A large & very practical hostel
I spent 5 nights at Ostello San Frediano, just inside the remparts at Porta Santa Maria. To situate it from the start, it's by the Basilica di San Frediano and minutes on foot from the oval Anfiteatro.
Reception is well organised and helpful. I had advised them that I would be arriving by car and they had informed me that they had free parking. I was able to drive to the front of the hostel easily, and the attendant immediately showed me how to go around to the parking (there's a gate, which she lifted by a button from inside.)
The rooms are cleaned thoroughly each morning and the staff were all very pleasant. Large windows opened onto a quiet garden area in the back. Lockers were big enough for a suitcase or backpack, and quite deep so there was room for lots more. Also, they had a bar with hangers, which I always find useful.
The bathrooms are each used by 2 dormitories, large sink space, excellent showers, clothes hangers and benches for your things. Large windows there too. Very clean. I never had to wait. There are toilets on all floors in case that's all you want.
There is a large dining-room downstairs, where breakfast is served. I only used it once and breakfast was good, juice, croissants, butter, jam, and they make a fresh pot of good coffee for each guest.
I didn't go back after the first morning because although there were only 3 persons eating when I was there, it took 20 minutes to get even a cup of coffee. And I had said on arrival that a coffee was really all I wanted.
The manager and the waitress were having a private conversation and ignored me when I asked again after 10 minutes. The manager waved at me rudely and said "Just be patient!" Well okay, but it would have helped to know they were making a pot of 6 cups just for me (and that it took their machine 20 minutes to produce that!)
Reception staff is good at answering various questions about Lucca and they'll mark things on a gift map for you. They were also good with passing me my messages and really facilitated check-in and check-out for me. The outstanding quality of Ostello San Frediano for me was its location. I could walk everywhere inside the historic centre in minutes, yet my area was a haven of peace.
At the corner, in front of the Basilica, there's a café terrace that stays open very late. In fact, I think they only close when the last customer leaves. A favourite hang-out for the young crowd of Lucca (I noticed because I went for Aperitivo around 7 p.m. and it was always lively, good music, etc. And I always ended the evening there, around midnight, with a book and a glass of wine. I think it's called Lucca Dentro... I thought the owner had a funny name but come to think of it, it must mean "Inside the walls". I tend to take things too literally...
Another thing I loved was that it's a large building, with space to move freely everywhere. The parking by the garden is also very practical and safe.