Grand Hotel Bonanno
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... test our luck and headed out toward the museum.
Upon arrival it was a little overwhelming because the line for those without reservations was down the building and around the corner. Since we didn’t have anything else planned that morning, we decided to check it out anyway. We had read in our books that sometimes these lines can be 5 hours, so we were a little worried we may have to give up halfway through the line to leave for our Pisa ...
... of the tower. All over the lawns around the tower, you'll see people contorting themselves into weird positions, almost as if everyone is practicing an odd form of Thai-chi. In fact, everyone is just trying to take ridiculous pictures of themselves pushing or holding up the tower.
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How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Grand Hotel Bonanno Pisa
Good standard and location
we arrived into pisa airport late and were worried about getting a taxi into the centre, we found the taxi rank outside but no taxis came for ages and there were a few people waiting. a mini van came along shouting "pisa" and it was only 4 euro each to drop us off at our hotel! stoped at 2 along the way but it was a nice way to see the area.
hotel appeared to be in the middle of no where when we arrived but looked very new and modern. the reception was very nice and the public areas and rooms were imaculate. no decent views from any of the rooms and no balconeys at the back but rooms had a plasma screen TV and very well priced mini bar! the only restaurnat we could find in the area that night was a pizza place round the block. very local (limited english) but fab wine and pizzas, it was kind of in the middle of a residential area. recpetion staff wre really helpfull in printing off train times and advising us of things to do. breakfast was lovey. your usual continental breakfast with a few hot items such as boiled eggs and bacon.
went into pisa the following day, litterally a 10-15 min stroll bought you right out by the tower. be warned about the street sellers everywere! by the time you get to the end of the road you have been harrassed so much! you can see the main tourist sights in a day. the reataurants and bars around the tower area are expensive, you pay a service charge just to sit outside!
great place to visit, but only 24 hours is needed to see it all. the train station is very good with brilliant limks to all resorts and literally an hour from florence on a direct train.
Good hotel - ideal for both airport and the sights of Pisa
We stayed here on our last night in Tuscany as we were flying out of Pisa. It is very convenient for getting to the airport but is no more than 20 minutes walk to the Campo dei Miracoli (although the underpass under which you must walk wasn't very popular with my wife, like a previous reviewer, it seemed harmless enough to me).
The hotel is very modern, rooms are big, very clean and well appointed - very comfy beds. Staff very friendly and couldn't have been more helpful. Very bright and airy breakfast room. Eggs and bacon made a nice change from the usual breakfast although croissants etc were good, too. Has the feel of a 'business' hotel, so not for you if you want olde worlde charm, but very good value.
Just the facts, Ma'am
This hotel is less than a year old and looks like it. The rooms are adequate in size with uprated amenities. The staff is friendly and conversational in English. The hotel is a 14 euro cab ride from the airport, ten euros to the train station. It is less than a 10 minute walk through residential streets to the Piazza dei Miracoli and its famous Tower and Cathedral. (Don't miss the Museo dell Opera at the Piazza). The neighborhood is largely residential and fairly quiet although the hotel fronts on a fairly busy street. The breakfast included hot and cold items and was quite nice. Internet is available in the lobby for a fee.
Pisa was a pleasant surprise for us and we suggest travelers give it a day or so. Try da Bruno's Restaurant just east of the Piazza dei Miracole for dining with the locals. The hotel can give you directions.
Great new hotel!
This was a very new and high tech hotel. The bed was an actual King (without the twin beds pushed together!). The rooms were huge for European standards. It was very new with shades that opened by the press of a button and heat that turned off when the windows were opened. It was also very clean with a nice marble bathroom. I would ask for a room in a corner of the hotel (like room 325) as it offers a two windows - one of each side of the hotel with great views of Pisa. Great hotel!
Short break in spring week
Hi, I recently stayed in this Hotel with my parents as a 4 day break in the half term spring week. As a 15 year old, this will be more of a minor's opinion.
First of all, the rooms were great. The bed was divine. This is possibly because I had a double room to myself for the duration of the holiday, and it was a kingsize bed, highly recommended. The steel barriers down the windows that are operated by a button next to the bed and bedlight blocks out any noise or excess light that mat be seap through in the morning to distrub your lie in.
I have to say, and an honest opinon and my parents agree, that the meals were the thing that let down from me giving an "Excellent" rating. One night, for example, we decided that we were too tired to eat out so we stayed in. We orderd some pasta for my parents, and a salad for me. The pasta, not to be cruel but honest, tasted like shoe leather. This is constructive criticism so don't reject my review because of it. I think this is mainly because there was a large part that entered and all the food must of been made and standing for several hours on a hot plate to save time. My salad consisted of some cheese that felt pretty stringy and some tomatoes and below average bread.
The people at the reception desk seemed very apologetic and also offered to take off the cost of the resteraunt meal for our bill. The service here was excellent and the staff were friendly, the only downside I say is the meal. I truely enjoyed staying here.
Clean and Friendly Hotel
We Stayed in the Grand Hotel Bonanno for two nights. The Hotel is either new or has been refurbished throughout. The Rooms are compact, but are very clean and quiet. Our room was situated next to the elevator shaft and we didn't hear a thing throughout our stay. Our room has a huge double bed, minibar, blinds, double glazing, Flat screen TV and its own Satelite receiver, although the only English language channels of any use available on Hotbird are BBC World and Euronews.
The staff are friendly and helpful and the service is excellent. We arrived at 10:30 am and they managed to check us in that early hour, supplied directions, advice on where to go for dinner, nearby attractions etc.
Breakfast was included in our tariff and featured the usual continental fare of Croissants and Bacon and eggs.
While the Hotel is billed as a 4 star, I would have to rate it as a v. good 3 star. Maybe if the rooms were bigger, with executive desk armchair etc, it would deserve the 4th star.
Whilst the hotel isn't in a central location, it is easy to find as most people in Pisa would be familiar with the area. Its located in a residential area near the Hospital and in the middle of the University campus. To get there on public transport is easy. It is 6 stops away from the Central station on either the No. 1 or the No. 5 bus, or a 5 minute walk away from Pisa San Rossore. Its also about a 15 minute walk (max) to the Campo dei Miracoli and Pisa's famous Tower. Pisa is quite a compact city and The Hotel Bonanno's location make it a good base from which to enjoy the city of Pisa, or Florence or Lucca.
Despite the lack of reviews due to the newness of this hotel, we decided it looked pretty good and managed to get a deal for £75 per night which is pretty good for a 4 star hotel in Tuscany.
What a great choice! The staff were excellent - friendly and helpful and the prices for eating and drinking were very reasonable. Even the mini-bar in the room was cheap by mini-bar standards. I can recommend the house Chianti in the bar at only EUR 8 per bottle.
The food in the restaurant was very good but apart from breakfast every day, we only ate the once in the evening. They have a daily menu which they post in the lift with a choice of 5 or 6 main courses priced around EUR 7 each. We chose to eat out in Pisa most nights but I found these restaurants were a bit disappointing and touristy, especially the ones next to the tower, although again, they weren't particularly expensive.
As for the rooms, we were at the back of the hotel overlooking a courtyard and some smart apartments and we were far enough away from the train line to not be bothered by it. If you are up the other end of the hotel then this might be a problem. All we got was an exciteable dog barking most nights. The rooms were obviously new and very well equipped and although not the largest 4 star room I have stayed in, they were quite adequate with a built in safe and ample cupboard space.
Outside the hotel, there is an underpass which takes you to the road for the Miracoli and my wife found this a bit threatening at night (she was brought up in London!) although it seemed perfectly safe to me. The Miracoli is around 8-10 minutes walk away.
There is a station, Pisa San Rossore, just 5 minutes walk away which has trains for Florence, Pisa and Lucca although Pisa Centrale has more trains. Florence is about 70 minutes away and Lucca around 25.
So, the hotel was fantastic, what of the sights and things to do.
We took the train to Florence twice as we didn't see everything the first time. Florence has a population of around 500,000 and is a lot busier than Pisa (as you might expect). At no time did we ever feel threatened and the centre is small enough to walk around comfortably. We saw the Santa Maria Novello, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchia, Pitti Palace, Battistry, Il Duomo and had a walk along the river which was nice. We missed some sights because the queues were far too long and badly organised.
For the Uffizi, I would recommend booking your tickets a couple of days in advance. We hadn't and we had to queue for over two hours although this would have been more than three if we had gone earlier in the day.
If paintings of the Madonna and Child are your thing then you will love the Uffizi. It is well laid out over three floors and is probably best to go straight to the top and work down. As they only let so many in at a time it wasn't crowded and you didn't feel like you were being rushed through.
Sample the ice-cream, it really is so much better than you are used to!
Pisa was surprisingly better organised and well set out having the tower, battistry and cathedral all next to the museums and you could buy any combination of tickets depending on how many things you wanted to see.
Finally, Lucca is well worth a visit and I probably enjoyed it the most. Old walled town with impossibly narrow streets and very charming.
The one down side was the waiters insist on trying to overcharge or rip you off for service when it is included in the bill. Argue with them if you will - I did.
Other travel tips, the airport is remarkably close to the town centre at Pisa and cost EUR 17 to get to the Bonanno. When you go back, book the hotel mini-bus for EUR 10. There is a train as well direct from the airport to Pisa Centrale and San Rossore which is around EUR 3 each.
We enjoyed this hotel immensely and would thoroughly recommend it.
This is a brand new hotel and it shows. Everything is very, very new. All of the rooms have flat screen televisions and minibars and very nice large bathrooms. I stayed in a room that had a little terrace and huge doors that could be opened to let in a nice breeze and fresh air. The staff was very, very helpful directing us to tourist sites and calling us a cab when we were leaving. The breakfast was nice and what you can expect in most European cities. One of the first hotels I have stayed in Europe that has very large queen sized beds in their double rooms. I only stayed there for one night on my way through to Florence, but I imagine it would be a good base to enjoy Tuscany from.
Great base from which to see Tuscany
The Hotel itself is very clean and modern, the bedrooms although not large were fitted to a good standard with a decent king sized bed and shower. The breakfast was fine, hot & cold drinks, bread, ham, cheese, cereal, yoghurts, croissants, bacon & scrambled eggs.
The location was fine, the tower is about a 10min walk, there is a station Pisa S Rossore about 5 mins away and the old town (shops, restaurants) was about 15mins, the central station was about 25mins walk. There are a few restaurants within a 5 mins walk, one of which (Rino) we went to on the first night and it was good.
It is definately worth getting the train to Florence, this takes about 1 hour and we also got the train to Viareggio on the coast, which is a large Tuscan beach resort and only 10mins by train from Pisa S Rossore.
The staff at the hotel are very helpful and will print off train times etc... for you.
Beautiful new hotel, walking distance from centre
We have just returned from a long weekend at the Grand Hotel Bonanno. We took a chance as I couldn't find any reviews. Having already cancelled the Grand Duomo and the Leonardo due to bad reviews I can honestly say we made the right descision.
We saw the Grand Duomo and it was grubby on the outside and we met a couple staying at the Leonardo who said they weren't impressed.
The Bonanno had only been open since 29th January 2006 so it was brand new. It was very clean and modern with just a few teething problems you would expect from a new hotel. Such as when we arrived we had no towels in our room. They arrived in no time.
The corridors smelt of new carpet and there was a certain satisfaction in knowing that we were probably the first people to have stayed on our room. We had a corner room with views into the snowtopped mountains.
In the room was a flat screen TV on the wall with mainly Italian channels. A fridge with a minibar with beer, water, coke, orange juice, tonic, gin, brandy, whisky, lemoncello and something I wasn't sure what it was. Prices where the same as the bar downstairs ie €4 for a beer. In the bathroom was a good shower over the bath, a bidet, and hairdryer. There are electric shutters on the windows which make it very dark - which was good but made us get up late and miss our train to Florence. The breakfast was rolls, pastries, ham, cheese yoghurt, fruit, cereal and most bizarre - a plate of scrambled eggs. The is a set dinner menu available for €23 but we didn't try it. The hotel staff where excellent. All speaking English and extremely friendly and helpful.
We arrived after 11pm and asked where we could get a bite to eat, there is a Trattoria left out of the hotel and left again where we had great pizzas. In Pisa itself there is an array of restaurants for all levels of spending. The nearer the tower the more expensive as you would expect. We had a great meal in Il Campano and La Mescita. The Chianti is 'mmmmm'.
The tower is a must obviously. It's €15 per person to go up. It's a bit scary at the top though.
We took the train to Lucca €2.20 each way, 30 minutes away - it was beautiful but very windy and bits of the buildings kept dropping off which wasn't much fun. The train to Florence is €10 return and is 1 hour. Florence is worth a vist. But I would say it was more expensive than Pisa.
Be aware if you go into a cafe it costs less to stand at the bar than to sit down. Sometimes it was double and that was just to rest my feet.
We walked miles and miles and my feet were aching by the end of the weekend. I would recommend sensible shoes. The hotel is just on the edge of Pisa so anyone with difficulties in walking should be aware. It took us 10 minutes to the tower and about 20 to the centre. There was very little nightlife but that suited us. Anyone looking for action would probably be better elsewhere.
The hotel provides a shuttle to the airport for €10. However if you ask the hotel to call a taxi anywhere, be aware that you will be charged when the hotel makes that call not when the taxi arrives at the hotel. The tariff begins wherever the driver is. We paid €11 to the train station and €7 on the way back.
Florence is very picturesque we had a wonderful lunch at Il Baroncello in Piazza della Signoria - it was reasonable and very, very nice.
All in all a wonderful weekend, a great hotel and we are left with warm memories.
Please feel free to email me with any other questions.