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San Ranieri, Pisa, hotel review – a good base for exploring Tuscany

Travel / 2 Comments / October 20, 2014

In early September, my wife and I spent a week exploring Tuscany and used the Hotel San Ranieri on the outskirts of Pisa, as our base. We chose Pisa because it is served by a weekly direct Ryanair flight from our local airport, Bournemouth (at the time of publishing, this route doesn’t appear on its Summer 2015 schedule). It is, moreover, an interesting city in its own right and offers good road connections, both to the heart of Tuscany and northwards to the Cinque Terre in Liguria.

The San Ranieri was our chosen hotel because it offered good facilities at a competitive price – good value for money, in other words – and, being just off the eastern ring road, easy access to all roads out of town.

Modern architectural design

Modern architectural design

Although an avowedly modern establishment – white, rounded oblongs seemed to be its design motif inside – we received a warm welcome when we arrived at 1 am after an evening flight and delay in getting our hire car (it wasn’t obvious in the Arrivals hall at the airport that you need to take a courtesy bus to a separate building where all of the hire companies are based). Our room was spacious and clean, with a king-sized bed, TV (we only turned it on once), ample wardrobes and a well-appointed shower room (there are no baths in this establishment).

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Breakfast was a buffet offering cereal, fresh fruit, yoghurt, pastries and all the usual things you’d expect abroad, plus scrambled egg and bacon. We ate under an awning in the hotel’s very pleasant garden. We didn’t eat there otherwise but did order a couple of G&Ts one evening: fairly typical hotel prices at €6 each.

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WiFi was available free of charge; we just had to ask for a temporary login (one per device); they tended to expire after a day or so of use. Parking around the outside of the hotel – plus an underground car park for which you could pay extra – was not very extensive but we usually found a space for the night.

At the end of our stay, we were able to leave our luggage for a few hours at no extra charge in their strong room while we explored Pisa itself before heading back to the airport. One other point to mention is that, as in Florence and Venice, you have to pay a tourist tax of for the first nights five nights of any stay.

If you’re looking to explore Tuscany and head in either direction along the coast, we warmly recommend this hotel, booked through OnHotels along with our hire car as part of Ryanair’s ticket purchase process. In follow-up posts, I will describe some of the day trips we enjoyed.


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