Having been to Italy countless times, and probably stayed at some 30-40's 3-5 star hotels, we know the differences between the Italian hotel's star ratings. Having arrived from Mantova by train, we took a short cab ride to the Hotel's pedestrianized entrance, 9 euros.
Greeted by Ms Valerie and she was all smiles, very welcoming indeed! She led us to an upgraded suite as our reserved room, number 31 with a balcony, was taken. This suite, number 32, was huge in size, under the attic. Though it doesn't afford us much of view, it was very quiet for a good nights' sleep - which is of utmost importance to jet-lagged travellers.
The suite has an actual Queen or King bed, not twins pushed as one. There were 2 pillows and a cushion of varying degrees of hardness for each person, signs of a 4 or even 5 star hotel - we were indeed impressed! A flat screen TV with one or two English channels, and a L-shaped sofa (somewhat hard, not very comfy, but could be a sofa bed?).
A nice and small dressing table,with its matching mirror, which will help to save time in the mornings when one uses the bathroom and the lady puts on her make up - perfetto! Very strong hair dryer, too. The two glitches we found were - its bathroom shape was long and slim, needed sometime to get used to it and the air-con isn't very strong for such a huge room.
Breakfasts was great, either indoors or outdoors in a small courtyard with lovely plants, wonderful! Near this breakfast room, is my favorite corner of the hotel - a cosy reading area with gorgeous Chesterfield leather sofas. Plenty of magazine and books in English from travels, architecture, fashion etc for you to read, NICE!
Food wise, we had one of our best Italian meals at Al Frate (Via dei Musei, 25). Out of the hotel, turn right and turn right again, its on your left - you will not miss it. However, avoid the restaurant on the Hotel's immediate right hand side (forgotten its name). Though it has very nice indoor decors, but its food is somewhat below par for the same price charged at Al Frate.
It was our first visit to Brescia, and it was surprisingly nice. For cultural lovers like me, the Piazza della Loggia was indeed beautiful, but do be careful about venturing to an area off this Piazza, it was quite seedy with many purported Indians. The other mains sights are the Castello (not for the weak hearted and aged!) and the Santa Giulia Monastery.
There was lots and lots of shopping in Brescia, it is no wonder it is being called the 'Mini-Milan'. Though we spent only one night here, given a chance in the future, rather than dull Milan, we would like to make it our last stop in Italy. Enjoy the Albergo Orologio's kind hospitality and superb location (quiet in a pedestrianized area) ... its simply great value for your money!
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- Also Known As:
- Albergo Orologio Brescia