Lodging Review: Sina Villa Medici, Florence, Italy

Return to International Travel – Introduction
Review: SWISS A340-300 ORD-ZRH and Marhaba Lounge ZRH
Lodging Review: Sina Villa Medici, Florence, Italy
Our Time In Florence, Part 1
Our Time In Florence, Part 2
Lodging Review: Park Hyatt Vendome, Paris, France
Our Time In Paris, Part 1 (Louvre, Sainte-Chappelle, Arc, Eiffel Tower)
Our Time In Paris, Part 2 (Versailles)
Our Time In Paris, Part 3 (Catacombs, Musee d’Orsay)
Viking Kari and an Afternoon in Montmartre
Our Time in La Roche-Guyon and Vernon/Giverny
Our Time on the Normandy Beaches
Our Time in Les Andelys and Le Pecq
Lodging Review: Renaissance Republique, Paris, France
Review: Air France A350 CDG-ORD

For our stay in Florence we decided to use some of our Marriott points. While there was a Westin and a St. Regis closer to the historic center of the city, we chose to save a few points by staying at the Sina Villa Medici, which is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. We stayed three nights at 70K points per night.

Sina Villa Medici, Autograph Collection


The hotel is about a 25-30 minute ride from the airport, depending on traffic, and about a 15-minute walk to the Ponte Vecchio/Uffizi area and only a two or three minute longer walk to the Duomo area.

While there’s street parking around the area, the hotel has a special area for picking up and dropping off passengers so it’s nice that there’s no competition with passing vehicles. The exterior of the hotel gives a hint that this building was at one time a palazzo with an old-world style charm.

Ground Floor

The sliding glass doors open as you approach and enter the first level of the lobby. The thick carpet and lushly padded chairs in the area give a hint of what is to come.

Sina Villa Medici First Lobby

Ascend a very few small steps into the main lobby with its marble floor and chandelier. The concierge/bell desk is just to the left as are the restrooms.

Sina Villa Medici Main Lobby

The front desk is just ahead and we were welcomed warmly. When redeeming our points, I had paid for two nights and my friend had paid for one. I had emailed ahead to ask them to combine the reservations so that we could stay in the same room all three nights and it was handled seamlessly. Our room was not quite ready which was not totally unexpected but since it meant we wouldn’t have to change rooms during our stay it was worth it. It seems in Europe there are very few rooms with two beds so they are not always ready right away. We were able to relax in the lounge area right by the front desk and did not have a terribly long wait.

Sina Villa Medici Front Desk

To the right of the front desk is the hall leading to one of the two sets of elevators on the main floor (the other being to the left of the bell station).

Sina Villa Medici Elevator Area

Across from the elevators was another seating area, perfect for waiting for your whole group to assemble for the day’s events or for dinner.

Sina Villa Medici Elevator Area Seating

Continuing past the seating area the hall leads to both the restaurant that is open for breakfast and to Harry’s Bar which offers al fresco seating beside the outdoor pool. Breakfast was a quite nice buffet but it didn’t open until 7:30 AM (a common issue we found in Italy, nobody in the tourist area gets up early!) and cost 37 EUR. While we enjoyed breakfast there our first morning, we found refreshment elsewhere for the rest of our stay.

Another hallway connects the first lobby to the bar area and it is filled with items for purchase.

Guest Floor

Our room was on the fourth floor. The elevator was barely big enough to hold the two of us and our luggage. We exited into the common area of the floor and there were three hallways branching out. To reach our room we turned right off the elevators, towards these chairs and then hung a left and a quick right.

Sina Villa Medici Guest Floor Elevator Lobby

That led us to this plushly-carpeted hall which only had about 4-5 rooms on it. Ours was the second door down.

Sina Villa Medici Guest Floor Hallway

Twin Superior Guest Room

I loved the hardwood floors in our room. The room had a standard layout with a small entry hall with the bathroom on one side and the closet and mini-bar on the other before opening up to the area with the bed.

Sina Villa Medici Guest Room Entry

Sina Villa Medici Mini Bar

The room was obviously set up for a king bed but split into twins. That was ok with us as we each had our own duvet and could turn over without disturbing the other person. Each side had its own night stand and a padded bench was at the foot of the bed.

The nightstands had USB charging but no electrical outlet. Fortunately we each had one on the wall close enough to have our phones handy overnight while still charging.

Sina Villa Medici Nightstand

Across from the bed was a small desk.

Sina Villa Medici Desk

Yes, the key really is that huge! No electronic locks here! We later learned we were supposed to have left the key at the front desk when we went out for the day but my friend carried it in her purse so we were fine.

Sina Villa Medici Room Key

In the corner of the room was a chair and a small table. I used the chair as a luggage stand for my carry-on.

Sina Villa Medici Chair and Table

The welcome amenity was some biscotti.

Sina Villa Medici Welcome Gift

Our view was of the church next door. I don’t know that there are any fabulous views from this hotel though I suppose it’s possible the top floor facing east could see parts of the Duomo.

Sina Villa Medici View from 442

My one complaint about the room? The wi-fi. The signal was so weak I couldn’t even do email. I needed to do a few updates to a website I maintain and there was no way that could happen in the room. Fortunately the signal in the fourth floor lobby was strong enough that I didn’t have to go down to the main lobby. Now I know what those comfy chairs on our floor were for!

The bathroom was quite large with double sinks and a long mirror on the right side. The magnifying makeup mirror was a nice touch except that it could only be adjusted horizontally on its bending arm. I’m of slightly above average height for a woman and I would have liked it to be a little lower. Anyone shorter would have to tilt the mirror down to be able to see it.

Sina Villa Medici Sinks

On the back wall was the tub with a hand-held sprayer and wall-mounted toiletries.

Sina Villa Medici Bathtub

Across from the sinks were a toilet and a urinal.

Sina Villa Medici Toilet

Beside them and behind the door was the tiny shower stall. Ensuring the doors closed tightly at the corner was crucial to keeping water off the floor because that floor was extremely slippery when wet. I’m not sure why this is supposedly better than having a shower head over the tub. At least there you don’t have to worry about bumping your elbows against the sides. This shower had both a hand-held nozzle and a rainfall shower head. If you’ve read many of my past reviews you know I’m not a huge fan of rainfall showers because in my experience the water doesn’t really beat down hard enough. But I will give kudos to this shower as it was not difficult at all to rinse the shampoo and conditioner from my hair. It does need a small step in one corner to make it easier to shave one’s legs. (Yes, I know it can be done in the tub but that’s a pain to do before or after your shower!)

Sina Villa Medici Shower

The toiletries were from Lorenzo Villoresi of Florence and had a nice smell without being overpowering.

Sina Villa Medici Toiletries

One easy upgrade to the bathroom would be to get a hair dryer that does not require a button to be held down the whole time just to keep it turned on. I guess I should be thankful that at least the hair dryer is in the bathroom unlike our visit to Ireland where it seemed it was forbidden to have an electrical outlet (other than a 110 for an electric razor) in the bathroom.

Another easy change would be to add a towel hook near the shower. As it is you must either leave your towel on the counter near the sinks (which may be wet) or on top of the toilet.

Pool, Spa and Gym

I don’t have photos of the pool as there always seemed to be someone in it but it is quite small so don’t expect to swim laps here. But it does get the sun and is open from 11 AM to 7 PM daily.

When exiting the elevator on our floor I saw a sign for the gym pointing down another hallway. I thought it was a little odd to have the gym on the 4th floor but I knew that different hotels place their gyms in different areas. We wandered down two different guest halls before finding another elevator that took us down to the basement where we found the gym.

The gym is not huge but the sheer number of mirrors around make it feel much larger. They also make it difficult to take photos without finding myself in one corner or the other!

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Lastly, there is a spa which has a sauna and a Turkish bath. We did not venture into that area.

In the end

While not in the center of the historic area, this hotel is just a short walk away which can make it cheaper whether you use cash or points. It’s very quiet both inside and out and has a pool, which I’ve read is unusual for this area. In my mind, the biggest downside is the wi-fi in the room but even with that I’d be happy to stay here again if I ever make it back to Florence.

Categories: Autograph Collection, Award Travel, Europe, Italy, Lodging Review, Marriott, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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