This is a very convenient place to stay if you are arriving or departing by train. It is a short couple of blocks from the main train station (Santa Maria Novella) and easy walking distance to anywhere you want to go in Florence. The accommodations have several things going for them. It is very spacious compared to your normal hotel room, with a loft for sleeping and a living area with a pullout sofa and some kitchen facility. It is a split level accommodation, with bathroom and coat closet at the entry level, living a few steps up, and a narrow staircase leading to the sleeping loft. The beds are comfortable though the pullout sofa is rather squishy. There is no coffee table but a dining table is provided. The microwave and refrigerator are included in the unit but you must pay an extra E25 to use the cooking facilities. Also, internet costs E7.5 per day (though it is available on a weekly basis for E17.5 if you can convince the people at the desk to give you the weekly rate.)
There are also several drawbacks to this facility as well. I stayed here as a Royal Holiday timeshare member and was forced to pay $25 per day for breakfast, which did cover two of us (possibly up to four, but that was not clear.) Breakfast otherwise costs E 7.5 per day per person. It consists of coffee from a machine (or hot chocolate from the same machine), plain and fruit yoghurt, some cereal choices, croissants, and some aging coffee cakes. Not many people eat breakfast and they choose to have a lot of coffee cakes that go stale over several days rather than just one or two that could be used up. Fruit was never an option.
There is a nice market around the corner, some soso restaurants close by, and some coffee shops. The outdoor market is a couple of blocks away for leather goods and such. Most of the staff is extremely friendly, but only a few speak English and they can get very flustered if you do something unexpected. I had originally requested separate beds, which were provided, but when my elderly cousin saw the steps up to the loft he opted for the pullout sofa. They had apparently expected us to ask to use that and flew into a rage when they saw we had pulled out the sofa. There were about ten people – maids, managers, etc - in the room having a heart attack about it, in lively Italian! It all got straightened out but what a lot of nonsense to have to go through.
All in all, I can say it is a quiet and pleasant place, worth staying at if you get a good rate. There is a very pleasant courtyard though we did not avail ourselves of that in winter!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aristocratic and Bohemian, classic and comfortable, residence La Contessina is a fresh and dynamic alternative to a hotel for a stay in the old town center of Florence. With an elegant and comfortable assortment of studios and full apartments, residence la Contessina is ideal for a lovely vacation but is also equipped for events and meetings. A multi-purpose hall, services and closeness to the Santa Maria novella train station, the conference center and Fortezza da Basso make residence La Contessina very attractive for family and business stays, as well. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Residence La Contessina Florence