We were looking for a good quality hotel that we could use as a base for a week exploring Tuscany and this hotel had a special opening offer – EUR 70 per night in a superior room with free breakfast and wi-fi. The hotel isn’t new, but refurbished and taken over by the UNA Hotel group. Forte dei Marmi is an expensive beach resort in Tuscany. The Una Hotel is about 20 minutes walk to the beach – or you can rent bicycles from them for, I think, EUR 8 per day.
We flew into Milan Bergamo and collected a Hertz rental car. The drive was about three hours and we arrived around 8pm. The hotel was easy to find as it’s just by the exit from the main highway. There was plenty of free covered parking.
The check in guy was friendly and our room was clean and modern with a comfortable double bed. There was a small balcony. The bathroom was also clean and modern, with a shower, toilet, bidet and double washbasin – with usual toiletries; shampoo, soap, moisturiser and tissues. The air conditioning worked pretty well, although had to be on full when the outside temperature was high – but was still quiet. We didn’t hear any noise from adjoining rooms.
We had a late dinner in the hotel restaurant; three glasses of red wine (EUR 5 per glass), a large San Pellegrino (EUR 5), a shared antipasti (EUR 10), two ravioli with seafood (EUR 36) and a Sambuca (EUR 5). No cover charge and so that made it EUR 71. At the time we though it was a little expensive, but later realised that this wasn’t expensive for Forte dei Marmi. The hotel restaurant comprises tables under a sort of open-sided circus tent by the pool or tables in an extension of the lobby area. The indoor part was a little austere, with white tables and walls and bright lighting. The outdoor tables were much nicer although there were plenty of mosquitoes around. What I would like is for the tent to be fitted with nets that could enclose the dining area.
We didn’t see any other bugs like cockroaches or wasps anywhere in the hotel – although this was early June. Certainly if there are wasps later in the year then the tents could do with nets.
Breakfast was in a another open-sided circus tent and was pretty good; fresh Orange juice, sparkling wine, speciality teas, coffee, fruit, croissants, cereal and some hot food. The hot food was scrambled eggs, bacon and European sausage. The eggs weren’t how I would cook them and looked a bit dry, but maybe if we’d got up earlier they would have been better.
We wanted to venture out locally and try some restaurants and had a walk around the local area. We found an excellent place for lunch (closes at 7pm), a roadside café/kiosk called Chiosco dei funghi di Balderi Marco just five minutes walk from the hotel (turn left out of the gate). But for dinner we could only find an expensive Ristorante Madeo and terrible Pizza Orlando.
The hotel receptionist recommended Trattoria Buonamico in Viareggio, a beautiful seaside town about 25 minutes along the coast. That was excellent but we started to find the drive tiresome.
The hotel restaurant was offering a EUR 25 per person three-course dinner menu with water and coffee. We tried this and found the food really good and better than we expected. A good bottle of Chianti Classico was EUR 24. The waiter was really friendly and we enjoyed our dinner there – so much so that we had dinner again the following evening.
The hotel swimming pool is huge (don’t think it is heated) and has plenty of sunbeds, some with umbrellas. There is a lifeguard on duty all day and he provides pool towels. There are also two tennis courts.
It’s a shame that there isn’t a walking path at the rear of the hotel, that leads toward the beach. The only exit seems to be the main entrance that leads directly onto a busy street without a sidewalk/pavement.
All in all a good hotel with especially good staff.
Via G.B.Vico, 142
55042 Forte dei Marmi (LUCCA)
tel. +39 0584 787100 – fax. +39 0584 787468