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Hotel Balcony 2.0

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Great location, a five-minute stroll from Duoma and train station 
  • Numerous restaurants, bars, and shops in immediate surrounds
  • Friendly family owners that are reportedly helpful
  • Simple, comfy rooms with mini-fridges, TVs, toiletries, and showers
  • Lovely outdoor terrace with Duomo and city views
  • Buffet breakfast included in some rates
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout hotel

Cons

  • Dated decor
  • Rooms are small 
  • Complaints of thin walls
  • No elevator

Bottom Line

The family-run Hotel Balcony is a small value property primely located in Florence's historic center, a five-minute walk from the Duomo and main train station. The 14 no-frills rooms are clean and have traditional decor, air-conditioning, en-suite shower stalls, small flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. A simple buffet breakfast can be included in the room rate. A lovely furnished terrace has views of the Duomo, but that's about it in terms of amenities. Note that some guests have complained of thin walls, and there's no elevator, although staff will carry luggage. This is a good pick for budget travelers. Still in the center, the B&B La Dimora degli Angeli has more elegant rooms and a 24-hour tea room.

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Scene

Low-frills hotel with lovely terrace and family owners

Run by father and son duo, Justino and Guido, Hotel Balcony is a simple affair in a great location, halfway between the Duomo and Santa Maria Novella train station, both a five-minute walk. Its basic design and limited amenities keep prices low in an expensive city. Cherub statues sit on a dresser next to the small front desk, leading into the breakfast area where white chairs surround elegant red-clothed tables. When the weather is nice, guests prefer to sit on the outdoor terrace. Featuring metal dining sets and potted plants, the terra-cotta deck has great Duomo and city vistas, though little shade. The property is on the dated side and showing its age, but the friendly atmosphere and stellar location make it a great option for laid-back travelers. Note that there's no elevator here, but staff can help carry luggage up to rooms.

Location

On a quiet street, close to markets, the Duomo, and main train station

Guests often choose Hotel Balcony for its great location near all major sights and public transportation. San Lorenzo and Mercato Centrale markets are both a three-minute walk away and Santa Maria Novella train station is just four minutes farther. Florence Cathedral and the Medici Chapel are a five-minute walk, as is the Academy of Fine Arts for the Statue of David. Via de' Tornabuoni is even closer and Ponte Vecchio is a 10-minute walk. Restaurants, bars, and shops fill the surrounding lively streets, though the hotel's street is mostly quiet. Florence Airport is a half-hour drive or 40 minutes with an airport shuttle that runs to the nearby station.

Rooms

Basic, old-fashioned rooms with comfortable beds and mini-fridges

Rooms are small and simple, outfitted in a traditional style that consists of terra-cotta tile floors, classic wood furniture, and powder-blue, pale-pink, or canary-yellow patterned bedspreads and drapes. All have classical wall art and some have powder-blue accent walls. Rooms are available in Singles, Twins, Doubles and Triples. Two rooms share a balcony and a few have ceilings with exposed wood beams. Unfortunately, walls are thin, so noise travels. Additionally, air-conditioning is only activated by room keys, so rooms can warm up after a long day out. Quality amenities consist of comfy beds, desks alongside chairs, mini-fridges, small flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and wardrobes. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with small shower cubicles, old hose-style hairdryers, and basic toiletries. 

Features

Pleasant terrace with views, breakfast buffet, and free Wi-Fi

Features aren't extensive, but they're mostly sufficient for visitors that primarily spend their days off-site. The terrace is lovely for catching some sun and taking in views of the Duomo -- which are particularly romantic in the evening when it's illuminated. Guests can opt for just the room rate or have breakfast included. The simple spread consists of bread and pastries, Nutella, cold cheeses and ham, and cereal, plus canned fruit and machine-made coffee. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. 

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Address

Via Dei Banchi 3/29r, Florence 50123, Italy

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