Arriving at this hotel is like entering a time warp and stepping back in time to about 1970. I felt oddly nostalgic as if I were reliving a family holiday to Italy when I was 15 (am now in my 50s) - even the smells were the same! If you prefer soulless, modern hotels like Novotel or Premier Inn - and the chance of bumping into Lenny Henry - then this probably isn't the hotel for you; however, if you're prepared to embrace the experience, with its softly faded furnishings (and staff) from a bygone age, this hotel will not disappoint.
Our room was simple, comfortable, clean with an amazing view: laying in bed looking out at the Leaning Tower (see my pictures) will stay with me forever. The AC - the only thing I saw of this millennia - was very effective - important when it's July and 32c outside...
The breakfast with limited cereal choice, juice, croissants, jams and cheap, shop-bought yoghurts was not brilliant, but actually perfectly adequate. If you're looking for a sumptuous breakfast buffet with traditional English fry-ups and cafe lattes, you will be very disappointed. This was very much a 'continental breakfast'. The elderly Italian waitress could certainly have done with some help and maybe a refresher course in guest awareness; I observed that people arriving at breakfast hovered, expecting at least some kind of welcome and hint at where they could sit but none came. Top tip: just sit anywhere and just ask the lady for coffee. Don't expect to asked.
When dining out at lunchtime or evening I suggest finding a restaurant well away from the main tourist drag where bustling restaurants rush your order as they want you out - bill paid - as fast as possible to free your table for the next customers, so there is little pleasure in eating and relaxing. I strongly suggest walking 5 or 10 mins away from the hotel (in direction of river) and dining at a much less busy restaurants in the quieter streets, who try much harder as they want you to return AND their food is way better.
Sight seeing: I suggest going up the Leaning Tower (open till around 9.30pm) in the early evening when it's cooler and the tourist busses have all departed and the crowds are way less. It's expensive though at 18 Euros each...
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- Also Known As:
- Kinzica Hotel Pisa
- Hotel Kinzica