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“Hidden Gem”

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Hotel Mulino di Firenze
Ranked #30 of 409 Hotels in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 January 2012

Wow - what a pleasant surprise this hotel was. It is an old mill that has been converted (very tastefully I might add) to a hotel that rests besides a lovely river with quietly streaming water flowing through. Just gorgeous..
In summary the service through the hotel was very good. Aldo in the hotel restaurant was exceptional in his friendly yet professional manner. The only letdown was the breakfast staff (who only bothered to look around to clear tables of piled plates and take coffee orders if her supervisor was close). I would suggest you pass on breakfast as the total offering is not very good.
The rooms were spacious, clean, with good fittings and decorated to have the old Italian feel. Overall ambience was very good and I would recommend it if you want a quiet stay away from the centre of Florence. There is however two shuttle buses that depart in the morning and return in the afternoon (last bus is 6.30pm). A problem if you want to stay in town for dinner as a taxi fare back to the hotel is approx. 30 Euro.. Other than that - you will definitely enjoy the hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank MS M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 January 2012

It seems each winter vacation my husband and I decide on beautiful Italy as our destination. Last year we chose Sicily (lovely!) and topped it off with some days spent in Rome. This winter we chose to visit Florence, Assisi and then Rome. When choosing any hotel, I do a thorough search and the Mulino Di Firenze just sounded so unique that we decided to give it a try. And we were not disappointed! The only drawback to staying at this restored mill on the Arno (we were told it took six years to renovate) is its location. It is a bit of a drive from the city center. When I researched the Mulino Di Firenze, the literature mentioned they offered shuttle service to the center. So I then felt secure in knowing we could get to and from quite easily. However, when we arrived (and were greeted warmly and had help getting our luggage up to our room) I asked and the shuttle service for the winter months is offered only twice a day...once in the morning and once in the evening. Since we had just arrived from our long seven hour flight from the east coast, we were anxious to get settled first into our room and did not take advantage of the shuttle just leaving for the center otherwise we would have had to wait until the 5pm shuttle. So, we instead took the time to get our things up to the room and explore the hotel. The room was nice...timbered ceiling; comfortable bed; beautiful bathroom (although the tub leaked onto the marble floors-dangerous if you weren't looking when getting out of the tub); and the view from our window was of the Arno...very, very lovely. The hotel, since once a mill, retained that aura of having been a working mill but the careful attention to detail was evident in the decorating giving credit to the historical past of the place with barrel ceilings, terra cotta floor tiles, wood accents, tools and equipment used in the past mill displayed, ..etc...very beautiful! The restaurant is upstairs and it too was very lovely with high, high ceilings yet cozy atmosphere! We did eat there twice and the food was delicious and the waiter(s) quite attentive and friendly. Would we stay here again? Well, I had contemplated another place in the city center but really, the fact this hotel was a renovated mill really captured my interest! What we ended up doing was arranging for a taxi for all our transportation needs. It cost us approximately 30-40 Euros roundtrip each time, so we did spend a considerable amount of money getting to the city center when it suited OUR schedule rather than relying on the hotel's morning or 5pm shuttle service (remember that during the busy season this shuttle service is more frequent). So figuring in this extra expense I am unsure if we'd reserve here again although it is very, very lovely. Unlike past posts, we felt very welcome and the staff was superior...very helpful and very kind.

Room Tip: Since we had my husband's new IPad we needed WiFi to operate it. Since our room was a bit of a w...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank EuropeanTraveler6977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2012

We stayed here two nights and it was the highlight of our Italy trip. Located on a river, our room had wonderful views. The restaurant was amazing as well serving the most ridiculous breakfast buffet I have ever seen every morning included in the price of our stay. It is located outside of the city center and the public transportation can be an issue, but it's still worth it to stay here.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ChooChoo34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

This is my 2nd attempt to review this hotel. I was told by the hotel manager than my first review was far too negative and he did not like my (negative?) use of CAPS, so out of fairness I deleted it and am trying over. I will start with the positives, and I will only use CAPS for positive remarks -- so let’s see if this helps any? 

Okay, what was good here? The restaurant and bar are TERRIFIC! I do not normally like hotel restaurants, but this one is special! The breakfast was very good and dinners wereexceptional. The staff was consistently very good to WONDERFUL. I am terrible with names, but there were a few waiters (Aldo was one) who were great, and a young lady who was also more than terrific! The food was also the best we had in Florence, and the sunset from the outdoor patio over the Arno River was spectacular! (See photo.) Likewise, Emilio at the bar was also TRULY WONDERFUL!!!! Let me say that again, this man is a REAL JOY!!! He is the one person who made Florence and this hotel memorable. Our son adored him! We all still laugh at how his non-alcoholic Shirley Temple drinks flowed during our nightly visits to the bar to play cards, and also on our visits to the pool. This true gentleman makes this property!!!

The Mulino di Firenze was the first stop on our 16 day family trip with our 2 kids (12 and 17) to Italy in early July. I waited to write this review to allow more time to pass to see if our family changed our minds about this hotel -- sadly, we have not. (And I must admit, my wife and daughter rate the hotel worse than I do, they consider it poor.) After an overnight flight into Rome and a rather hectic drive in a rental car to Florence, we expected a pleasant arrival at the hotel. Sadly, what we received were rather distant almost-smiles… but perhaps we were reading too much into this? Perhaps this is just a cultural difference between the US and Italy? (And later I saw other arriving guests also not feel welcome, later confirmed at the pool, so is this their standard hello?) Or perhaps they did just not like me? I’m okay with that! LOL

Based upon the initial suggestions of the desk staff at the hotel, we had also arranged for multiple museum visits and Tuscan/winery day-trips, with the hotel presumably making a little profit on at least the Tuscan tour... but all seemed to be a real chore for them to bother handling anything for us. (This is after they had suggested it! Rather odd, but a theme throughout our stay!) All of this required far more than a dozen emails in advance of our arrival -- over almost 2 months, initially while we considered other hotels in downtown Florence (The Savoy, and others) instead. I must admit that some of these emails were just the exchange of pleasantries, and others were because issues and questions seemed to remain not quite addressed or answered – I was unsure if it was an issue of passive-aggression or merely a language barrier, and I still am not certain. All I know is that it was annoying. After all of this, one might have expected that they actually might have been anticipating our visit, or at least greeted us with a smile? Upon arrival we felt as though we were imposing upon them -- and we were clearly not alone with these thoughts. (But, we never once saw the hotel manager on the property.) They seemed disinterested in yet another American family bothering them! Overall, the front desk staff was poor or worse. Our Florence visit was off to a rough start – and this is ignoring the poor directions to the hotel we had been given! In retrospect, I wonder if perhaps the real issue was that our emails were being answered by 3 different people, so perhaps this added to the confusion? (I must admit, Laura was rather PLEASANT, but the other desk person who shall remain nameless was consistently not. Again, perhaps just a cultural difference? Or maybe she is just rude as some other reviewers here also seem to feel?)

Frankly, we booked the hotel directly, and were paying a the high-season price (500 Euros -- about $740) for 2 rooms the first night and then also a relatively high rate (350 Euros/$520) for a large family room overlooking the river and pool for the last 5 nights. (We did find the first night of June 30th slightly cheaper on their website, but they simply said our rate was more and refused to acknowledge the lower price even though it was right there on their own website! (How odd!) I think this likely related to the fact our first night was in June, so perhaps that was not high season but the rest of our visit was in high season? I went along to simplify the rather complex booking, and also because my wife really wanted to stay here. (This would change rather quickly – after about 3 days she wanted to depart early for Capri or some other Florence hotel.)

The first night in our rooms was terrible! (I forget the room numbers, but they were right around the corner from the restaurant patio, with terrific river views and door that opened onto the patio -- beside one another through a semi-private arch.) One of our rooms was literally 100 degrees! When we attempted to have the front desk fix this, they only succeeded in turning up the heat to make it hotter… I was looking for rocks to pour some water onto to have the full sauna experience. As our son has breathing difficulties, and since the windows could not be opened without letting in mosquitos/bugs from the river, this was nuts! The VERY pleasant night manager (Ian) attempted to help us, even at 1:00 AM, but it was useless as the computers would not allow it—I watched him try hard with no success. Thankfully we moved to the family room the next day. But, frankly, although it perhaps technically had a river view, this was mostly from the window in the bathroom shower that did not have a curtain so at night the view was actually of US nude… I felt very sorry for those who caught a glimpse of me, but my daughter did not find it so amusing.  Anyway, it also had a pool view IF one had the dexterity of a gymnast to bend around a wall. And the wireless internet? It almost worked also if one bent out the window over the pool. The TV had dozens of channels, just none in English except for R-rated murder-movies for seemingly about 4 hours at night – not exactly a family experience! In general, the rooms were mediocre or worse also!

The pool, while pretty, was also pretty useless, and worse, dangerous! Even in July it is too cold to swim in -- perhaps because it is deep and in the shade much of the day, or maybe only because it is unheated. I’m not sure why, and I don’t need to be, I just know that it was rather empty toe first week of July for good reason. When it did get finally get warm in the afternoon from the radiation of heat on the surrounding stone walls, the bugs floating in the pool were too much of a hassle to navigate around. I never saw an attempt to clean it, though I did see the service guys opening up an electrical box in the wall mere feet from the water level, and that left me with other safety concerns. We do not have young kids, but if we did I would NEVER allow them in this "pool". In reality, it is more like a moat that has been plugged and painted to resemble a pool... and it seems to me to be just an accident waiting to happen. Be careful if you have young kids! While the hotel, perhaps rightfully describes their pool as a “jewel of architecture”, I would describe it as a lawsuit just waiting to happen. The worst part is likely the little ledge windows, mostly under water along the side of the old mill where the river water at one point passed through the old mill. These little mysteries are just begging to be researched and explored by inquiring kids, and, mark my words, one day a child will swim in to perch on the partially underwater ledge, hit their head on the block while trying to get a breath, and be unable to get out. When that happens, the perpetually locked side- stairway into the pool will not be helpful and the 10 foot (or so) stone walls and short metal fence directly around the water will likely make saving the poor soul impossible! We made sure to find other things to do to keep our 12 year old busy during the last 3 days of our trip once we realized the risk associated with the pool. In conclusion, this pool is indeed PRETTY… but it is a death trap!

When all was said and done, we wish that we had stayed 1-2 fewer days in Florence, and spent the extra time in Rome instead. Frankly, also we found Florence a bit overrated in general, and the tourist areas far too touristy. (Perhaps we should have visited Venice instead?) In all, we found the Mulino di Firenze mediocre and overpriced. Perhaps our expectations were just too high? Maybe, but on this trip we LOVED our hotel on Capri (in large part because of their GREAT STAFF and the active involvement of the family ownership), and we also greatly enjoyed our truly “grand” hotel on Via Veneto in Rome. I have stayed in a LOT of 4 and 5 star hotels all over the world, and this hotel is simply not a 4 star resort although it is priced as one. 3 stars? Maybe…if you squint or have never stayed in a real 4 or 5-star resort. I have included 3 photos of the resort -- 1 showing the wall around the pool and another showing the sunset over the river AND the 2 rooms where we stayed the first (HOT) night, and another photo showing the as yet incomplete outer grounds. It seems that one day these additional areas will be completed, and perhaps then this will be a better place to stay for families?

PS: The hotel shuttle was also a bit of a pain... and God-forbid one misplaces their return ticket! We used the shuttle 1 day and just took a cab the rest of the time to get around Florence. Luckily the rest of our Italian vacation went much better! Next time we visit Florence, it will be at another hotel closer to the city center... one hopefully with a more pleasant desk staff. The hotel has since admonished me that no one has “ever” complained about bugs… so perhaps this is the only river in the world without a native bug population? If so, maybe the dead ones in to pool came with us from Michigan?

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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23  Thank RickinShelby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mulinofirenze, Direttore at Hotel Mulino di Firenze, responded to this reviewResponded 12 January 2012

Dear Sir,

First of all it's the first time I saw a review appear, then disappear and then appear again worse than the first time.
I had replied already to your first review and I have replied to you directly on your e-mail in order to explain my point of view and my impression.
In our private exchange I have replied point by point to all your issue, but it seems in particular you are really trying to destroy our reputation which is, I am sorry for you, one of the highest of the entire city.
This reply is not my usual style. I do accept all critics to my hotel and make good note of what is said and try to do better but I have to see your comments are really unusual.
I do not want to enter anymore in whatever has already been discussed privately between me and you (assistance, rates etc.) but let me say something to your consideration about our pool.
In your second review you posted a picture of the pool (saying it's dangerous) which I do think will attract more clients to our property.
The pool is considered our masterpiece, its been made where the Arno river was passing through, it's a piece of Florence history and it's the key element for 99% of our clientele, who love it, to choose the Mulino. So your opinion in this case it's irrelevant.
Italy is not the Usa where everything is new. The Mulino exist from 1400 and when you renew a piece of art you cannot do whatever you want in this country.
Anyway, thanks for the good words for our restaurant and barman.
Finally I have to say I personally do not agree the fact you wrote a review, you cancelled it, and then you re-wrote it (after I already posted a reply). I do think Tripadvisor should not accept this kind of policy.

Best regards.

Giancarlo Carniani
General Manager
MULINO DI FIRENZE

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2012

Of all the places we stayed during our trip to Italy, this was our favorite. The staff was friendly, helpful and spoke perfect English. Our room was spacious and overlooked the courtyard. To my surprise the basic room even has a Jacuzzi Tub!

The breakfast that is included was wonderful and dinner was well worth it. We ate dinner there all three nights which was perfect since we really did not feel like hunting down something new every night.

There was lots of free parking and the free shuttle to Florence was a nice added bonus.

I would love to come back here in the summertime and stay again (we visited in January).

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mulinofirenze, Direttore at Hotel Mulino di Firenze, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2012

Dear Client,

Thanks!

We always try to do our best and when we receive review like yours we are confident we are on the right way.

The Mulino it's a particular hotel and we are proud to give guests a special atmosphere so near the river.

Best regards

Giancarlo Carniani
General manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Mulino di Firenze

Address: Via di Villamagna 119, 50126, Florence, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 409 Hotels in Florence
Price Range: ₹ 8,011 - ₹ 16,479 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Mulino di Firenze 4*
Number of rooms: 37
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