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 Value for Money  3.0
 Rooms  3.3
 Cleanliness  3.5
 Location  3.8
 Security & Safety  3.8
 Service & Staff  3.8
 Food / Dining  2.8
 Total  3.4

"International Student House Florence - BEWARE!!!"

User Rating:  1.0
Reviewer:   Liz N. of ACT, Australia
Reviewed:   July 18, 2007  (see hotel reviews from
Traveled:   April 2007     Type:   Single
1 2 3 4 5
 Value for Money
 Security & Safety
 Service & Staff
 Food / Dining
Comments  (English):
I located ISF through this website and was quoted a specific price. Given that there were several other hostels nearby it was the price that decided I would stay here. After I submitted my application I was contacted by ISF staff and told that one of their employees had made a mistake in writing the price and asked for an additional amount. Given that it seemed to be a relatively small amount (something like E2.50 per night, and I definitely wanted accommodation near Florence Train station I wrote back and said so long as it was an honest mistake I was willing to continue with my booking. The staff assured me it was.
When I arrived at the hostel no one answered the door. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and came back later. When I did there were two strange men standing opposite the door. After I rang the doorbell they approached me and asked whether I was staying at the hostel. I said I was and they told me that because of "emergency building works" the hostel had had to relocate and asked me to come with them. They had no form of identification that legitimised them as employees of the hostel. I asked why I hadn't received notification of the relocation via email. They couldn't provide a response. There was no notice on the door telling potential residents of the hostel that it had relocated. They asked me again to follow them to the new hostel. As a single female I didn't feel safe following two strange men so I asked for the address so I could make my way there with friends who were staying at another address. They refused to give it to me, but rang the hostel owner. Again he did not give me a plausible explanation as to why the hostel had moved, why I hadn't received notification, and I had to argue with him to eventually be given the address. The hostel owner said that if I chose not to continue with my booking I could come to the hostel and get my deposit refunded to me in cash.
Given the succession of very dodgy experiences I had with this hostel I decided not to stay here, and went up Via Faenza and stayed at Ostello Archi Rossi, which was very good and I would highly recommend it (fun atmosphere, courteous staff, free internet, clean and spacious rooms, and mine had an ensuite which was in good condition).
The following morning I went to the address provided for the replacement hostel for ISF to get my deposit refunded. It was a good 20-25 minute walk from the Station (as opposed to the less than 5 minute walk to its original location) whereas I had been advised by the guys by the door that it was nearby. I was very grateful that I was not carrying my pack! When I got there no one answered the door. I tried again a bit later during the day and again no one answered, so my deposit was not refunded.
Outcome: DO NOT STAY AT International Student House Florence.

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