Trip Report: Hotel Summary

May 22nd, 2004, 03:41 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 257
Trip Report: Hotel Summary


Residenza Johlea I and II. (superior double, 105E cash). We stayed here 5 nights, but do several factors, moved twice. We spent the first 2 nights in one room of Johlea I and the second two nights down the hall in another room. (Apparently, we got a better room the first two nights because there was a cancellation.) We added a 5th night at last minute and they could only accommodate us next door in Johlea II. For the money, it was quite nice, large, reasonably decorated and clean. There are two types of rooms ? one a single floor and the other with steps up to a loft. The single floor rooms are preferable. Johlea II is a bit nicer with a pleasant sitting area. However, Johlea I has a roof-top deck. The major drawback is that it is a bit far from the action, a 15 minutes walk to the duomo. If you return to the hotel for a lunch time and pre-dinner rest, you end up walking a lot ? back and forth 6 times a day. Being north of town, it also makes the walk to Oltra Arno and the Santa Croce area fairly long. At night, we always ate nearby because we were too pooped to go too far. Breakfast was minimal and in-room with only instant coffee. They have the best mineral water I?ve ever tasted available in the refrigerator of 1.5E. Conclusion, it?s good for maybe 2 days, but for a longer stay you wear down, so I?d look for a more convenient place. WSTAI (Would stay there again index) 8 for short stays, 6.5 for longer.


Pensione La Calcina (double was 130E ) ?Pleasant? is the best one-word description. It was a very small nice hotel on the lagoon. We booked a room without a water view, but we still had a decent view of the water from the side windows. Very helpful staff. They offer guests a very good deal on eating in the restaurant. If the weather is good, you can east on a deck in the lagoon. Location isn?t central but it?s not bad. It?s a 5 minute walk to the Accademia bridge and vaporetto stop. (The Zattare stop is closer, but not a useful.) WSTAI=9.


Pensione Guerrato (double was 110E cash) We couldn?t get a room in La Calcina for our entire stay, so we moved to Guerrato for a night. A decent place, especially for the money and especially in Venice. The staff was OK and they had a nice breakfast room. The location can?t be beat ? two minutes from the Rialto Bridge and a short walk to Saint Mark?s Square. WSTAI=8.5 if I want cheap, 6 if I want nice. 10 if I want location.


Palazzo Ravizza (double was 160E). The classic European hotel experience: a stately hotel oozing old world charm with lovely sitting areas, a beautiful back terrace and breakfast area, extremely friendly and helpful staff ? and the room was a dump. It was small, old, flaking plaster with a few water stains. The bathroom was fine. This was the way European hotels used to be, with all the money put into the lobby and common areas. Despite the dumpiness, however, we didn?t feel bad because the room had a magnificent view over the Tuscan countryside. Be sure to ask for a room in the back of the hotel, top 2 floors, to get the view. Free parking and internet access were nice too and actually makes the price very reasonable. The location was good, but Hotel Duomo was better, so I?d consider that if there were a next time. WSTAI=8.


Hotel Umbra (double was103E). Overall, best place we stayed. It?s a charming hotel with lots of very nice sitting areas and terraces, some overlooking the landscape below. Both our room and bathroom were excellent. The location right off the main square seemed good on paper, but it?s a long, long uphill way to drag your luggage from the bus stop and bit of a walk back down to the San Francesco Basilica, however. WSTAI=10.


Fraterna Dumus (double 78E cash.) We wanted to give a convent a try at some point on the trip and picked Fraterna Domus because it has such a great location, a few blocks Piazza Navona, and because it Rome is generally so expensive. It wasn?t great. Smaller, less clean and even noisier than I expected. Breakfast was minimal. They also serve a bargain dinner for 12 E. In other words, we got about what we paid for. Still the location was great and since we spent little time there, it wasn?t a disaster. The Nuns are very friendly, but speak almost no English. Next time I?d walk around the corner and spend the extra 100E at Hotel Due Torre, where we had originally planned to stay. I?m just too old for this kind of travel anymore. WSTAI=2.5.


Residenza Cellini (suite, actually a single, very large room, 185E cash.) It had the best room and best bathroom by far. It was bright, beautiful, and immaculately clean. The staff are the most helpful and accommodating people in any hotel we?ve ever inhabited. They will do just about anything to help you or meet any special needs. They?ve thought of everything, from fresh flowers in the rooms to wall outlets that operate in either 115 or 220. The ?suite? has a Jacuzzi (yes, a genuine Jacuzzi) which is worth the extra 25E after pounding the streets of Rome. Free internet access. The only real drawback is location ? it is OK but there is nothing much in the immediate vicinity that goes dead a night., except for a really great bookstore a few door down. Still, it is only a block from a major street with plenty lots of busses. It was an ideal last night place because the train station is an easy walk, even with luggage. WSTAI=10
metellus is offline  
May 22nd, 2004, 03:50 AM
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Thanks for the report. We are staying at La Calcina in August. We also didn't book a water view room, because we wanted a room with a terrace (the water view room with terrace was already booked.)
May 22nd, 2004, 03:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Thanks for the hotel information and reviews. I will print it off and keep it in my Italy file for a future holiday. I hope you had a wonderful time and glad you returned home safely. Peace.

artstuff is offline  
May 22nd, 2004, 09:14 AM
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I loved your 'WSTAI' index and I'm gonna steal it for when I give my own reviews. By far you have given the most useful hotel reviews I've read here, thanks.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
May 22nd, 2004, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for the reviews, Metellus. We are staying at the Hotel Umbra in September, and it's nice to see that you enjoyed it so much. We figured we'd save the money versus other hotels in town (the Fontebella) and spend more on food and wine.

Did you eat in the restaurant at the Umbra (or the Fontebella)? Any other restaurants you would recommend in Assisi?


John H.
jh6000 is offline  
May 22nd, 2004, 02:50 PM
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We were there on a Monday, so the Umbra's restaurant was closed. We ate at a place near San Francesco, Locando del Podesta. They have these fantastic lamb chops. I'd give that a try.

I also want to say a few more words about the Cellini. We arrived at 8:30 in the morning, expecting to drop our bags and comeback later to check in early afternoon. The women at the desk apologized profusely that our room was no availble right then! Said that if we had let them know that we were arriving early, they would have called their maid in early to clean the room. Then she sat us down for breakfast and whipped up some capiccino while we had a full breakfast with the best ham and pastries we ate in Italy. Mind you, this was breakfast for people who had stayed (and paid) the previous night - which we had not. She then took out a map and showed us where all the main sights were and wrote down bus numbers and other instructions on how to get their. That night they called to confirm out departure flight time for us. The airline office was closed. No problem. They phoned the airport and somehow tracked down the flight schedule anyway. It wasn't just us, as we saw other guests geting simlilar treatment. They don't go the extra mile - they go the extra parsec.

metellus is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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metellus, thanks for the report! We're staying at Hotel Umbra next month. I'm traveling with my somewhat-older parents, for whom dragging luggage up a hill would be way too difficult. Would you recommend taking a taxi from the train station, or taking the bus into town and then catching a cab to the hotel?
Peggy_D is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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(I'm reposting this because Fodor's site is acting bizarrely. I entered a reply to the last question, but it doesn't show up when I look at the thread normally. If I try to post a reply, then it show up!)

Taxi from the train station, no question. It's not all that far or expensive. We arrived by bus, so that was our starting point. We starting walking and looked for city bus, but one never came before we reached the hotel. We left by train and took a taxi. Much better.

My wife reminded me of a few notes that I should have added:

1. Residensa Johlea is a bit dark. They really need more lamps in each room. They only have staff in attendence between 8:80AM and 8:00. While it's location is a little out of the way, their are very near both San Marco and Accademia as well San Lorenzo and the market.

2. Palazzo Ravizza. Don't panic when you first see the place. The front has a little sign embedded in a large run- down looking building. It doesn't look like a hotel or very inviting. Everything changes when you walk in the door. After visiting Siena, I can't imagine staying at one of the places outside the walls, like Santa Caterina which was our alternate. Siena is all hills, so I want to be as central as possible to save wear and tear.

3. Fraterna Domus has an 11:00 curfew, which didn't affect us, but you should now about. No elevator and you may have to drag your luggage up and down some steps. There was no real shower - just a shower head and a drain in the middle of the bathroom floor. Soap but no shampoo.

metellus is offline  
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