“An elegant looker for not much lucre in central Lucca”
The Palazzo Alexander is one of a handful of guesthouses within the city walls. Dating from the 12th century this 4-storey ex-boarding-school has been converted into a pretty little hotel with just 9 rooms, all ornately (some might say over-ornately) decorated with embossed gold fabrics, polished wooden floors and Regency-type armchairs. If you’re lucky you might have an angel smiling down at you from the frescoed ceiling, or a balcony overlooking the Lucchese roofscape. It's clean, cared-for and efficiently run by English-speaking owner-manager Mario Maraviglia.
- Mario provides excellent, thoughtful service worthy of 4 or 5*
- You get Jacuzzis, balconies and sofas in some of the suites
- The medieval town centre is right on your doorstep, plus grand villas and formal gardens just outside town
- The Puccini museum and summer music festival help make Lucca that bit more special
- You may find the faux-Renaissance décor rather dated or overblown
- Some bedrooms are a little cramped
- It’s a small town hotel so don’t expect a pool, restaurant or garden
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
- Not suitable for babies or very young children
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
The 9 rooms are named after operas by Verdi and Puccini (who was born along the road from here). All are ornately decorated with chintzy fabrics and antique-style furniture: carved mirror-frames, wardrobes with faded-effect paint, dressing tables with coloured inlay, and curvy faux-Regency chairs. Wrought-iron bedside lamps cast a cosy glow over the gold-painted bedsteads.
Superior Rooms are smaller than the Junior Suites but still well-equipped. The latter boast a Jacuzzi-tub in the bathroom. La Bohème has an angelically-frescoed ceiling, a separate sitting area and a crow’s nest position. Tosca is perhaps the grandest and most spacious, with a small terrace to boot. Madama Butterfly has sofa, armchairs, a marble vanity table and a tiny balcony.
There’s a Single Room, too, and a Family Room can be created by connecting 2 Superior Rooms.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Breakfast is a leisurely affair, served until 11 am in the little jewel box of a dining room. Tuscan hams, fresh fruit, juices and yoghurts flesh out the standard Italian prima colazione of coffee/tea and patisseries. Or you can be extra decadent and have a tray brought to your room.
There are some excellent restaurants in central Lucca. Our favourite is the Bucca di San Antonio, a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. If you can be bothered to drive, there’s a Michelin-starred place just outside town.
- Restaurants nearby
- Borrow a hotel bicycle and cycle around the 4km of well-kept medieval walls for great views over its roofscape - brilliant
- For even better views, climb the Torre Guinigi, a 44-metre-high tower with a holm oak growing at the top
- Puccini fans should visit the house where the composer was born and brought up, now converted into a small museum with scores, photos and an original Steinway. Or head to Torre del Lago in late July / early August for the Puccini Festival.
- Explore some of Lucca’s wonderful churches, including the cathedral of St Martin and the tiered-marble San Frediano
- There are dozens of superb palace-villas around Lucca, with landscaped gardens and lavish interiors; those of Oliva, Grabau and Reale, outside San Pancrazio, make a lovely day trip
- Tuscany is an incredibly diverse and fascinating area of Italy. For a more comprehensive guide, see our destination guide
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Shopping / markets
Children may not find Palazzo Alexander the ideal destination - this is a small town hotel without pool or gardens. However, children are welcome - under 3's are free in their parents' room (cots are available); 3-15 year olds pay a discount rate and can either sleep in extra beds (a pull-out couch - not suitable for larger children) or you can book the interconnecting family room (1 double and 1 double/twin).
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting available by arrangement