I’ve stayed in the Imperial many times and the reason is simple……it’s good value for money. I wouldn’t stay there if I were on my honeymoon or if I were trying to impress a potential lover, but as I’m doing neither the Imperial is a good base to set out and enjoy Turin. A discount deal will give you a decent sized, clean double room for €40. With breakfast it comes to €50. Both prices are rare, if not inexistent, in the Piedmontese capital.
Breakfast is very much standard fare, but cheaper than what you’d pay in a café. Just don’t come down too late for it.
The hotel is run by a Sicilian family who will go out of their way to help you and tell you where you can get special offers in local restaurants that also happen to be run by Sicilians. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a Mafia joint, just a family run business.
It’s true that the hotel is in a rundown part of town, but then again, although Turin is a wonderful city, many districts are rundown and I don’t think the more central parts are any safer. What’s more, staying here you’re not far from a local market with lots of fresh vegetables and the bus and metro services work fine. Failing public transport it’s only a twenty-odd minute walk to the city centre.
If you’re not going to spend too much time in your room but rather visit the city and its many attractions, the Imperial is a fine base. You can usually find a free parking space in front of the hotel or in the surrounding streets and I’ve never seen much broken glass next to the cars. If you require a guarded car park there’s one at the end of the street for about €10 a day.
TVwise there’s the usual Berlusconi type drivel 24 hours a day, but fortunately there is free wifi and you can thus leave the remote control to fester in its corner of prediliction.
Some advice……book through a website and, if you’re staying on a Saturday night, ask for a bedroom at the back in order to avoid the noisy neighbours spilling out of the local nightclub at three in the morning. Finally, bring some cash in case the dodgy Turin credit card network mysteriously malfunctions.
All in all I quite like the Imperial Hotel and will stay there again next time I’m in town.
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