usual we were a bit late booking a hotel before our travel. In the end we
decided to try something called Top Secret hotels on the Norwegian online
Reisefeber.no. It is the same concept as lastminute.com/hotwire.com
where you book a hotel based on price, location and stars but you donít know
exactly what hotel you will end up with until youíve handed over your
payment details. We ended up at Hotel Anglo American on Via Garibaldi
9 and we paid about 3500 Norwegian kroner for 4 nights including breakfast
(about 110Ä per night). You can see the location of the hotel
on this interactive
Google map that I have made of Florence. The hotel is marked with a
arrived in Firenze on July 17th 2007 and took the airport bus to Santa Maria
Novella railway station. It is a short trip as the airport is only about 4
km out of town. The airport bus stops at a station right next to the train
station. From there it was only a 10 minute walk to the hotel so we just
dragged our suitcases there based on a map we had with us. The room was not
ready when we came but they stored our luggage while we went out for lunch.
When we came back to the hotel the suitcases where taken up to room 331
which turned out to be a surprisingly large deluxe room.
331 located on the 3rd floor was much larger than expected. In places like
Milan etc weíve had tiny rooms
and I have gotten the impression that this is the standard in European city
hotels. The other difference was the bed in the room: it was HUGE with a
beautiful headboard and it was also pretty comfortable :-)
The room was quite nice with light
wall paper, dark wooden floor, dark wooden furniture, a small TV on a table,
a small table with two chairs and a small desk with a chair.
offered mostly Italian TV channels and the only English ones where CNN and
MTV. In the end I was
fed up about hearing about the Harry Potter book release on CNN (and no, I
did not watch TV that much).
The small entrance led into the bedroom and the
bathroom. In this entrance there was also a wardrobe with a few hangers, a
small safe and a minibar. We didnít get much for the minibar as the prices
where quite steep. A Coke was about 4Ä and that should give you an idea of
the price level. The small bathroom was partially tiled and included a
bathtub with two shower heads and a shower curtain to prevent the water from
splashing everywhere. There were quite a lot of amenities (another surprise
for me) and it included shampoo, shower gel (both didnít smell any good),
tooth brush, razor, shower cap etc.
breakfast was served next to the reception on the ground floor. It included
bread, rolls, pastries, cereal, eggs, bacon, Italian sausages etc. There was
also a nice selection of fruit, yogurt, various juice etc. There was a big
pot of American coffee which most people went for but it was also possible
to get the ďrealĒ thing straight from the kitchen - espresso, macchiato,
cappuccino etc. We used the oppertunity to get some real coffee of course
hotel is located about 10 minutes walk from Santa Maria Novella railway
station (about 800 meters) and from there it is another 10-15 minutes to the
Duomo. But we found out that it was also possible to take the small mini
buses B and D nearby and from there you can get to e.g. Ponte Vecchio. There
are several buses that stop in the area and most of them go to the train
station. We took a taxi home to the hotel one night and it cost us 10Ä from
the Duomo. If you want to walk it is about 1.5 km to walk to Ponte Vecchio.
But getting a taxi was actually quite difficult that late - which surprised
us seeing as itís a main tourist area.
If you are
picking up a rental car from AVIS like we did it is also useful to know that
it is a fairly short walk to the local AVIS office on Via Borgognissanti.
was positively surprised by the size of the room and the size of the bed at
the hotel. The bed was comfortable; we didnít hear any noise from the
neighbouring rooms or traffic on the outside. The only things I can complain
about was the air-con fan that was a bit noisy at night and the wireless
inter access rates that were ridiculously high. The location is not ideal
but it is not a problem unless you have a problem walking a bit - or are
afraid of taking a chance with local bus transportation :-) I would not
hesitate to stay at Hotel Anglo American again but it would have to be in a
similar big room.
information about the hotel can be found on