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“The Shining meets Twin Peaks”

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Grand Hotel et Des Palmes
Ranked #25 of 98 Hotels in Palermo
Reviewed 5 November 2013

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.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank O M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gsapienza, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2014

Dear Guest,

we received your comments and we thank you very much for your time dedicated to write your impressions, which are basic for us to be able to grow and as exhortation to do our best.
Moreover, we thank you for having chosen our hotel for your recent stay in Palermo.
We are very sorry to know we haven’t satisfied your expectations.
In addition, we thank you for your criticisms and we would like to let you know that we are working to set them right as soon as possible, even if they do not exclusively depend on us.
The area that you see, is out of order, for staff only, there we are setting some works.
We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel
Yours faithfully
G. Sapienza

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 November 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for 2 nights on the 2nd Nov 2013 weekend.

Good Points: Nice old world charm, breakfast, friendly staff, central location, clean bedroom & comfy bed, safe in room, plenty of hanging space in wardrobe.

Bad points: No air con in rooms- the corridors outside the rooms were colder than the actual bedroom. No free wifi in room- you had to go to lobby to get free wifi. Bathroom was slightly tatty in places, with mould in places around bath.

As for the hotels 4 star rating...it would be 4 stars if they sorted the above bad points. Also agree with other guests experience of finding furniture worn.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank DucatiBiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gsapienza, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

Dear Guest,

we received your comments and we thank you very much for your time dedicated to write your impressions, which are basic for us, both to be able to grow and as exhortation to do our best and celebrate our commitments.
Moreover, we thank you for having chosen our hotel for your recent stay in Palermo.
We are very happy to have satisfied your expectations and to have left a good memory of your experience with us. ( good points )
In addition, we thank you for your criticisms ( bad points )and we would like to let you know that we are working to set them right as soon as possible, is the truth hoitels needs some tweaks, even if they do not exclusively depend on us.
We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once more and to keep deserving your preference.

Yours faithfully
Giovanni Sapienza

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

Beautiful Hotel, Shame about the Mediocre Staff - They tried to take an EXTRA £435.00 in excess to the actual Hotel Bill. We also got ripped off with the Mini Bar - Bill should have been 26.00 Euros and came to 112 Euros. Reception Staff have got above their stations in life - Snooty. The Hotel Manager tried to embarass me by saying my card had been declined and persisted in his insulance, had I got another card etc, etc - Determined to embarass me - DID NOT SUCCEED - After much stupidity.

Breakfast meal itself was very nice but the staff could not cope with the change overs of people (Not High Season). We had to fetch our own cuttlery, cups, and were kept waiting regularly. Fresh Beds each morning which was lovely and would give 10 out of 10 for the cleaning staff as they were lovely people.

The Hotel is Beautiful just needs a New Manager at the Hotel. The Hotel is at the Moment only geered up for Italians and Sicilians as they have not time or appreciation for International Clientele.

Room Tip: Higher Floors - perhaps much less City Noise.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Chelle257
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gsapienza, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

Dear Guest,

we received your comments and we thank you very much for your time dedicated to write your impressions, which are basic for us to be able to grow and as exhortation to do our best.
We thank you for having chosen Grand Hotel et des Palmes for your recent stay in Palermo.
We are very sorry to know we haven’t satisfied your expectations.

I'm sorry to learn that while finding beautiful but the system does, they may have had a negative experience. The recognition of credit cards is electronic and does not depend on us, do not know who might try to take more money, it is technically impossible. All this happens in a certified and non-manual.
I'm still doing the investigation.
I personally (general manager) I never knew of these facts. I would have intervened immediately to solve critical.
Thank you for the nice words spent on personnel and our cleanliness. these are our strengths
We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once more and to keep deserving your preference.

Best Regards
Giovanni Sapienza
General Manager

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Reviewed 26 October 2013

This old hotel has obviously seen better days. Everything about it must have been very grand 50 years ago, but it's definitely faded glory now. Our room was very spacious and fundamentally clean, but with carpets and furniture in need of an upgrade, it all looked a bit sad. Service at reception and in breakfast area was so, so. Good breakfast. try the chick pea fritters!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jennifer51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gsapienza, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear Guest,

I received your comments and we thank you very much for your time dedicated to write your impressions, which are basic for us to be able to grow.
I thank you for having chosen Grand Hotel et des Palmes for your recent stay in Palermo.
We are very sorry to know we haven’t satisfied your expectations,
I would like to let you know that we are working to set our criticisms right as soon as possible.
Of course the GRand Hotel et des Palmes has obviously seen better days.
The carpets and furniture in need of an upgrade we are workig to change them as soon as possible.
We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once more and to keep deserving your preference.


Best Regards
Giovanni Sapienza

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

The only positive thing I can say about this hotel is the size of the room--a junior suite with sofa, etc.. It was comfortable except for the fact that the carpet was filthy and the wallpaper was peeling off the wall. The view was of a wall a few feet away. Tired décor and dirty carpets and furniture everywhere in hotel. Front desk very unfriendly. Wifi not good. Worse breakfast of our trip--eggs were inedible. Many groups.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank 100db
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gsapienza, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear Guest,

we received your comments and we thank you very much for your time dedicated to write your impressions.

We are very sorry to know we haven’t satisfied your expectations.
In addition, we thank you for your criticisms and we would like to let you know that we are working to set them right as soon as possible, even if they do not exclusively depend on us.

We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once more and to keep deserving your preference.


Best Regards
Giovanni Sapienza

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013

We had a 5 night stay on the top floor . We found the staff excellent thank you Marcello, Francesca, Roberto you excelled in seeing after our every need. The room was spacious, spotless and very comfortable. The chambermaid provided every extra we requested with a gracious smile. We were on holiday and I accept some things may be a little faded but it is part and parcel of the great old dame.We fitted in perfectly as our family home is 120 years old. We loved the big open spaces within the hotel and we found the location excellent in the centre very convenient to everything. The breakfast was excellent . The 101 bus stops outside the door and for 1euro you can have a 90 minute bus trip which we really enjoyed. We were in a full up bus not even standing room until we pulled up at a stop with 3 inspectors with blue shirts. All of a sudden it was just us 2 in the bus with a massive exit. ...they must have forgotten to buy the ticket. Palermo is a wonderful old city full of wonderful architecture and more importantly wonderful food wonderful people. We just loved it .

Room Tip: Top floor rooms bright and sunny
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank mikeddie1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gsapienza, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2013

Dear Customer
We have received your comment and thank you very much for taking the first part of his valuable time to write your impressions about their stay at the Grand Hotel et des Palmes.
 The judgment expressed by her and for us it is important to be able to grow, which as an exhortation and encouragement to do better in order to give a hotel service at high levels.
We are very happy to have met your expectations and having left a good memory of his lived experience with us.
The enviable location of our hotel allows you to visit Palermo in the most comfortable , both with lovely walks or using public transport. Our reception staff is always very willing to assist our customers in order to make your stay enjoyable.
Thank you also for letting us know some critical , sometimes due to the inexorable passage of time, but we want you to know that we are working to resolve them as quickly as possible, including painting environments .
I hope to be back among our guests, as they were in the past Wagner , Oscar Wilde, Guy de Maupassant , and to continue to merit his preference
I take this opportunity to extend my sincere

Yours sincerely
Giovanni Sapienza

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Reviewed 18 October 2013

This is a historic building that has some charm and atmosphere but really needs significant investment. Our suite had recently been redecorated which gave it a reasonably fresh feeling but this was undermined by tired, old furniture and a bathroom that had not been updated. The sitting room in particular would have benefited from a comfortable sofa and a TV. The others in our party had a regular room which was better than the suite as it was one large room as opposed to two medium sized ones. Breakfast was copious but of modest quality. The location is good and only a short walk from the historic centre. The staff were friendly and helpful. Would I return? - probably not.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank PJW22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gsapienza, General Manager at Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear Guest,

we received your comments and we thank you very much for your time dedicated to write your impressions.
We thank you for having chosen Grand Hotel et des Palmes for your recent stay in Palermo.
We are very sorry to know we haven’t satisfied your expectations but we thank you for your criticisms and we would like to let you know that we are working to set them right as soon as possible, a plan o f renovation is settings for the next months.
We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once more and to keep deserving your preference.
Yours faithfully
Giovanni SApienza

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel et Des Palmes

Address: Via Roma 398, 90139, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Palermo > Palermo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Luxury Hotel in Palermo
#21 Romantic Hotel in Palermo
Price Range: £67 - £150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel et Des Palmes 4*
Number of rooms: 177
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

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