If you ever need to stay in the centre of Prato, e.g. for the Monash Campus, then this must be one of the most serious choices. It is about 5-10 minutes from Prato porto seraglio station (tricky buying tickets there and no lifts) and about 200M from the Monash campus. It is beautifully located for exploring the old town of Prato, and you actually feel part of the old town.
I cannot guess when it was built converted or renovated, but it seems to have been a Palazzo converted, and then modernised in layers, with little taken out and stuff added on in layers. The decor is old fashioned and it feels like an old fashioned hotel.
The room we had on the second floor which faced inwards was huge by Italian standards, with plenty of cupboard and shelf space. There is a minibar, a key operated safe and the most modern of additions: a flat screen TV which picked up one English language channel. The room we had was dim because of little window area and inwards looking. The air conditioning was not functioning at the beginning of May, but this may have been for many reasons, probably the cost of running such a service. the bathroom was a little old fashioned, but had good hot water and a shower that worked. The peculiarity was the shower screen that seemed to have been installed by a double glazing workman, with sliding doors but with sharpish edges. I would not recommend for anyone with physical limitations. One of the peculiarities for me was the electrics. It seemed to have several generations of sockets some which worked and switches and buttons that did not. I have attached a picture of something that would not pass muster in the UK.
The staff were friendly and tried to help at all times. There was always someone on duty at the door who spoke moderate English. It is a hotel where you have to hand the key in each time you leave, and we could not convince them to produce a second key. There is free unsecured wifi, which mostly worked at a decent speed for hotel free. Breakfast is supplied Italian Buffet style. There are choices of breads, cake cheese and meat, cereal and juices, and if you ask, you can get cappuccino. The coffee in a jug was luke warm and insipid. On the whole this was a better breakfast than I have had in some 4 star hotels.
There is a bar which I never saw functioning, a meeting room if you need one, and a pleasant sitting reception area which is well maintained. Rooms were clean, and when we needed a new light bulb, it was brought very quickly. The hotel felt safe and was mostly quiet. There is a smokers gallery on the top floor if you feel the need.
The biggest attraction of the Flora has to be the location. it is simply convenient for everything in central old Prato. There are a selection of nearby places to eat, but you have to do your research first. I would definitely go back there, and would recommend it for anyone wanting a reasonably priced hotel. I spoke to several people who were staying a bit out of the old town in the 4* president hotel and they were universally disappointed in way I was not. We got five nights bed and breakfast for two for a little over 400 Euros. A bargain.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the historical center of Prato, in a quiet area and close to the main monuments, museums and theaters of the city. 31 rooms with all facilities. Buffet breakfast. Easy to reach by car with private parking available, train, and bus from Florence Airport ... more less