We selected the Hotel Ritz for our two night stay because it was recommended by Untours, was listed as "near the Uffizi" and the price was right (96 euro per night). I don't really call this a four star but I'm not complaining.
The best news: the views. Our view of the Arno was perfect. The hotel is just about adjacent to Piazzelli Michaelangelo so you have a view of the river, the piazza on the hill, the tower, and to the right a bit of the old city wall and some beautiful gardens.
The good news: the staff. The hotel staff is very friendly and very accommodating. We had an early (10:30 am) check in with no problem. The hotel desk is manned 24 hours and the staff is eager to please.
The ok news: The room is comfortable enough. Two twin beds were comfortable, if smaller than ideal. The sheets were good quality and the (noisey) air conditioner kept us cool. The mini bar had water, beer and that was about it. The safe didn't lock (or if it did we couldn't figure out how). The bathroom was fine if not a little worn.
The downhill side: If you're looking for upscale or beautiful environs, this probably isn't it. The furnishings are dated and sad. The breakfast was middle of the road. While there was free internet available in the lobby on an ancient desktop computer, there was no wi-fi or internet access available in the room. Street noise was loud and I can't figure out what all those scooters are doing out and about at 4 am!
It was a long walk to the Ufizzi and there aren't really any restaurants in the neighborhood.
Unique Quality: The views and the price. My old favorite The Casci (see review above) is a 2 star and goes for 150 euro now! In retrospect, I probably would have rebooked the Hotel NH (again see above) for 114 euro because it was slightly more upscale, had internet and a restaurant onsite.
Directions: Right on the Arno near the National Biblioteca and a few blocks from Santa Croce.
Good size rooms, good size bathrooms. Most rooms with great views, some with decks or balconies.
Easy walk to major attractions. Helpful, English-speaking folks at the desk (the day man is the best).
Unique Quality: Get the room with a terrace looking across the river; have a glass on your special deck before strolling to dinner.
We were thrilled to get a room on the Arno but stayed in Hotel Bellavista first. The Ritz was nice and the room was big as Italian Hotels go. It was especially nice to have a private bathroom. But, the price was high and the street noise was horrid for most of the night - the price you pay for being ON the river. I think that there are much better options in the city and hotels that are more accesible. Hotel Ritz is fairly far down the river.
Unique Quality: Nice bathroom in a double room - huge by Italian standards. Good breakfast, very clean.
Directions: Along the river to the east of the city center.
Viale Michelangelo 1, Florence
Via dei Tornabuoni 1, Florence
Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7, Florence
Piazza Ognissanti 1, Florence
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Address: Lungarno Della Zecca Vecchia 24, Florence, Tuscany, 50122, Italy