Chapter Wanderlust: Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba

After the weekends of feasting and dining, I have finally found time back here to Seeing The World In Steps! Speaking of the couple recent months, there are many thoughts going through and I keep pondering over the regrets and decisions that I have made in the past. On the good side, I am very happy to say that Seeing The World In Steps have reached another milestone! I finally have my own domain! It is nothing huge, but definitely means alot to me! Now back to this trip of mine. Departing Siena, I found myself in Lucca after a change of train in Florence. Lucca is somewhat of a down point in my travels and I am sorry to say that I felt it is the second worst place that I have been to this time around. The only two things that helped was the amazing pizza and the hotel that I stayed in Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba!

I was actually supposed to stay with a host in Lucca, however last min, she cancelled on me. Thankfully I managed to get a booking in Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba pretty last min as well. Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba is probably the best hotel in Lucca. It is a solid 4 star hotel that is located east of the city centre within the city walls. Lucca is famed for having its city encircled by the well preserved renaissance walls. It almost felt like a huge ass castle that you are staying in! Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba is housed from a historical stables in the past. Renovated, it felt like a charming quaint countryside place to stay at. It had a very relax paced, lush greens and amazing patio. In fact, I love the mixture of modern and old school decor! At least it felt like a step into the past without looking like an old cigar bar! I managed to get a rate of 63 Euros a night for a double room with breakfast included. I felt like it is a pretty good deal for a solid 4 star hotel.

Do keep note that the booking system on the website it a little crinky! After booking the page will get hang and you don’t receive the confirmation immediately. I refreshed it, which resulted in me making multiple booking, thankfully the hotel understand it and we managed to clarify it over the phone! The Lucca train station is located outside the city walls and from the station it is roughly a 15mins walk to the hotel! Lucca is a pretty quiet place, perhaps I was here in the wrong season!

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I was immediately attended to when arrived at the hotel. Check in was fast and I had my keys to the room. The front desk also informed me that the hotel serves a aperitivo in the lobby daily till evening. This was generous! Aperitivo refers to pre dinner drinks in Italy and it is rather famous in places like Bologna and Florence! The lobby area had lush sofas and lounging area then to the end you can find some dining tables this is also where the Aperitivo is offered! I will come to this later on!

My room was located on the second floor! I love the room on the first sight after entering! It was of a decent size and the bed and toilet were really lush to me! First of all there was a perfect firm double bed which was love to me! I love that the bed was really firm and comfy, just like the one that I have at home. It looks fresh, not like a bed that was way overused! There was all 4 pillows to myself which I could just buried myself all in them!

The wardrobe was located on one side of the bed as well as a side table, then on the other side there was the working table. The opposite the bed was a mirror and the tv also the mini bar area.

Let me go into some of the bad side of the room first. My main concern was the design and layout of the place, it looks great and amazing, but it makes no sense, first of all was the wardrobe area. The wardrobe was located near the side table and the bed. The wardrobe had doors that open outs, this means that the wardrobe was practically unusable as the doors can’t open fully!

Then there was the patio door of the room. The room had no windows, but instead a door that lead out to the patio area of the hotel. The patio was a shared one with a couple other rooms on the same levels, it kind of does not makes sense. Especially in the season that I was in! While the weather was cool in Nov that I come, the air conditioning was off centrally and only the heater can be switched on. As I can’t leave the patio door open since others might come in. The room was always stuffy and hot.

On the bright side, I love the toilet of Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba! It was spacious and then there was the amazing rainforest shower installed. It is my favourite kind! The water pressure was superb and amazing! In fact way too powerful! Then there was also a warmer rack and hairdryer. The toiletries were of Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba own brands, it is kind of good since there were olive oil scented and made. Seemingly they are using stuffs from their own region!

I had breakfast on both days that I was staying here. The spread was generous and good! It is located on the same level as my room in a glass ceiling area of the hotel. It felt like a greenhouse. It is kind of amazing!

The spread was good, there was all sorts of carbo, cereals, cold cuts, cheese and fruits. The stuff was of good quality and everything taste fresh. Some smoked salmon and cream cheese? hit me up! There was also sparkling wine being offered!

On the hot offerings, there were bacon, sausages and scrambled eggs! Overall I am satisfied with the offering. The coffee machine also do a mean cup of cappuccino!

Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba pricing is really pretty well since breakfast is included so it the daily Aperitivo! Although I won’t say that it is really an aperitivo since there is only some chips, nuts and packages stuff. But it is pretty well already. It was a lovely place to work from if you would not like to stay in your room for too long. The wifi was good throughout the whole hotel, the lobby, breakfast area and also my room. I spend some time at the lobby since Lucca is a place that I finished up pretty fast. The drinks and chips help too. There was wine, beer, soft drinks and juices!

63 Euros a night with breakfast and aperitivo? Deal! I will definitely recommend this place if someone is looking for a place in Lucca. Personally I feel that spending a day in Lucca is good enough! Furthermore, the hotel staff was pretty good and patient! I was hit with a sudden train strike while in Lucca and was busy trying to figure out my trains tickets. They were patient and try to find out more information for me!

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