UNA Hotel Vittoria
What We Love
- Striking over-the-top postmodern design
- Located in a great neighborhood just south of the Arno
- Una Restaurant’s S-shaped communal table
- WiFi is free
What To Know
- Not for traditionalists in search of an authentic Tuscan sleep
- The neighborhood is usually devoid of tourists but has a few busy streets
- Around a 15- to 20-minute walk to the city center
- Guestrooms can be dark
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Among the winding, Renaissance-era streets of Florence’s San Frediano neighborhood is a hotel that’s decidedly more up to date. Hidden behind a typical Tuscan façade, this postmodern pad was dreamed up by Italian architect and designer Fabio Novembre. The 84-room hotel is on the far western side of the city, graciously removed from the crowds that fan out from the Duomo, but only a 15- to 20-minute walk from the city center. The patriarchs and matriarchs of Florentine history would never have imagined a property like this in their midst. But at the Vittoria, they’re part of it: The front door of each guestroom has a life-size silk-screen portrait from the Renaissance era. Inside, things get a bit wild. Walls are paneled in black leather and fuchsia felt, with twinkling fiber optic lights. Black-and-white tile bathrooms and lilac sinks round out the trippy aesthetic. The restaurant is centered on a cool S-shaped communal table under a backlit stained glass ceiling and serves traditional Tuscan fare. The design is clever and considered, and less at odds with its surroundings than it seems at first. Outside the hotel, which is steps from the 19th-century gates to the Old City, the streets of San Frediano hum; on some of the side streets, brick walls hide ornate palaces.
In the Area
Una Hotel Vittoria might be removed from the city center, but that doesn’t mean the area lacks great restaurants. Indulge in the seafood specialties at Trattoria Vittoria, just down the street from the hotel. Near the Duomo, Angels is the type of swank bar/restaurant that Leonardo’s cherubs might not have approved of. Pick up luxuriously soft leather goods and hatboxes at ART Pell Coke. Don’t miss a visit to Santa Maria Novella, a lovely church just north of the Arno, if for no other reason than to shop at its ancient pharmacy, founded by Dominican monks in 1612.
How to Get There
My wife and I stayed here awhile back and had a great visit. The concierge was super helpful and spent a lot of time explaining the city to us. The rooms were very nice and a bit interesting. They had excellent gluten free options for breakfast that really made our stay. Highly recommend. If you would like to read more or see pictures, check out our blog at randrwander.
Good location and large building. Rooms are reasonable for size, but the decor is terrible and the purple fabric and led lights very off putting on the walls and ceiling. Carpets and led lights are either worn or discoloured as they are getting old now. Bathrooms are cramped and dark.
But it is quiet and the wifi is good, so they get average rating.
Main public areas are poorly equipped with bad tables and chairs. Breakfast was okay. No pool or other areas/gym etc.
I think the main selling point would be if you had a car as it has underground parking.
Stayed here recently and was impressed with the whole experience. The staff were very friendly and when we walked into out room we definantly got the wow factor!! Red tile walls with led lights and lots of mirrors. Not what I expected!! Would stay there again. The breakfast was good too lots if choice.
Don't be fooled by the fun decor.
We booked this hotel as we expected a comfortable stay with a fun twist.
On our first night, which was a Saturday, the room was so hot that we opened the windows to catch the cool breeze. That worked but unfortunately, with no fly wire, our room filled with mosquitoes so we closed it again and spent the night trying to kill them as we sweltered in our boiling hot room.
The next day we enquired about the failed air conditioning and were told by staff that it was turned off as they didn't think it was hot enough. Personally I thought the whole idea of controlled air conditioning in your room was so the occupier could decide what was comfortable.
The second night was worse. We couldn't open the windows and there were still mosquitoes in our room. The room was so hot. The sun had belted through the glass all afternoon and the mattress had efficiently absorbed the heat. It was like sleeping in a hot room with and electric blanket on. I had to get up several times through the night to cool off.
From the signage, in the room, I think management will probably argue that they are being energy efficient that is why there is no air conditioning and luke-warm showers. Personally I think they are making their patrons suffer to save a dollar.
We were not the only unhappy customers that weekend. In my frustration, with next to no sleep over 2 nights, I let management know my displeasure. Other patrons heard me and came to add their support after having the same experience as us.
My advice to other travellers would be, don't risk it, stay somewhere else.
I hope the contents of this review will be viewed by hotel management as constructive feedback
The reception and cleaning staff at this hotel were absolutely lovely, but unfortunately this is by far the worst hotel I have ever stayed in in Europe, and amongst the worst in the world, as I could even have hot showers in camps in Africa and huts in the mountains of Nepal
Showers- impossible to use. The shower head is positioned in the middle of the length of the bath, and the angle of the head is such that the jet goes straight over the bath and straight onto the floor. The handheld shower head only has one fixing point, and that is at abdomen height and only flows out sideways along the wall (see pics) hence impossible to wash hair, or wash face and upper body without trying to splash upwards. Furthermore, every few seconds the temperature fluctuated between the desired temperature and extremely cold. It was absolutely impossible to have any sort of effective shower. Finally, the sides of the bath were so steep, slippy and high that I almost fell over every single time trying to get out of the bath- and I am able bodied. I dread to think how someone who is less able or older would manage.
The water from the tap in the sink stank strongly of sulphur, so much so that I had to purchase bottled water to brush my teeth
Unfortunately I awoke each morning to more and more bites across my exposed limbs. I asked the cleaning staff to change the bedsheets, which I assume they did, but despite this I continued to get bitten so the problem must have been in the mattress.
The entire room was so dark (see pictures) with only one small window and terrible lighting, I could not see well or use the mirrors in the room. There were also completely pointless dim blue fibre optic lights all over the ceiling and back wall that were very noisy when on
The lighting system was controlled by a control pad that took a good ten minutes to figure out. A switch would have been easier!
Despite being forewarned I am vegan, my only options at breakfast were stale bread, water and soya milk (the cereal is not vegan either). I asked if there was a vegetarian sausage, beans or anything similar available but I was told no.
The TV only had one English Channel (BBC world), which is certainly not the end of the world in a beautiful place like Florence, but after dinner when on your own on a business trip, it just adds to the misery in the dark, strange room where I couldn't even get a shower
The reception staff didn't once ask how my stay was, not even at check out
For the aforementioned reasons I would not recommend this hotel at all. I would suggest management try to amend the issues mentioned, particularly with the shower, lighting and breakfast