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We left Orvieto after our late lunch and headed straight to Florence. I hadn’t done too much research on how Italian highways were, so I was pleasantly surprised to notice that there were plenty of rest stops with free restrooms along the way. They do force you to walk a maze through the shops on your way out, but I think is a great alternative to paid restrooms.
As a warning, I’m going to admit that this post is a little boring. It’s really just about where we stayed in Florence and why. I was going to make the whole time in Florence one post, but I’m realizing that I think I want to avoid long posts in favor of shorter, more digestible ones. We’ll see how it goes.
Hilton Florence Metropole
Even though we would’ve saved a good chunk getting an Airbnb vs. 2 hotel rooms, we didn’t find any great choices. We did have plenty of hotel chain points (IHG, Marriott/SPG, Hilton), but their points rates were were overpriced compared to their cash rates. At least with paying for a hotel, T and I could each get a 4th night free with our Citi Prestige cards. The best overall deal we found was for the Hilton Florence Metropole. Their rates are very competitive, likely since they’re about 20 minutes from downtown. Since we planned to visit downtown Florence once, plus we had a car, it wasn’t a big deal to stay further out. On top of that, both T and I have Hilton Gold status from our American Express Hilton Honors Ascend cards, which gets us free breakfast, plus a potential room upgrade. After Citi’s 4th night reimbursement, we paid $323 or about $81/night. It was a little above our ideal budget, but the free breakfast, the potential for some free meals at the Executive Lounge, as well as free parking made up for it.
We arrived at our hotel around 9:00pm, and checked-in pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there was a conference, as well as multiple tour groups at the hotel, so they couldn’t accommodate us on all on the same floor. Also because of the crowd, the best upgrade my room could get was to an executive level floor (which comes with lounge access). Interestingly, even though the room T booked didn’t get upgraded to an executive level, they still gave the room lounge access without us even asking, which was nice since they’re only required to do that for Diamond members.
We settled in and checked out the room before grabbing dinner. It was perfectly nice and clean, if not pretty standard. It was decently spacious, the desk and chair were comfortable to work at, the bed and linens were great, and we had a nice view.
Our only complaint was the very odd decision to use a rainfall shower head that only stuck out from the wall maybe 12 inches tops. The shower was a bathtub/shower combo, which meant that the shower head dripped water almost directly onto the ledge of the tub, resulting in a very wet bathroom floor. It wasn’t the end of the world, though, and we just primed the bathroom floor with leftover towels.
There were no Italian restaurants nearby that were open late, so we ended up having dinner at an American Old West-themed restaurant next to the hotel. Random, I know, but it was actually pretty good. After dinner, we headed to bed to prepare for a packed day in Cinque Terre.