Since I have “an honor” to give a first review to this B&B , newly opened – I will try to be as descriptive as I can .
One thing from the get-go : I stayed there for a week and I was very happy .
The location cannot be beat. It is 2-3 minutes walk to Teatro Massimo and upscale shopping streets where the whole town seems to take an evening stroll, 7-10 minutes of unhurried walk to surrounding museums and architectural masterpieces that abound in old town, nightlife and food places are a stone throw away . The street itself turns into a marketplace every day – you can get anything from the most amazing ( and surreally cheap ) local produce to clothing and gifts. Don’t worry , the market starts quite late and doesn’t disturb jet-lagged sleep :-)
The street is pedestrian-only which is a mixed blessing : if you have tons of suitcases call ahead for assistance ( it was easy though ) since cars can only make it to about two blocks away.
But when you hear, see and smell street traffic you will fully appreciate car-free zone.
The building is a very ancient looking townhouse newly restored, in and out. There is no hotel sign - so pay attention to the address given. You enter through the massive door to get into a lobby area
( lots of marble and some great artwork ). There is an elevator – and , hooray , it is not ancient but a modern see-through glass contraption ( if you have been to one of those ,musty, tiny, dangerously wobbly elevators in old hotels you know what I mean ).
On check-in we were given a set of keys - for our room as well as a for the front door. We were free to roam unchecked at any time of day or night . Streets ,by the way, felt safest of any European city I remember- even in prim and proper places in Northern Europe one can encounter unpleasantly drunk hordes of young men loitering aimlessly looking for trouble. Not here. I felt at 2AM just as safe as in midday.
The room and setting looks exactly like the photographs on hotel’s website. A surprise , because quite often “official” glam photos are far cry from ugly cavernous spaces travelers encounter ( thank you, Tripadvisor for letting us know the truth from fellow wonderers ). You can judge for yourself, I did some photos just for fun…
Our room was a very large size with slanted high ceiling , windows facing the street. AC is silent and very good and you control it yourself. The bed was just right – not too soft and not too hard. Bedding and linens were high quality, just as was a trim and detailing in a room and bathroom space. The whole space is very tastefully done and decorated .
Common area is very spacious and consists of dining room with gorgeous painted cove ceiling ( internet station is in this room as well ) a media room with large TV and fantastic paintings and art, kitchen ( a dream kitchen , I might add – I wish I could have it in my own house ) and a courtyard terrace which is a delightful place to relax and have a drink.
Complimentary breakfast was I think what is called “an expanded continental”: pastries, croissants, selection of jams , toast, yoghurt , fresh fruits , juice , coffee – both American and espresso. While I am not without a sin of pigging out on free stuff ( hoping to walk it off later in the day ) I found myself barely partaking of coffee with some sweets. The reason is late dinners, a local tradition which you are forced to join – where a dinner starts well after 9PM and lasts into wee hours.
Staying for a business trip ( seriously ) I didn’t feel deprived of any basic business amenities either: free wireless internet , a station with fax, scanner/printer. “Mailboxes etc” nearby – the ONLY place to send mail ( if you like your mail really slow , try Italian Post office, close by as well ).
Finally , people who run the hotel. I must disclaim here that I am no fan of B&Bs style of hotels , I travel close to 200 days a year and unlike leisure travelers I like my hotels to be predictable and somewhat impersonal. I have no time to socialize and I am always leery of owners who like to sit and chat for hours in front of a fireplace.
Having said that, I must say that this stay exceeded all my expectations – by a huge margin, and not in a small part by a human factor. The owner is a lovely young lady - discreet, sweet and friendly without ever hovering. She was always there when we needed her and happy to offer any advice. Other than that she was unseen and unheard.
The housekeeping part was done without ever inconveniencing my erratic schedule ( don’t you hate when a cleaning lady makes you feel like you are impeding on HER schedule by staying too long in your room? ).
I would be hard pressed to find anything that leaves more to be desired. If I was to nit-pick :-) I wish for more stylish dining room furniture – there is something of a clash between ceiling frescoes and plastic chairs with plain square tables. Another thing ( most of Italian hotels suffer from it ) , toiletries!
Little pouches of generic hair/body soap just don’t go well with upscale feel of the hotel.
I always carry my set of L’Occitaine just for those occasions so I didn’t feel deprived :-)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The B&B is a fully renovated nineteenth century building (the work was completed in October 2010); it has retained the grace and charm of a period house, but also provides every comfort, making it the ideal place for an unforgettable stay. The hotel has three floors and consists of 9 large rooms with private bathrooms, each with a unique atmosphere made magical by a breathtaking view of the market alleys and rooftops of the city.For longer stays or small groups, three stylish self contained apartments, consisting of bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living area, are also available. Breakfast, served in the beautiful lounge, is prepared on the same day with local organic products and according to your tastes and needs. The lounge, with comfortable sofas and armchairs, satellite TV, wireless and internet point is perfect for relaxing. The flowery terrace is the ideal setting to enjoy an aperitif made with local produce, enjoying a stunning view of the cathedral, the royal palace and the picturesque rooftops of the old city. With their interior garden, the great frescoed room and the fully equipped kitchen, the premises are also suitable, at the request of the guests, for musical evenings, themed dinners and other exclusive events. We are always keen to offer plenty of suggestions and all our expertise to enrich your holiday in Palermo. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- B&B Sant'Agostino Palermo, Sicily