Managers Marinella and Gino (around most of the day), are effusive and warm - they take pleasure in showing off their city and will recommend restaurants, book tickets to museums, map out walking routes that take in all the main sights. And once you’re weary on your feet, Granduomo’s immaculate rooms offer a real respite.
- The feeling of having a private address with key-pad entry in one of Florence’s best locations
- Watching the Duomo’s facade change colour as the sun sets - from your bedroom window
- Good for families: lots of space, extra beds and cots, and kitchenettes
- All of the city's main sights within walking distance
- Very personal service from Marinella; her recommendations were perfectly tailored to our preferences
- This is a self-catering set up: no meals, just in-room kitchenettes, plus several restaurants mere steps away
- Reception is only manned until 7pm
- Some noise from outside, although nowhere near as much as you'd expect
- We felt the decor is starting to look a little dated
Best time to go
Our top tips
Our top tip for dining like a local is Il Santo Bevitore - a 10-minute walk, but well worth it. Tucked on a backstreet off the main tourist areas, the food and wine was superb - local Tuscan classics, modern presentation - and the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing. Make sure you book ahead, especially at weekends.
- Boutique Apartments
- 6 rooms
- Self-catering; restaurants nearby
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
The 6 mini apartments branch off from the central light-filled atrium, with a lift that glides between the 4 floors.
Décor wise, things are very similar throughout - discreet shades of gold and cream - and first impressions are good: spacious, light, and elegant. Curtains are theatrically gathered gold brocade, high beds are dressed in crisp white Italian linens, parquet flooring gleams. We felt they could be pepped up - especially the rather dark Comfort Apartment - but larger apartments have a couple of cool details such as dressing tables with bright blue Perspex stools or sloped, beamed ceilings, which lifts them.
But the real reason to upgrade is for a view. We stayed in the Deluxe Apartment with Duomo view, which had 3 tall windows looking out onto the breathtaking cathedral of Florence; quite astonishing on arrival. It seemed as if you could open the window and touch the marble facade, yet the double glazing is so good you could barely hear the hubbub outside. And as a result, we slept very well - although we could hear people walking about overhead, so light sleepers may like earplugs. Our apartment was also very spacious, with room for 2 extra beds.
Bathrooms throughout are in travertine marble, and generally spacious with a shower over the bathtub, or a walk-in shower. Toiletries await in little gold bottles, a cube of perfume subtly scents the room, and a hairdryer hangs in an embroidered bag.
- Safe box
Although there's no restaurant at Granduomo, the in-room kitchenette is perfectly adequate for rustling up a simple meal. You get an electric hob (no oven), kettle, microwave, a couple of saucepans, knives and basic crockery. Families with children will find it very useful. They usually supply some fruit, tea and coffee - but in any the Mercato Centrale is close for other groceries.
But when you have the wealth of Florence's eateries on your doorstep, who would want to miss out? Marinella and Gino have a very good knowledge of the city's restaurants, and will carefully tailor their suggestions towards you; they pride themselves on personal service. They sent us to Ristorante Paoli, and it was excellent. A traditional trattoria with mock frescoes on the wall, a low cellar-like ceiling, and a lovely buzzy atmosphere. The food was top-notch; pesto gnocchi in a gorgonzola sauce (heavenly), pork chops with a cannellini bean sauce and lemon oil, and a delicious tiramisu.
For a lunch snack on the hoof, try the famous and wildy popular All’Antico Vinaio : they serve up the best focaccia sandwiches in the city. The queues snake up the street, but move fast.
- Coffee maker
- Hob or stove
- Kids' meals
- Restaurants nearby
- Admire the tri-coloured marble facade of the Duomo and its adjacent baptistery and bell-tower. If you want to climb to the top, get up early (you're perfectly placed!) as soon after opening, the queues go round the block. Brunelleschi's massive dome is still the largest brick and mortar dome in the world
- Spend half a day in the ultimate Renaissance picture collection, the Uffizi, where you'll find works by Lippi, Botticelli and da Vinci. Book in advance via reception
- The Bargello Museum has the finest sculpture collection in northern Italy, with a huge room devoted to Michelangelo
- Piazza della Signoria is Florence's loveliest square; go and admire its statues and sculptures, which include Neptune and Michelangelo’s David
- Amble over the Ponte Vecchio, admiring the jewellers’ shops, the river Arno and the street performers
- One of the world's oldest pharmacists, Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, is close. Go and see its magnificent frescoes and chandeliers, then buy some of its exquisite potpourri
- Stroll and people watch; stop for gelati and caffe in the lovely riverside cafes
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
The larger Granduomo apartments, sleeping 4, are ideal for families. You are in easy walking distance of Florence's key attractions, and Marinella loves children and will spoil them rotten. It's a great city to visit with older children (e.g. 8+) who you can trail round art galleries with the promise of ice cream to follow - as Florence is the birthplace of gelato, it would be wrong not to! The apartments are not really equipped for babies and toddlers (e.g. no high chairs or stair gates), but you can request a cot.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Deluxe Apartment with Duomo view (2 bedrooms) and Deluxe Apartment with Fiesole view can accommodate 4 in total and they have a bathtub and shower. The Deluxe Apartment with Fiesole view for 4 has a loft space where children can sleep (there's a nifty pull-out bed) and the Deluxe Apartment with Duomo view (2 bedrooms) has a separate twin room at the back, where it is quietest.
Babies are welcome in all Apartments, and a cot can easily be added, but note that there is no other baby equipment.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kitchenettes are basic but have everything you could need: a hob, microwave, saucepans, cutlery and crockery. The Mercato Centrale is close by for stocking the cupboards. Ask Marinella and Gino to recommend child-friendly restaurants.
Kids Activities on site:
- Satellite TV
Kids Activities nearby:
- Take mini-mechanics to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum to play with the models of his mechanical masterpieces
- Take a private guided tour of the Uffizi specifically for families. The 2-hour tours need to be booked in advance
- Our top family tip: ask Marinella to book your tickets in advance to galleries and museums to avoid the queues.
Families Should Know:
The Superior Apartment for 4 has ungated stairs up to the attic space.
- Airport: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Hospital: 5 minutes
Granduomo is on the Piazza del Duomo in central Florence.
There are some flights to Florence Peretola airport, but most people fly to Pisa Galileo. Rome and Milan airports are about 3 hours from Florence. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
You could take a taxi from Florence airport, or there's an airport bus which drops off at the Santa Maria Novella train station, and from here it is an easy 10-minute stroll to the hotel. If you fly into Pisa, take a train from the airport to Florence train station - approx 1 hour.
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, you can reach Florence quite easily from London. See the excellent Seat 61 for details.
You won't need a car if this is just a city visit, but if this is part of a wider tour of the region see our car rental recommendations. The hotel can arrange parking; enquire when booking.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Italy and getting around
- Florence Peretola 10.0 km FLR
- Florence Peretola 100.0 km PSA
- Beach 70.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km