- Lee Marshall, Destination expert
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
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
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).
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
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).
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink
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
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?
Definitely – and some rooms can be combined to become family suites. Keep an eye out for family-oriented spa packages on the website.