Grand Hotel Baglioni
What We Love
- An aperitif in the rooftop garden, complete with view
- The old-fashioned, regal Florentine style of the hotel
- Free WiFi
- Anti-allergy rooms available on request (ask when making a reservation)
What To Know
- Heating and air conditioning are turned off at certain times of the year, so the room temperature can be difficult to control
- The full beds are actually two twin beds pushed together
- Avoid street noise by requesting a room that opens onto the courtyard
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The location of the Grand Hotel Baglioni is unbeatable for Florence: being close to public transport and many of the city’s most popular attractions makes it a particularly good choice for families who prefer to walk rather than deal with the hassle of bringing kids on buses or in taxis; plus, the family rooms are generously sized. It’s not a new or hip property—the historic building was once the home of the Bertolini princes—but it makes up for it in spades with a classic Italian ambience and elegance. Leaded windows and heavy dark wood furniture are standard in the 193 spacious (and recently renovated) rooms, while the rooftop garden, though open only in the warm months, has a postcard-worthy view over the city and of the Duomo. Make time to have coffee or a cocktail there. Prices are high, but the location and old-world style make this a good value proposition.
In the Area
The hotel, just a few minutes’ walk from the Santa Maria Novella train station, is within spitting distance of enough Florentine sights to keep most guests occupied for several days. The glorious gothic cathedral of the Duomo and the epic Palazzo Vecchio, with its Roman ruins and medieval fortress, are both nearby. Within a short stroll is the Mercato Centrale, a beautiful 19th-century building that’s home to a must-visit market, which features a fabulous selection of home goods, food stalls, and shops selling fresh pasta, Italian sweets, and other treats that make excellent souvenirs. We recommend stopping first at the Da Nerbone market stall for traditional Tuscan food, followed up with an energizing espresso at Caffe Rondinelli, before embarking on your shopping expedition.
How to Get There
We spent five nights here split across two rooms. Both rooms were charming, the first had an inside view onto a very pretty courtyard, but had a damaged slat in a shutter allowing the early sun to stream in. We had reported this but maintenance couldn’t find the issue (at night), so the hotel kindly changed our room with little hassle beyond having to pack. The second room was even nicer and looked out over a square at the front.
The location is ideal with major attractions, dining and shopping within easy walking distance, plus the main train station. We took a taxi to the hotel from the airport, which was inexpensive, although the drive of our vehicle (#591) “forgot” that there is a flat rate until reminded of that fact. That said, the difference was only a couple of Euros. However, a far better option, which we used for the return is the T2 Tram to/from the Unita stop which goes between the front of the airport and the front of the hotel for e1.50 per person.
Breakfast was included in our booking and was in the form of a buffet on the fifth floor with spectacular views of the city. It includes a choice from several options including yoghurt, breads, hams, eggs and bacon, etc. and was very good. One tip: the coffee in the dispensers is pretty rough, so it’s better to ask the staff to bring you a cup from a machine – that way you can also get drinks like cappuccinos.
In general, the hotel is a great balance between what you would expect from an older hotel with character and what you expect from more function oriented modern hotels. You only get the three pins-in-a-row Italian power sockets, and you won’t get a box of tissues or security peepholes, but everything else is there. The rooms were very clean, had firm beds, functional plumbing and a free mini-bar stocked with a generous supply of soft drinks. Internet was free and just about fast enough to stream (via a SlingBox) a major college football game from the States, but with an occasional pause. Staff were very friendly and helpful, although I don’t recall ever seeing any door staff.
Note though that the smart card system is particularly finicky even though we had used many such systems before – staying in various hotel chains enough to have high status and even lifetime status in a couple. As far as I could tell, if the door reader misreads (you may hear a click but still get two red lights), you have to wait for the green light to come on. I also noticed that the maids and bellman who helped us with the system hold the card horizontal unlike the instructions in the elevators. You also have to hold the card there for several seconds for it to register.
Overall, we had a wonderful time in the city and this hotel. Typically, we will visit cities more than once: the first time to do the essential tourism thing, and thereafter to have more relaxed time enjoying the local culture and experiences. I have little doubt that we will want to return to Florence in the near future, and when we do, that the Grand Hotel Baglioni will be our hotel of choice.
We stayed three nights
Good - checkin was professional, service was very good, our room was spacious and clean, breakfast was excellent and the view from the restaurant is awesome. Roof top bar / lounge is fantastic for the view. Close to train station,
Bad - our king bed was rock hard.
My husband and I stayed at Grand Hotel Baglioni for 8 days while we were in Florence for a conference. The hotel is located in a great location, close to the train station & Duomo and an easy walk anywhere in Florence. The rooms were spacious and the rooms were extremely clean. The breakfast every morning was delicious and the views of the Duomo from the restaurant were spectacular! All of the hotel and restaurant staff went out of their way to help make out stay just perfect. I would absolutely stay here again and have already recommended it to people going to Florence!