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“Excellent Location - Lovely Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Universo

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Hotel Universo
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Piazza del Giglio 1, 55100 Lucca, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #36 of 56 Hotels in Lucca
Cork
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Excellent Location - Lovely Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

We arrived in Lucca on the 14th August and stayed one night at the hotel - we were welcomed by a very polite and friendly male receptionist who advised us check in was not until 2pm however the hotel would store our luggage for us until then. He provided us with a map of the city and told us where was good to go.
After walking around the city and stopping for a spot of lunch and shopping we returned to the hotel to check in and were once again greeted by a very friendly and helpful receptionist, we had booked 2 rooms, one triple and one twin - both rooms were ready - there was a mix up with the keys for one of the rooms but this was sorted quickly and we were settled in, the twin room was lovely the triple was amazing with a spiral stair case up to a 2nd floor...really lovely....Bathroom was really nice recently refurbished I would say. Breakfast was perfect, fresh breads, pastries, fruit, yoghurts, cheese, meats juices and tea/coffee. Hotel was perfectly located, we had dinner around the corner in the restaurant/bar - lovely fresh, Italian food...really enjoyed...The staff were so friendly and helpful in particular the receptionist on check in with the short blonde hair and glasses...she was so helpful in arranging a taxi for the morning and getting train times to the airport for us...she is an asset to the hotel...Would recommend the hotel and would return if I was back in Lucca again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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389 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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Bergen, Norway
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

This hotel has a great location, close to everything. But be careful if arriving by car, it is not allowed to drive to the hotel so you risk getting fines.
The room was nice, but it could use some upgrading soon. Our room was facing the plaza, so there was some noise in the evening nad early night.The breakfast was nothing special, actually a bit boring, but enough to start the day with. It is a charming hotel,

Also, we requested parking, but the hotel does not provide parking so you have to use the public parking.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UniversoLucca, Proprietario at Hotel Universo, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Dear Friend,
thank you for leaving your comment here. Driving by car to the hotel is always allowed, night and day every time of the day and night, to bring luggages to the hotel. Then we ask for the plate’s number to avoid a fine. Usually we inform our guests by mail before the arrival and at the time of check in but probably we’ve had problems in communicating with you, sorry about that. We have informed you that we have an arrangement with a private garage, located 200 meters from the hotel which have a cost but you have chosen to park in a public parking place which is cheaper but still have a cost. So, yes, the garage is not owned by the hotel but we work with them usually so it’s not correct to say that the hotel does not provide a parking place. We hope we’ll have the chance to welcome you again soon.
Marianna Marcucci – Hotel Universo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stresa, Italy
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

We arrived on a very hot day on Saturday just before the festival at Piazza Napoleone started. We were a roup of five adults and four teenagers, two girls and two boys and we had booked three rooms. One of the rooms that was booked for three smelled. That had to be changed. The air condition did not work in two rooms. So those had to be changed. Eventually all of us had a lovely room, the best were situated on the third floor. Our room was on the first floor and we had our window towards the square. We were very lucky as we could see the stage from our window, and we did not need to buy the ticket for the show. Also luckily the music ended just after 12, so we could sleep well.

Hotel Universo has a rich history. At the time when Puccini's first operas had their premiers at the theatre opposite called Teatro del Giglio Italy was ruled by a king. At that time the VIP (very important people) stayed in the hotel over night after the show including the king. When the owner of the hotel introduced himself as the director of universo (in English universe) the king responded that for him Italy is enough.

The hotel has a grand form but over the years it has not had enough repair. However, the breakfast was excellent. We enjoyed staying in Universo as our requests were fullfilled. We do hope the present management of the hotel will invest in upgrading the rooms. The rexeptionist was under pressure but regained her smile after some time.

Room Tip: Top floor. If you will be offered the rooms at the first floor make sure the air con is working. O...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Vientiane, Laos
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Pros:
We arrived by train with heavy luggage (on wheels) each, but the walk to this hotel was easy and only about 10 minutes.

Lucca is small so really everywhere is walkable and a treat. We really loved Lucca and wished we could have stayed longer.

Our room was clean, and nicely decorated. The bed was fine and reasonably comfortable. The housekeeping staff were friendly and did a great job with our room. Except for a big burn mark on the rug, but not a problem for us.

Cons:
The front desk clerk during our check in and 4 days there was very rude, unlike the evening staff. She could not be bothered to greet us, or even mention breakfast. We asked about internet and she seemed annoyed and grabbed a piece of paper and slapped it down on the counter without explanation.

Breakfast: if you like good coffee, you will be disappointed as we were with their self service machine that spit out brown water. Several guests had trouble with the machine and when an attendant showed up she pushed the button to demonstrate (as if we were perhaps not pushing the button properly) and walked away without further help. The "coffee" never improved. The food served was quite limited and not fresh. We had better at budget hotels.

I suspect there were some unhappy employees which unfortunately represented the hotel in a bad light. Maybe something management should be aware of. Left me wishing i would have booked us somewhere else. I would recommend to give this one a miss, even if you pay €15 more somewhere else it would be worth it for better vibe, breakfast and service.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the back street. Our room was very quiet because it opened into an inner outsi...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Hotel UNiverso is a unique place in Lucca. Although it may looks old, it is very comfortable and rooms are very clean! Location is wonderful and you can easily walk through the old city.
I really reccommend!
I thank the staff for giving us a room with balcony.

Room Tip: If you come to Lucca by car, keep it in the parking area outside the walls. It is much cheaper than...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

I have just returned from a 4 night stay in this historic hotel and found it delightful. The location, in a lovely square overlooking the theatre is ideal and everything is within walking distance.
If you are a music fan, then no need to buy concert tickets, as the summer music festival takes place right under your window - just throw the shutters open and enjoy.
One of the best restaurants in Lucca is next door - reservations are required, we watched numerous people being turned away every evening.
To those guests who complain about the outdated décor and the need for refurbishment, I would suggest a bit of research beforehand may have helped manage expectations. There is a modern monstrosity of a hotel, just outside the walls and situated next to a McDonalds - this, I'm sure would adequately cater for those with less 'vintage' tastes.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

We checked into this hotel after a rather spontaneous trip to Lucca, and although I am so glad we visited, I couldn't help but feel as though this hotel is letting itself, and its staff down with its distinct style-of-old.

It felt like the hotel was passing itself of as being 'retro' or 'vintage' in it's choice of decor, though it's clear that it is really just a lack of modernising and updating that leaves it this way. The carpets on the main stairs are threadbare, the shower was clogged with limescale, the toilet looked like something you would expect in an old caravan, and some of the velvet upholstered chairs in our room were stained. But it was the overwhelming smell of cheap air-freshner that is present in every corner of this hotel that makes it feel like it should be a retirement home.

Once you get over the slightly rough elements, the hotel does have a lot to offer; friendly staff, competitive prices and it probably has the best location of any other hotel in Lucca. We missed the concerts by a couple of days, though the stage was still erected practically right outside our room (you wouldn't need ot buy concert tickets, just watch from the hotel 2nd floor!). Noise could be a problem in concert season though.

Breakfast was relatively simple; the dining room is also a little dated, a lot of peach coloured table clothes and old china tea cups, but the food itelsf is great. (pastries, cereals, eggs, toast, fruit juices, tea, coffee etc). We just ate and left though, and I think if you're just after a clean, cool room to rest your head at night then this is an ideal hotel. If you're after something a little more luxurious and modern then it is not the right choice for you.

I asked for an iron and was (rather rudely) informed by the receptionist that this request was impossible as the hotel don't keep irons and they don't have their own laundry. It's not a big deal really but to me, things like that are a neccessity for a lot of guests and I would expect a large hotel to have at least one in the building for this type of request.

With some money thrown at it, this place could be wonderful, but until it gets a bit of a face-lift, we won't be going back.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Universo

Address: Piazza del Giglio 1, 55100 Lucca, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Lucca > Lucca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Lucca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Universo 3*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Universo is the very first hotel built in Lucca, locatedo in the hearth of the historical centre. Estabilished as a guesthouse around 1850, under the name of "Locanda Universo and Tosca" it became an hotel in 1857. The Hotel is definitely the best starting point to discover the treasures of Lucca and its surroundings: within a few minutes walk you can reach all the sights of the city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Universo Hotel Lucca

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