Antica Dimora Johlea
Via San Gallo 80, Florence, Italy, 50129
- Recommended for:
- Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Escaping the crowds
Expert review of Antica Dimora Johlea
To my mind, Antica Dimora Johlea is among the best b&bs in Florence. One of a mini-chain of small residenze, which all offer a winning combination of style, comfort, great services and good prices, the Johlea has six beautiful rooms and the atmosphere of a private apartment. The owners have taken great care over decorating and furnishings incorporating warm-coloured paintwork, fine fabrics and antique furniture; they set the scene with cosy lighting and classical background tracks.
It’s emphatically not a hotel, so the reception desk is open only during office hours; you will be handed a key on arrival to let yourself in and out. If there’s no room in this inn, you may be offered a room in one of four others under the same ownership. Rest assured, they are all lovely and some are cheaper.
In a very ‘Florentine’ neighbourhood about 10 minutes' walk north of the central market and the Duomo, Via San Gallo is a bustling street where private town-houses alternate with small shops, cafés and restaurants; it's livened up by students from the nearby university. A great location if you want to stay away from the worst of the tourist hoards.
The bedrooms all have four-poster beds (even the cosy single) and are done out in a riot of strong colours with bright Indian cotton bedspreads, kilim rugs, swaths of raw Thai silk and bright art on the walls. They are all charming but 6 is the largest while 4 and 5 have a small sitting area on an upper level. All have tea and coffee making facilities (unusual for Italy), flatscreen TVs, DVDs and digital radios; not bad for the price.
There’s a breakfast room and really welcoming sitting area at the top of the house equipped with comfortable sofas, books and magazines and a Nespresso machine. From here, steps lead up to a fabulous little roof terrace from where you get 360° views of the city.
Breakfast includes fresh pastries and cakes and fresh fruit. There’s an honesty bar and Nespresso machine in the sitting room and Johlea guests are offered a special rate at Da Tito, a local traditional restaurant.
The management prides itself on going the extra mile for its guests and all the staff that I’ve met at the various b&bs have been super-friendly and helpful with restaurant and shopping suggestions and so on. The room price includes WiFi, use of a laptop, DVD hire and baby cots.
The Johlea and the other b&bs in the group have a very loyal fanbase of guests from all over who have been coming here since the first opening in 1994. There’s a real mix of nationalities and age groups, business and leisure.
There's a difference of only €30 between low and high season rates here, but whatever the time of year, you're getting lots of thoughtful extras for your bucks: tea and coffee in the rooms, CD/DVD players, free WiFi and a good breakfast. An extra bed costs just 15-25 euros.
More information on Antica Dimora Johlea:
- Price from:
- Bed & Breakfast
- Via San Gallo 80, Florence, Italy, 50129
- High-Speed Internet
- San Marco