Our trip to Pisa to spend a few days enjoying the hospitality of a city we have come to love, always over the years leaving with a heavy heart, wishing we could have spent more time there.
Until we chose to stay in a different hotel, and as with other hotels we have stayed in, we relied upon their local knowledge to arrange a taxi to the Andrea bocelli concert in lajatico.
A very easy to do request one would have thought, and so it was we asked and we were assured time and time again that a taxi would be available for the date and the time requested.
Can you imagine how very disappointed we were to find upon arrival, that this promise made had not been kept. No taxi had been booked, and the expression on the check in girl was priceless, a very negative and unfriendly NO!
I reiterated our request via telephone and email and said to her, how important that request was, and now here we are and you are telling me it’s highly unlikely we can have a taxi?!
Not happy, she had a discussion with her colleague and they suggested we go for a walk, lunch maybe and they would try.
We were upset, our journey was hanging on a thread, it looked like we would not be going to the concert afterall.
An hour later they called, and said they had FOUND a TAXI, and the cost would be an eye watering 350€!
We had expected around 200€ but 350 € was not expected. But we had no choice, they said they would add this to our bill, and as originally requested said taxi would arrive at 5 pm. In time to take us to the concert and allow us time to honour our table reservation in lajatico. At 7 pm.
About half an hour later they called us again, this time to inform us that the driver insists that we pay in cash, and if we don’t have the cash, go and get from a cash machine! At this point we suspected we were being ripped off!
We had no choice.
We arrived back at the hotel to be given our room keycard, the promise of the nicest room in the hotel was not honoured, the room was small, dark tired and the bed linen smelled of vinegar ! The window small, and the view of several windows opposite made privacy impossible, the noise coming from the street also promised little in relaxation, the room had seen better days. But at least we were here, and we were going to the concert, so we went down to the foyer at 4.45pm in readiness of out “Taxi” arriving at 5pm.
What came next was proof that we were being taken advantage of, we were told that the “Taxi” was indeed the hotel shuttle bus! Now there’s a surprise! And those were sharing it with three other guests, ?? One was being dropped off at the airport the other two, traveling to the concert, for a moment I was furious, but then my wife reasoned, well at least the fare will be shared! So we agreed, not that we had any other choice, so we hung around until the others arrived, and eventually left the hotel at 6pm too late I’m guessing to honour our table reservation, unhappy that it meant we would have nothing to eat before the concert, and highly unlikely to get a drink. So we went from the hotel being driven in a bus by a n absolute stupid and aggressive driver, we just about go to the concert in one piece, and returned in a bus driven way beyond its limits, thankfully the concert brilliant, but the journey was white knuckle. As as we arrived at the hotel, the driver asked fir the cash, we paid the full amount, wondering had the other couple done the same, or at least paid half, who knows? We have asked for an explanation and the explanation was “we are not travel agents and market conditions present the option we had no alternative but to accept, and as for contribution from the other couple, no answer, as clearly it’s fair to say cash in hand is a very dishonest way of doing business, or is is it? I will find out after my report goes to the fisa o authorities in Pisa. We were indeed victims of greed, victims of a hotel that clearly care not fir their reputation or the guests that trust them. My advice would be, look at the wonderful choices of hotels in Pisa, even the most basic ones will honour the promise they make, this one does not.