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Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli {ITA}

Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli {ITA}

Old Nov 1, 06, 4:54 pm
  #1  
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Arrow Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli {ITA}

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/061101/20061101005467.html?.v=1

Press Release Source: Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Hotels Corporation Opens First Hilton Garden Inn(R) Properties in Europe Unveiling the Brand in Italy and Germany
Wednesday November 1, 5:00 am ET

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hilton Hotels Corporation ("Hilton") (NYSE:HLT - News) opened its first mid market hotel in Italy on October 21, the Hilton Garden Inn® Florence Novoli, located at Via Sandro Pertini, 29 50127 in Florence, Italy, following the unveiling of the brand in Germany in September.

The Florence opening is the second peg in the company's strategy to expand its presence in Europe by developing new brands, including the Hilton Garden Inn, the award-winning mid-priced brand, that are part of the Hilton Family of Hotels with locations throughout North America. Hilton opened its first Hilton Garden Inn hotel outside the USA in Stuttgart on September 19, while the 282-room Hilton Garden Inn Rome Airport is set to open December this year.

According to Adrian Kurre, senior vice president for Hilton Garden Inn, "We are proud to bring a new hotel option for European travelers and provide the same level of service and quality offerings that have made Hilton Garden Inn the preferred hotel choice for mid-market travelers throughout North America."

The Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli is located in the heart of the new business/residential area in the northern part of Florence that includes the new Justice Courtrooms and the new University Centre. Just three km from the Florence International Airport "Amerigo Vespucci," the hotel is also an easy drive to the world famous attractions such as the Uffizi Gallery and the legendary Duomo.

Designed with business convenience and practicality in mind, the 121-room hotel features key Hilton Garden Inn brand attributes like complimentary wireless high speed Internet access, the Garden Sleep System(TM) bed, ergonomic Mirra® chair by Herman Miller, a spacious work desk, air conditioning, mini refrigerator and LCD satellite television.

Travellers to the Hilton Garden Florence Novoli can also benefit from a flexible meeting space with the capacity for 150 delegates; a boardroom; a complimentary workout facility; and on-site hotel parking.

The new property is outfitted with complimentary WiFi in public areas; 24-hour business centre; a full service restaurant offering cooked-to-order breakfast, lunch and dinner, evening room service; lounge area and bar (for guests of legal drinking age); and a Pavilion Pantry® offering snacks, beverages and microwaveable items as well as various sundries.

The Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli in Florence, Italy is owned by the Mita Hotels. Millenaria S.R.L manages the hotel under a license agreement with Hilton Inns, Inc., a franchise subsidiary of Beverly Hills-based Hilton Hotels Corporation.

Wolfgang M. Neumann, Hilton's Area President for Europe and Africa, said the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli is evidence of Hilton Hotel Corporation's strategy to expand both in Italy and Europe by introducing a brand which is already successful in the USA.

He said, "Our research shows that the mid-market segment in Italy has capacity for significant growth. With the hotel scene currently dominated by family run operations, there are enormous opportunities for an international brand with the marketing and sales power of Hilton."

Note to Editors

Hilton opened its first hotel in Italy in 1963 with the Rome Cavilieri Hilton. The group currently operates 12 hotels throughout the country with a total room inventory of 2471. The company is set to open another six hotels over the next 18 months including the flagship Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, which is a four year renovation of a 19th century flour mill.

Source: Hilton Garden Inn
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Old Nov 1, 06, 11:37 pm
  #2  
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Thanks for the press release.

Glad to see HGI expanding overseas, though the location of this one in FLR a challenge depending on your POV.
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Old Oct 6, 07, 8:05 am
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Post Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli Trip Reports and Reviews

Mrs RR and I have just returned from a week at this property. We used it as a base for day trips into Florence and other towns in the area. Being a relatively new hotel with little info on this forum, I thought a review was in order.

The hotel is situated in the northern suburbs of Florence, a couple of kilometres southeast of Peretola airport. Located on Via Sandro Pertini just off Via di Novoli, the hotel is part of an urban regeneration project that will feature a green landscape, underground parking, apartments etc. The Hilton is the only completed building so far; if you like building sites, then this is the place for you!

We arrived mid-afternoon and it was chaos, the approach road to the hotel also serves the surrounding construction sites. Site workers use all the surface (free and not many) parking spaces and as a result, there was no option but to use Hilton’s underground car park at €10 per night. If you arrive late evening, there will be plenty of space; beware though, by 7AM, you may find your car blocked in by a site operative, delivery truck or worse still severely damaged by passing site plant. For peace of mind, we chose the underground option each night.

Check-in was one of the quickest and best I had ever experienced anywhere. We were allocated a high floor room; this appeared to be where HHonors members with status were placed. We got vouchers for free breakfast as per the ‘Your Way’ option and a daily voucher for two free bottles of water from their pantry by reception.

The hotel has three floors; our room was on the third, away from the lifts at the end of the corridor – just as my profile. Having stayed at several Garden Inns in the USA, I was not disappointed. Once in the room, it is easy to forget that you are next to a building site, the windows are double-glazed, offering good soundproofing. The rooms have the feel of quality, just like Hiltons elsewhere in Europe.

Key features of the room (in no particular order) were:

Room key slot for room power
Digital control panel for in-room fan coil unit (heating and cooling)
Do Not Disturb LED external to room (controlled by button on ventilation console)
Garden Sleep System bed
Window blackout roller blind – electronically controlled from bedside lighting console
Glass topped bedside tables and work desk
Free high-speed internet access – contact reception for logon code and password
Ergonomic ‘Mirra’ chair by Herman Miller
Wall mounted flat-screen TV
Wooden floor
Wall mounted luggage rack
Safe
Glass fronted wardrobe c/w internal lights
Coffee facilities
Empty fridge for personal use
Leather armchair
Designer bathroom clayware – surgeon’s trough wash hand basin
Designer drench shower – approx 200mm (8 inches) diameter!
Bidet

In general, the hotel appeared to be in a feast and famine situation as far as occupancy was concerned. Some nights were very quiet indeed with only a handful business or tourist guests. On others, we found it to be completely rammed; this was when Insight Vacations and Trafalgar Tours used the property for their coach excursions, both arriving and departing at antisocial times of day and making noise whilst doing so. If planning an early breakfast, it may be well to consult the excursion board in the lobby. If these guys are all in breakfast when you are, be sure to be inconvenienced. Likewise, using the lift was problematic when luggage for forty people was being transferred from room to coach, all at once.

As previously mentioned, the hotel has a pantry, which is adjacent to reception. The usual drinks, snacks and toiletries can be bought here. As with other Garden Inns though, a microwave is not an in-room amenity. Instead, one is located in the pantry for the heating of a TV dinner prior to taking it back to your room.

For those travelling without a laptop, there is a business centre in the lobby area. A small room, accessed with your room key, has two workstations, a fax and a printer. When a tourist coach was in residence though, queuing was evident to use it, in an uncivilised manor.

For those of you with too much energy, there is a well-equipped gym on the third floor. Again, access is by room key.

Breakfast was excellent and exceeded expectations. Although Continental in nature, additional egg, bacon, sausage and hash browns were offered. The entire spread (including tea/ American coffee) is self-service, although we were offered waiter served Cappuccino or Espresso on each visit. For those in a hurry, the usual lobby tea/coffee to-go facility exists with Italian cakes.

We did not use the restaurant for dinner because we ate out each night. The local area is mainly residential but does have one or two good places to eat. They’re not too flashy, but it’s still good food and much cheaper than the centre of Florence itself. Try Modiva at 120/122 Via Baracca Francesco.

Getting into Florence can be done in a taxi – there’s always one or two lurking around the hotel entrance. It’s more fun and cheaper to use the bus though; the number 22 leaves from outside the Star Hotel on Via di Novoli every ten minutes, takes ten minutes – cost €1 a journey. Buy tickets at newsagents/tobacconists BEFORE getting on. A large supermarket to the rear of the Star Hotel is handy for filling that in-room fridge with beer and other goodies!

All things considered, a very nice hotel indeed. It was very handy for the type of itinerary we had – out all day, every day doing the tourist stuff. When the surrounding developments are complete, it will no doubt offer more in the way of eating out. Having stayed at the Florence Metropol before on business, I would rather stay here again if the need arises. A quality hotel without all the fuss, much handier for the airport and with great potential for the future.

Looking forward to more HGIs in Europe….

RR

Last edited by Ringway Rambler; Oct 6, 07 at 11:42 am
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Old Oct 6, 07, 10:04 am
  #4  
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Great review, anticipating all the issues about which folks will want to know. Florence is such a beautiful city, it is nice to understand what this Hilton option offers.
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Old Oct 6, 07, 12:10 pm
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Thanks - GREAT REPORT!
I'll try it on my next trip to Florence ... if it's not too expensive!?!
I have stayed only once in a HGI (near Seattle airport), and I like that type of hotels. BTW, there is a nice, low price HI Express in Perugia, which is not far from Florence.
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Old Oct 8, 07, 9:57 am
  #6  
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Thanks for the report. i'll be at the Hilton Metropole in 3 weeks. This seems like a nice alternative.
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Old Oct 8, 07, 10:53 am
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RR --

Great report! ^

Still have a couple of questions.

1). Internet use from the business center -- is it complimentary to guests or elite members?

2). Is the parking gated/guarded (likely doing European Delivery of a vehicle and this could be good for me)?

3). Apropos to the parking and the construction -- is construction going on every day of the week, or are there days (weekends or at least Sundays) where parking spaces and your car stand little chance of damage?

Thanks!
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Old Oct 8, 07, 12:21 pm
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Hello NJ, hope the following assists....

Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post

Still have a couple of questions.

1). Internet use from the business center -- is it complimentary to guests or elite members?

It’s free to all guests (in-room if you have a laptop). If you’re lucky enough to find a free terminal in the business centre, your room key gets you in.

2). Is the parking gated/guarded (likely doing European Delivery of a vehicle and this could be good for me)?

Underground (under the hotel) parking is via barrier control, again by using your room key; there’s two levels and was empty. Unfortunately, the external parking is on the street; no gate or guard. This will eventually form the main artery through the complex when it’s completed.

3). Apropos to the parking and the construction -- is construction going on every day of the week, or are there days (weekends or at least Sundays) where parking spaces and your car stand little chance of damage?

Site ops were 07:00 till 19:00 Monday through Saturday, although Saturday was a tad quieter after lunch. Sunday, completely closed. Just to be clear, the complex currently has four tower cranes; a lot of lifting going on…!

Thanks!
Best regards

RR
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Old Oct 8, 07, 2:59 pm
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Thanks Ringway Rambler!
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Old Oct 25, 07, 5:59 pm
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Staying there in May 2008

Thanks for the fantastic trip report Ringway Rambler! My wife and I will be concluding our 5-year anniversary trip to Italy at this property, coming from the Cinque Terre. Already have 2 award nights booked for May 2008. I really appreciate your detailed and insightful review, particularly the location of the #22 bus stand. Do you know if the airport bus also stops nearby, or will we need a taxi for our morning LH flight out of FLR? Similarly, can one take the #22 to the hotel from Santa Maria Novella train station, or would a taxi be better?

As HH Silver, I won't be comped breakfast at the hotel. Do you remember how much it cost? Or better, if there were any caffes within walking distance of the hotel/bus stop? We'll have to try out your dinner recommendation if too tired the first night.

Grazie a tutti!
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Old Nov 3, 07, 12:01 pm
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Sorry for the late response ptpinit, I’ve been grounded for a few days, so very little in the way of flying, rambling or even FTing for that matter.

The #22 bus actually drops you right outside the Santa Maria Novella, immediately opposite the main railway station. As you approach, the railway station will be on your left. On the return, the bus stop is just opposite, dropping you back at the Star Hotel on Via di Novoli. Have a look at google map, the satellite view is pretty good and you will be able to see the lay of the land around the station. The bus arrives into the square from the north-west.

FLR airport is only five minutes away from the hotel; to be honest, I’d get a cab every time. It’s door to door and there are always one or two outside the hotel to expedite the return journey. The airport bus runs frequently but humping luggage around in that heat to/from the bus stops could be a bit ambitious! From memory, the airport bus runs along Viale Alessandro Guidoni, this is the road parallel to Via di Novoli, north of the hotel. The bus company was ATAF, you can get all the details from off the airport website if I've not put you off.

As for the grub, I think the breakfast was in the region of 25 Euros each if paying separately; a bit expensive but the buffet was good and would keep you going all day if you’re out exploring Florence. There are one or two coffee/cake shops by the Star Hotel and Esselunga Supermarket on Via di Novoli.

Hope this is of use....

RR
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Old Nov 7, 07, 10:06 am
  #12  
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I just returned.
As a Diamond I received a room on their exective lounge floor. A nice longe with some food and drinks all day.
The rooms are nice,but "strange". The glass window between the bedroom and bathroome must be a mistake.
We took the city bus a coulpe times. Very friendly staff.
Overall, a nice stay.

Last edited by jabez; Nov 11, 14 at 11:40 am
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Old Nov 7, 07, 10:40 am
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RR, thanks for the detailed report! Answers a lot of questions we would have re: the property.

Cheers.
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Old Dec 9, 07, 1:05 am
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We took the bus from the train station and it is a long ride but pleasant. Were upgraded to the Camera room which was nice and given water. The breakfast was good. You can buy bus tickets from the hotel which is very convenient. Will stay there again even though it is outside the main city. Price was good for Florence and really nice hotel.
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Old Jun 4, 08, 12:12 pm
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Quick Review - Hilton Garden Inn Florence - Novolli

Stayed Friday through Saturday May 2008.

I have no status in hhonors. Hotel is located in Novolli and can be reached by public transport (22 bus), in about 20 minutes for (1.20 Euro), or in a CAB for 15 Euro from the main train station. From bus stop, you have to walk about 2 (blocks, the hotel can be seen from the bus).

3 floors full of room. Stayed on the third floor. Room has flat TV (20 inch or less), good A/C. The room was big by european standards. In room fridge empty waiting for you to fill it in with goodies that can be purchased from the pantry (including hot food that has to be reaheated with the microwave in the pantry).

2 computers and free internet in the business center (lobby level). Fitness room in the 3rd floor.

Supermarket nearby (less than 5 minute walk).

Did not see where other Hilton properties were located.

Managed to get a price of 145Euro/night (still banging my head for not paying the 21 advance purchase for 120)

Only downside to the hotel was that wall were thin and could hear activities both from the corridor and other rooms...
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