Location is important in any city when choosing your lodgings. Many times we have ended up taking a 20 minute bus or train into the centre of a city just to save a few pounds. In more recent time we have become savvy at getting deals at hotel’s based more centrally. The location of this hotel in Florence, Hotel Laurus Al Duomo, is just about as good as it gets.
Sitting equidistant between the main station, Santa Maria Novella and the Duomo at the city’s centre the hotel is set amongst the shops, bars and restaurants of the busy tourist area of Florence.
If you happen to arrive hungry and don’t fancy any of the overpriced and mediocre food and drink on the way from the train station there’s a small cafe in the hotel lobby. The staff are multilingual and friendly too, offering us maps and offers relating to nearby walking tours and wine tasting, none of which sadly we had time for.
The hotel is in decent condition and is rated as 4 star. Like many Italian hotels, expect an ageing elevator and a high ceiling in your room. We had a room on the 5th floor with a view overlooking somebody’s terracotta roof. Out of the bathroom window was a view into a nearby alleyway, only when you opened the window though.
Our room came with a television along with a remote control that resembled a brick – the kind your swimming teacher used to make you collect off the bottom of the pool. A flat, comfy double bed with a fairly firm mattress but not uncomfortable. A sizeable bathroom with bath and shower plus a bidet – just to remind you that you are in Europe.
Reception gave us two complimentary drinks and a few snacks by way of a voucher on check-in which was a really nice touch. We headed to the top floor with our vouchers and sat on the roof terrace enjoying a glass of red wine and a prosecco while picking at a board of cured meats and cheeses. All of it was very good, made better by the stunning view of the Duomo.
Housekeeping generally visited around lunchtime which was ideal for us being out and about in Florence for the most part of the early afternoon. By 3pm we would return for a rest before heading out again in the evening. It’s always nice coming back to your room being ready made-up.
Breakfast is served from 7am-10am on the same terrace area that we enjoyed our drinks on. It’s really worth getting this, even if it is an extra. Just to sit and gaze at the Duomo in all it’s glory over a good selection of meats, cheeses, english breakfast, coffee, tea and juices. A great selection to choose from daily.
So what are the negatives? Few and far between really. The minibar is chargeable, which is the case in most hotels. The soundproofing is adequate but as you are in an old hotel this can vary. Surprisingly given the location it’s actually very quiet in the hotel. There was nothing at all that would put us off choosing this hotel on a return stay in Florence.
We paid £609 ($784.04 US) for a three night stay in July which wasn’t bad at all for the location, quality of room (a basic by the hotel’s rating) with the inclusion of daily breakfast plus of course the city tax which is €1.50 (£1.38) per person per night. Friendly staff and a few little extra’s went a long way for us to enjoy our stay at Hotel Laurus Al Duomo. As a side note, this hotel is ideal for any of you who want to get up early and beat the queues to climb the Duomo.