More about Brunelleschi Hotel
Hotel Brunelleschi - Not for me thanks !!!!
My Husband and I stayed here about 2 weeks ago as part of our Honeymoon trip. It was in the perfect location as its so close to everything but the hotel was in a very poor state. It badly needs some TLC, the rooms were clean but stuck in the 70's decor wise the staff were OK not overly helpful or friendly and we did speak as much italian as we could. When we arrived at 2pm we were told the room would not be ready until 3pm which is totally unacceptable in my book. Then on checking out when asked if we had any problems we reported a very strong smell in the corridor where we stayed and the lady shrugged it off saying it must be the damp weather !
The breakfasts were very poor also, one poor guy sweating and running mad trying to sort everyone out, it was a disgrace.
We paid a lot of money to stay and did not expect the shabby old room and dated furniture along with the shabby service.
I once read here that if a hotel in Italy is called 4 * then expect 3* and well in this case it could not have been more accurate. There are apparently great rooms in the Tower but I guess you need to be totally minted to get one of those !!
My advice, choose somewhere else especially if its a romantic setting your after (which we believed it was)
Hotel Brunelleschi - Very Good Location, Very Bad Quality for Money
We stayed at the Hotel Brunelleschi for 3 nights in early October. Our first impressions as we arrived were good. The hotel is very close to the Duomo and sits in a small piazza which is in a mainly pedestrianised area. Unfortunately from this point onwards things went downhill.
We arrived in reception with our luggage after dark and feeling quite stressed after our journey from the airport and having battled through the many beggars at the train station we would have really appreciated a friendly face at reception to make us feel welcome but, alas that was not to be. The grey haired young lady at the desk was very supercilious and quite frankly rude. We were asked for the usual credit card at the desk but we always refuse and offer a cash deposit. When we declined to give a credit card we were treated with distain and sent to our room without a smile or thank you which does grate rather when our bill had already been prepaid online.
The room was ok - clean and tidy but dated and shabby round the edges. The aspect was good - we could see Brunelleschi's Dome and the Campinile from one window and being on the third floor we were high enough from the street below to not be too disturbed. However, dont forget this is a busy area so you will hear Florentine life through the night - all part of the great experience of this city.
We decided as it was late we would eat in the Hotel restaurant - big, big mistake! We ordered Bruschetta Pomadoro and was told they had no bread! So we ordered Tomato and Mozzarella Salad and a bottle of house Chianti. This was acceptable except for the price that they were charging we should have had very ripe tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella perhaps with a little basil and some crushed pepper instead of the catering pack quality of the cheese and the crisp tomatoes. Still, we were hungry and ate our starter in anticipation of our main meals - Veal, one with mushroom sauce and the other with a lemon sauce. When they arrived we knew this wasnt going to be good. The small sliver of meat was accompanied by a 70's style stuffed courgette end and a barrel shaped single potato. The whole dish was rendered inedible by the saltiest most disgusting sauces we had honestly ever tasted. My companion couldnt eat hers and so the waiter offered to change it for another plate but it would be hard to change as the "sauce was already made up" visions of bubbling vats entered our heads. As expected the dish returned exactly as before and impossible to eat. I had hardly touched mine but because I didnt directly complain my plate was taken away and charged for. The whole meal with one main dish not charged for came to 52 euros - a complete rip off and quite frankly an embarassment for a hotel situated in a country and region renowned for its fantastic food.
We would have really welcomed a kettle in our room too with tea and coffee sachets. Instead there is a worn-out minibar with hugely overpriced alcoholic and soft drinks.
Still the advantage of a bad hotel is that it makes the streets outside more appealing and Florence doesnt disappoint. We headed for the Piazza del Republica to Paszkowskis for Irish Coffee and Profiteroles which was delicious and included live music in addition to Enzo our young waiter who was lovely.
Later back to the hotel and that night we may as well have slept on the steps of the Duomo, the beds were rock hard with one small pillow per bed. There appeared to be no heating so at night it was very cold, however, at this stage we were grateful just for the clean linen. The towels in the bathroom were plentiful but some had holes in and looked quite thin and threadbare. Our face cloths were not replaced after the first night either.
Next morning and breakfast ho hum! Breakfast runs from 7am till 10am which is good for those that like to lay in but I would recommend that you get there as early as possible so that the bread rolls havent become so hard that they will chip your teeth and the bacon so crisp that you think you have eaten biltong! Fair enough there is a wide selection but everything is very school meal like and you wonder for how many weeks the same cereal has been brought out in those horrible servers. I recommend fruit juice, the tinned fruit, the fresh fruit and the pastries as the safest things to consume, however be aware that the fruit bowl is probably left out overnight as the next morning it looked just as it had been left and had not been topped up with more fruit. The tea and coffee was appalling - stewed and served with revolting UHT milk not fresh. The room we ate in was directly away from the main dining area and adjacent to the kitchens very dull and drab. You gained the impression each morning that you were just an inconvenience. As the days went on the staff appeared to have just lost the will to live with only the poor room maids able to muster a strained "buongiorno". On the whole I would not recommend this hotel at all. The only good things about staying here was the central location and the incredible flush of the toilet! The overall cost of our stay at this hotel for three nights was £445.00 and now I wish I had stayed at a smaller more friendly family run hotel perhaps nearer to the River Arno.
Make sure you take comftable walking shoes to Florence. Everything is within walking distance but there is so much to see and some queuing and the expensive taxis are not worth using. So although the area around the Duomo is central it is also busy. It may be worth staying in the areas near Santo Spirito or Palazzo Pitti where there are greener areas and craftsmens studios. Avoid the areas around the station and Piazza Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo for accomodation unless you want the full urban culural experience with more hustle and bustle. Try to see the central market near San Lorenzo for a foodie experience and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo for all those Brunelleschi facts. Although it is more expensive take your drinks outside on the piazzas as it is fun just watching the Florentines go about their daily lives. The name fails me now but there is a lovely little cheap restaurant in the Via Dello Studio a minute from the hotel, just down from Pegnas the grocery shop and towards the Duomo. You can sit outside. We had the most marvellous Proscuitio with melon and Spaghetti Carbonara. Also visit the very small pottery shop off Piazza Della Signoria in Via D'Magazzini opposite a fruit and veg shop selling lovely moscato grapes. Try to go to the toilet before you leave your hotel as public toilets are nonexistent. Our walk around Boboli Gardens was only spoilt by the disgusting conditions of the ladies toilets there.
Overall Florence is an amazing city with so much to see but if you stay for more than 3 days try to arrange to see some more of Tuscany. We found most Florentine people friendly especially so the waiters in the cafes and restaurants who are very polite, friendly and professional even in places where the service charge was included. They appreciate you trying to speak Italian and dont come over all impatient when you flounder. We tipped them all because despite the long hours they work and they fact that this was the end of the busy season they were still exceptional.
Excellent hotel, superb location - couldn't ask for more! Thoroughly recommend it.
We stayed at the Hotel Brunelleschi from the 23rd to 29th March 2005. We were delighted with the whole experience. We booked online direct with the hotel and everything was as booked. We also arranged via 'e'mail with the Concierge for them to book in advance our tickets for the Uffizi and the Accademia, all thoroughly efficiently and charmingly dealt with. We saw from their website that some of the rooms had a splended view of the Duomo and as we were going to Florence to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary we 'e'mailed the hotel to ask if it would be possible to have a "room with a view!". They replied that they would do their best. Well, what a view. We were on the 4th floor with a double aspect and looked out directly towards the Duomo and the Campanile. The room was excellent, with a lovely bathroom. Linen was changed daily, the bed turned down each evening with a chocolate left on each side with a "good night" note as well. The breakfast was excellent, a large buffet with a comprehensive selection of fresh fruit, cereals, breads cheeses meats etc as well as a hot selection of scrambled eggs and bacon and sausages - the best scrambled eggs we have ever had in a hotel! All in all we were delighted with our stay at the Brunelleschi. The position is perfect. Two minutes walk to the Duomo, it is right in the historic centre of Florence. The staff could not have been more helpful. We would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone - it made our trip to Florence. When you go to Florence make sure you walk down to the Uffizi on fine evenings at about 9 o'clock as a couple called Ken Mercer and Alice Peres play and sing each evening - they are fabulous - they sing Simon & Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney etc - its free needless to say, they only ask for donations, but buy their CD's too - perfect memories!
Honeymoon in Florence
Visited Florence for a week in March with my husband for our honeymoon. Florence is a beautiful city, full of culture, fantastic architecture, friendly locals and lots to do.
We stayed at the Hotel Brunelleschi and loved it - the hotel is beautiful inside and quite unique. The staff were friendly (although when we spoke Italian, they replied in perfect English!) the service courteous, and when we visited their restaurant twice the food was fabulous. We were a little disappointed that our bedroom was on the small size, but the bathroom was a good size, everywhere was very clean and newly furnished, and a complimentary bottle of champagne arrived for us as soon as we checked in. The location is superb because you're in the centre of the city and within walking distance to everywhere - just pack the earplugs for the bells of the Duomo! Better than an alarm clock!
Florence is an expensive city, (as are most cities) and food and drink not cheap - 2 cafe lattes in a cafe in one of the main squares will set you back about £7 (english pounds).
Our main bit of advice would be to prebook tickets for the Uffizi if you get the chance beforehand - we didn't and queued from quarter to 8 in the morning for 3 1/2 hours before getting in! And this wasn't even peak season!
All in all, a wonderful city and a great hotel. Would have no hesitation in recommending the Brunelleschi, and I would suggest any visitor makes the effort to speak Italian because you'll receive a much better service.
Great hotel, great price
We decided to stay at the Brunelleschi for primarily the location, as well as the discounted price to draw customers back considering the poor reviewers posted. The hotel had been redecorated and was providing half price rooms.
We requested a recently decorated room with a view of the Duomo. Our confirmation stated that they would try their utmost to provide a room as requested.
We took the train from Pisa airport to the main station in Florence. This was very easy as the train station is on the side of the airport (all sign posted). You have to buy a ticket first in the booth right of the arrivals gate, then wander post departures to the train station. Before you get on the train, you have to validate your ticket in the yellow boxes on several pillars along the platform (bit like the old clippacards for buses). The journey takes roughly 1hour and is through pleasant landscapes. The main Florence station can be hectic, and the best way out is towards the front of the platforms and turn left (come out near the bus station). An escalator will take you into an underpass lined with fairly tacky shops (even Bill Brysons favourite flashing Jesus plaques), and you'll come out near the St Marie de Fiorie church. Head towards the bigger church (Duomo) - you can't miss it!!!!
On the way pick up a cheap sandwich from one of the many cafes you pass. The walk is approximately 5 - 10 mins from the train station. It took us a bit to find the hotel as it is tucked away. Walk along Via Santa Maria (by the row of ambulances in the Duomo piazza - the ambulance station!!!) and turn left when you see the large Hotel Brunelleschi sign on the side of the building. Take the second left (1st left is the Via Giglio) and the hotel will be in the small piazza.
The reception were very friendly and do appreciate you trying to speak Italian (they were very patient with both myself and my wife - giving a few pointers as well).
The porters were very efficient and the room was very nice. A fantasic view of the Duomo!!! The cleanliness was perfect. The only piece of criticism I can make about the room was the joinery - wardrobes were difficult to shut unless you knew the special knack and the ceiling borders could have been better - but at the end of the day these are incredibly minor things and did not detract from the holiday (I'm a geologist and not a carpenter). We had room 421 and could see our room from both the top of both the Campanile and the Duomo.
The breakfast comprised a superb buffet of cold meats, pastries, fruit and hot sausages/bacon and egg, with the additional option of other breakfasts if you wished. We had no waiting for a table and the serving staff were very curteous and efficient.
The location of the hotel is fantasic and all the sights are literally within a few minutes walking.
From our experience, we would advise people to book the Uffizi on the internet as 3-4 hr queues were common (and its so satisfing just walking in ahead of the queue!!!!). We were going to book more places over the internet but decided that the booking fees were exorbitant so chanced our luck. The only sight that we had to time correctly was the Academia (during the day, the day tours make 1-2hr queues - if you get there about 4ish we queued for 7mins). Also the tour guide books say the Pallazio Vechio is open to 11pm on certain days - this is not true and this shuts at 7pm.
We would strongly advise that a sunset is seen from Pallazio Michealangelo (bit of a walk, don't know how much by taxi - took us about 30-40 mins), walk along the Arno then at the large tower near the wier there is a staged staircase leading to the view point (some pics from here posted).
Also there are sometimes concerts in the Pitti Palace grounds in the evening which are worth seeing.
We had a fantastic holiday and would love to return to this hotel.
What a location
When we booked the hotel we knew it was very close to Florence's renaissance masterpiece cathedral, The Duomo, which also made it very central for walking around the city, but it was not until we opened the shutters to our bedroom window that we realised how close we were. The Campinile and the Dome were in full glorious view. and by walking up a flight of stairs to the hotel's terrace the view rose from glorious to magnificent. The Hotel itself was excellent, the staff courteous and helpful. The decor tasteful without being overboard. Breakfast and dinner were excellent. All laundry was changed daily and an added touch was the chocolates and little note(buono notte) left each evening when the bed was turned down. We would certainly go again.
Very poor service but great location
Stayed here for our honeymoon and will say that Florence is a beautiful and historic city well worth a visit. Unfortunately the staff at the hotel were very snooty and rude and the service was at the kind of level I would expect from a 2* hotel (seriously). Breakfast was poor and we had to queue for a table most mornings. However, the location of the hotel was fantastic and the views of the Duomo from the rooftop terrace were breathtaking. I do not recommend this hotel and will not return.
Average hotel in great location
We have just returned from a three night stay at the Brunelleschi in Florence. The hotel is in a fantastic location only minutes away from both Duomo and Uffizi Gallery. The rooftop terrace provides stunning views over Duomo and the Florence skyline, a great place to sit with a glass of wine.
The hotel itself was disappointing. The decoration is very dated throughout the hotel and has a distinctly 70's feel. The general appearance of the hotel is shabby and would benefit from some updating. Our room was just big enough to accomodate a bed and one bedside table. Cleaners came in on a daily basis although the small patch of mud left on our carpet for the whole three days was evidence that they didn't bring the hoover with them.
The hotel staff were on a whole friendly and helpful, particularly the porters and waiting staff in the breakfast room. One or two of the reception staff were rather abrupt however.
All in all, it's in a great location and if you can find a good deal on the tarrif then it's worth booking for the location alone. Anyone paying some of the more expensive rates quoted for this hotel will however be extremely disappointed.
What's up w/ the Hotel Brunelleschi these days?
Wife and I are going to be in Florence 1/29/05 - 2/5/05. She has stayed at the Brunelleschi in the past, but is worried that the rates quoted on the hotel's Web site may reflect a downturn in the hotel's services/amenities, as they are much lower than they have been in the past.
Any insight into this, or other comments about staying in Florence Centro Storico are appreciated. Thanks!
Re: What's up w/ the Hotel Brunelleschi these days?
• Single Room € 245
• Double Room € 360
• Junior Suite € 500
• Executive Suite € 500
• Extra bed € 52
THose rates seem normal to me for the tower?? How much did it used to cost. It is a great hotel.