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Palazzo Strozzi: Hotel Cestelli

Borgo SS. Apostoli, 25, Phone: 055.214213

* Click to book this hotel online

Reviewed by: JaneP from OR, review #1471

When: May 2006

I can’t add much to the great reviews, except to second what the others have said!

Word will soon get out and they’ll have to raise their prices. I paid 50 euros/night (solo) but I had quite a spacious room (#7) with a big queen bed, sink (shared bathroom) and a view of the Arno if I stuck my head out the window! A mere block or so from the Ponte Vecchio but never feeling like a single tourist (except me) went down this street.

Alessio and Asumi love to engage with the guests and their list of places is great. They love style and design and it shows in this beautifully restored little hotel that they did major renovations on. They’ve managed to blend gilded Renaissance and Zen very well. And they speak English, Italian and Japanese. It was such a serene place to go back to, with candles always lit and beautiful orchids in bloom, and so close to everything so that I’d pop in and use the bathroom or stick my feet in cold water and head back out. I would return again and again.

Reviewed by: LAX from USA, review #1359

When: October 2005

What an excellent value in the heart of Florence! {1 star}

Don’t let its entrance and 1* rating fool you. Of course, you won’t find any luxurious items at Hotel Cestelli, nor will you find a grand lobby, room service, etc., but if you are looking for a very spacious room in a very convenient location at a bargain price, read on!

We stayed in room #4 for 4 nights in mid-October. Room #4 is a double room with its own private bathroom (inside the room). It is a very spacious room. It has a comfortable queen size bed, a closet, a desk and a chair and still with much room to spare. Both the room and the bathroom are fairly new. Our room looked out to a small side street (Borgo SS Apostoli), so it was pretty quiet, especially with the windows shut.

This B&B’s location is great, considering its cost at 85 euros per night. You are never too far from anything of interests to tourists as it is pretty centrally located. The train station is about 15-20 min. walk away (that’s with luggages; it would be faster without). The Ponte Vecchio is about 5-10 min. stroll away. The same with Accademia, which is only a few blocks north of Ponte Vecchio. The Duomo is a merely 15-20 min. leisurely walk away, too.

I think Florence in general is a very safe city and the Palazzo Strozzi area is no exception. We never felt intimidated walking on small side streets, even after dark.

The room and its location already give you more than your money’s worth, but the owners and operators of the B&B are icing on the cake (they actually live right there!). The minute you arrive, they will make you feel right at home. In addition, Alessio is always ready to offer his insights on the best Florence has to offer. In fact, he gives every guest of his B&B a compilation of his personal favorite dining establishments. Furthermore, he is always willing to help with trip planning/adjustments and other things.

In conclusion, we definitely would stay here again when we get another opportunity to visit Florence. We just hope the owners can somehow keep their incrediblly low rates in the future.

Reviewed by: AlliK from DC, review #1024

When: May 2005

Great value for the heart of Florence. {1 star}

We stayed at Hotel Cestelli for 4 nights in early May in room #4 (the blue room) for 80 euros per night. This hotel is a great value for just about the best central location in Florence - you're a block off the Arno and a couple blocks west of the Ponte Vecchio, yet on a less main road so you feel removed from the tourist hordes.

The rooms are a great value - comfortable size, nicely furnished, new bathrooms with (small!) showers. Our room overlooked the street, which did take a little getting used to. If you're a light sleeper like me, pack earplugs or you could borrow a fan to drown out the noise.

But overall the best part about the hotel is the kindness and generosity of owners Alessio and Asumi - they're great! They'll provide you with a list of great recommendations for resturants/bars/cafes and will make you feel right at home.

I would definitely stay here again - the location, comfort, cleanliness of the rooms, friendliness of the owners, and overall value make this unbeatable for the heart of Florence.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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