I rarely stay in hotels when I travel, but when I do I use Hotwire (though Air BNB has become a solid contender), which I wrote about back in 2009. Up until late last year when my sister and her friend came to visit me, I had never once been disappointed with the hotels that I have found on the site. Things changed during my sister’s visit to Italy when we booked a room in Florence. I plugged in four star hotel in “Old Town – Duomo – Ponte Vecchio” area and booked the one four star result that came up for a mere USD 94, which was a steal! We were booked in the Starhotels Michelangelo right near the river.
The hotel was hard to find or maybe driving in Florence is just not easy. The lobby of the hotel was beautiful and put me at ease regarding the four star rating. Also overnight parking was “free” in a lot very close to the hotel, which gave the property extra points. Now on to the rooms…..
When we walked in we were all taken aback, firstly by the carpeting on the walls, then by the drab burgundy and green 1990s color scheme. The bedding and the bathroom screamed three star hotel and I was very disappointed. The only saving grace was the water pressure in the shower which offered a relaxing reprieve from hours of walking around the city. I am sure at one point in time this property was worthy of a four star rating, but in November 2012 I would not have even given it three and a half stars. So beware of using Hotwire for a hotel in the “Old Town – Duomo – Ponte Vecchio” area. The location is perfect, but the rooms are anything but!