I found the Hotel Marignolle on Jetsetter.com. Although I was a little nervous about the fact that it's not in the city center of Florence, I was won over by the photos on the hotel's Web site, which described the inn as being sort of an oasis in Florence's hustle and bustle. You can't feasibly walk to this hotel, as it's located on a hilltop served by very narrow roads that are not safe for pedestrians. However, the property is gated and once you are behind the gate, it's like stumbling into another world.
We arrived at the Hotel Marignolle on the afternoon of May 7th. I was feeling a bit tired and irritable from the train ride from Venice. We were greeted by Lorenzo, a handsome Italian man who comes across as gracious and kind. He helped us with our luggage and ushered us into room 3, a beautifully decorated bedroom. After explaining everything to us, my husband and I took a little time to relax. Our room featured lovely Italian linens, a small minibar with reasonably priced wines, a small television with satellite channels (though we never turned it on), and a large bathroom with brass fixtures.
More on the bathroom
The bathroom had only a shower with wall mounted toiletries and a separate WC with a bidet. There were his and her marble sinks stocked with simple vegetable soaps.
Hotel Marignolle features beautiful grounds, including a pool on the hillside. You have to go down about thirty steps to get to the pool and it was too cold for us to try it, but I can imagine when it gets hot in Florence, that pool is a very welcome place to unwind. Flowering bushes and a healthy looking grove of trees are near the pool area.
The hotel has a beautiful living room, where there is an honor bar. You can pour yourself a drink, recording what you made for yourself. The cost will be added to your bill. Outside the living room, there's a peaceful courtyard with a fountain. The tinkling sounds of falling water blend with the sounds of barking dogs. Apparently, a lot of dogs live near the inn. I wasn't bothered by the barking-- couldn't hear it in our room, for instance. It just made me miss my own dogs.
A basic breakfast is included in the price of the room. Before you turn in for the night, you are requested to fill out a form letting the staff know what you might want. You can get pastries, coffee, juice, and breads without incurring an extra charge. If you want something more substantial, like eggs or meat products, you have to pay extra. I did get a boiled egg the second day because I like to have protein first thing in the morning. I think I was charged four euros for that.
I had a cappuccino and a warm cornetto the first morning, but opted for hot chocolate the second. If you are a hot chocolate lover, I would definitely recommend getting it at this hotel. It was more like a thin chocolate pudding than conventional hot chocolate that we Americans are used to... and it was delicious! Breakfast is served in a lovely gazebo and you can look at the gorgeous grounds as you eat.
Personally, I wasn't that impressed with the breakfast itself, except for the hot chocolate. I noticed that besides a couple of cakes and some breads, the spread mostly included commercially prepared, pre-wrapped items that seemed beneath this hotel's star rating. But I have to admit, the gazebo is really beautiful and offers a lovely setting for breakfast.
I mentioned before that this hotel is not in central Florence. If you get hungry, you can order something light at the hotel. Or you can get the staff to reserve a table for you at the Trattoria Bibe, which is located just down the hillside from the hotel. Despite the fact that the hotel is close, you can't really walk to it safely because of the narrow and busy road that passes by the hotel. However, the hotel has a deal worked out with the restaurant and they will actually send someone to pick you up and take you back to the hotel.
We ate at this lovely place on our first night. A very pleasant French couple staying at the Hotel Marignolle joined us. I have to say, of all the meals I had on our trip, the meal from Trattoria Bibe was probably my favorite. It's a very intimate family owned restaurant with an excellent staff. Our waiter was very impressive; he spoke English, Italian, French, and German flawlessly. And the food was outstanding and very, very non touristy. If you stay at Hotel Marignolle, I highly recommend trying this restaurant if you have the opportunity.
Save money for taxis...
I must reiterate that if you stay at Hotel Marignolle, you need to either drive your own car or budget for taxis, which cost about 16 euros each way. Realistically, you can't safely walk anywhere from this location because there are no sidewalks and the road is both busy and narrow. It's also difficult to access other forms of public transportation. We only stayed two nights, so this wasn't a big deal for us, but if you are staying longer, that added expense could be a significant drawback. For us, it was worth it to stay somewhere not in the middle of the city with all its noise.
I liked the Marignolle Relais & Charme and would recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind not being in the middle of Florence. It's especially convenient for those who have a car, as it's near the autostrada. The staff at this hotel is very pleasant and the grounds are breathtakingly beautiful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated just three kilometres far from the historical centre of Florence, this little gem of a hotel overlooks the beautiful hillside countryside around the town. The nine spacious rooms are immaculately styled reflecting the owners' impeccable taste and attention to detail: parquet floors, matching fabrics for beds and drapes, and spacious sparkling-white bathrooms. The panoramic terrace and quiet gardens are the perfect locations for a drink, a lovely pool has gorgeous hillside views over olive groves. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marignolle Relais & Charme Hotel Florence
- Marignolle Relais And Charme
- Marignolle Relais Charme Florence