As one of the most historic cities in the World, it comes as no surprise that Florence is home to an abundance of luxury hotels where character and Firenze charm come as standard. But how many hotels in Florence can say they sit upon ancient Roman baths, were mentioned in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and are just a stone’s throw away from the cities’ famous Cathedral di Santa Maria? The answer is only one. Welcome to the Brunelleschi.
I was lucky enough to enjoy a two-night stay at The Brunelleschi Florence at the end of my Tuscan road trip that went through Pisa, San Gimignano, Casole d’Elsa and Siena. Florence was the fifth and final stop of our tour. Here’s my experience of The 4* Brunelleschi Hotel in Florence…
After dropping off our hire car near Florence airport, my boyfriend and I were met by a charming driver from the Brunelleschi who collected us and whisked us off to the hotel. As the streets got narrower and the crowds got bigger I could tell we were getting close to our destination. The car turned down a small side alley, which opened up into a walled courtyard called Piazza Santa Elisabetta. This was the charming entrance of the Brunelleschi.
Upon arrival we received a warm welcome from Sefano, the hotels Front Office Manager. After checking in we were personally shown the way to our room by the Sergio, the hotel’s Golden Keys Head Concierge. He also showed us around the room and pointed out all the room features, which was a friendly and personal touch that immediately made me feel at home.
Quirky Rooms and Luxurious Extras
Because the hotel itself spans through a series of connecting buildings, some of the rooms have rather quirky layouts. Our room was a series of 4 connecting rooms, which made it very long and narrow but still very spacious.
The separate rooms started with an entrance lounge and went through to the bedroom, washroom and bathroom. There was also a walk-in wardrobe connected to the bedroom, very Carrie Bradshaw I thought.
Additional extras within the room that I loved were a Nespresso machine, two bottles of water, fluffy robes and slippers and luxurious toiletries.
The best bit of all was discovering a beautiful bottle of prosecco on ice with two glass flutes ready to celebrate our arrival in Florence. Did we crack it open? Of course we did!
Location, Location, Location
When looking for a hotel in a city like Florence, I believe that location is everything. The city is small enough to discover everything on foot, so being centrally located is one of the biggest luxuries. I loved that the Brunelleschi was located so close to the Cathedral and Piazza del Duomo, but the entrance was through a small hidden piazza, which gave it a private and exclusive feel away from the masses.
In terms of walking distances from the hotel, you can reach the Piazza del Duomo in under 5 minutes, the Palazzo Vecchio in under 10 minutes and the river and Ponte Vecchio in under 15 minutes. It’s also 1 minute away from a fabulous Gelato shop called Fiesta del Gelato which is located on Via del Corso (perfect for an after dinner treat!).
Santa Elisabetta Restaurant
On the second night of our stay at the Brunelleschi my boyfriend and I managed to get a table at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant Santa Elistabetta, which is located in the hotel’s Pagliazza Tower. The tower is the oldest building still standing in the historical centre of Florence that dates back to the 6th and 7th century. Wow!
With only 7 tables in the restaurant catering for 24 covers, the restaurant feels exclusive, lavish and incredibly intimate and I loved how we were dining in a place with so much history.
We were greeted by our waiter who served us a welcome glass of prosecco in ornate cupped champagne glasses. He ran through the wine list with us but as we were being a little indecisive, he allowed us to do a mini tasting of 3 different red wines before we chose our bottle (another personal touch that made the experience feel very tailored to our needs).
I started with a light grilled calamari ‘primi’, followed by a delicious ragu duck and gnocchi ‘secondi’ before the main course of beef fillet. The duck dish was rich, flavoursome and melt-in-the-mouth. The beef was a premium cut that was cooked exactly how I liked it. Along with the delicious red wine, it was an deliciously indulgent dining experience.
The Breakfast Buffet
Another thing I loved about the Brunelleschi was the breakfasts! Breakfast is included with every booking, which is great when you’ve got a busy day of sightseeing ahead. It was a help-yourself buffet with cooked breakfasts, fresh pastries, yoghurts, toast, breads, meats, cheeses and lots more. There was even a bottle of prosecco on the go!
The choice was endless and friendly waitresses are quick to serve you your morning coffee made fresh to order.
A Fascinating History
As well as being home to the beautiful Pagliazza Tower, The Brunelleschi Hotel is built on top of some of Florence’s ancient Roman baths. The sites include a Calidarium and Hammam, both of which have been perfectly restored and are now part of a small museum that brings the ancient history to life.
The hotel was also mentioned in Dan Brown’s famous novel The Da Vinci Code and many Dan Brown fans flock to stay at the hotel because of it’s mention in the book.
The Hotel Brunelleschi Florence is laced with history around every corner but modernised with timeless decor, luxurious extras and friendly service. So many elements of the stay gave it a real personal touch, from the mini pre-dinner wine tasting to bespoke walking tours recommended by concierge. If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in Florence with a brilliant location and charming history, The Brunelleschi is for you.
What did you think of my review of the Brunelleschi? Are you planning to book a hotel in Florence? If you enjoyed reading this post or need any more advice about this hotel, please comment on the box below and let me know! x
Rooms at Hotel Brunelleschi start from €248 including breakfast based on two people sharing. Wifi is also free of charge. www.brunelleschihotelflorence.com.