Are you looking for place to stay in Florence which brings together students, travellers and professionals? The Student Hotel is just that. The hotel is part of the TSH group, founded by the young Scottish entrepreneur Charlie MacGregor who is revolutionising the concept of hospitality in Europe.
“I founded The Student Hotel in 2006, after spending two years in Holland. I have a lot of experience in managing student residences and accommodation in the UK and while I was in Holland, I saw that much of the accommodation offered to students there was pretty chaotic, run down and devoid of style. So, my idea was to offer accommodation based on the British model of colleges and student halls, but better. We wanted to give students an experience far superior to what they were used to and also get parents and families involved. We wanted to bring different communities together under the same roof. We didn’t know at that point that we’d become a hotel, rather than a hall of residence, but we did know that we wanted to create a space that is open and inclusive.”
There are already Student Hotels in several European cities like Amsterdam City, Amsterdam West, Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Paris and Barcelona. In Florence the hotel is situated inside the ancient walls of the old Palazzo del Sonno, which once housed railway workers. Despite its name, the building is not really a hotel in the traditional sense so much as hybrid space which combines luxury student digs, a meeting point for colleagues and professionals and a stopover for tourists looking for something a little ‘cooler’ than a standard hotel.
The idea is to create a Complete Connected Community welcoming people who grew up with models of social networking and who are open to projects for co-living and co-working that are modern and functional; people who love to travel, people who are used to multicultural settings, who dream of becoming start-up millionaires beginning, who knows, with a chance encounter in the bar or the swimming pool of a hotel. The communal spaces – the gym, the games room, the bistro, the music store, the rooftop swimming pool with views of the Cathedral – are all designed for mixing and creating opportunities of every type. Everyone at the Student Hotel is a student, either in reality or at heart. The hotel’s slogan May the student in you live forever is true to its youthful spirit.
Let’s talk for a moment about numbers: 22,000 square metres with 390 guest rooms. The restoration project of the ex Palazzo del Sonno cost 50 million euro. Prices? Student rents start from 800 euro a month to 1000 euro for a single deluxe room. Almost everything is included: bills, gym and swimming pool, bike sharing, but not food. And tourists? A double room in September costs 140 euro for 2 nights and the junior suite, 200 euro, although there are frequent offers on Booking throughout the year. For short-term stays, you can rent a room for from 1150 euro a month, and if you’re looking for a desk, you can spend from 150 euro for flexible use to 230 euro for exclusive use.