We dithered about a Pisa hotel – the options in the city centre (our preference) were super expensive and I found lots of bad reviews in which the words “bed” and “bugs” seemed to appear with alarming frequency. Husband had found the San Ranieri at the start of our search but it was dismissed as being too far from the centre. When it was back to the drawing board though, this place started to notch up a stack of plus points – good reviews, nice pictures and a reasonable price meant a no-brainer decision in the end. An 8pm arrival for us so we would just get to the hotel, eat there and save up the sightseeing for the next day.
The hotel has a shuttle bus from the airport (and railway station). We booked this and the driver was waiting when we emerged from the terminal into the Pisa sunlight. It cost 10 Euro per party but was hassle free and worth it for us. A short drive and we found ourselves at the San Ranieri, in a residential neighbourhood and all modern, glass, boxy and square. I liked it, but it is not your traditional Pisa hotel for sure.
Check-in was great, Son loved the funky corridors – all black with silver city landscapes painted on the walls. Finding our door was something of a challenge – you could just about identify the door handle.
The room was superb – modern, elegant and all white surfaces with a huge window and nice view of a little vineyard. There was an LCD television (in the mirror) which we never really watched, slow WiFi, a mini-bar and everything else you could need. Son loved his super comfy sofa bed too.
The bathroom was funky and modern in keeping with everything else – all black and chrome with ultra-modern fittings.
After exploring the room it was time for food – we dined in the hotel restaurant which carried on the white, modern bright theme. A gorgeous meal but all those white shiny surfaces and bright lights felt just a wee bit sterile for an eating establishment.
The room had air-conditioning (essential in the day) but waking up shivering in the night, I couldn’t manage to decipher the instructions to adjust the temperature. Everything in the room was of the high-tech variety – a breeze for a modern 3 year old but trickier for this luddite, even closing the curtains involved an alarming array of knobs and buttons. A sweaty night for me accompanied by the sound of ambulance sirens (in the wee small hours I discovered the hotel is next to a hospital) but the males in the family slept like logs and heard not a thing.
After a great breakfast in a very packed dining area we set out to discover Pisa. The bus left just from the end of the street and with a bargain fare of 1 Euro per person it worked very well. We got out at the railway station and walked to the Leaning Tower. The walk takes around 40 minutes but you get to see the lovely city centre, cross the Arno River and get plenty of gelato opportunities on the way.
We had no bus issues getting back to the hotel either – all very simple and easy. After pounding the Pisa pavements we were actually quite glad to be getting out of the centre and back to the San Ranieri. Reason for this was the lovely garden full of loungers, a little outdoor bar and cabanas and daybeds, perfect for resting weary bones and relaxing.
We loved this hotel – absolutely the best of both worlds. It is definitely close enough to the centre of Pisa for maximum sightseeing, but far enough away to chill, relax and pick up a holiday vibe. What a great place – shame we only booked for one night!