Warm and welcoming
We loved this place. Huge, groaning, street-level doors lead to a dim, slightly spooky entry with the tiniest, most antiquated elevator I’ve ever seen but you emerge on the first floor to a lovely little three-star hotel that’s very big on Florentine hospitality.
We had the only room that was up a flight of stairs - all the others are on the lobby level - so it was very quiet and private. It was also very large, by Italian standards, with a mix of furnishing styles, comfy linens, roomy bathroom, hairdryer, security safe, flat screen TV/DVD and interesting air-cooling unit that we didn’t need to use. Single, double, triple and quad rooms are available. The lobby/lounge area is small-ish but has a little bar and a stock of games, guides and DVDs for keeping guests, large and small, occupied in the evenings, and a pleasant breakfast room. Wi-fi is free but sometimes only works well in the lounge.
Breakfast (included in tariff) was simple but perfectly fine: hardboiled eggs, assorted cereal, pastries, cold meats, cheeses, wrapped biscuits, fruit, coffee, tea and juice. They’ll also cheerfully make you an espresso or cappuccino upon request.
The desk is staffed 24/7 so while they lock those big doors in the evening, they’re electronic and equipped with a buzzer for letting in night owls. There is also a stairway up to the first floor if you don’t want to mess with the elevator on a daily basis. The hotel is about a 10-minute walk from the Duomo, and only 5 minutes to some other attractions such as Museo San Marco, St. Annunziata and Galleria Accademia.
Best of all is the friendly, helpful staff: brothers Marco and Roberto were in the restaurant business for years before buying the hotel (ask them for dining recos!) and are very much hands-on in the daily operation. Manuella, Luca and others of the personnel were delightful as well, and all have an excellent command of English. Unexpected kindness? Marco insisted upon driving us to the train station on the morning we checked out - and I've read from other reviewers that this is not unusual. Another plus was a very nice, self-serve coin laundry just a block or so away.
Unique Quality: Clean, comfortable, no 'cookie cutter' decor, moderate rates (changes by season and by room type so I'm not noting an average below) quiet location, terrific staff