Pros

  • Central location in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, close to the train station and many sights
  • Stylish, modern interiors include bright lobby and breakfast room
  • Contemporary rooms with minimal decor
  • Some rooms have great views of the piazza
  • Mac computer available for guests' use
  • Valet parking available at nearby garage
  • Free buffet breakfast
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Cons

  • Wi-Fi incurs extra charge
  • Rooms are small and can be dark
  • Staircase is difficult to navigate with luggage
  • No tubs in rooms, just narrow showers
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Bottom Line

The budget Hotel Universo is part of a local chain that includes many of the hotels in Piazza Santa Maria Novella in central Florence. The look is modern and simple, with stylish, contemporary interiors that include a small lobby and breakfast room where a free breakfast buffet is served daily. Its 41 small rooms have minimal decor with graphic touches and comforts like TVs and minibars; several have private balconies and great views over the piazza. The prime location is close to most of the top sights and near the train station, which makes this a good choice for tourists seeking to explore the city on foot. As an alternative, travelers could look at the Locanda dei Poeti, another budget hotel with punchy contemporary design.

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Amenities

Oyster Hotel Review

Hotel Universo

Scene

Attractive historic facade containing modern, stylish interiors

Situated in a beautiful five-story building with shuttered windows, the Universo is a small, modern hotel with stylish, minimalistic interiors that attracts young 20 and 30-somethings with its budget prices and central location. The small and bright lobby has a couple of contemporary chairs in vibrant colors and a shag rug on its dark wood floors. A staircase in front of the reception desk leads up to the rooms through acid-green hallways. The hotel's few common spaces are limited to the lobby and the breakfast area, which features minimal decor in a gray, white, and yellow color scheme and several tables as well as a computer station with an Mac.

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Location

Located in the lovely Piazza Santa Maria Novella, close to train station and Duomo

The hotel is located in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, one of the most beautiful piazzas in Florence with the Santa Maria Novella church directly in front of the hotel. The train station is a three-minute walk away, and the Duomo, which is visible from some rooms, can be reached in about five minutes on foot. The city’s business districts of Fortezza da Basso/Palazzo dei Congressi can also be reached on foot in less than 15 minutes and there are many restaurants, shops, bars, and bus stops all around the hotel. Florence Peretola Airport is about 20 minutes away by car or 25 minutes away by bus.

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Rooms

Small rooms with modern decor, some with balconies and great views of piazza 

Rooms vary in size and furnishings, though all feature stylish, contemporary decor in neutral, minimal hues or pops of bright colors. Some of the rooms are quite small and can feel claustrophobic due to views of the surrounding walls and windows, but some feature beautiful views of the piazza. The Deluxe Rooms are the largest, some of which are duplexes, and offer sitting areas and private balconies with nice views of the city. All rooms have modern flat-screen TVs, minibars, and work desks, but Wi-Fi incurs an extra fee. Bathrooms are generally small, but modern with small showers, heated towel racks, and hairdryers.

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Features

Free breakfast, paid Wi-Fi, and valet parking

The hotel offers free buffet breakfast that includes coffee, juice, yogurt, fruit, and pastries. Wi-Fi is available for an extra fee, as is valet parking. Staff can help with laundry, tours, and restaurant arrangements, and the front desk is open 24-hours. There's also a Mac computer available for guests' use.

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Business Center

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Free Breakfast

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Rental Car Service Desk Onsite

  • Room Service

  • Swim-Up Bar

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.