There is little doubt that Tuscany is a real highlight of Italy. So to find the Max Hotel Livorno located in the northern part of this famous region of Italy provides a good starting base for touring wine country. With a more than an acceptable level of comfort this 4 star hotel is suited to the driving traveller.
The Max Hotel Livorno pros and cons
The specific location of the Hotel Max Livorno is maybe not perfect for those travelling without a car. It is located in an area which is not well positioned for the town centre. In fact, at times the views from the hotel are a poor relation to those hotels in Livorno town itself. However, from what I hear of other visitors the Max Hotel can often offer better food, a wider selection of food and much better service. I suppose this is the compromise for not having a sea or port view.
It appears as though you are based in an industrial estate although in fact there is little industry here. A small shopping centre is based literally next door to the hotel.
Whilst a much larger shopping complex is less than 10 minutes walk away. Extend that stroll by a further 5 minutes and you’ll be at the city railway station and able to continue walking to the centre of Livorno, maybe another 20 minutes.
After saying all that, whilst the location isn’t great, and it may not be the most grand hotel Livorno has to offer, this place still ticks a lot of other boxes.
It is well maintained and even though it is a number of years old it does appear as good as new.
A relatively small and busy car park greets you on the outside, however there is also an underground car park available.
The Reception area is a moody wooden brown colour with a lounge / waiting area offering coffee and light refreshments at a cost on an honesty basis.
There are two lifts to take you to the floor where your room is located.
The rooms are distinguishing with a cream and dark wooden colour style. The wardrobe, cabinets and work desk all match in with a blended colour scheme. Whilst effective, the downside of so much wooden furniture is that age shows quickly as chips and scratches are difficult to conceal.
On my most recent stay the wardrobe was spacious with two hanging rails and 4 hangers provided. Laundry service is available yet no iron or ironing board is provided within the room.
A mini bar is well stocked with a variety of drinks and light snacks.
Disappointingly the flat screen TV was clearly quite small. So much so it is a struggle to view from the bed, even though it is positioned to encourage this type of viewing. This was not a great concern for me since I was unable to find a channel broadcasting in English, not even BBC World News.
Two in room telephones are provided, one bedside. However no alarm clock or radio is present.
I’ve stayed in this hotel maybe 5 or 6 times now and am glad to say that they have finally offered complimentary wifi for guests. You obtain the login details from Reception. However it is worth noting that the voucher is only valid for 3 days at a time and is restricted to one device logon at a time. If you ask for more than one device then you might get lucky. In spite of this I found the connection to be fairly reliable and of an adequate speed.
Probably the best feature of the room is the bathroom. It is a visual delight with a glass style basin and shelf.
Plenty of room to spread out your toiletries and a good size mirror. Complimentary toiletries include a shoe shine sponge, shower cap and vanity kit.
The toilet has an eco short flush option and is accompanied by a bidet.
Why you should not have a shower guard
Whilst visually it looks impressive I am disappointed to say that the shower does have a shower guard. Okay, it looks fabulous, yet as is always the case with shower guards (which I’ve experienced from 20 + years of staying in hotels) it fails to do its job which is to keep the shower water in the bath tub. Even with a quick shower I would find the bathroom floor sprinkled with water everywhere.
The shower head however was detachable and with it being over a bathtub the option of a bath instead is always welcome.
You will also find a climate control box in the bedroom which was virtually immediately responsive and vital during the summer months.
Bed and breakfast hotel in Livorno
I could actually classify this as a bed and breakfast Livorno hotel, my reservation, like many included breakfast.
The breakfast buffet is admittedly one of the better breakfast spreads I’ve experienced in hotels. There is a good range of cold cheese and meats, pastries, fresh fruit and some cereals. Sadly the cornflakes are most definitely not Kellogg’s. The limited hot food selection of processed scrambled egg and sausage was disappointing.
From late April onwards the restaurant is open every night from 7:45 – 10pm for dinner. Lunch is not served at the hotel. (I do remember from previous visits that the kitchen was closed on Sunday evenings, so the idea of being open 7 days a week from April is a positive development.)
After previously experiencing the restaurant on an evening I am particularly wary. The bread basket and water on the table were most definitely not complimentary so I felt aggrieved to have been charged for something I didn’t ask for. This form of charging is of course not unique to the Max Hotel Livorno but I find it unsavoury.
Room service is now available in the hotel with an added charge of €5.
The Max Hotel also has what it calls a fitness centre (I prefer the term Exercise Room) on the first floor. There is a treadmill, some cycle machines and a range of weights available.
I’ve always found this hotel reasonably comfortable whenever I’ve stayed here. On a previous trip I even noticed that the Sampdoria football team (Serie A) were also in residence.
The bathroom is a clear highlight of the room stay although the shower guard’s inadequacies let the side down a bit in this area. Now that complimentary wifi is provided I’ve appreciated this hotel a lot more. It would be nice to have complimentary tea and coffee in the room however this is far from a European standard. I also think the location is far from ideal since there are some lovely parts of Livorno to explore. This hardly qualifies as one of the hotels in Livorno city, but rather on the outskirts with a long walk access to the city. Yet, when I was paying around €70 / night during my stay in June 2015 it was still good value for money. If you wish to find out more or make a booking click here.