Destinations

Firenze Number Nine

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

An affordable design hotel in a great central location. It’s popular with savvy web-surfing visitors due to its high aggregator review ratings, but would suit anyone looking for a good-value perch handy for the centro storico and the station, including single travellers.

Location

9 / 10

It’s right in the heart of the city, handily placed for the main Santa Maria Novella train station, but also just around the corner from the Mercato Centrale and a host of good-value trattorias and gelaterias.

Style & character

8 / 10

A handsome boutique number, done out like a refined contemporary townhouse (complete with library and wood fire) in a smart classic style. Think well-padded armchairs in a mix of subdued and startling hues, contemporary ceramics and chandeliers, works by local artists on discreet display in communal areas, and lots of French-style wooden panelling.

Service & facilities

8 / 10

Helpful and professional, with tailor-made recommendations – and it’s backed up by several complimentary bonuses. The best of these is free use of the next-door city gym (including the sauna, Turkish bath and whirlpool), which is under the same ownership; others include free soft-drinks, afternoon tea and evening drinks and snacks in the library, and free Wi-Fi (though the latter can be a little slow).

  • Bar
  • Fitness centre
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Steam room/hammam
  • Wi-Fi

Rooms

7 / 10

Done out in soothing pastels and earth colours, the 44 rooms vary quite a lot in size and desirability, though bathrooms are mostly spacious. I’m not a big fan of those that face inwards; unless you’re on the more panoramic top floor, it’s better to opt for a street-facing room. One great feature of the website is the ability to choose exactly the room you want (however, ignore the ‘Business’ label on some – most of these are equally good for leisure travellers).

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Food & drink

8 / 10

At breakfast (which consists of a generous buffet spread), the hotel’s Prova del Nove restaurant is reserved for guests. The rest of the time it functions as a proper Florentine café-restaurant, with a curious twist: it’s staffed by teachers and trainees from the city’s Saffi hotel school and culinary academy, which ensures keen service, mostly high culinary standards and fair prices.

Value for money

9 / 10

Double rooms for £116 (€149). Good value is Firenze Number Nine’s real selling point. In winter, look out for the special spa packages. Free Wi-Fi.

Access for guests with disabilities?

Yes.

Family-friendly?

Definitely – and some rooms can be combined to become family suites. Keep an eye out for family-oriented spa packages on the website.

Via Dei Conti 9/31R, Florence, 50123, Italy.
00 39 055 293 777