The hotel has an old time 'grandeur about it which we found very charming (elegant staircase, chandeliers, wide corridors etc.). The room we had at the rear was spacious, clean and comfortable with a shower cubicle but no bath. Although rooms at the front of the hotel provide a sea view and cost more there is a busy road and a wide promenade with restaurants and shops between the hotel and the beach. Stretches of the large beach are privately owned but Best Western has an agreement whereby residents can access the section opposite for 15 euros per day (2 sun loungers and parasol included). Needless to say, we preferred the quiet of the rear garden with the impressive mountains in the distance.
All staff were very efficient, helpful and approachable dealing with any problems encountered promptly. Breakfast was excellent with a wide choice of food (though for those who like a full English breakfast this was limitied to scrambled eggs and sausages). A 3-course evening meal cost 30 euros but was of a very high quality.
Although surrounded by side roads, the rear gardens were on the whole peaceful and the outdoor pool absolutely superb and well-maintained on a daily basis.
The railway station is a 10 - 15 minute walk from the hotel. Trains run on a regular basis to the main towns/cities in the area and ticket prices are quite reasonable.
Viareggio is an ideal beach resort for visiting Florence, Sienna and Lucca. Just to the north near La Spezia are 5 attractive towns nestled in small coves and all connected by a coastal path. However, a word of advice about visitng these if, like our party, you decide to take the train to the furthest village and then walk back to each in turn. It cost 5 euros to use the coastal path which is basically a narrow ledge cut into the cliff-face and not suitable in changeable weather or for anyone uncomfortable with heights.
When, rather than if, we return to Veriaggio the Best Western Grand will be our first choice of accommodation.