Interestingly, we are exactly the type of people who should have avoided this hotel due to access reports and the fact that we are around 60, overweight and with bad knees, arthritis, etc BUT...after reading all the positive reviews, we just had to 'give it a go'. And, we are so, so pleased we did!
Yes, the 28 stairs to level 1 were a little tough, especially heading up with luggage but we made it to the little elevator before making two trips up to the hotel reception on level 2. Once there we were greeted by the now seemingly infamous Monti - what an outrageous, warm, fun character. (Quite a contrast to the rather serious, but civil, older lady we saw the following day.) Monti showed us around, highlighted everything on a map, confirmed our reservations for the Uffizi and Accademia (which they had kindly arranged for us) and then saw us to a very spacious, presentable room which was perfectly cooled and very comfortable. The bathroom was fresh with white and blue tiles, a shower over the bath, a rather ill-fitting but adequate toilet seat (quite funny really) and the obligatory bidet taking up precious space! Not quite sure why shower hoses cannot serve as a modern day alternative but we are not really experienced in their use and it seems to be culturally significant.
We had a small table, two chairs, a huge bed, spare single, two luggage stands, and a huge old wardrobe which housed a small fridge and spacious safe. There were two sets of windows but no view to speak of. No problem though as we had privacy and were mostly out of the room.
A basic breakfast was included in the price as was wifi and, if interested 10 min use of the reception phone to call, via Skype, to a landline back home. Access though was between 1900-2200 which did not quite fit with the time difference to Australia.
Importantly, we cut through an alley and were at the Arno looking at the Ponte Vecchio. We also walked to the Uffizi, Accademia, Duomo, markets and Pitti Palace / Boboli Gardens.
This hotel was a great find particularly in terms of location, value, comfort, and cleanliness. We heard the delightful sounds of horses clopping by in the street and people laughing as the enjoyed an evening meal in a small piazza area below. Less impressive were the big feet stomping around upstairs but they were intermittent and certainly did not affect our sleep. All in all we would highly recommend it despite the stairs and would come back in an instant!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our family run hotel is right in the heart of Florence old town - near to the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio. Without doubt, Hotel Alessandra is one of the most centrally located hotels in Florence. In this privileged position, Hotel Alessandra offers a home away from home, with our friendly team and extensive knowledge of the local area. The hotel entrance is situated on the second floor of the building. You can reach the reception floor using the lift, small but working fine (in the 1400s buildings hadn't been designed with this in mind!) But please note that there are around 30 steps from the entrance on the street level to the departure of the lift. We very much look forward to seeing you! Andrea and Anna ... more less
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