, stylish friend’s home – as guests you get the keys of the house, you enjoy the original furniture and objects, you feel the atmosphere of the house. A mix of quality-to-price ratio, uniqueness of location, private home heritage and introduced guests approach deserved Casa Howard many featuring on the international press. Last but not least, CH are now in the bestselling 1000 Places to See before You die !!• A SENSORIAL EXPERIENCE : how different is the feeling of spending some days in a real private house rather than in a public grand hotel, in the top art city of the world! LUXE: we may not define CH a luxury place, rather a true exclusive place (nonetheless we are featured on most of the luxury guidebooks in the world, like the LUXE city book of Grant Thatcher or the LOUIS VUITTON guidebook). Casa Howard (Florence) is located close to Santa Maria Novella, Casa Howard (Rome) close to the Spanish Steps – the ideal spots for accessing the city’s profusion of architectural treasures and shopping! Urban chic close to the action. Suave and surprising, the Casa Howard is located close to the Santa Maria Novella – an ideal spot for accessing the city’s profusion of architectural treasures. This is a Guest House, it is not in the hotel category (e.g. they do not have a concierge, nor do they provide porters etc); it is a private family’s houses partially opened to introduced paying guests. Former guests have a priority booking channel. A mix of quality-to-price ratio, uniqueness of location, private home heritage, and introduced guests approach deserved Casa Howard some awards and many many featuring on international press. It is an intriguing mix of private mansion and hip hotel, providing guest accommodation in stylish apartments. Eco attitude : see down *All the original floors and ceilings have been maintained, there are flourishes of pure silk taffeta at the windows, and many love the chic designer touches such as the occasional black silk sofa, sunken marble bath, full-wall padded bed head, mosaic inlay or 18th century French writing desk. For relaxation after a day’s exploration along the Via Tornabuoni, unwind in the hammam. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Howard Guest Houses Hotel Florence

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