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San Paolo Palace Hotel Centro Congressi
Ranked #63 of 98 Hotels in Palermo
Reviewed 10 August 2013

I have just returned from a 3-day stay here – I travelled with my daughter. I read the comments of others on Trip Advisor before I left and so was well aware of what to expect.

The hotel itself is clean and safe. The public areas are nicely furnished and comfortable – while the rooms are a bit behind in décor and comfort. Mattresses are a bit hard and small pillows. I wasn’t concerned about the TV station options – we were not there to watch TV. The pool area was great – good views.

We took the advice of others who had been and those who were staying there at the time – and did not use the restaurant – except for breakfast. If breakfast was anything to go by – then we made the right decision. No effort seemed to be made. A collection of sweet pastries, cereal, coffee and juice machines and cheap cold meats and cheeses. There were also fresh apples and canned peaches and pears. This was very disappointing. The walk up to the hotel and all around the markets were full of fresh peaches, melons and lovely looking fruit. To use canned fruit was just lazy! (we bought the peaches from the markets – highly recommended) There are a couple of nice and very cheap places to eat just outside the hotel and a supermarket is also very local.

This hotel is not located in a very smart part of town – in fact it is very grotty! We sacrificed a central city location for a sea view. However, to be fair, many of the inner city hotels were surrounded by run down and unmaintained built up areas also – so I don’t think it is fair to criticise the area the hotel is in. So much of Palermo is in need of renovation – and this hotel is an island of calm surrounded by projects needing to be undertaken. There seemed to be a rubbish collection problem affecting the whole of the city, not just near the hotel. It took us 35 minutes to walk to the hotel from the main train station. It was easy to find.

We used the open top tourist bus, which picks up not far from the hotel. It was a great way to get an overview of Palermo. We then walked the whole tour – which took the better part of a day – but was worthwhile. Doable from the hotel – but you have to be up for it.

The local boast is that time does not matter – no one is in a hurry. That is, unless they are in a car. Crossing any road, regardless of lights or pedestrian markings – is to take you life into your own hands.

Overall I have based my rating on ‘value for money’ you get what you pay for – and this was just about right. Knowing what to expect helps you enjoy your break.

Room Tip: Try and get an ocean view.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank steven_wilkinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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50 - 56 of 618 reviews

Reviewed 15 July 2013

I am very unaccostomed to writing negative reviews, but feel compelled to write a realistic review to balance the largely positive reviews of this hotel. My partner and I stayed here for 3 nights in July, and were both left very disappointed by the experience. Our initial impression of the hotel very much marred by very unpleasant front office staff (no warm welcome here - more scathing disdain!). Things didn't improve on arrival at our room which had an overwhelming stench of cigarette smoke; spying an ash tray we presumed it to be a smoking room, so returned later to reception. We were told with no uncertainty that none of the rooms were smoking rooms - we were then offered 3 options 1) for someone to open the window, 2) for an aerosol to be sprayed and 3) for the ash tray to be emptied (I kid not!)... we demanded our option 4) to switch room - which after some debate, we managed to do - and in fairness, we were moved to a much more comfortable (non-smoke smelling) room. It seems unneccessary to list all the other failings of this hotel, but anyone who has travelled widely will be struggling to see this as a 4-star hotel, and it shows - we stayed in peak tourist season and the hotel felt like a ghost town most of the time. The pool is one of the few better aspects of the hotel, but even then it is let down by trivial points - e.g being open unfriendly hours, the compulsory use of bathing caps (couldn't figure that one out) and the provision of an adjacent bar... that was never open! All a tad disappointing. The sea view was pretty nice, but the downside of having a sea facing room is the nightclub right opposite... though if you fancy Rihanna blasting in your ears at 3 in the morning, then that can probably be overlooked. If you find little to keep you in the hotel, then you will find that it is at least a 30minute walk into the nicer parts of Palermo - the immediate area is unfortunately pretty squalid - litter strewn streets, prostitutes, packs of feral dogs and a crazy busy road do not feature on the pretty Sicillian postcards. Would suggest avoiding this hotel and area of Palermo - it is not a fair representation of the city.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Patters84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2013

Very poor location, far from city center. Rooms are OK but not 4* at all. Reception staff seems to hate tourists. Lacks courtesy and even good manners. Bar and restaurant service is average and personnel try to be frindlier. Poor breakfast. All in all it was not a good experience.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank anasus36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2013

The rooms are dirty ,the carpets are filthy.The lifts were dirty.The breakfast was very poor and smell like old.The rooms smell as toiletThis hotel is not 4star at all,its more as B &B.The towels were dirty.Only the bar persons were good.

Room Tip: Very bad in any sense for a 4 star hotel,not helping at the reception at all,very dirty,bad food and...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank iva-Ireland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2012

Very basic hotel bit off from the action. Along the road that has heavy traffic and it's a bit of a walk to the central, but bus is a good way to travel here. Hotel staff was friendly and the breakfast was good. This hotel does the thing, but no luxury here.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank RegallionsCom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2012

Very 1970s style hotel, but it has a small gym, roof top swimming pool
(take a swmming hat, other wise they charge you 1.50 euro for one, and it is obligitory to wear one), and we had a fantastic sea view- amazing view!
The bathroom is clean, but does have a dowdy feel to it ( and a shower curtain, can't stand shower curtains in hotels). The staff are fine, no problems there. The restaurant is nice, and breakfast not bad at all. We paid 90 euros per night.
There is a bus stop opposite, with 3 buses that go into town -10 -15 mins on the bus, and we didnt pay for them- you are supposed to but tickets at the main bus station, but as we didnt know this, we just played dumb- anyway, local people get on the back doors of the bus as you are allowed to do so, and avoid paying. Last buses leave Palermo centre about 7.30pm, as it is not recommended to be in the city after 8pm- apparently lots of robbers, and has we had a young child we didnt want to risk it. A taxi from the centre to the hotel costs about 10-15 euros.
The hotel was fine, but Palermo I am afraid to say is rather run down- if you go to Sicily, make sure you don't go just to Palermo, but explore of areas- so beautiful and the people are amazingly friendly and happy.
Compared to other hotels in Sicily, this one was value for money; we stayed in some hotels twice the price of this one, and none of the facilities that this one has.

Room Tip: On check in I wondered why the receptionist was looking at me with pity in her eyes, it was because...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Rebecca P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2012 via mobile

Booked for 7 days, checking out after 1 night. Horrible view from our room (unfinished high rise building) on the 10th floor, bunch of dogs barking in the morning, no access to the sea, dirty shower, no english channels on tv, bar near the swimming pool closed, looks like this hotel is empty even in a mid season - (just 2 of us in a bar near the restaurant), dinner menu not translated with a very limited choice, no pool tables, etc...

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank ZanAndMar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about San Paolo Palace Hotel Centro Congressi

Address: Via Messina Marine 91, 90123, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Palermo > Palermo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#31 Luxury Hotel in Palermo
Price Range: £42 - £121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — San Paolo Palace Hotel Centro Congressi 4*
Number of rooms: 284
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Contemporary High-rise Hotel situated overlooking the sea, between Capo Zafferano & Mount Pellegrino. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Paolo Palace Palermo
San Paolo Palace Hotel Centro Congressi Palermo, Sicily

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