We stayed at the Novotel Fiera hotel in Bologna for five nights in July. Novotel is a chain. Everybody knows that and chains do what they are known for: they reproduce identical rooms all over the planet. You get the same bed, the same bed linen, the same paintings, the same sofa, the same sink etcetera everywhere you go. This can be reassuring to some but inevitably results in being very impersonal. Novotel is no exception to this. The room we got after checking in lived up to all its cliché expectations. We’d seen it all before. On the other hand the room was clean and functional and spacious enough to be pleasant. Expect basically a room with all modern mod-cons but don’t expect a whow! The room was sufficiently quiet with good sound-proofing and a thick sound-proof door. Wifi was free of charge and of good quality. The rooms also had a mini-minibar (meaning only basic stock). The hotel is located right by the congress center of Bologna by the tangenziale road of Bologna. From the airport it’s exit 8 direction San Lazarro that brings you there. The surrounding area is a business area and this also seems to go for the flesh trade. Some ‘ladies of the night’ were displaying their wares at various times of the day and night near the hotel. Despite the less than idyllic surroundings we did not feel unsafe however. The hotel has ample parking space and it also has a nice reasonably sized pool. Some tables and chairs are scattered around the pool but it’s a pity that none were the lounge type where you could consider taking an aperitif in the evenings. A drawback was too that all of the seating area was exposed to the open sun. Nice when you want to sunbathe but not so nice when you want to read a book. The public space is where this hotel veered away from the impersonal. The lobby and dining/breakfast areas were very pleasant, spacious and bright thanks to the natural light abundantly streaming in through the tall windows. The textile used for the sofas was however very coarse and unpleasant to the touch – a pity. Quite a few of the seats were also smudged. The staff were not friendly but also not unfriendly: they were just unremarkable and this went for the staff at the bar, the restaurant and reception. The lobby has two iMac computers with free internet access. A printer is also available (no cost). There is a nice play area for children (with a Wii). Since the hotel caters to business travelers a lot of meetings were being held during our stay. Breakfast was rather middle of the road. I would not necessarily pay 15 EUR pp for it. However since it was included in our rate we had breakfast in the morning. Expect the regular: cereals, a (limited) savory range, a (more extensive) sweet range, some fruits and the inevitable classic of many a hotel breakfast: overcooked omelet and greasy bacon. Some yoghurts were available and a limited range of juices as well. We also had lunch at the hotel. We shared a few slices of industrially pressed octopus as an antipasta and two plates of uninspiring tortellini. We paid around 40 euros for this. Not cheap: better drive into Bologna and eat better for less. One more thing: the location is great if you plan to explore the surrounding area (Parma, Modena, Ravenna,…) but without a car this hotel may not be the best option. There are no dinner or lunch alternatives at walking distance and Bologna center is around a 15 minute drive. All in all: a decent Novotel – nothing surprising but with nice public spaces. Run-of-the-mill.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Novotel Bologna Fiera is a modern 4 star hotel with 207 rooms, strategically located in the heart of the Exhibition district, 3km from the centre of Bologna and main railway station, 7km from the airport and with easy access from the Bologna Fieraexit of the A14 highway and the Tangenziale (200 m). Ideal for business trips, it is close to the Convention Centre and also offers 8 meeting rooms (300 guests), business corner, WiFi access, NovotelCafé restaurant (24 hours), a bar, pool and parking. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Bologna Fiera Hotel Bologna
- Bologna Novotel