After a week driving around central Tuscany, we needed a hotel in Pisa to stay the night before our flight back to Heathrow. We found the hotel very easy using GPS. It's in an interesting sort of area...quite residential which was nice. There are a few local pizzeria type places to eat around the hotel, but we decided to eat in the main restuarant. First glance at the menu made it seem quite pricy, but we had a starter to share, two fish-of-the-day (best choice ever), as much salad, bread and cooked vegetables you could eat from the buffet, a really good bottle of Italian white wine recommend by the waiter, desert and coffee...all for 100 euros. The fish was grilled whole and brought to the table on a large silver tray trolley. Expecting the waiter to just serve then up like that on our plates, we were pleasantly treated to a delicate deconstruction of the fish by the waiter, removing all the bones, skin, etc and artfully plating up the fillets, drizzeling them with olive oil and large slices of lemon....mmm...Dinner at the hotel was the highlight of our trip!
The rooms were very clean and comfortable, modern design. Curtains were electrically controlled which the wife found very entertaining! Bathroom had a large bath with shower which was great. Large towels and bathrobes & slippers provided too. Room also had a large mini-bar fridge and built-in safe. We were on the top floor with our windows facing the front of the hotel overlooking the row of parking at the front of the hotel. This was probably the best side of the hotel with nice views over a small vineyard across the street.
The area is very quiet, so no problems with noise. There are about 20 free (1st come 1st serve) parking bays at the front of the hotel. After about 5PM they seem to fill up, but there are always cars coming and going so more than likely you'll find parking. If not, the hotel has (I think 50?) underground parking spaces that you pay for (didn't ask how much though).
Breakfast was included with our room...and what a breakfast it was! Cooked breakfast, cereals, yoghurt, fruit,bread, rolls, toast, tea/coffee/juice, 5 or 6 different pastries, and about 4-5 different cakes...chocolate cake, fruit tarts, etc.
Our only very minor downside was that on the night, the additional pat-TV channels weren't available as the hotel was upgrading their media service. So we only had 5 or 6 Italian local channels on the telly, but that was ok...found a good movie and managed to follow the film without understanding 99% of what was being said.
If you want to go into Pisa itself to see the tower and Duomo, there is a bus stop right outside the hotel on the side where the outside eating area is with two busses that go into Pisa, and a short walk up the road is another bus stop with another Pisa bus (may be the faster express bus?). Just ask at reception for details.
Final trip in the morning to Pisa airport was quick and easy. There are several petrol stations nearby the hotel to fill up on your way to the airport (just check with the hotel for the petrol station opening times). Takes no more than 10 min to get to the airport.
If you don't have a car, the hotel has a shuttle service to the airport (check cost at reception). While we were there I thought it would be a good idea if you could hire bicycles to go into Pisa and explore...not sure if it's possible, but would be worth asking at reception if they could arrange if that's something you fancy.
One quick tip about Pisa airport...if you're hiring a car, all the car hire places are in the same area. Go out the airport doors and turn right. Walk for about 100m and you will see a bus shuttle service to the car hire area. The busses are supposed to run every 10min, but seem to be very infrequent. It's not really necessary to take the bus though. If you continue walking to the right after you've exited the airport doors, about 200m later you will have passed the shuttle bus terminal and crossed the parking area where all different shuttle busses park. Then you will reach a fence which you can walk around, cross the road, and there you are at the car hire area. If you have lots of bags, it's a good idea to leave your partner at the airport at one of the (quite nice) outside coffee shops and walk over (5 min walk max) to the car hire area, collect you car and then pick up your bags (and partner!).
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- Also Known As:
- San Ranieri Hotel
- San Ranieri Pisa