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San Lorenzo: Hotel Vasari

via Cennini 11, Phone: 055.212753

* Click to book this hotel online

Reviewed by: Decobabe from Italy, review #1609

When: October 2006

Noisier than the airport! {3 stars}

This is a 3 star hotel that is booked as a B&B via Venere.com. The location was exactly right, there was an elevator for handling heavy luggage, and although it wasn't the cheapest available at 95, there were photos showing the required twin beds and attractive public rooms, so I booked it preparatory to my daughter's very early flight. It was a big mistake.

We checked in and asked for a 4 AM wake-up call and a 4:30 AM taxi. The desk clerk said to be sure to repeat the request when we passed the desk later. The rooms were okay, but lacked any charm. The bath was good and had a real shower stall. The public rooms were pretty but totally unpopulated at any moment I saw them. We wandered about a bit then had dinner and returned at about 8:30 so that my daughter could shower, ready her luggage and get some sleep. We repeated the request for wake-up call and taxi. I found I still had an alarm clock in my luggage, so I also set that as a safety factor.

We continually heard conversations in other rooms, toilets flushing, people opening and closing wardrobe and bath doors. It seemed like we were hearing every room in the hotel, but I think it was probably only the ones above, below and on our hall. If this started as a 16th century monastery, when they renovated they must have used toilet paper for walls.

Off and on throughout the night people walked through the hall talking loudly and once even singing. At 3 AM I leapt from bed and opened the door to tell a couple to shut up. It was then I realized that there was a 1/2" gap all around the door which one couldn't see immediately because a thin lath strip had been applied to block light. It did nothing for sound. My poor kid didn't sleep at all; I dozed occasionally. At 4:00 the alarm went off and we dragged ourselves out of bed and readied everything for her leaving. The wake-up call never came. When we arrived in the lobby the night clerk was on his cell phone and we waited until he finished his conversation. He claimed that the wake-up call had gone out and had been followed up ten minutes later.

There was no taxi, but he consented to call for one and in moments a cab arrived from the nearby train station. If I hadn't had the alarm clock out of pure chance, she'd have missed her flight. Both clerks had actually argued with me that the calls had rung and we just hadn't heard them. That just wasn't true.

The breakfast is a now-standard array of bread rolls, jams, juice and cereal, but the coffee is overstrength instant.

This location is tempting and the hotel is attractive in the photos so that one could easily fall for that, and the 10 per night parking for 6 cars.

Don't do it. If it is the only room left in town, go to a pharmacy and buy ear plugs and go find a cheap alarm clock.

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

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