Ideally located on the sea front 15 minutes walk from the railway station, which is convenient for outings to Lucca, Pisa, Florence and Sienna. Main bus depot in Viareggio is about 8 minutes walk along the promenade heading towards the dock area.
We took a taxi from the airport to the Grand which cost about £30. A bus only costs a few euros and there is a bus stop right outside the hotel that takes about 1 hour to get you back to the airport.
The Grand occupies a commanding position on the promenade and is a most impressive building from the outside. Inside resembles that of faded grandeur. This is not a negative but quite the opposite. It has its own infectious charm which you appreciate the longer you stay there. The entrance area is large and airy with a small reception area manned by pleasant efficient staff, who in our experience were always glad to offer help and guidance, when asked.
Our bedroom which was situated on the first floor, was a large room with high ceilings. You entered the room via large double doors. At first glance the room looked a little sparsely furnished, but that was due to the size of the room. There was plenty of space for all you personal belongings along with a couple of chairs a small table, dressing table, tea and coffee making facilities and a large comfortable bed. The room was spotlessly clean with large double windows that opened to a view of the hotel garden and the promenade beyond. The bathroom was dated, equipped with a large bath with shower attachment, toilet, bidet, wash hand basin and hairdryer, along with the usual towels, soap, shampoo and lotions etc. again spotless clean.
Wi-fi was free and we never experienced any trouble with the connection.
My wife and I arrived at the hotel mid evening, so decided to have our evening meal in the hotel. The food was extremely appetizing. The next two night we eat out, but were disappointed with those meals, so for the remainder of our stay we eat in the hotel restaurant. The food on every level was excellent, the menu changed each night which was quite amazing as were stayed there for 11 nights. The service on some nights was a little rushed but the staff were always polite and most pleasant. If by the end of your meal you had not drunk all your wine, the bottle was labeled and placed back on the table the next evening. The cost of a three course dinner in the Grand was cheaper than those meals we had eaten out and the quality, presentation and service was far more superior.
The small cocktail bar on the ground floor of the hotel had doors which opened out onto the garden. The garden was very nice place to sit for pre or after dinner drinks. The young man who was in charge of the bar was very pleasant, helpful and attentive, all were all the staff we came across in the hotel also most of staff we meet spoken good English.
The swimming pool and surrounding area was situated at the rear of the hotel, surrounded by large trees. The pool itself was large and clean, some of the tiles around the pool were cracked. There were enough sun lounges available, but you had to choose your spot around the pool if you wanted to sunbathe because of the trees. Half the pool got sun in the morning whilst the other half benefited from the sun in the afternoon. We choose the top of the pool opposite the bar and eating area, which suited us and was in the sun from 11am, to around 3.30 pm. The pool attendant was helpful and obliging and kept the area policed, stopping people from laying towels down early in the morning then arriving back at the pool later in the day. The towels for the pool or beach were renewed in day in your room.
All told this hotel in not the modern type having all rooms set out in the same way. It still retains its early 20th century charm with its large rooms, high ceilings, wide corridors and grand stair case. The guests were treated to old fashion curtsey from the hotel staff, who went out of their way to make your stay at the Grand Hotel Royal one to remember.
I would highly recommend The Grand the place to stay when visiting Viareggio
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Viareggio
- Viareggio Best Western
- Grand Hotel Royal Viareggio