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NH Siena
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All reviewsthe busmodern hotelfloor overlookingsoccer fieldpiazza del camposhort walkold cityaverage hotelbreakfast includedexcellent locationnice bathroomstayed here for nightsfree parkingfresh fruithistoric centercomfortable roomseasy walk
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Reviewed August 22, 2014

Our honeymoon stay in the NH Excelsior, Siena was great but PLEASE read on for advice on driving in Italy...

Basically - don't do it! Don't rent a car from Avis, don't agree to rent a car with your travel agent (especially not Kuoni) and don't even think about trying to get from A to B without incurring traffic violation fines.

We wanted to spend some time during our fantastic honeymoon in Northern Italy experiencing the countryside and travelling to some of the more out of the way places under our own steam, as well as visiting Florence and Pisa, whilst staying in Siena at the Excelsior - which is a great hotel, with friendly helpful staff by the way. So we agreed with our travel agent Kuoni in Milton Keynes to rent an Avis hire car when we got to Pisa airport. I'd heard rumours of parking and driving restrictions in Florence, so asked the rep what we needed to do to avoid getting fined. She knew nothing about it, so phoned their head office for further advice. What she got back was vague and pretty unhelpful, as was the follow-up email they sent the day before we left which mentioned that some streets needed special authorisation to drive down but that, since they didn't know which ones, we should ask when we arrived.

When we landed in Pisa and found the rental kiosk (a long wait and a short bus ride away from the main terminal) we duly asked about driving restrictions and were told there was nothing to worry about, so we went forward with the car hire and drove to Siena to get on with our holiday. On the day we were due to return the car, this time in Florence, we drove to the station to drop off our luggage ready for our train ride to Venice and then drove on to the Avis car hire centre to drop off the car. Using our SATNAV to get us there we followed the route prescribed, which was the most direct and as far as I could see the only one that would get us through the one-way system to the office, dropped the car, walked back to the station and were on our way.

After a great stay in Venice and then at Lake Como, we returned from our honeymoon only to receive a few weeks later a letter from the Italian police asking for over E100 for driving in a limited traffic area without authorization. The next day we received notification of another fine for the same thing, apparently for driving along the next street on our way to the office. A few days later we received bills from Avis, each of about E90, for administration charges relating to the two fines, which I found totally outrageous but which they wouldn't budge on. After a great deal of unpleasant negotiations with Kuoni we eventually received a cheque for £85 to cover just half the cost of these fines, despite the fact that if we hadn't raised the issue with them in the first place, they wouldn't have said anything to us about it at all.

We thought that would be the end of it, but this morning, a whole year and 22 days after the event, we have received another fine from the Italian police, this time from the Siena branch of 'the family', asking for another E100+ for another traffic violation. I anticipate another administration charge from Avis in the next few days.

At no point did anyone at Kuoni or Avis inform us of where we should or shouldn't drive in Florence, and at no point did either of them mention anything about being careful in Siena either, despite the fact that I raised it with both companies. So my advice to anyone thinking of hiring a car in Italy is either do your homework thoroughly before you leave and plan your routes extremely carefully, if you can find anything on line indicating which roads you shouldn't go down, or better still - don't bother! And while you're at it, don't take 'We're not aware of any restrictions sir' as an answer from either Kuoni or Avis. Good luck

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank Richard J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2014

Reasonable prices and great location. The Excelsior is part of the NH chain which gives it a certain style and standard. It is not a luxury hotel so don't expect anything extraordinary, but you get all you need and rooms are good size, clean, minibar and bed is good. The hotel breakfast is a good selection of fruits, cheese, charcuteries, pastries and breads. There is a bar open late evenings to get you a final drink if you so wish.
It's a good choice for a base camp walking around in Siena with everything accessible close by!

Be warned though, for parking, the close-by stadium is closed for market days and your car WILL BE TOWED away, so ask the reception about where you leave your car!

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Sholm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2014

The Excelisor is just a plain hotel, there is absolutely nothing special about it which would warrant any praise. Besides being well located, it offers nothing else besides a bed, internet and TV.

The breakfast is very poor. Being in the heart of Tuscany one would expect some sort of amazing selection of cheese, vegetables and meats. For the whole week of my stay, the buffet did not even offer tomatoes. Instead a lot of white bread, sweets and cereals.

The breakfast staff could also do with some training as they push before you when you are carrying your plate (would not write if it was a one or two off scenarios, it seems like a normal thing). I agree with some of the other reviewers, the staff is not friendly - night manager laughed at me for asking if there is a night shop near by (I'm just a tourist :))

Unique experience at the hotel: being woken at 2am, 3am and 6am each day by the electrical system which reset supply on the fourth floor and caused all the lights, air conditioning and appliances which beep to switch on. For some reason, the fuses were going out and for an hour each night until the end of my visit I was woken. The hotel manager assured that the situation was resolved each morning, only for a repeat the following night. I don't know if they fixed it in the end. The management could not change my room as the hotel was booked out.

Room Tip: Avoid the fourth floor, the electrical system is unstable and may wake you in the night. We had booked several rooms and some of them could not get the free Wi-Fi, only the paid option. The rooms nearest the elevator were most affected.
  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank klemczak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2014

The hotel is smart, clean and the staff are helpful. Car parking is nearby and the location is good for all of the main sights. Breakfast is good although evening bar services appears to be an intrusion on the relaxation of the bar man! Just across the square is an excellent opera evening that should not be missed.

Room Tip: Free car park is a long walk while paying car park is next door. If staying at weekend in winter be aware that the hotl is next to the football stadium!
  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
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2  Thank Antalyaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2014

Stayed three nights in this hotel right in the heart of Siena, and was a pleasure from start to finish. Good Customer Service/Friendly Staff, which I have found to be a rarity in Italy. The Breakfast was superb, great variety and very attentive staffing.

Reception Staff very welcoming, room lovely, modern and clean, with nice little touches such as a Welcoming Present and greeting.

Could walk to the old town in minutes, which is great as Siena is a gem of a city and also a great base from which to explore all of Central Tuscany.

Couldn't ask anything more for the price.

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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