Hotel Albani won our best hotel room
Our travel agent recommended this hotel, and it won our "best hotel room" award for our 15 -day trip to Italy. Located on a quiet side street just 3 blocks from the train station, it is a good bet for those traveling by train. Located in a palazzo built around 1900, this hotel is luxurious from the front door in. The room was beautifully appointed with a large marble bathroom. Our only criticism is that the mattress was extremely firm--like a board, but the pillows were good. The staff was very knowledgeable and helpful. Breakfast buffet was excellent.
Hotel is expensive, but not as expensive as other 4 and 5 star hotels in the city.
Fantastic hotel right in the centre of Florence
couldnt fault the Albani Florence Hotel. Staff couldnt have been more helpful. Perfect for sightseeing, within walking distance of everything. Comfortable rooms with nice little touches such as weather forcasts sweets slippers. Would definitely stay here again and would reccommend highly to everyone.
Perfect Hotel In Florence
We are just back from Florence, where we stayed in hotel Albani for five nights (in: April 27th, out: May 2nd). We had booked two double rooms and one single. Having read the previous reviews, I was a little bit worried about the quietness of the rooms and the rudeness of the stuff but I am pleased to report that our rooms on the second floor were very quiet, and the staff could not be better.
This is a wonderful hotel, nearby the train station and very close to the city’s main attractions. As a previous reviewer has accurately described it, this hotel is “an oasis of tranquility” and we were very happy to come back after a day of sightseeing along with the maddening crowds that inundated the city.
As far as our rooms are concerned (doubles 220 and 222 and single 223), I must say that although they were the cheapest ones, they were of adequate size and nicely furnished. The doubles were above the hotel’s entrance and when the windows were closed, the room was really soundproofed. The single was at the back and very quiet too. The marble bathrooms were also nice and comfortable.
The staff were very professional and polite especially Elisabeta at the reception, who was very attentive and helped us a lot. Nevertheless, be warned that if you ask the hotel to make your museums’ reservations, they will charge you for their service. This is the only thing we did not like about the hotel, as we know that this service is for free in every hotel we have stayed in.
The breakfast was very good and plentiful, but I cannot say anything about the restaurant because we did not try it.
All in all, we loved the Albani and we would return without any hesitation.
Nice hotel, location.....paper thin walls.....
We stayed at this hotel as a part of a tour booked with Globus. The hotel offers a good location with short walks to good restaurants and shopping.
Overall the experience was postive with the hotel staff offering polite service. The only draw back that I would caution other travellers is that the walls were "paper thin". We could easily hear other occupants carrying on regular conversations with no apparent attempt to be loud or inconsiderate.
Rude staff at the Albani in Florence
We stayed at the Albani Hotel in Florence two nights on our trip to Italy. The hotel was recommended by our cycling tour so we assumed we would recieve good if not great service. The rooms were very nice but the staff was so arrogant and rude it was hard to believe they can get away with that. This was our only instance of this during 2 weeks of travel throughout Italy staying in 4 and 5 star hotels the entire trip. Our friends wanted to leave us a message and were told we were not staying at the hotel. They had left us an earlier note so this was ridiculous. When I asked the front desk about this they said that we should have left our key behind the desk. My husband was in the internet lounge and I was in the shower so he had the key!
They also blamed us for not honoring a dinner reservation they had made but when we checked in and asked about our reservations we were only told about one so we assumed the other wasn't possible. They were very acccusatory. They also told us we could leave luggage with them (we were coming back to stay another night 4 days later) and when we returned my husband was told to sit in the lobby that a manager needed to confirm (we had already called ahead and told this wouldn't be a problem) and my husband didn't have time for this because we had a train to catch. I would never recommend this hotel to anyone, there are many nice hotels in Florence without the arrogant and condescending attitude.
NICE HOTEL, HORRIBLE STAFF
I am so very disapointed by this hotel. It is a very nice hotel in a pretty good location, but the horrible experience w/ the staff I encountered totally ruined my vacation.
My wife and I checked in for 2 nites on a Sunday. Upon arrival, I advised the staff that we wanted to take a tour to Pisa and also see the museums( Statue of David , etc...)
The staff negelcted to tell me that the museums are closed on Monday. They set us up for a tour to Pisa on Sunday, when it should have been vice verca. I went all the way over to Europe, and was not able to see the most important historical monument of Florence due to the ineptness of the staff.
On our 2nd day, I left clothes to be pressed in our room, per the instructions of the front desk. The maid hatd come in and cleaned the room and placed the bag of clothes on a side chair.
I was told the clothes would be returned by 3p, then 4p then 5p.
At that time, my wife noticed that the clothes were still in the room. I called down to the front desk and asked them what was being delivered to my room since the clothes were never taken in the 1st place. Due to another error, I was confined to my room for another 3 prescious hours while I could have been out sight seeing. The worst part of all was the staff not caring or offering a simple apology .
The only possitive thing about the staff was the breakfast room staff. They were nice and helpfull.
I am a travel agent. After what I have experienced, I will never, ever send anyone to this hotel. What is the most disapointing was that this hotel belongs to a very reputable, high end hotel chain. I now have 2nd thoughts about using this chain in the future, for any location, not just Florence.
You Become Forgotten and Rediscovered by Florence
"How I came across visiting Florence"
Earlier, last April 2005 or so, I had been planning a trip to Europe. By June, I had decided on Vienna, Salzburg, Zurich, Cinque Terre, and Venice. After planning the various permutations of train schedules, fell dubious over the idea of heading all the way to the Italian Riviera and asked a co-worker, who is Italian American, and who travels often, which place in Italy she'd go to if she were forced to see one place in all of Italy.
With little hesitation, she said Florence. In the 11th hour of my planning, I changed my lodging from Cinque Terre to Florence and planned a 4 day stay there. It was perhaps the best decision I made in planning for my 2005 vacation. I left Salzburg at 7am on a 2 1/2 hour train ride headed to Villach. From Villach, I took the 10:36am train on another 2 1/2 hour train ride from Villach to Venice Mestre (the first train stop in Venice prior to Santa Lucia) and arrived 20 minutes late and was panicking that I would miss my 1:34pm train headed to Florence (the train to Napoli). Running with others in a panic to get on the train, I had to run all the way to the end as I was in first class.
Luckily, the Napoli train was 40 minutes late too! I soon learned about the chaos of the Italian train system. It's not like that in all of Italy, but delays are more common I learned. I got into the "first class" cabin in an non-airconditioned tight quarters and was with a priest from the Phillipines and an American GI family stationed out of Kaiserslaughtern, Germany. It was not first class at all and was the most uncomfortable ride of all my Eurorail experiences. But it was adventurous chatting with others and where they'd came from. The priest came from Cologne as he saw the Pope and his first visit to Germany. The GI family had been in Venice and told me of their journies. I told of my journies in Vienna and Salzburg. It was bonding.
I arrived at Santa Maria Novella Station in Firenze (the Italian spelling for "Florence) quickly attempted to orient myself with the circular motion and non-linear starting point at the Central Station to navigate myself to Via Fiume, where my hotel was located. The initial impression is that Florence is fast paced, adventurous, objective, slightly run down and hurrying, not in the Paris or London sense, but maybe in the Frankfurt, Germany sense.
Upon arriving at my hotel and being greeted by a lovely, nameless concierge whose presence invigorated my energies with a familiarity one gets when one sees a woman that echos the sensation of the humble beauty of a sincere Mona Lisa, I gradually began to understand Firenze. Firenze: an openly friendly city with nothing to lose as, in life, if one really thinks about it, it in itself is already the most miraculous victory: to be: here: alive in this great world, this great miracle where if the earth had been realligned only a mile closer to the sun, how, none this existence may have ever even occurred!
As art, and a modern sense of intellectuality seems to have been born in Firenze, it seems appropriate that Firenze is crowned as the city that gave birth to the Renaissance period; an age of modernity civility and artistic ponderance.
In my four days here, I had many moments of bewilderment as to asking myself, "who am I?" "why am I here?" "what is existence?" "Is this existence?" "am I really alive and living here?"
The charm of Firenze often makes you question yourself if life really exists or is all of this we see and experience nothing more than a lucky dream?
If you can, stay at least 5 days in Firenze. Also, consider visiting Firenze during May, June, and September when the days are long, sun is out, and the presence of tourists is not as overwhelming as it can be during July and August.
"Settling into Firenze"
The Hotel Albani was an excellent hotel to stay in, located 5 minutes from from the Santa Maria Station and a short walk to everything else that Firenze was famous for. There have been many theories as to how Firenze got it's name. Some relating to the "Flow" (in Italian it's "fluentia") of the Arno River, others from the Roman times when Fiorino was sent by the Roman Emperor to subdue Fiesole in the 1st Century.
I think even an argument could be based on the "fiery intensity" of Firenze's warmth. I mean it, there is really something special about the feel of the Tuscany Sun. Here where I live, in Northern California, the sun is cruel, sharp, invasive, angry, and cutting. But the Tuscany sun that looks over Firenze is loving, sweet, and even drowning in the romantically intoxicating sense. I wonder if the multitude of orange and red tile roof buildings and narrow streets contribute to the pacification and even cooperate encourangement of life that the Tuscany Sun emits.
A very good travel guide that will keep you focused while you're traveling to Firenze is Fodor's "See it Florence & Tuscany." It's an excellent book with useful historical details, excellent pictures, and current tips on etiquette, food, history, museums, lodging information, traveler tips, and a very useful map.
I stayed at the Hotel Albani based on a recommendation by a friend. It was probably the best overall hotel I stayed at in my trip.
The architectural landmark of Firenze is the huge Duomo and the Campanile right next to it (that huge thin tower). Climb the Duomo but be prepared for the many stairs you'll climb. It's well worth it though. The view and the refreshing Tuscany breeze will put a huge smile on your face as it did me here.
Some important names that you will see often in your stay in Firenze: Michelangelo, Brunelleschi (most important architect in Firenze during the Renaissance period who was involved in all the primary cathedrals in Firenze, the Medici's (the Family that held power in Firenze from 1434-1743), Dante (great poet famous for writing "the Divine Comedy" and "Inferno"), Machiavelli, and Gallileo.
This picture is me loving every minute of my 4 day visit to Firenze.
"Firenze at Night"
Dinner in Firenze is a great experience because after your meal, you'll have the glory of walking the lovely streets at night in awe of all her beauties. Although this is not a clear picture, this was the best picture I could find of the Piazza del Duomo. In the foreground is the Bapitistry area of Santa Maria del Fiore (Santa Maria del Fiore is called "Duomo" for short which I think means "dome" or "cathedral." The actual cathedral is of course behind this and the towering Campanile is adjacent here on the right.
There is an awakening sort of dream-like imagery as you walk about the old town area of Firenze at night. There's an awe of diversity of tourists and true Florentines disguised in the mixture as well. There's music, people talking everywhere, pictures being flashed where ever you go, and historical points of reference as unobtrusive as tree branches.
One moment you'll find yourself on a street where Dante was married, the next moment, you'll walk by the Bapistry whose doors were proclaimed by Michelangelo himself as being "the gates of paradise."
Gelato stands everywhere and those sitting in the outdoors people watching you! Window shopping is abound and history shopping sometimes can be done in the same vision.
In my "things to do" section, I will try to give you a priority list on what I thought were the best things to see. If you plan on staying there for 4 or more days, the order should not have much relevance as you'll be happily allowed to take your time and enjoy the experience.
Cost of Taxi
Can anyone please give me an idea of the taxi fare from Rome Fiumicino airport to the Hotel Albani Roma.
RE: Cost of Taxi
RE: RE: Cost of Taxi
Wow, Griff, what a look!
Anyway, about the taxies, a recent agreement fixes it to 40 euro.
RE: RE: Cost of Taxi
Dang, I forgot that new agreement
RE: RE: Cost of Taxi
Anyway...would be better to print a copy to it (better in the italian version) just in case someone "forgot" it!
RE: RE: Cost of Taxi
Hey, Francesco, I see you've been doing your homework! ;-)
Note the fine print, however, at the the Comune di Roma website - http://www.comune.roma.it/was/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_21L?menuPage=/Area_di_navigazione/Sezioni_del_portale/Dipartimenti_e_altri_uffici/Dipartimento_VII/Trasporto_pubb-9-_non_di_linea/N-9-C-9-C-9-_e_TAXI/Tariffa_fissa_da_e_per_aeroporti/Fixed_rates_from_and_to_the_airports/&flagSub=
It says that this fare is good only to locations within the Aurelian Walls...unfortunately, this hotel appears to be about 400-500 meters north of the walls (pretty much due north of the old Porta Salaria).
So, technically, it would be the normal (i.e., old fares). And since the airport is southwest of Rome and this hotel is on the northeast side of Rome, the other quoted fare may will be accurate (80 seems high, but I guess it can depend on the time of day and how far around the taxi driver stays on the ringroad).
So, anyway, it will be interesting to see how literally people interpret the "Aurelian Walls"...however, if you see the map on the Comune di Roma webpage, they have a clear line for the Walls, so I am guessing that there won't be any leeway...sorry, Mike...
P.S., Mike, as an alternative, you can take the Leonardo Express (9.50 euro) from Fiumicino to Roma Termini (main train station), then walk out front (a long walk) and take an official taxi (ignore anyone not in the taxi queue) to the hotel...this should cut the fare down to 20-30 euro (a guess on my part)...
RE: RE: Cost of Taxi
Ach, Bill YOU are doing homework right! I didn't check the hotel location!