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Travel Blogs from Florence
... of course a bottle of chianti, we headed back to camp and I cooked up a feast, we drank red wine and finished doing the blog. Weather is not as threatening as last night but really we never know! Hoping to explore more of Florence tomorrow. Should be great!
Had a lazy start to the day, enjoyed a cappuccino at the camping grounds bar, Rhys got them for cheaper as he was able to ask for them in Italian (basic but still Italian). We then set off for a ...
... but I got the all star dish of the two, a huge cut of steak with gorgonzola cream sauce on top. After that we were laong don in our seats, stuffed and definitely finished but the waiter happily or unhappily at the time came out with a surprise dessert. We didn't want to be rude so we struggled with each spoonful of the rich dessert. I still think it was a bit of a prank by the waiter, bringing out the dessert. Some countries ...
In my last blog post I promised I'd be better at updating this. I failed. But I have my excuses, three weeks ago my computer broke and I had been waiting for a new part. I hate Italian customs. My mom sent me a package with Jiffy Peanut Butter and other goodies in January and I still have yet to receive that. I bet someone is seriously enjoying that stolen peanut butter!
Other than my issues with technology and the Italian Post everything has been wonderful. Midterms ...
Great Renaissance city of Florence.
Beautiful place, nice to visite because cars are not allowed to go inside the city.
With it's beautiful "Ponte Vecchio".
For the car the better park is the "Piazzale Michelangelo"
It gives a wonderful view on the city and it's a free park !!!
... get a cab, I think we were just in the wrong spot. Witek tried to give me a piggy back at one stage but I thought he was going to drop me so I leaned forward and we both went down with me flying over his head. Not a good move!
We did eventually get a cab and got back to our hotel where we slept through until 11am the next morning. Nice!
Day 2 – Saturday 5th September – When we eventually surfaced we decided to go into town and have some lunch and ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Pendini Florence
The location is the only plus
The location of Hotel Pendini is great, but unfortunately, that was the only great thing about the hotel. With the exception of one gentleman on the staff who was friendly and helpful, the staff was not friendly or helpful. Our room was dark and unattractive. Our bathroom was small and smelled strongly of mold, which caused the entire room to smell. In addition, the bathroom had cheap linoleum (no old world tiles) and a rather dangerous bathtub that was very high and had some sort of bump in it that made for very dangerous footing. The breakfast was bread and crossiants only. The floors in the entry look like fake wood and our room, the breakfast room and the sitting room had rather unattractive wallpapers. I believe the rooms are overpriced for what you get. I have to disagree with Rick Steve's description of the hotel - I did not see any old world tiles nor would I classify the Pendini a three star hotel. I would not recommend staying here unless you are unable to find another hotel in the same area and you plan to spend very little time in your room. In addition, you may want to make it clear before you arrive that you expect a clean bathroom.
Great Location & Decent Facilities
We booked a double room for 5 nights in June 2004, based on a number of positive but somewhat lukewarm endorsements by Rick Steves, Fodors, etc. Later, we discovered this website and our hopes fell when we saw a number of somewhat negative reviews. By then, it was too late to book anything else and we decided to take our chances. When we arrived at 10PM, the appearance from the street was not encouraging (closed door, with just an intercom and no front desk in sight of the street). However, our fears were rapidly abated by the pleasant clerk on duty, who answered on the intercom. She had our internet reservation and took us quickly to a pleasant but modest interior room (#101). We had requested non-smoking and, much to our relief, there was no trace of smoke. The bed was comfortable. The A/C always worked well and quietly (in fact, in the middle of the night, we had to turn it off because it got too cold). It was quite warm in Florence (90 F) and it was a pleasant relief to retreat to the room to cool off. Contrary to reports we had heard, the hotel did not turn off the power to the A/C overnight. The bathroom was immaculate but small, with a shower that was just part of the room, with a drain in the center of the room and a curtain to separate the shower area from the rest of the room. Although Americans are not very familiar with such arrangements, the ones in the Pendini worked just fine. In short, we couldn't really fault the room at all, except for the compactness of the bathroom. We rated the Pendini "above average" based on the following factors: (1) we had a perfectly adequate room, (2) there was absolutely no street noise due to the fact that we had an interior room, (3) the location was superior (near the center of the main attractions in the city), (4) the staff was helpful and friendly, (5) the breakfast room and service were fine, and (6) there was free internet access near the front desk. By the time we left, we were sorry to have to move on.
Don't Stay Here
The experience at the Hotel Pendini was terrible. We stayed there the first night out of a 5 night reservation only because we got in at 8PM and could not find another hotel that same night. Moldy bathroom, bad smell throughout bedroom, rude management and poor breakfast. Here are the details of our experience at the Hotel Pendini.
To get to the reception we took a 3-person elevator that already did not pass the first impression test, since it had graffite from top to bottom on the doors. As we arrived at the front desk, another couple was there complaining about how their room was "simply unacceptable" and they said they would check out the next morning. With some hope we headed to our room, and we could say the same: "Simply unacceptable". The bathroom smelled terrible, since it had a bad mold problem, visible to the naked eye, and the smell took the whole room if we left the door open. The TV remote control, wrapped in plastic tape and elastic to hold the parts did not work. There was a whole on the wall behind the bed giving the room terrible appearance. No locker in the room. Complaints to the front desk and manager only made the experience worse. The manager was very rude and offensive, and instead of admitting to the problem was interested in getting a committement from us at 1 in the morning that we would be out of the hotel at 8AM so he could give the room to someone else!
Before looking for another hotel early in the morning the next day we tried breakfast, and it was purely bread and coffee/juice. Charging 150 euros for that place is insane. The only good thing is the location: Piazza Della Republica. Luckily we found a wonderful place to stay the next morning close to the Uffizzi and left.
It's okay, really
This was our first stop in Italy and while not our favorite hotel, the location is fabulous. The elevator is small and the five story walk up was a little more exercise than we wanted. The desk "help" was inconsistent, but the gal with the short hair was very nice and informative. Ask for the rooms down one floor from the lobby and the noise will not be a problem. Out of the five of us travelling, three would stay there again.
Great location, OK hotel
The Pendini is clean but the place definitely has some miles on it. Very small elevator to get to the hotel. Breakfast is bread and jam. Most of the bathrooms are extremely small. On the positive, the location is great and it is safe, with nice internet access in the lobby. It can be a bit noisy at times. Don't get a room near the lobby. The building is a bit old and people talking in the hall sound like they are inside your room. It is clean and the price is reasonable. We visited in early March-bring a coat.
Great location, but we had 3 different rooms during the 3 night stay because the walls are paper thin. Night one was in the front and the road and lounge (until 3:30 am) noise was terrible. Day 2 we were moved to an inside room, but it was next to the office so you heard the phone conversations...we stayed there for about 2 hours. The third room was still in the inside and quieter, but they have no hall carpet so anyone and everything walking or rolling down the hall is just like being in your room. The bathrooms are also poor. The shower in each room was about the size of phone booth. Advice: the location is hard to beat, but plan to stay out of the room until really late and get up really early. If you want rest, go somewhere else.
We stayed there four days (10-11-03 - 10-14-03). The room was pretty nice. It was a 4-person two room suite on the fourth floor with a living room and a bathroom. Although shower was very tiny and unconfortable the rest was pretty nice. They have a kind of a school there and you could here a lot of noise but from where I was staying sounded a little bit far so it doesn't bother that much. Breakfast is very basic, although the waiters' service is excellent we had only bread and croissants so it was a little bit lame. I didn't like the fact that we had to leave the key everytime we went out at the front desk. I got a little paranoic with this. The reception clerk who checked us in was very rude, exactly like the San Bruno, CA review. Her speaking was kinda rough. Good thing of this hotel is that is at the center of everything and you can go walking, no need for a taxi or bus.
I think the 3 star rating is fair enough.
Great Location but a bit frayed around the edges
Our family stayed at the Pendini for four nights in late March, 2003. While the hotel is in a great location within an easy walk of all sights, it has its clear weak points. Inner courtyard rooms echo with the sounds of a language studies school in the early morning and the clanging of dishes. Rooms can be inconsistent. First two rooms presented had not been refurbished and were very tired. We were moved to a 4-person two room suite on the third floor which was much nicer. Breakfast is very basic and mediocre. Caution on check-out: If you're charging your stay on a credit card, the hotel imposes its own (rather than the credit card company's) exchange rate on the charge slip. While rated a three star, I'd tab it at the low end of that rating.
Good location but very noisy
As a travel agent I have booked this hotel for clients many times. I stayed there myself Nov., 01. I was very surprised that none of my clients complained about this hotel. The location is great and the public rooms have some charm. However that doesn not make up for the experience of staying there. The reception clerk who checked us in was very rude and not at all helpful. The phone in the room didn't work. The bathroom was very small and the refurbishment was unfinished. There were pieces of marble tile missing and others with sloppy cuts. It was a mess. The beds were uncomfortable and the noise from the street extreme, even with ear plugs.
Fine choice in Florence
We spent 5 nights at the hotel in September 2002. The staff was fairly nice, and our room was extremely spacious, with a loveseat, coffee table, extra chairs, and a nice bed. The free breakfast was decent.
If you stay at the hotel, keep in mind two things: first, some rooms require you to go up and down a flight of stairs, so ask first if you have mobility issues or anticipate being zonked by excessive walking in Florence. Secondly, one of the bars on Piazza della Republica, the square that the hotel looks over, has a loud and, depending on your personal taste, bad cover band that plays a lot of American music until 1 a.m. every night. If that doesn't appeal to you, be sure to request a room that doesn't overlook the piazza.
The location of the hotel was excellent -- quite close to the Arno, the Duomo, and the Uffizi; close to lots of good shopping; and near a zillion nice places to get food (if you walk by a cafe called Chiaroscuro, be sure to have the chocolate croissant). If you find yourself needing some travel information, check out the Edison bookstore on the piazza, right underneath the hotel. This is a great bookstore with tons of travel books in English. (It also had free Internet access while we were there.)
Finally, if you do go to Florence (and Rome as well), watch your belongings at all times. One of us had a bag stolen that included a wallet and a passport. (We later learned that the thief charged about $1,500 to our credit card within 20 minutes of stealing the bag.) Spending a day of your vacation at the police station and consulate's office is not fun. Do not remove your purse from your body, and wear a money belt, and to be extra safe, don't carry your passport or nonessential items like a driver's license if you're not driving. We heard amazing stories about "petty" theft -- the thieves are extremely skilled. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go, but exercise caution.