Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Directly on a calm, scenic, grassy plaza in the heart of Florence
It's hard to ask for a better location the Grand Hotel Minerva: it sits adjacent to the calm, grassy Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, offering phenomenal views and a quiet locale close to many of the city's main draws. Everything from upscale boutiques to popular public squares is within walking distance. The Santa Maria Novella train station is also a very short walk away.
Florence is extremely pedestrian-friendly, and is one of Italy's most beautiful cities -- it's more compact, and less gritty, than Rome. The Duomo is the most iconic sight here, but other popular attractions include Michelangelo's "David" at the Galleria dell'Accademia, the works of Botticelli and da Vinci at the Uffizi, and the Ponte Vecchio bridge, which dates back to the 1300s. The Piazza della Signora is a popular tourist hub, and many hotels are located near it.
If asked to picture a postcard version of Florence, the views from the Grand Hotel Minerva are most likely what would come to mind. The lovely rooftop pool and terrace offer up some of the most picturesque views in the city, and many rooms have balconies offering similarly excellent outlooks (most balconies have great views of the Santa Maria Novella Plaza, and those on higher floors have spectacular views of Florence's skyline). All rooms and suites are spacious, with high ceilings and elegant furniture, and bathrooms are modern (if a little tight); plenty of handicap accessible units are on offer. The hotel's central location, high-end restaurant, and regal historic ambiance make it easy to justify the splurge.