Eight opera fans booked four rooms at the Universo. Our room had two comfortable single beds, a large bathroom with the highest ceiling I have ever seen. The room had a fridge but no safe although there was a deposit box in reception. Linen was changed every day and was of high quality. We turned off the air conditioning as we had huge windows and a wonderful view of the piazza. All lights worked well and could be switched on and off from the beds. The cleaning staff did a good job.
Breakfast was continental with the usual choice of cold cuts, cheese, cold hard boiled eggs, croissants, warm bread rolls, a variety of cereals, fruit, yoghourts and cakes. It would be improved by a toaster.
Our stay happened to coincide with the annual Lucca summer music festival. We were not aware of this and were rather surprised to find a full pop festival stage venue set up in the piazza next to the hotel and even more surprised when an army of workers erected barriers all around the piazza to prevent those without tickets seeing the gig. Scores of police, fire and ambulance workers arrived and a field hospital put up. All restaurants and bars in the adjacent piazzas closed from 6pm. The band was The Prodigy and was very very loud!!! My glass of wine danced on the table! It was late when they finished and then the workmen arrived to take down the barriers........all in all a very noisy night.
There is a nice restaurant and bar attached to the hotel which gives a 10% discount to hotel guests, unfortunately, because of the stage and tiered seating there was no view of the lovely buildings surrounding the piazza
Hotel Universo is situated in an excellent position for sightseeing within the walls. The wall itself is a five minute walk from the hotel. The staff speak reasonable English and are quite helpful.
The hotel has seen better days, the bar and breakfast room are far too small. There is a lounge/reading room that would make a better breakfast room whilst the breakfast room and bar could be combined to make a pleasant area to relax and enjoy a drink.
I feel we should have been told of the festival when we booked.... Having said that, Stevie Wonder was playing two days after we left..... I'd have been very happy to spend the evening listening to him for free!
- 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