The warm sunshine greeted me as I walked out of the station and I took a moment to breath in the fresh air before heading to my hotel. The weather was sublime- especially because it was only the end of February. I was anxious to get to my hotel to drop my bags and to explore the new city, but I knew the hotel was only a 13 minute walk from the station, so I walked passed the taxis confidently, searching for the first street that I knew I needed to take in order to get myself to the Hotel Bristol Palace.
If you have easy luggage that you can roll along beside you and the weather is behaving, I would certainly suggest walking to the hotel on arrival. Your travel agent (hopefully me!) will book you to the right station in the city, since there are two and one is much more convenient.
Upon arrival to the hotel, after entering through the rotating doors, which always make me nervous that I’ll someday get stuck in one. I was greeted with two, bright smiles behind the front desk. “Buongiorno! Are you checking in?” I replied that I was and that I was looking for Fiorenza, the manager at the property, who I had been emailing with in anticipation to my stay. “Awwhh Signora Ebner! Okay! Let us get her.” I watched the reservations agent scurry to the back office and I immediately looked back up to the ceiling, which I had caught only a glance of when walking into the hotel.
I could only imagine how ridiculous I looked, with my mouth gaping wide open and I’m positive that I instantly whispered “wow” like Owen Wilson would have. The reservation agent caught me off guard and said, “it’s amazing, isn’t it?” You got that right.
Fiorenza made me feel right at home at the hotel, she escorted me upstairs to show me my room. Well not actually up the stairs, don’t worry, this hotel does have an elevator! As beautiful as this staircase is, I’m grateful that they have the lift. Fourth floor, on the left, then a right. That’s where I believe to be one of the best rooms in the hotel and that’s where I was staying for the night! This Junior Suite room had these great big windows, which actually opened up to two small balconies to my surprise, with a large window between them. Fiorenza opened one of the doors up and showed me the view down the street, where you can see a large piazza not even a block away, with a large fountain in the center of it.
I settled into the hotel room with my luggage and freshened up before my next meet up with Fiorenza downstairs. I snuck in a few emails and then made my way out onto the balcony to take in the street scene below.
Fiorenza was there waiting for me at the bottom of the staircase, ready to give me an introduction to the hotel. As we walked toward the first room, she began giving me the history of the property, sharing with me that they had first opened the doors to the hotel in 1905. If you’re lucky, you’ll stay in a beautiful historic building while visiting Italy, just like this one. You know you’re in a special area of a city, if you’re staying in the same neighborhood as where the cities Opera House is located. Which in fact, is just a couple of minutes away on foot, from the Hotel Bristol Palace! This is something I will certainly look into adding to my trip, the next time I visit Genoa.
One thing that really struck at this hotel, was that each room was unique to the other. The furniture, the flooring, the walls, all providing a different, but accurate look to the times in which the hotel opened. They were renovating a few of the rooms while I was there, but it didn’t interrupt my stay and I was happy to hear that they are keeping everything as original as possible and really taking care of it. I also really loved the antique furniture throughout the hotel, in the lobby and dining rooms, it added character to the place. This is a solid 4 star hotel in Genova and I’m looking forward to showing this option to my clients, especially those that will appreciate the history of the hotel.
When we entered the dining room, which is also the breakfast room in the mornings, I really felt a sense of place, a place back in time. It was elegant and the ceiling decorations again had me easily distracted and gazing around the room. Fiorenza must laugh every time she has to watch a new person taking in all of the art. “It really is beautiful.” She said proudly to me. I nodded in silence as I grabbed my camera again and began taking photos of the room.
Later that night, after exploring the city for a few hours, I headed to the hotels restaurant for dinner. I wish I had photos for proof, to show you the delicious pesto (which originated from this region-Liguria!) and the well paired local glass of wine that I enjoyed for dinner at Ristorante Giotto. But you’ll just have to trust me on this one, as I was half way through my plate of pasta before I even thought to take a photo of it- other proof that I’m definitely not a blogger haha! Lucky for me, the restaurant was just 2 floors below my room, so it was an easy decision to enjoy my dinner there, rather than to venture out still jet lagged. Another reason I was lucky…it was very very good. I remember sitting there, wishing I was hungrier and could enjoy more from their menu, maybe even a dessert, but this was the perfect end to a great first day in Genoa.
Thanks to the staff and management at the Hotel Bristol Palace, I really enjoyed my time in Genoa! Before I even checked out, I warned them that I will most definitely be returning to see more of their beautiful city. My next blog post will be all about my experience in the city and own outlook on things there.
Note: As some of you know, when I stay at hotels I will arrange to have a site inspection of the property I’m staying at, which gives me a better understanding of the hotel. The manager or front desk agent will take me around to different room categories, to visit the dining rooms, the spa, pool or gym. This way I am familiar with the grounds and able to better explain this place to my travelers. It’s important for me to compare room categories and to see the difference between the rooms. Which can be a game changer for my clients! For example, now that I know what a fabulous room the Junior Suite is, I will absolutely encourage my travelers to book this particular room for their stay. Everything always depends on pricing and availability, but if I can get my clients in the best room of the hotel, that’s my job. Don’t try and call Costco or look on booking.com for assistance like that!