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Siena: Piccolo Hotel Etruria

Via delle Donzelle 3, Phone: 0577288088

Reviewed by: Patrick, Arkansas from AR, review #2616

When: May 2009

It would be hard to beat this hotel's location in Siena. It would be easy to beat its amenities. But it's clean, friendly, cheap, and functional.

Our small group of friends took 3 rooms at Piccolo Hotel Etruria in Siena in late May.

It was hot the day we arrived, and we knew the hotel doesn't activate its air conditioners until June 1 (the day we were to check out). We asked them about it, though, and they got the air conditioners installed by our second day there. I say "installed" because the air conditioners are free-standing units that sit on the floor in the room, taking about 2 square feet. That's not much until you see the tiny size of the rooms, so they take them out in the winter to make more space in the rooms.

As Rick Steves says, this hotel is clean and safe, but it lacks soul. No pictures on the walls, no nice touches added. But walk out the front door, turn right, and you'll see Il Campo, the world's greatest public space. Twenty easy steps and you'll be there.

Some of the hotel's rooms are on the busy Via Banchi di Sotto, but my room was on a back street and very quiet. My room's bathroom was across the hall from my room, but I was the only one using it, so it was almost private. My room did have a lavatory in it. Just no room for a shower or toilet. The other rooms DID have bathrooms in them.

The hotel has a small elevator that's handy for sending the luggage up to your room. It might even hold one small American.

There's a breakfast room. Breakfast costs 5 euros extra, but I walked the neighborhood one morning and couldn't find a cheaper breakfast to be had, so we ate at the hotel every morning but one.

The hotel doesn't offer an Internet connection. To compensate, there were a few English language channels on my room's TV.

The hotel has a large, comfortable lounge on the first floor (second floor to we Americans) but everything else about the hotel is cramped. But it's clean and the price is reasonable.

We found the staff very friendly and helpful and their English was good. They met all our needs, including calling taxis for us and arranging a great city bus tour that drove us down every narrow old town street in an air conditioned minibus.

Our car's GPS unit, loaded with the hotel's street address, took us straight to the hotel, where we unloaded the luggage. The desk clerk then called the police to clear our entry into the city's limited traffic zone, and he drew a map to help me take the car to the free parking lot behind the Medici Palace, then I walked 15 minutes to get back to the hotel.

When we checked out, we had the desk clerk get us a cab. If I had it to do over again, I'd never have driven to the hotel (cramped, crowded old town streets), but would have parked behind the Medici Palace and taken a cab to the hotel.

I'd recommend this hotel to any friend, and I would stay there again without hesitation (but not in late May before the air conditioners are installed)!

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

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