My wife and I stayed at this elegant art nouveau/ Liberty style hotel from 31 August - 14 September 2014. We are discerning holidaymakers who had decided to return to highly attractive Viareggio where we had honeymooned 39 years ago. The erstwhile owner of Glasgow's top Tuscan restaurant, Sandro Sarti, had over many years advised us to return to Viareggio and his parental hometown of Lucca as we had hitherto focused our Italian holidays on the fabled Amalfi coast and on taking cruises around Italy's many jewels like Venice and Taormina. The Grand Royal proved to be the most gorgeous of stays.
This hotel is twenties elegance personified with gorgeous bedrooms of huge proportions, an amazingly sophisticated restaurant with a period glass dome, and stately chandeliers, magnificent public spaces and sumptuous gardens surrounding a massive and very attractive swimming pool. The gardens were an oasis of colour: pink and red oleanders, sweet jasmine and purple bougainvillea bedecked the perimeter of the pool which was discreetly presided over by the ever- attentive pool man. The pool furniture was modern and sturdy: no cost had been spared to ensure sunbathing bliss.
The cleaning staff worked with diligence and a commendable work ethic to make this fine hotel spotless. Our amazingly high ceiling end bedroom was huge and had a magnificent bathroom. Both rooms enjoyed French doors, the bedroom's opening out into a small but functional balcony which attracted late afternoon sunshine. We had paid a relatively small supplement to have a side sea view room. The views across to the sublime beach and Mediterranean were terrific.
The food in this hotel was wonderful. Breakfasts were buffet style, taken in the spacious and elegant dining room, with everything the tummy desired from smoked salmon, a variety of lovely local cheeses, myriad breads and pastries, fresh fruit, cakes, toaster provided and fruit drinks.
The pool bar served lovely freshly made pasta dishes or light lunches as required which came prepared from the hotel kitchen. The two waiters on duty were attentive, spoke several languages and rewarded us with free mini chocolate ices with our delicious cappuccinos!
We had selected half board which we would commend to potential customers. Six nights a week there was a waiter service dinner comprising four courses. The choice of antipasti was amazing and was self- selected from a large island in the magnificent outside open dining area in the hotel's garden. The secondi choice was amazing: shell fish, soup melon and Parma ham..........
My wife and I had fish every night as it was so fresh and cooked in a simple but extremely tasty way. We had Mediterranean sea bass, bream, red snapper, salmon all simply cooked Tuscan style.
The desserts were to die for and my wife and I had to end up stealing a bit of each other's choice!
The waiters were assiduous in performing their duties which they did with humour and a "can do" attitude. They were smart, customer focused but also exuded a friendly and kindly disposition to guests.
The Thomson representative was a star: I cannot understand why this company has decided to leave bookings to its sister company Citalia. The Thomson visits to the extraordinary, stunning Amalfi- like Cinque Terre villages was a day trip of lifetime memories. Vernazza and MANAROLA were the stars of this beautiful necklace of villages which we visited on this trip by coach, train and boat. Awesome!
The Thomson day trip to arguably Liguria's answer to Positano: the horse- shoe fishing village of Portofino included a brief visit to the stylish resort of Danta Margherita Ligure from which we sailed to Portofino. The coastal scenery made us think that these two villages were indeed a little bit of heaven between the sea and the sky!
The hotel had a large and sublime section of the golden sandy beach and azure sea across the road from its front entrance for the private use of guests. This massive and very wide sandy beach was beautiful and backed by the majestic Apuane Alps which made for great photos. The helpful beach attendants
The reception staff were excellent too, providing maps of a Viareggio to enable guests to find the nearby bus station and railway station both of which we used to get to Lucca (one hour), the Renaissance capital of Florence (2 hours by train). Pisa is so very near too but we'd been there before. Florence is so easy to walk around and we met friends from our home area in West Sussex at the Ponte Vecchio to have lunch adjacent the church of Santa Croce.
We will return to this hotel probably in 2015.
Thank you Grand Royal team and we appreciated the Prosecco from the management for our thirty ninth wedding anniversary.
We'll be back!
We had room 130. Want it next time we visit.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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It is very satisfying to read such a positive review from a guest and yes, we hope you will return up! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at The Grand and Royal
Many guests have booked with Thomson in the past and you can continue to book at the Grand Hotel Royal by contacting email@example.com – all offers and future bookings can be dealt with through this office.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Grand Hotel Royal.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.