Review of Relais San Lorenzo B&B in Lucca, Italy
There is always a fair amount of uncertainty when it comes to booking accommodations when traveling abroad. You can read all the reviews you want, look at countless pictures, and still end up being disappointed. That is why when we find a truly exceptional place at a fair price, I feel compelled to write about it. We found just such a place recently, located in the heart of historic Lucca. Relais San Lorenzo B&B, owned and operated by host Daniela and her son Michele, do everything right to make your stay a memorable one.
Located in the restored fifteenth-century Orsucci palace, Relais San Lorenzo has five rooms, all renovated in the typical Tuscan style. Each room is tastefully decorated and has a private en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning, mini-frig with cold drinks for your use, color television, and internet connection. The rooms are large, clean, and quiet. One room does have a small balcony while another has access to a large terrace overlooking the courtyard. There is a large common room with ample seating where breakfast is served daily. The rooms are on the second floor of the historic Orsucci palace, and the building has a central courtyard, which would appear to accommodate parking if you come to Lucca with a vehicle. For those with mobility issues please note that there is no elevator, but help with your bags will be arranged if needed.
Relais San Lorenzo is centrally located on a rather quiet street in historic Lucca close to the Anfiteatro and Piazza San Michele. There are plenty of excellent restaurants close by including one in the same building, Locando di Bacca, which we did try and was exceptional. Really, everything inside Lucca’s massive walls is within easy walking distance of San Lorenzo, and the train station, which is located just outside the wall is only about a twelve minute walk.
Of particular interest to those considering a stay at Relais San Lorenzo is the interesting and informative Domus Romana Lucca Museum, which is located in the basement of the palace. The museum contains the remains of an ancient Roman home and portico, and was discovered in 2012 during renovations to the building. It offers a fascinating look at ancient roman life in Lucca, and the cost to enter is only a few euros. Definitely worth a visit.
One of the things that separates Relais San Lorenzo from other establishments and makes it so special is the attention to detail that host Daniela puts into everything she does. One walk around the B&B and this will become clearly evident. You will certainly feel like you are staying in a palace. Daniela is also a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Lucca, and her B&B sets a very high standard for what guests should expect when traveling.
Now on to the wonderful breakfast served daily from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. I can guarantee that you will not leave hungry after sampling the wonderful assortment that Daniela puts out every morning. When traveling I like to eat a solid breakfast and then find something quick and easy for lunch, so breakfast is very important to me when looking for accommodations. The assortment of breads, pastries, pizza, cookies and jams that Daniela offers is amazing, and this is just the start. There is also yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit, a variety of juices, coffee, tea, and she will even make you eggs served just the way you want them. Daniela really goes out of her way to be attentive to the needs of her quests, and honestly she was a joy to converse with every morning.
Tip: Our favorite pizza place was Pizzeria da Felice. It’s located just a few minutes from Relais San Lorenzo and is a great place to grab a quick slice for lunch while touring Lucca.
Another surprise awaits you after a long day of exploring Lucca when you return to Relais San Lorenzo each evening. Daniela leaves out a decanter of cognac in the common room should anyone fancy a nightcap before retiring. Even if this is not your thing, it’s one more personal touch that helps separate San Lorenzo from the rest of the pack. And be sure to utilize the mini-frig in your room, the cold drinks are for your enjoyment at no extra cost and they are replenished daily. No nickle and diming patrons here. This may seem minor, but grabbing a cold water to take with you as you head out the door for a day of touring is not something that many establishments do.
As with any hotel, Bed, and Breakfast, or other accommodation, the rates will vary by season. We visited Lucca in early September and the price of 135 euros was very reasonable and fair. Rates for the rooms with a balcony will be slightly higher.
My experience in traveling all over Italy has been that accommodations are generally on the smaller side, especially the bathrooms and showers. Prices vary widely and what you see in photos is not always what you get. Rest assured, San Lorenzo is the real deal. There are no surprises, cleverly cropped photos, or misleading information. Read the TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, or Expedia reviews and I think you will get the message. By the way, we discussed TripAdvisor with Daniela one morning and she told us that she pays no attention to it. She knows what visitors expect, and she executes and delivers with precision. I wonder if Daniela is even aware that Relais San Lorenzo was designated a 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor?
For More Information on Visiting Lucca, the Link Here Highlights Our Recent Visit
- Lucca: Tuscany’s Less-Traveled Gem
Beautiful Lucca endears itself to all who visit this medieval Tuscan gem. Its massive and intact walls hide an assortment of cobblestone streets, Romanesque churches, and soaring towers.
The true final grading of any hotel or B&B is the answer to one of the following questions. Would I stay here again if I ever returned, and would I recommend the place to friends and family? To that I can give a resounding yes. Daniela’s warm and welcoming personality perfectly complements this amazing Bed & Breakfast, and I would not hesitate to highly recommend Relais San Lorenzo to anyone visiting Lucca or the surrounding area.
Ciao for now.
© 2017 Bill De Giulio