We stayed here for three nights in September 2010 because it is close Cinque Terre, where we couldn't find any available rooms through online booking services. It turned out to be a good decision in terms of convenience, since Hotel Astoria is located very close to the train station, where we could train into Cinque Terre every day. It was a little pricey for what we got (~$150/night), but we had no serious complaints or issues and just used it as a place to sleep and shower. DH describes the hotel as feeling "deserted".
Pretty easy check-in. We asked for help with our lost luggage and they pointed us to the pay phone in the lobby. We had to call the Florence airport every day to check the status, struggling with some language difficulties. We definitely would have appreciated some help with this issue.
Lobby felt tired, and our room was a bit spartan but had what we needed. The bathroom was okay, except there was some grotty stuff on the shower walls. I really really liked their microfibre towels, and have since purchased one at home.
The breakfast room was more spacious, but the complimentary breakfast left us desiring "real" food. There were packaged pastries that would horrify any European. I would recommend having some coffee and eating breakfast elsewhere.
We only explored La Spezia on the last day and found that the hotel is actually close to an open-air market (flowers, foods, clothing) that opens up in their shopping area (including a Zara, etc.). There are also some nearby tiny convenience stores where you can pick up 1.5L bottled water for €0.60.
It has the potential to be a nice hotel, but lacks energy and needs some sprucing up.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.