The hotel stands back a little from the square and lies between the train station and the river, close to many of the city’s most important cultural sights and a few minutes from the chic shops of Via Tornabuoni.
There are 54 in all: someone obviously had fun playing around with the design here; each floor is dedicated to a watch maker (Rolex, Vacheron-Constantin and Philippe Patek) and each room to a particular model of watch. These luxurious cocoons have dark velvet and leather finishings, dark Mahogany floors, heavy silk curtains, super-comfortable beds made up with feather duvets and puffy pillows and smart marble bathrooms with rainshowers and/or tubs. All are equipped with electric kettles. If you want a view onto Alberti’s glorious symmetrical church façade, you’ll have to pay for it.
Ample and comfortable: there’s a wood-panelled library with a huge wooden carved fire-place (where a real fire is lit in winter) and another inviting sitting room. I really liked the elegant, rather retro Bar de l’O with its wrap-around, Mahogany-topped bar counter where you can perch for a cocktail or a lunchtime snack. And I was impressed by the top-floor breakfast room, which occupies what was once the open loggia of the palazzo; the views from up here are spectacular.
Eating and drinking
An excellent buffet breakfast is laid out in the panoramic top-floor breakfast room. Ground floor Bar de L’O serves snacks throughout the day and is a popular and atmospheric spot for evening cocktails.
There’s a small gym and sauna: not a lot, but it's way better than most other city centre hotels.
Efficient, professional and friendly.
Who stays there
The owners are in the fashion business, so the hotel is known in those circles and offers good value for excellent facilities and services. Leisure guests come from all over.
The low season standard double rate at the Orologio is a real bargain and I would recommend paying the extra 15 euros per night for a view of the piazza; even in high season it undercuts many of its competitors of a similar level. At around 35 euros per night more than the standard, a junior suite in low season is a great deal too.
Pros & Cons
- Free WiFi
- Gym and sauna
- Good public spaces
- No outside space