Newest Review: ... in but when we saw the first room allocated to us I couldn't understand why anyone would recommend this hotel at all! Room 21 was a joke; ... more
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Hotel Bellettini (Florence, Italy)
Member Name: grahamt
Hotel Bellettini (Florence, Italy)
Date: 15/10/09, updated on 18/12/09 (44 review reads)
Advantages: Centrally located
Disadvantages: Rooms range from decent to awful; which you get is pot-luck
When we recently decided to take a short break to Florence, one of the things we needed to arrange was a hotel. Although Dooyoo has a couple of reviews of hotels in Florence I decided to consult my favourite Oracle, TripAdvisor. I've relied on this informative website in the past and have found through it hotels that have been good value for money. I booked this hotel based on the positive reviews I read there. I noticed the few saying the place was dreadful but put it down to local competitor hotels doing "spoiling" reviews.
The hotel is located down a narrow street near the Medici Chapels. Here it is very well located for access to all of the sights and attractions of Florence although, Florence isn't a big city so nowhere is that far to walk.
You might at first miss the hotel as the entrance from the street leads you not to the hotel itself but to a health club (KLUB). Access to the hotel is on the right of the lobby area, up a flight of spiral stairs or in a lift just big enough for two with luggage, which rises up the centre of the stair-well.
We checked in but when we saw the first room allocated to us I couldn't understand why anyone would recommend this hotel at all! Room 21 was a joke; no, it was an insult.
Little bigger than twice the size of the double bed that occupied it, the only window opened onto a dark, dank central light well. The "bathroom" - I've seen broom closets bigger! The shower was simply an area of the floor about half a square metre, separated from the loo seat, bidet and basin by two shower curtains, which wrapped themselves around you!
We put up with it for one night and then demanded to be moved. We were given Room 29. L-shaped and too narrow really for a double bed, they joined the two singles which normally occupied the room head-to-toe along one wall, together right in the corner where you could just about get past but couldn't reach any light switches from the bed.
The bathroom at least had a proper shower and was a decent size but had no ventilation at all and suffered as a consequence a nasty musty, mouldy smell, although the bathroom appeared clean. The shower cabinet doors were badly stuck and a pain to try to open.
The window opened onto the street below but leaving it open at night was ill-advised due to the continual loud street noise. Closing the windows to keep out the noise left you without ventilation and victim to the smells from the bathroom. You were also victim to mosquito attack, although an electric mosquito repeller was provided but with no DEET tabs. We had to ask at reception for some.
Each of the rooms had both air conditioning and also radiators. The weather, when we were there in October 2009 was still quite hot. We could have benefited from the air conditioning but it has no room controls: the hotel management decides when it goes on and off! Their rules are that it goes off on 1st October, no matter what the weather! As it happened, it turned a bit chilly a day or so later, but the heating doesn't come on until November, no matter what the weather! Unbelievable!
So, how on Earth did the hotel get the positive review that it did? Well, if you had been allocated, say, Room 20 or 30, two of those we saw through open doors whilst they were being cleaned, your opinion of this hotel might have been entirely different! We would have been happy to have accepted either, had they been free.
The staff, at least, were friendly and helpful. The hotel did appear clean throughout and we had no complaints about the way our room was cleaned and maintained whilst we were out and about.
The breakfast was normal continental buffet style and distinctly average. The fruit juice was watery and unpleasant. The only hot food was a vat of scrambled eggs. The milk was some days hot and some days cold so you were never certain whether to have Corn Flakes or Weetabix! There was no toast but they did have some fairly warm, soggy croissants.
So, what can we say about the Bellettini? Well, a bit like the Curate's Egg I suppose - Good in Parts. Sadly, not the parts we had. As you are going to get complete pot luck as to whether or not you get a reasonable room or an awful one, I really cannot recommend you to this hotel. It was over-priced for what it offered us and, to be honest, if we had been staying any longer we would have left and found ourselves another hotel. They charged us 368 Euros for 4 nights, bed and breakfast.
Officially rated 2 Star, in my opinion that's being generous.
Summary: A hotel which does not offer a reliable standard of accommodation
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