Having just returned from a 2 week, half board, stay at the Hotel President I can confirm many of the good points made by other reviewers. The hotel location in Viareggio is perfect, being just across the road from the beach and lots of nearby cafes and restaurants. There is a long promenade along the front of the cafes and shops extending from the harbour area through to the next resort of Lido Camaiore, with easy flat walking. The hotel rooms are very clean with a fridge and flat screen tv and free safe, no tea of coffee making facilities. The hotel staff are first class, very friendly and helpful.
Viareggio is an attractive resort with beautiful art deco buildings, a large busy market in the town centre and a weekly street market on the promenade. Each evening and especially at weekends all the Italians like to walk up and down the promenade looking in the shops.
We used the Bagno Irene beach just across the road from the hotel. This is a family run beach establishment, very friendly and they will let you keep the same place on the beach for all your stay. Inclusive in the hotel package is an umbrella and 2 deck chairs, a sun lounger costs an additional 5 euros per day. For lunch we found the food at Irene to be first class with home made pasta dishes and very good salads and pizzas.
We did try the Bagno Balena and whilst this had a swimming pool, note swimming caps must be worn, and an extensive gym with exercise bikes and organised exercise classes, we found the staff particularly unfriendly.
The train station is around 15 mins walk from the hotel and it is easy to get to Lucca, Pisa and the towns of Cinque Terre. Tickets are cheap and can be easily obtained from machines with English touchscreens.
One point to note with the hotel is that there is traffic noise from the main road at the front. We had a room on the first floor at the front and if you are a light sleeper the traffic noise could be a problem. Also please note first floor rooms do not have a balcony, other floors do.
The evening meal in the half board option is a 4 course with starters, pasta course, main course and dessert. The menu changed every 2 to 3 days. The standard of food is generally good with a number of choices for each course. However the choice for the main meal was on occasion limited, for 2 days we had 3 variations of veal and 2 sea bream dishes on the same menu which if you didn't like either of these only left a choice of chicken. There is a good choice of wines, however if you do not wish to have a full bottle then you can buy wine by the glass, with a large glass of a good chianti Classico costing just 5 euros.
Even given the short comings we would definitely return to the President. We would however ask for a room on a higher floor to reduce the traffic noise and to get a balcony from which to enjoy the sea view.
Ask for a second floor room or above to get a balcony. Rooms on the front have the best sea view but...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.