Great location 10 mins walk from the station - we caught the intercity train from Genoa. A great way to arrive - it takes about 90 minutes but the railway hugs the coastline so an enjoyable stress freeway to travel. The hotel is separated from the beach by a quiet side road. Didn’t get disturbed by traffic at all. We had a corner room with a balcony overlooking the sea and the promenade…heaven. The room smelt great when we walked in, so clean & fresh. Running under the hotel into the sea is a storm run-off which is not attractive at all and had a green scum on it whilst we were there until the tide got high enough to wash it out to sea, but at least it didn’t smell. Not something the hotel has any control over - but thought we should point it out.
The room was very modern and clean. The aircon seemed new and was quiet. The windows were all new upvc double glazing…very effective and smart. Can’t believe the noise the waves create, but fantastic to wake up to. There was a shower over the bath which was ok although the floor did get wet where water leaked under the shower screen. In our view it would be better if the bath was ripped out and a decent walk in shower installed.
The hotel is really smart…hallways are partially tiled and look good. Nice bar area and roof terrace. There is clearly ongoing investment and we were told the bar is being moved during November’s closure.
We had breakfast and evening meal. Having read the reviews I have to say we were disappointed with breakfast. The juice provided was poor quality…how much would it cost to provide fresh orange juice and fresh fruit? Also a toaster would provide a bit more variety…it was variety that was lacking. There were things like croissants & pain au chocolate but it seemed a bit hit and miss whether they were hot or not. Given that breakfast was available over about 1& 1/2 hours it would have been nicer for them to replenish the warm food throughout the sitting. Coffee was ok but could have been better. How about the option of scrambled eggs or an omelette? The evening meal was better, but the salad bar was again bland and boring with no variety at all…the same every day. After day 2 I didn't bother. Its not that we're not used to the Italian way - we went to Italy skiing for Christmas & the salad buffet was stunning with new variations everyday & the hotel itself wasn't a patch on this one. Our waiter Luis Alberto was great, very helpful with his recommendations for wine & between our pigeon attempts at each others language we got by. Wine was reasonably priced and it was kept for the next day if you didn’t finish it, although annoying we had to pay 3.5 euros for water! Having asked if the water was OK to drink from the tap & being told it was why could they just not put a jug of iced tap water on each table. Then if you want bottled water you have the option to pay for it.
Given how hard the owners work to keep the hotel looking so pristine & how elegantly they are dressed it disappointed me to go down to dinner to find people wearing jeans & shorts. When I'm on holiday I like to dress up a bit - perhaps I'm a bit old fashioned.
The hotel doesn’t have its own beach, but you get a 30% discount over the road. This equated to an 8 euro cost for 2 beds and a brolly for half a day – a rip off but this is Italy. That said, its all kept immaculate and the beaches are swept every night for the morning….loved the regimented alignment of the beds…played to my OCD. If you don't want to pay out on the beach & are happy not to go in the sea then the hotel does have a sun roof with several steamer sun loungers with nice clean soft cushions on. We used it several times and were surprised to find it empty - maybe due to the time of year but there was quite a sea breeze which you could escape on the roof. The one thing I would suggest is a few umbrellas up there to be able to get out of the sun if you wanted to.
This was a bit of a pilgrimage for me Diano Marina was the first place my parents took me to abroad when I was a kid. It was also a bit poignant as they are sadly now passed on so I couldn't share with them how it is now. I remembered it as being quite bustling with lots of people around & orange tree lined roads - but then it was August & I think the Italians may have been on holiday as well. Its more pedestrianised now but the roads still have copious amounts of orange trees along them. When we were there this time it definitely was more akin to Eastbourne (Brits will understand this reference - a bit retirementville). We must have reduced the average age considerably. Having said that we weren't after raving nightlife so it suited us. Not many kids around which was great. It’s a nice place to walk around with lots of bars and restaurants…although it did seem like the resort was starting to close for the season as during our stay some of the beaches closed while others were busy removing all umbrellas, sunbeds & beach huts.
So nice to walk along a promenade & not see signs for All Day English breakfast, full roast dinner or Irish bars.
Cycled to Imperia using the hotels free bikes. It was a pleasant ride along a quiet road. We stopped for lunch while we were there - saw some stunning super yachts, but the place isn’t as nice as Diano Marina….the journey was far better than the destination.
All in all I would definitely recommend the Palace Hotel & Diano Marina as a destination
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Classic, modern Hotel facing sandy beach.Bar, Restaurant.Free Wi-Fi, bicicles, fitness room, sunterrace.All Rooms with balcony,a/c,safe,Sat-TV. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palace Hotel Diano Marina