Staying in a hotel is expensive, not just because of the daily costs, but because you have to eat out, you are basically living in one room unless you rent a suite, and also, you feel as if you are in an artificial, touristy environment. An alternative is to rent an apartment. Most require a six month stay. Residence LaGrange is an apartment, not a bed and breakfast, but without a length of stay requirement. I stayed there for one month, and found it to be optimal.
I rented an apartment once before in Torino, and there was just not enough support. Here, there is an onsite manager who can help you with everything. It's not a bed and breakfast where they will cook for you, but there is daily cleaning of the room, and if you want it, laundry.
Specifically, this is what I found. First, the location is perfect. Anything that you would want to do in Torino, is within walking distance, to and from the train, to the River Po, the the museums, the piazzas. It is on Via Lagrange, the second most spectacular street (one block away and parallel to the most spectacular one, Via Roma), with a small balcony that you can sit on.
I viewed the various room options, and chose a matrimonial, or double bed. The rooms have two floors, so you never feel closed in, like you do staying in one room in a hotel. There is a living room, dining area, bedroom, and two-room bathroom with a hot tub and separate shower. There is free high-speed wifi.
The only downside is the kitchen. It's not the type of apartment where you can go to the market, by some pasta, and make some great food. The utensils are there if you want to, but it's a kitchenette, not a true kitchen. It did enable me to save money because I could keep basic things in the fridge, make a sandwich, store milk, wine, fruit, etc. Five feet from the front door is a coffee shop, so morning coffee is easy. Multiple top notch restaurants are within 100 yards of the front door.
Cleanliness was exceptional. Unlike the five minute breeze through by maids in a hotel room, there is a kind elderly lady who comes into the apartment and spends a good 20-30 minutes there cleaning. She does not clean the kitchenette or do your dishes. That, you have to do yourself. But, everything else is left spotless and clean.
It comes down to preference. If you need a hotel with a lobby, a restaurant, that is one experience. If you want a pure apartment, I tried that, and didn't like it. The owner was never there, cleaning was provided only once a week, and the advertised internet barely worked. This is between a hotel and an apartment, or an apartment with most of the services of a hotel. You can go to the manager to get something printed, scanned or faxed, but also feel like you are actually living the life of a Torinese in your own apartment.
The bed was excellent. It's one of the first things I notice, because I have a bad back. If you have guests, there is a folding bed.
In summary, location, comfort, space, cleanliness, service, and value per dollar spent were outstanding. If you want a five star hotel, go there. If you want a great apartment with excellent service, want to avoid the sterility of a hotel, and want to be able to walk to the best restaurants, shopping, sightseeing, and cultural events within minutes, I'd recommend Residence LaGrange without any reservation. It is where I will always seek to stay, and I will recommend it to my family when they visit. I travel extensively throughout Italy, and this is a real gem.
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