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“good in parts, bad in others - mixed bag” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Continental

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Grand Hotel Continental
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Largo Belvedere, 26 | Tirrenia, 56128 Tirrenia, Pisa, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 9 hotels in Tirrenia
Harrow, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2,106 helpful votes 2,106 helpful votes
“good in parts, bad in others - mixed bag”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

My girlfriend and I (29 and 27 respectively) stayed for a week in the Grand Continental Hotel from 1-8 June 2013 for our dream week holiday travelling and exploring some of Tuscany's most famous sites. I have broken down the review as follows:

Staff - 10/10

Incredibly friendly and very helpful. The reception staff were very welcoming and I can have no complaints. Helped us to arrange car hire and were always very helpful over any issue.

Entertainment - 2/10

Non-existant. What were we expecting? The hotel had the general ambience of an episode of the Chuckle Brothers (nothing wrong with that but I learned from an early age, the Chuckles were the only two people about town) - the hotel for the majority of the week was empty. It's June... the piano in the reception concorse was supposed to be staffed all the time, it was staffed once all week for about 20 minutes (from what we saw).

On the Saturday night we had dinner accompanied by two singers and piano - they were good. What happened? one night only and nothing more for the rest of the week.

Hotel bar - unstaffed during the day, if you wanted a drink at 2pm you had to ask reception to send someone to serve you - not good. Pool bar - unstaffed throughout the entire week. They might argue it's not peak season, it's June!! June is holiday period, please staff this in future! As paying guests, we expected a fully functional bar.

Facilities - 7/10

Olympic pool, you can't argue with that but the water was too cold. Maybe I'm being a wimp but it did feel like you were jumping into a block of ice. No complaints about that silly swim cap rule, it's annoying, but it didn't bother me (for most part the pool was empty anyway).

There is no gym.

Bedroom - 6/10

Reasonable. It was clean. We did have two singles pushed together to make a double - little bit weird, but ok. Air con - atricious. The air con lets the room down massively, too hot and too stuffy. We had it set to 5 degrees but it felt more like 25 degrees. The walls are quite thin but generally we didn't hear much and got a decent nights kip. Room also fairly clean.

Food - 8/10

We stayed half board and the food was close to excellent. We were really treated. Evening meals consist of a buffet starter (usually a wide choice) then you get two courses where you choose from 1 of 3 options - always exceptional variety (for meat lovers, not great if you're a veggie) and the dishes were cooked fresh, throughout the week they were all prepared to good quality. A fussy point, meal times start at 7.30pm and go on til 10ish - I would have preferred a 7pm start.

Clientele...

Suitable for older couples, there wasn't much doing for us youngsters ;-)

Predominantly other European nationalities, a fair amount of Germans and mostly couples over 40 with young families.

Location - 6/10

It's a 25-30 minute bus trip to Pisa - buses come on the hour and then every half-hour. They are reliable and they are cheap (2.30 Euro per trip) - reasonable. However, if you want to see the sites consider a hotel in central Pisa- this is more central for the connections (i.e. rail etc). If you want to go Florence, Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano by public transport you have to get the bus to Pisa first then get a train from there.

To get to Florence from this hotel will take 1.5 / 2 hours door-to-door (depending on your connections) - Lucca, roughly the same time. San Gimignano, we were told 4-hours by public transport (similar for Siena) - we did this by car (1.5 hours).

Resort - 3/10

Felt like an old town out of Back to the Future. In need of a facelift. Very Italian and most of the shops close for afternoon siestas. The restaurants around are few and far between and overall there is not much in Tirrenia. The bars lack any real ambience and the town is fairly sleepy at night. There is one bar/club which is where the majority of the locals seemed to frequent - but not much for tourists.

Overall -

We wouldn't stay at this hotel or resort again because it was a little on the quiet side and too many things in the hotel were left unstaffed. The air con in the room was awful but the food was lovely and the staff v.pleasant.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Northampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

we stayed at the grand hotel continental in tirrenia tuscany for our honeymoon last september, we stayed for 2 weeks, the hotel was amazing and the staff so helpful, we had an amazing sea view and could see the beach from our room and also all the way down to livorno, sitting on the balcolny drinking red wine and looking out to sea was amazing, with beautiful sunsets. the food at the hotel was first class, a different meal every night during our 2 week stay, tuscan night was amazing, there was so much choice of food and desserts. the pool area was so clean and the olympic sized pool was total out of this world, the whole area was amazing and we will certainly be going back to tuscany, the weather was amazing for the 2 weeks we were there.

  • Stayed September 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

I arrived here with a colleague in early September at the late afternoon, no where to park! Thankfully being two of us he managed to get the hotel to open the underground car park which had plenty of room.

The hotel look grand and the rooms are large. For a business traveller it was okay, it had working wi-fi which was sometimes hit and miss and often you had to evacuate to the lobby to guarantee it was going to work.

Breakfast was the usual Italian fare, not very much but enough. If you expect something substantial you're not going to get it.

The room rate was pretty good considering there were still some late holiday makers there.

It was okay as a business hotel, perhaps a little much, if you're on a higher budget it would be pretty good for nice short holiday in Tuscany.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Ayrshire, Scotland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at the end of a weeks visit early July 2012 which included Florence, Lucca, and of Cinque Terre. I had booked directly with the hotel (cost more than some other options) but thought that it would be more personal when requesting room preferences as this was for my partners 50th BIrthday ( nice room, view and sunny balcony etc.) the emails we exchanged promised this. Very disappointed- the room was ok, a bit tired, the view was over the car park at front of hotel and market stalls, plus the balcony did not get any sun. We asked to be moved but were told they were full - as if we had just turned up with no booking / I explained I had booked months ago and showed the emails proving what we were promised. We did eventually move room a day later - to a room on other side that looked fresher and more updated, it was next to a lift ( a bit annoying at night ) and the balcony was very narrow / it would have been a much nicer to have ended to our holiday without having to complain ( this was the only place we had cause to complain during our week). The pool was huge, the beach lovely, the gym had a good view but needs updating and breakfast good. The location is great for a visit to Pisa and getting back to airport. We did not have dinner or a drink at the hotel in the evening as it was too quiet and lacked atmosphere but there are lots of other nice places to go. If ever back in this area we would probably look for somewhere offering a bit more of an personal touch to their guests as felt like a large city hotel not a resort one.

Room Tip: pool side - high floor
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset, UK
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

A very good 4-star typical Italian resort hotel distinguished by a superb Olympic-sized pool and the usual private beach.

Excellent weather mid-September though most beach amenities closed for the season overnight on middle Sunday!

Had one of the best rooms, pool side with balcony and sea/hill views, comfy but a little limited on storage space. Housekeeping minimal until penultimate day.

Breakfast typical continental, fine but boring after a few days. Staff mixed, some aloof and unfriendly, others cheery and helpful. Restaurant looked too fancy and expensive so used plentiful local eateries.

Tirennia ok as a base - 30 mins from Pisa, then 1 hour to Florence.

Best bits: days by the pool or trips out, followed by sunset on a deck chair with a beer at Bagno Roma next door. Worst bits: beggars, roads!

Happy to answer any questions.

Room Tip: Rooms with balcony facing pool and sea/hills are the best
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We were told when booking this holiday that all rooms have a balcony......well they don't. if fact no Thompson room has a balcony...bad start to holiday. Hotel has seen better days..Rooms have a bit travel lodge feel to them...ours was OK.... large enough but some people complaint about the size, must have been smaller ones. Food was OK..nothing too special. Pool was BIG and COLD, hats make you look a pratt...beach clean but deserted with sun loungers extra. Watch out for the mozzies...First 4 nights no problem, then one night they are all out in force and people to bit to pieces...unless you sprayed....

Tiirrenia is a small resort with a few restuarants..OK for a stroll in the evening. Super market around 1KM away down the main road. Pisa and Florence are easy to get to by Bus and train and the San Gemiani/Seina trip was good.

Would I go back...not unless we got a balcony.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

Hi travellers, Me and my husband recently stayed here for 8 nights as part of our honeymoon we got back yesterday and i must say i couldn't fault it one bit!
It was amazing, friendly staff, always said good morning to us.
The rooms were lovely bathroom, bed and a safe which to be honest is all you need if your visiting Pisa and Florence because you wont be in the room at all!!! Pretty quiet outside at night, but it got busy at the weekends we stayed in 109. They have free Wifi too just ask at reception for the password.
Breakfast was brilliant, tons of choice yoguts, cereals, toast, eggs, Tea, coffee, juice, fruit and it was always replenished when stuff ran out and you could eat outside for breakfast which is a treat.
The beach was fab and empty most days! so definatly go off peak, you didnt get none of that people getting up early and saving thier beds and chairs it was just stroll down and no one was there! It was so peaceful, even by the pool! You do ahve to wear swimming hats which reception supply just for hygiene reasons which was no bother at all as everyone was wearing them.
You could have dinner at the hotel but we chose not too, we had dinner at a different restaurant every night, Toscana and ChiChiBoi are fabulous and inexpensive aroud Tirrenna even the pizzera right opposite the hotel was lovely. we also went into Pisa for dinner too. The most we paid for dinner was 50 euroes ( it was my husbands birthday though)
The bus station was directly by the hotel, 3 euroes each to get into Pisa and sometimes we didnt even pay because the bus driver ran out of tickets.
Take some insect repellent with you though, as it was at least 30 everyday and they like to come out at night!
Any thing you needed at the hotel they got for you, they had maps and bus timetabels, a nice bar, which was cheap enough 2.50 for pot of tea.
Its great that you can just hop on a bus to Pisa or go out to dinner, there is a marina which is about an hours walk. Really beautiful, we walked up there saw the Sunset had a nice dinner and strolled back, if your not a walker you can hop on the bus too as it stops there on the way to Pisa.
All in all a really great faimly, couples or even solo and friends holiday bit of beach and major sightseeing too! Absolutley fantastic would recommened to any one who wants to see the sights and relax too. Florence was only an hour away by train and cost us 7.00 euroes each, its more expensive to get into london these days so take advantage of it.
Also take a pack of cards or some crosswords for the evening and spend some quality time with whoever your going with.
Im sending my mum and dad there to experiance it and i me and my husband said we will go back for out 1 year anniversary.
Please dont listen to bad reviews, people can be fussy these days, if you just want to see and experiance italy and have some FUN this hotel is for you.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Continental

Address: Largo Belvedere, 26 | Tirrenia, 56128 Tirrenia, Pisa, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Pisa > Pisa > Tirrenia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 hotels in Tirrenia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Continental 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Tirrenia
Grand Hotel Continental Tirrenia, Italy - Pisa

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