Read more from this trip – Thanksgiving in Florence:
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge JFK
- American Airlines Business Class New York to Madrid (JFK-MAD)
- Aeroporti VIP Club Lounge Florence Airport
- Iberia Business Class Florence to Madrid (FLR-MAD)
- Iberia (A350-900) Premium Economy Madrid to New York (MAD-JFK)
- Dates of hotel stay: 3 nights – November 28 – December 1, 2019
- Where: Florence, Italy
- Paid stay / points: Paid
When I booked my flights to Florence I knew very little about the city’s hotel options. I approach hotel searches by first identifying important criteria for my stay. My most important factor for this trip was location. I had to be able to walk to the main attractions and to my friends who were staying in Piazza Ognissant.
I try to book hotels affiliated with Hilton or Marriott since I hold elite status in both programs, but do occasionally stay at boutique properties. Hilton and Marriott hotels weren’t in the cards for this stay. The Hilton Florence was too far away from the city center so didn’t make the cut. Marriott had several options in Florence that met my criteria: The Westin Excelsior and the St. Regis. Unfortunately rates were sky high for my dates.
If I don’t have a personal hotel recommendation for a particular city and when Hilton and Marriott properties aren’t an option I often look to Tripadvisor. Hotel Spadai was highly rated on Tripadvisor and was in a perfect location.
Pro tip: When looking at Tripadvisor reviews make sure to read the less favorable reviews and always cross reference the reviews with other sources (e.g. Oyster)
Hotel Spadai is located just 328 feet from the Duomo in the heart of Florence. The hotel is just minutes away from Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio, which makes it ideal for tourists.
Uber was banned in Florence back in 2017 so a taxi is your best option to get to the hotel from the airport. It costs around €25 and takes 15-20 minutes depending on traffic conditions.
Lobby / Check-in
The Spadai’s lobby is on the small side and looks a bit dated. Green and maroon cloth-upholstered chairs are arranged in pairs throughout the lobby. The bright fontainebleau wood parquet flooring helps make up for the lack of natural light.
My visit was shorty after Thanksgiving and the hotel already had their Christmas decorations up. There was a lovely Christmas tree with dancing presents under the tree.
Towards the back of the lobby is a maroon leather couch and single computer work station with a printer.
I arrived at the Spadai several hours before the 2pm official check-in time, but the friendly staff were able to accommodate my early check-in request.
I booked a Comfort Room ($181 per night). The room is 161 square feet, which may seem small, but is perfectly suitable for one or two people. The king sized bed features soft Italian linens and is very comfortable.
The room has a 48″ smart LED television. Directly underneath the TV is a work desk with several European style two prong power ports. On the desk you’ll find an electric kettle with a selection of teas.
The closet is medium sized, but appropriate for a room of this size. At the bottom right of the closet you’ll find a safe, which is large enough to store a laptop. There’s no iron or ironing board in the room, but they are available on request. I called the front desk to ask for an iron and it was brought to my room in 5-minutes. Impressive!
The room rate comes with a complimentary minibar that’s refreshed daily. There’s 2 bottles of still and sparkling water.
There’s also a beer, Coke, Fanta, orange juice and package of peanuts.
The bathroom features a single sink and plenty of counter space for all of your cosmetics. Giraffes often travel with lots of cosmetics so the space is greatly appreciated.
The rain shower has excellent water pressure, but it is a bit claustrophobic. The Standard and Comfort Rooms don’t have bathtubs. If you want to take a proper bath you’ll need to book a Deluxe Room.
The Spadai doesn’t have a fitness center. If you’ve been indulging in delicious truffle pasta and want to burn some calories head to Florence Fitness. It’s about an 8-minute walk from the hotel and you can purchase a day pass for €15.
A breakfast buffet is included in all of the room rates. It’s excellent both in terms of quality and variety. There’s fresh watermelon, pineapple and other fruits available.
If you’re looking for sweet treats you won’t be disappointed. There’s pancakes, croissants, pain au chocolat among other pastries. Don’t worry, you’ll find Nutella spread next to the pancakes.
It’s important for giraffes to bulk up on protein before a day of touring. What better way to do that than with cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon?
Moving on, you’ll find a variety of cured meats.
Turkey and beef bresaola round out the meat offerings.
To complement your meat selection you’ll find a variety of cheeses.
Diet friendly options including fennels, cucumbers, salad and tomatoes are available.
Hot breakfast items are available including several quiches. Next to the quiches they had Italian cream stuffed cannoncini (puff pastry horns).
Beyond water and coffee there’s a selection of fresh juices including orange, blood orange, peach and apple.
First Class Giraffe Approved
The Hotel Spadai is in an amazing location to explore Florence and is an excellent value. The facilities are solid for a 4-star hotel and as long as you don’t come in expecting a Four Seasons level of luxury you wont be disappointed.