My girlfriend and I (29 and 27 respectively) stayed for a week in the Grand Continental Hotel from 1-8 June 2013 for our dream week holiday travelling and exploring some of Tuscany's most famous sites. I have broken down the review as follows:
Staff - 10/10
Incredibly friendly and very helpful. The reception staff were very welcoming and I can have no complaints. Helped us to arrange car hire and were always very helpful over any issue.
Entertainment - 2/10
Non-existant. What were we expecting? The hotel had the general ambience of an episode of the Chuckle Brothers (nothing wrong with that but I learned from an early age, the Chuckles were the only two people about town) - the hotel for the majority of the week was empty. It's June... the piano in the reception concorse was supposed to be staffed all the time, it was staffed once all week for about 20 minutes (from what we saw).
On the Saturday night we had dinner accompanied by two singers and piano - they were good. What happened? one night only and nothing more for the rest of the week.
Hotel bar - unstaffed during the day, if you wanted a drink at 2pm you had to ask reception to send someone to serve you - not good. Pool bar - unstaffed throughout the entire week. They might argue it's not peak season, it's June!! June is holiday period, please staff this in future! As paying guests, we expected a fully functional bar.
Facilities - 7/10
Olympic pool, you can't argue with that but the water was too cold. Maybe I'm being a wimp but it did feel like you were jumping into a block of ice. No complaints about that silly swim cap rule, it's annoying, but it didn't bother me (for most part the pool was empty anyway).
There is no gym.
Bedroom - 6/10
Reasonable. It was clean. We did have two singles pushed together to make a double - little bit weird, but ok. Air con - atricious. The air con lets the room down massively, too hot and too stuffy. We had it set to 5 degrees but it felt more like 25 degrees. The walls are quite thin but generally we didn't hear much and got a decent nights kip. Room also fairly clean.
Food - 8/10
We stayed half board and the food was close to excellent. We were really treated. Evening meals consist of a buffet starter (usually a wide choice) then you get two courses where you choose from 1 of 3 options - always exceptional variety (for meat lovers, not great if you're a veggie) and the dishes were cooked fresh, throughout the week they were all prepared to good quality. A fussy point, meal times start at 7.30pm and go on til 10ish - I would have preferred a 7pm start.
Suitable for older couples, there wasn't much doing for us youngsters ;-)
Predominantly other European nationalities, a fair amount of Germans and mostly couples over 40 with young families.
Location - 6/10
It's a 25-30 minute bus trip to Pisa - buses come on the hour and then every half-hour. They are reliable and they are cheap (2.30 Euro per trip) - reasonable. However, if you want to see the sites consider a hotel in central Pisa- this is more central for the connections (i.e. rail etc). If you want to go Florence, Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano by public transport you have to get the bus to Pisa first then get a train from there.
To get to Florence from this hotel will take 1.5 / 2 hours door-to-door (depending on your connections) - Lucca, roughly the same time. San Gimignano, we were told 4-hours by public transport (similar for Siena) - we did this by car (1.5 hours).
Resort - 3/10
Felt like an old town out of Back to the Future. In need of a facelift. Very Italian and most of the shops close for afternoon siestas. The restaurants around are few and far between and overall there is not much in Tirrenia. The bars lack any real ambience and the town is fairly sleepy at night. There is one bar/club which is where the majority of the locals seemed to frequent - but not much for tourists.
We wouldn't stay at this hotel or resort again because it was a little on the quiet side and too many things in the hotel were left unstaffed. The air con in the room was awful but the food was lovely and the staff v.pleasant.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Tirrenia
- Grand Hotel Continental Tirrenia, Italy - Pisa