First of all, don't do it.
Four star quality this is not. I booked this hotel for my girlfriend and I primarily because we were arriving late in Palermo and I wanted somewhere ''nice'' to go straight away. I thought it would be a treat before moving on to what I thought was the less grand accommodation our budget would allow for.
The pictures lure you in with the promise of a grandeur long lost - greeted by a marble foyer dominated by a fountain, in addition to the character of the building, you think you have arrived somewhere special.
If you do stay there, I advise you to cling on to that initial feeling - because a reality slap awaits you upstairs. We stayed on the third floor. After exiting the lift, we strayed in the wrong direction, down a very grubby corridor (black marks on the walls, stained carpets, broken radiators, ceiling panels missing, lightbulbs flickering). We had to laugh. Eventually we realised we were heading in the wrong direction and found the way to our room (through an absolute maze), though the environment wasn't much better than the area left to fall into disrepair (and oddly left open to customers, as some of the rooms were occupied).
The door to our room had the peephole hanging out (removable too) when we arrived. Inside, the walls were scuffed and stained. The carpet was ripped up in parts. Thankfully, the bed sheets were clean (I really had anticipated a shock there, given what I'd seen). The bathroom door opened awkwardly, clipping the towel rail, so you had to squeeze in. The shower had some pubic hair on the wall. The room was undoubtedly in need of a lick of paint and some jobs to raise its appearance, but at least it had been cleaned to a reasonable standard.
Breakfast - the dining room is beautiful and makes you wonder: (A) about the kind of luxurious hotel it once was (B) how anyone could be so negligent and let such a building go to the dogs. Breakfast itself wasn't great. The staff were incredibly unhelpful in getting us a table (we sat with dirty plates in front of us for a few minutes) and were slow to give us cutlery, etc. The wait for coffee was interminable. The food was standard - bread, fruit, cheese, yoghurt, etc.
Overall, I have to say that I felt uneasy during my stay there. There is a strange atmosphere - the shining meets twin peaks, with a splash of a visit to an elderly relative in a nursing home. That just about captures it. I was also really disappointed with the value. I thought I was paying more for something special and it just 100% is not worth the price. In actual fact, this is the worst place I stayed during my visit to Sicily and it came with the highest price tag. There are some really amazing places to stay - I would recommend Butera 28 to ANYONE!! We had an entire apartment in a converted Palazzo for considerably less than the price of the stay at the Palmes. In addition, it was spotless, full of character, and the staff were incredibly helpful.
Do yourself a favour and don't book it - until the Hotel et Des Palmes puts a lot more effort into revamping (and I'm not being unreasonable here, I just don't expect black smudges on the walls, fraying carpets, and general disrepair for 100e per night. I don't expect the Ritz for that price, just cleanliness and decent service) it just is not value for money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- LOCATED IN THE HISTORICAL CENTRE OF PALERMO, SICILYFounded in 1874 and renovated in 1907 by one of the great masters of the Art Nouveau Style, Ernesto Basile, the exquisite Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes hotel exudes historical charm. Grand decor of marble floors and antiques combine nicely with very latest technology to make your stay a memorable one. The recently restored restaurant, bar and banquet room can host all your personal and professional events in great style turning them into unforgettable moments. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Palermo
- Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes Palermo, Sicily