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Principina a Mare: Hotel Principe

Via dello Squalo, 100, Phone: 0564.31400

Reviewed by: thefrontman from Canada, review #908

When: August 2004

Amazing view facing the ocean, over a see of pine trees. Nice to have a decent restaurant and a beach resort all in one. Close to Grosseto, too, for shopping. {4 star}

This hotel had everything we wanted: a pool, a 2-minute walk to a nice beach, a good restaurant on site, and close to a major city for shopping. The beach is rated 1 star in most listings, but the water was clean, it actually had sand, not rocks, and was just right. Our accommodation covered the rental of the beach chairs and room. At night the entire town (well, basically it's just one main road) is lit up with activity, lights and music in a sort of flea market - lots of fun shopping.

It's also only a 10 minute drive into Grosseto, where we went shopping on numerous occasions. This is a very modern town with some historic touches - unfortunately, not many people spoke English (luckily, the lady at the information did - a little) so you need to practice up your Italian! I walked around the entire old city looking for a pair of size 13 shoes - no luck! They must have small feet there.

The young hostess at the front desk spoke English (she seemed to be the only one in the whole vicinity who did) and was very helpful. The only complaint I have, and it spoiled our stay somewhat, was that we felt uncomfortable in that we appeared to be the only North-American couple there. It appears to be a place where other Italians stay. Once we overheard a couple say "Americanos" and point at us while we were eating - oops, we're actually Canadian!

Also, the young wait staff (give these guys credit, they seemed to do everything, the restaurant the beach - and would be there late at night and then the same guy there first thing in the morning) spoke absolutely no English (we're not sure if that was really the case) - and made a point of correcting us unnecessarily. For example, we ordered two cappuccinos but used the wrong tense of the noun and the waiter took a while to understand what we wanted, which seemed like some sort of game.

So we basically kept to ourselves, but still enjoyed our stay there. We paid (the equivalent of) $144 for some nights and $184 for others - it was a special rate I believe. Would definitely stay there again, although it is a bit pricy is comparison to say a Carribbean vacation ... but if you're in Tuscany and you want a beach, this is a great place.

Our balcony overlooked an immense pine forest, the ocean and the mountains in the distance. Amazing!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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