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“Pretty Disappointing”

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Royal Victoria Hotel
Ranked #22 of 68 Hotels in Pisa
Reviewed 28 September 2011

On the plus side, it's quite well located. However, I'm not sure that fact outweighs the sense that the whole place needs a bit of a lift. It just feels a little tired and worn - perhaps that's only to be expected in such an old building. The stairways are quite grand, and I suppose the rustic rooms have their charm, but it felt more like staying in a hostel than a hotel. Certainly it's quite expensive given the level of accommodation.

As my brother noted below, his room had bedbugs, which, to be fair to the owners, has now been rectified (in room 206 at least- don't know about others). It's to the credit of the hotel that they've put right something which went wrong, although I can't help feeling it could have been dealt with better at the time of the problem.

I haven't stayed anywhere else in Pisa so can't really say if the Royal Victoria is any better or worse than other hotels in the area, although I wouldn't stay here again that's for sure.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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Thank wilkij86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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496 - 502 of 1,151 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2011

Stayed for only one night so we were close to the airport for our departure flight. The reception area is quaint and like much of the hotel is literally like going back in time. There was a mix up with our reservation - Expedia's fault not the hotel. The hotel wouldn't budge & we had to pay an extra 15E to upgrade from a twin to a triple room. The room itself was nice - lovely big, old furniture and high ceilings. The bathroom was a 1960's hell - we hated it but it made us laugh!! The bath/shower was horrid but we grinned & bared it since it was only for the one night. Location wise - excellent. 5 mins (if that) from the airport, overlooking the Arno & 2 minute walk to the lively student bars & cafes. Breakfast was adequate with the usual buffet fair. The atmosphere was odd to say the least - nobody spoke, but we didn't let that stop us chattering with our 3 year old. The dining room definitely needed a bit of life injecting in to it that morning!!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Turnipster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

We stayed here in mid August and really enjoyed it. It's more for the quirky than the creature-comfort loving, so if you're the type that's happy to sacrifice atmosphere and character for guaranteed 15 degree aircon then this probably isn't the place for you. But if you love quaint furniture, a place with history and friendly proprietors then I'd recommend this place. Breakfast was also really good - wide range. And my room had an amazing view of the river.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank CapeTownHelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2011

*Edit* 24th September 2011

I have decided to add to my previous review of the Royal Victoria Hotel following a message from the hotel's manager whom contacted me showing concerns of the effect and accuracy of my review. In the interests of full disclosure, the review remains unedited at the bottom of this updated contribution but here are some additional pieces of information which the hotel's manager felt I had addressed inaccurately in my review.

It might make more sense to anyone reading this to start by reading the unedited review I wrote on the 21st of September which starts half way down my post.

I'll start by saying that in her message to me, the hotel manager was apologetic and keen to inform me that the issues with bedbugs that my brother and I had experienced at the hotel had been addressed and that the bedbug problems we suffered in the room we stayed in were... according to her, an isolated case which have not been detected in any other room in the hotel. She also said that the room has been shut down and will remain so for several months before undergoing a full re-decoration in order to guarantee the problem is fully solved.

She also pointed out that I had omitted to mention that our party had 3 rooms booked and only one room suffered bedbugs which is accurate.

She felt my review implies that I was explicitly stating that the whole hotel had bedbugs which is of course a statement I did not and could not possibly make and I must say that if this was in any way implied in my original review, (which I believe it was not) I did not intend for it to sound this way. My review highlights MY Experience which involved staying in a room which had bedbugs and thus resulted in a very negative experience.

The hotel manager also made the statement that in my review I make a "false and defamatory" statement that reports that the hotel knew about the problem. I should say that at the point of paying our group's collective bill the woman who took payment did indeed tell myself and my father that the hotel was "aware of the issue" and that "It happens". The same lady said that "everywhere has them" but I must add that she was very apologetic about the terrible experience we had, (though she still attempted to charge us a 1/2 rate for the room). Whether the comments made by that member of staff was her speaking without foundation or speaking out of turn and admitting something she shouldn't do on behalf of the hotel, it certainly implied that this was not the first time there had been a bedbug experience at the hotel. This I might add is my interpretation of events I experienced.

The hotel manager has also highlighted in her email that I omitted one additional piece of information... When my brother went down to reception, somewhere between 2am and 3am to show them the bedbugs and to ask to be moved to another room he spoke to a gentleman who's job description is "night porter" and not a "night receptionist" as I stated in my review (the hotel manager wrongly stated in her message to me that I had called him the "night manager"). This gentleman did offer to find us an alternative hotel in the vicinity but given the late hour and the fact we needed to be up at 7am my brother did not choose to take the night porter up on this offer.

Please note in addition to the comments above I have now changed the review title from "old hotel with bed bugs" to the current title "old hotel with bedbugs in the room I stayed in" in order to establish accuracy and not risk implying that my 12 hour experience of the hotel included a stay in all of the rooms in the hotel and each having bedbugs.



Here is the review I originally posted on the 21st September:

I'm not one to take the time to write a review of an experience unless it's been incredible or terrible and on this occassion it was indeed a terrible experience.

My brother has summed up our experience in his review below this, but I felt it relevant for me to post aswell.

This is a not particularly cheap, well located, yet VERY tired hotel. Furnishings are dated and worn out. Located on the river in a grand old building which looks like it hasn't seen a coat of paint in 50 years I was somewhat disappointed at the simplicity of the room. Unlike my father and other brother, we had a superior twin room which came with the luxury of air conditioning. This was noisey and almost completely ineffective. 

After my brother woke with 7 bites across his body, a brief search of both of our beds and sheet revealed 10+ bedbugs. Whilst I hadn't been bitten, there were two on my pillow and this discovery resulted in a total lack of enthusiasm to sleep in the room we had booked.

With an embarrassed night duty receptioniss unable to move us due to the hotel being fully booked, we were left with the option to stay in the room and accept the innevitable or spend the night walking the streets of pisa. Despite our exhaustion from travelling we opted for the second option.

What is truly disappointing is the fact that the hotel acknowledged they had a problem and still wanted to charge us for half the room because the bugs had only bitten one of us.

If you're booking a hotel with the hope of a decent nights sleep then I suggest staying clear of the Royal Victoria. For a hotel who know's they have a bedbug problem, they seem to be doing little to address it.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Richarddd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2011

We weren't expecting to be staying at an overly luxurious or glamorous hotel, but found the Royal Victoria to be very poor. The building and decor in communal areas is very tired, though this does give it some character. The reception and lobby was filled with pictures of the hotel over the last century and documented the famous guests it has welcomed in the past. Our twin bed room was large with very high ceilings and tiled floors. The beds looked like old hospital beds and were not particularly comfortable.

We were in room 206 on the front of the building so our views over the river were fantastic. After a long day of travelling I was looking forward to a good night's sleep. Unfortunately the air-conditioning unit was so loud (and did not do the job particularly well!) that it made getting to sleep difficult. Having finally got to sleep I awoke at around 1am to find myself covered in bites. On closer inspection I found a number of bugs crawling around the bed. This was instantly enough to put me off trying to get to sleep in that room so I went to inform reception. To be fair, they were very apologetic and embarrassed but could not offer me an alternative room because the hotel was fully booked. My brother and I (who was in the other bed, and had found a number of bugs himself) decided we would go out, so spent the next 4 hours wandering round Pisa. One positive to take was that we saw the leaning tower at 4am with no tourists and were able to take a number of good pictures!!

Breakfast was simple with fruit, cereal, yoghurts and bread.

The following morning on checking out (and having had a total of one hour's sleep) the receptionist said she would "only charge half" for the room! Needless to say, we did not pay anything for the room. The receptionist also said it was something they were aware of before we arrived, which made me question why they had let that particular room out at all!

Something like bed bugs is enough to tarnish staying at any particular hotel. However, in an attempt to be objective, I think this hotel would have achieved 3/5 had there been no bed bugs. It was otherwise reasonably comfortable, but nothing to write home about.

Room Tip: Don't take Room 206 unless you have a guarantee that there are no bed bugs.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank raw84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2011

Stayed here in September 2011 with my sister. The hotel is located on the river beside the Garibaldi piazza and a ten minute walk to the Leaning Tower. The hotel is a grand old building all marble and old wood. When at the leaning tower, take the hop on/off bus and do the tour it is well worth it. Pisa is a lovely old walled city in which we felt very safe.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Gabrielle96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2011

We stayed here 5 years ago and decided to return.

If you are a Hilton or Holiday Inn fan you will possibly be appalled. There's no aircon or room safe and the decoration is totally run down.

If you lhave a sense of history and like to be surrounded by old furniture and faded prints this might be really an enjoyable short stay.

The fact that Pisa is a bit of a dump doesn't help

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank gmgilchrist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Victoria Hotel

Address: Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti 12, 56126, Pisa, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Pisa > Pisa
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Pisa
Price Range: £49 - £81 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Victoria Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A 3 star in the city centre, the Royal Victoria Hotel is the only accommodation overlooking the Arno River, at only 950 meters both from the Leaning Tower and the Central Train Station. It is the oldest hotel in Italy, dating from the 11th century (,) and is owned by the same family since 1837. The hotel has a 19th century style, with different types of rooms, each with private bathroom, heating, direct-dial telephone, free wi-fi and multilingual sat-TV. All rooms have hypo-allergenic fixtures, suitable for non-smokers (,) and 85% of them has independent air-conditioning. The building – which also has a lift – has a parking within premises, available only with reservation, at a fee. A rich Continental Buffet Breakfast is included in the price of the room. Bar service is provided both in our Reading Room and up on the Roof-Garden. Public areas and business meeting rooms are available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Victoria Pisa
Hotel Royal Victoria

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