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Hotel Charleston
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All reviewsold townjunior suitereliable wifirecommend this hotelbed was very comfortablebeautiful hotelglass of winepiazzafestivalfabioart
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Reviewed May 17, 2013

Do you know the feeling entering a hotel where you sense that once this was a first class establishment but it has lost its touch. The Charleston is not a bad hotel, but it is not great one either. It looks lovier from the outside than from within. It is centrally located in Spoleto, but most hotels are. When we entered for the first time, the man at the reception could hardly be moved to take our passports and give us the keys. He seemed busy with other things, but it was not clear with what. Other people at other times at the desk made up for his rudeness and were much friendlier. Our room was alright, even though the showerd leaked a bit (I told the front deks person and it seemed that he wrote it down). The breakfast room is in a dark basement and the breakfast itself rather indifferent.
I am sure that one can find better or worse in charming Spoleto.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank natanTel_Aviv_Israel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

(Note, both myself and my girlfriend live and work in Rome, speak Italian, and travel regularly throughout Italy / the world - yet this is the first time I have ever been motivated to write a Trip Advisor review. This is a long review, but the essence of it is they are too cheap to heat the hotel in winter, the room was not clean, the breakfast diabolical and they deal with complaints by blaming the customers)

We made the mistake of being directed to this hotel through the Lonely Planet’s recommendation, still, this is no doubt out of date and more reflective of its original 1993 edition given that the 2010 one still promotes the hotel based on “some rooms have VCRs”. Twenty years later my girlfriend and I arrived for a two night "romantic" stay on a Friday night in February and were welcomed by sub-zero temperatures in the foyer and a man on reception who checked us in whilst making a personal phone call.

We found the room was bare and simple and the bathroom not especially clean. Though most importantly the room was freezing cold even though the radiators were on full. Before going for dinner we asked the man downstairs why it was so cold and he suggested the radiator was not on its highest setting which of course we had checked.

Back at the hotel at midnight we found the heat in the hotel had been switched off for the night. Moreover, the aircon in our room didn’t have a hot setting so we had to settle for old blankets in the wardrobe – going to bed I noticed that mine had a long black stranger’s hair on it next to my nose. Later I couldn't get to sleep as the smoke alarm needed a new battery and flashed all night above my eyes.

When we got up at 8.30 the room was still cold and it was thus a much bleaker place to wake than our apartment in Rome - and our plan was to have a romantic weekend! We found the breakfast room in the cellar to be literally like a fridge so I went back upstairs to get our coats, scarves and hats. Furthermore, the breakfast was the most loveless cheap rubbish I have ever seen in Italy, they actually had cheese slices wrapped in plastic which I didn't even know they sold here and the cheapest coffee I have ever tasted in a hotel. Moreover, in the background in the kitchen I could see fruit juice from the cheapest supermarket stacked on the shelves.

Afterwards we went to ask the women on reception about the heat, and the conversation steered towards laying blame on us. We asked about the heat and patronizingly she took us to the nearest radiator and said “is it set on 5 like this one?”, then “are the shutters and curtains closed it should be warm”. When we pointed out that the radiator in the foyer she had just pointed at was itself cold she announced, “well of course it is, the heat goes off at 9am until 4pm” – in a hotel, in a hilltop town in the coldest month of the Italian winter! She then went on to say that in fact the heating was off in half of the hotel as there were no guests but it would be warmer tonight as other guests were arriving - like it wasn't worth heating it properly just for us! I then mentioned the annoying flashing light on the smoke alarm and added that it needed new batteries, and her astonishing abrupt response was “have you been smoking in the room?”. At this point we returned to the subject of the heat and she said we should use the aircon unit to which I said it didn't have a hot setting, to which she of course disagreed. She then sent this maid up to get the remote control for the aircon insisting that in fact it must have the wrong remote control and she would “send someone to fix it”. At this point we wanted to checkout but had paid upfront and her nonsensical ramblings had disarmed us. So instead, and mistakenly taking her for her word, we went out to see the town.

Back at the hotel at 5pm we found our room was as cold as ever, and of course no one had replaced the battery in the smoke alarm or fixed the unfixable aircon. To warm up I attempted to have a bath though like the radiators it was uninspiringly warm, moreover, the plug had a hole in it which I had to fix by stuffing with toilet paper.

By 8.30pm the room was unbearably cold again, once again we went downstairs to complain about it only for the guy to come up and play about with the aircon unit. After 45 minutes of variations on this ritual we decided to leave him to it and went out for dinner.

At midnight the guy told us that he couldn’t fix the aircon unit but instead he had put the radiators on for the night instead of switching them off at 11 - lucky us, a special treat. Moreover, he suggested he give us a shot of grappa to warm us up - as if we needed alcohol to numb the cold. As the radiators had been useless all along we once again spent an unromantic night buried under blankets.

The overwhelming sense we had from our stay here is that a perhaps once good hotel is living off an old reputation but now is just greedy and cheap at the expense of any customer service – all they want is your money and if you complain then they will tell you it is you who is to blame. This matches this general sense of decay one feels everywhere in Italy, a moral decay manifested in a peasant mentality and a panic-based greed which seeks to accumulate money at any costs before it dries up.

It’s sad really, to see a country once great reduced to tricks and begging like this, to find a well-reviewed hotel reduced to not switching on the heating to save money in winter and arguing with customers that this is essentially not something they should even expect.

Not only will I not be going to this hotel again, nor this town, nor recommend that my friends go either. But also I’ll take my money to other younger tourist markets instead. For example, in December we went to Istanbul where the rooms where cheaper yet the service, quality and breakfasts exceptional – corrupt rotting Italy, and this grotty little hotel can no longer compete and it seems they would rather fight their customers than fight to keep business.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mr M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

We were touring Italy with our friends the Jadins, and came upon Spoleto. We tried the Hotel Charleston and spent an extra night, even though we had to change rooms. The staff was superb and very friendly. The private parking, and location were great additions to comfort and value. Spoleto is worth at least 2 or 3 days if you're touring.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank geniusestateplanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Hotel Charleston is very centrally located in the old town of Spoleto with an excellent staff from Reception to the breakfast room. Everyone helps you with a smile. The rooms though very small are very clean and fully equipped. The only thing, toiletries (shower gel, shampoo...) should be renewed everyday considering it is a three star hotel. Otherwise the stay was very enjoyable!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank 99Maria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed Hotel Charleston and spent a relaxing weekend stay in Spoleto. On arrival we were given a 'matrimonial' room, at no additional cost, which was quite spacious and recently refurbished.The place is charming and the staff friendly. They provided good recommendations of restaurants, which we fully enjoyed. The hotel is within walking distance to the centre, easy for shopping and exploring the city. It provides added benefits to guests, such as parking and sauna. Overall our stay was perfect. We will be back again soon.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank vwh209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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