Although the building is beautiful and we were very pleased with our double ensuite room, we cannot give high marks to an accommodation in which we saw absolutely appalling behavior from a member of the staff, behavior which included refusing to return passports to guests (including us) and behaving very cruelly towards a young, solo, female traveler.
We watched as the problem staff member, a man on duty the evening of 15 June 2011 (we hope you are reading this, Ostello San Frediano) refused for some time to return the passport of another guest, taunting and being deliberately hostile towards her, apparently for his own sport. He also refused to return my passport until we (my husband and I) resorted to yelling at him.
Here are the details, which begin before his treatment of the young woman: Upon arriving, we were given our key by a different, and perfectly pleasant, individual, after he asked to see my passport. He informed us that he needed to keep the passport for an hour, and that we should return after at least that time to retrieve it and make our payment for the room. We returned after two hours to find a different man on duty (the one who would prove to be a problem). He initially deadpanned that he did not have my passport, but shortly revealed that he was joking. Not surprisingly, we did not share his sense of humor. He then informed us that he couldn't - for unclear-to-us reasons - give it to us just then, but that we should go our, have dinner, enjoy the city, and retrieve it upon our return (in hindsight we should have irately demanded it then). We returned two hours later to find the same man on duty. We waited on line at the desk while this manager engaged in a very animated and prolonged - at least ten minute - discussion with two Italians, while the line steadily grew. Behind the Italians and ahead of us was a young woman who, it turned out, was also trying to get her passport back and had also tried to get it earlier, so we gleaned that this appeared to be a pattern with this man. When it was finally her turn, we watched him be deliberately cruel and rude to her; his behavior included flatly refusing to answer her questions when she very politely asked if she could ask two. His reason, after she had patiently waited in line and did nothing to hold it up once it was her turn, was that he needed to deal with us (my husband and I, who were behind her in line) first. We insisted that he answer her questions; his "answers" were to refuse to give her wifi access, and to literally throw a map at her. We then arrived at the front of the line and demanded our passport. He said that we'd have to wait, as he had to take care of the lights and other business around the hostel first. We irately told him that this was unacceptable and that he needed to return the passport now. After a few voices-raised rounds of this, and of us reminding him that he could have given it to us hours earlier, he acquiesced and finally accepted our payment and returned the passport (after procrastinating with paperwork at the desk for several more minutes). Having to deal with this little-dictator-wannabe completely soured us on Ostello San Frediano.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are in the historical center of Lucca, in an old restored building, close to the main attractives of the town, with a wide garden that looks upon the beautiful city walls.We have several kinds of accomodation: double rooms, family rooms for 4 or 6 persons, shared rooms with 6 or 8 beds, most of them with private bathroom; moreover we have toilets and showers on each floor. Besides the comfort that you can find in the spacious bedrooms, we have also TV room, library, dining room, meeting areas, internet point. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ostello San Frediano Hotel Lucca