Newest Review: ... Upon arrival to Peratola airport in Florence we caught a shuttle bus to the Santa Maria Novella train station for five Euros each. The j... more
The Hotel Romagna, Florence. A turd in the midst of beauty!
Hotel Romagna (Florence, Italy)
Member Name: Jojoborne
Hotel Romagna (Florence, Italy)
Advantages: Your head will be dry if it rains. Cheap.
Disadvantages: Not pleasant. Dirty. Owner should be ashamed of him/herself
The Romagna Hotel - Florence, Italy
Having not written a negative review before, I find myself almost reluctant to do it. However, I really feel that people need to know about how bad this hotel is and if I save someone some money and aggravation then it will have been worth it.
I want to write this review as an experience of our week at the hotel and not just talk of the hotel itself as I want people to glean as much information as possible and then hopefully decide never to visit it.
The Hotel vicinity
The Romagna hotel is situated in a fantastic spot, slap-bang in the middle of Florence city centre. This really is the only positive thing to say about the place. It is embedded between a small café and a retail shop on the Via Panzani.
Anyone staying there has easy access to most of the sights in Florence, including the Medici chapels, the cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori and Michel Angelo's statue of David, amongst many, many others. It is about a one minute walk to the famous Santa Maria Novella church and the Duomo.
The Santa Maria Novella train station is about a three to four minute walk and is an easy way to get to neighbouring towns such as Pisa and Sienna. These train journeys take about half an hour to three-quarters of an hour.
The hotel on the internet
The Romagna comes across as quite a pleasant hotel on any website and we booked because of the location primarily. Some of the reviews were quite good and I can only assume the people that wrote them were on LSD or are used to living in a discarded monster munch packet
The website that we looked at was www.hotels.com and why not?
The website lists the hotel as a two star and some websites a three? So we knew it wasn't going to be the Ritz and don't get me wrong we don't mind roughing it to a certain extent as you only have to sleep there and we like to save extra money to do more things in the location we visit. As you will see later on in this review I wouldn't give this hotel one star and that is being generous.
The facilities on the website are listed as follows (I am including this so you have a comparison to the reality of the facilities)...
= All rooms include =
Direct dial phone
In room safe
Satellite TV service
Window opens (how unique)
And each booking includes....
Arrival - finding the hotel and booking in
Upon arrival to Peratola airport in Florence we caught a shuttle bus to the Santa Maria Novella train station for five Euros each. The journey lasted about half an hour and the bus was well air conditioned, which was just as well as it was thirty four degrees.
We had planned this as we knew that the hotel was near. Upon reaching the station we consulted our printed out Google map and arrived at the hotel in four minutes.
It doesn't look very appealing from outside to be honest but the foyer seemed respectable and clean.
We were greeted pleasantly enough by the lady at reception, who's English was very good. She informed us that we were one of the first to arrive for the day, so we could choose which room we wanted. I obviously asked for the best one.
She informed us that the bottom two floors were notoriously bad for mosquitoes, so the higher the better. She said the top floor housed the best rooms and that no mosquitoes got up there. So, ok a no brainer, we choose to go to the fifth floor, which is the top floor.
We signed in and had to pay the new tax, which was enforced by the Italian government. We already knew about this, so no shocks there. It was two Euros a night extra for each of us. So for the seven days we would be staying we had to pay 28 Euros tax. I will point out that this was on top of the one thousand Euros we had already paid for the room.
I lifted our two heavy suitcases and this was when she informed us that there was no lift. So we had to lug our cases up ten flights of stairs! No one was on hand to help or offer to carry your bags.
Where to start!
Upon entering the room was about 45 degrees and that was with the windows in the room and the bathroom open. The first thing that struck us was the amount of mosquitoes squashed on the walls and the ceiling. I got fed up of counting at thirty-eight.
The double bed, which was two singles pushed together, wasn't very big.
The private bathroom wasn't that private as you couldn't lock it and it didn't shut properly. Lovely!
I used the toilet, which didn't flush properly, and noticed five mosquitoes in the bathroom.
While we unpacked I put the television on....or tried to. It didn't work.
My bedside lamp didn't work and neither did the hair dryer.
We decided to change and go straight out for something to eat and drink.
On our first night in the hotel room we both got bitten about five times and you know how annoying and irritating mosquito bites can be.
In the morning the toilet wouldn't flush. I would report it after breakfast.
The shower was also awful as there was no cubicle, no shower curtain, in fact, nothing at all to catch the spray of water as it hit you. The shower was basically just a tap on the ceiling and only trickled out.
On arriving in the dining area on the first floor after our four story 8 flight trudge, I was pleasantly surprised at how cool and light it was with the windows open and not a mosquito in sight. Things could be looking up.
I poured some hot water out of a machine and gladly pulled out my own teabag and sweeteners from my pocket (take note all you English people who like a good cup of tea abroad).
Then it was up to the breakfast bar. You could chose from stale white rolls, Stale brown rolls, and stale ciabatta with jam or butter. I opted for the cereals, coco pops, which are so chocolaty they even turn the milk brown when they're stale!
So our stomachs empty and longing for a good breakfast, we headed downstairs to report the toilet.
The second night I managed to get rid of the mosquitoes but still had fresh bites the next morning.
When we returned to the hotel the cleaner or hotel maid (I use this term loosely) had opened up all our windows again, so Jim Bob, Elizabeth, john Boy and all the other Walton Mozzies were inside our room again.
No one had fixed the toilet during the second day.
On the third morning after my nice cup of tea with nothing stale I reported the toilet again and asked about the TV remote.
The woman behind the desk did not speak a word of English and I just about managed to convey the problem via 'Bagno blocked no flusho'.
She got the drift and another woman came and told us in broken English that it would be fixed by five o clock.
On returning to the hotel on night three I was given a TV remote and told the toilet had been fixed.
We went upstairs and were confronted with twenty dirty handprints all over the toilet tank and it still didn't work.
The TV worked but only had one channel, which was Italian.
I went back to reception and told them about the toilet. It was the woman who didn't speak English again and I managed to get a key to an empty room next to ours so we could at least use a working toilet.
On entering this room, the bed was smaller and there were hundreds of squashed mosquitoes on the wall and it was awful.
The next day we were offered this room as a replacement. We were told we couldn't use the toilet in one room and stay in the other because they needed the room. So, basically they wanted us to move into a worse room and rent out our room to someone else with a broken toilet. I told them it was not acceptable and that we were staying put and I wanted the toilet fixed.
When we arrived back that evening the toilet was indeed fixed, thank God.
On checking out of the hotel we were offered no apologies and no explanation and by that point we were just glad to get out of there.
Experience and recommendation
We loved Florence and had a great time. It is a wonderful city. The only part of the holiday that was off-putting was the hotel. Like I said you only have to sleep there and we were out from nine in the morning until twelve at night, but I do like to stay somewhere clean, with a working toilet, which the Romagna did not provide. Not one of the facilities or amenities offered was working or in order. It was a little depressing to have to return there every night.
Why didn't we just book another hotel I here you ask. Well, we would've lost our thousand Euros and the other hotels were very expensive, so we just stuck it out and still enjoyed Florence.
We did buy a mosquito plug in device on day three and this did the trick. Seeing some of the people in the dining room of a morning (for our cup of tea) was enlightening. I can only assume they were on the bottom two floors because they all had about twenty to thirty bites on legs and arms. One woman had more mosquito bite than arm.
I would not recommend this hotel to my worst enemy. It was awful. Nothing worked. No TV, no tea making facility, no hair dryer, no lights, a faulty toilet and a staff that could mostly only speak Italian; Nothing wrong with this unless you don't speak Italian.
Just to sum up and say just how much I would warn people to stay away from this place, I say this....
I would rather shove my torn and exposed ankle ligament into a bucket of salt water and piranha fish than recommend this hotel to anyone!
Summary: Florence is a beautiful city but every beautiful City has a boil.
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