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“Very Grand indeed” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

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Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via dei Cartari, 18, 90133 Palermo, Sicily, Italy (Tribunali)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 98 Hotels in Palermo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Very Grand indeed”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

This is a hotel with character. From convent, to stock exchange, to hotel. Beautiful central courtyard to sit and talk, have a drink or a bite of food. My room was spacious and comfortable, with most of the comforts of home. The hotel is centrally located and it is easy enough to walk to many of the local historic and cultural sites. The staff was very helpful and attentive.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view and a Queen size bed.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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330 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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NYC
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

The hotel was a convent about 100 years ago and is a beautiful building. The central courtyard is really awesome. My room was a nice size and nicely appointed. It was very comfortable and clean. There are some very nice restaurants in the area. I did not eat in the hotel restaurant except for breakfast. The front desk was very professional and helpful. All in all you get what you pay for and this was worth every penny.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex England
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for 4 nights from New Years Day. The hotel is superbly placed for sightseeing and 10-15 minutes walk from the railway station (for Cefalu, bus to Monreale and arriving from airport). It's comfortable - our room was small, but the bed was large and a nice spacious bathroom, plus a little balcony. Breakfast is an adequate buffet, but nothing inspiring. There is a huge atrium but rather inadequate public rooms and we couldn't find a decent bar in the hotel itself. Staff are friendly enough, and reception staff were particularly helpful and booked our restaurants. There's a number of excellent eateries nearby, but it's essential to book in advance, even if it's just on the day itself. Overall, this was a reliable, solid -even stolid - option. It's very high rating is somewhat mysterious, but there's nothing wrong with it.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

A nice hotel to end our Sicily trip. Like the bank vault theme. Got a room with reception/sitting area and balcony which we put to great use recovering from over-eating and relaxation without children. Good beds, decent bathrooms, generic toiletries, well furnished, room decor a bit clinical but fine. Likey to be the nicest large hotel in Palermo.

BUT, if I put on my high maintenance hat - given the price we paid and the positioning level they strive for - they need to improve their game:

* wooden floors in the hall transmit noise; not bad but could be better
* no wifi in rooms - in lobby only and weak signal; thus very difficult to plan the day
* no glasses of any kind or corkscrews in the room; only cheap plastic cups... and charged 5 euro per room service visit to deliver glasses to the room
* to use Sky movies need to contact reception; TV could have worked better with a coherent menu (yes you will be watching TV if you take full advantage of the food/wine)
* some staff struggled with English; had to be curt in order to make requests clear
* no dedicated concierge desk
* no toilet seat on handicapped toilet in lobby (luxury hotels need to overcome the local anti-toilet seat bias or charge less)

On the upside:
* best lightproof curtain setup I've seen since a new 4S / overlapping blackout shades with velcro on the sides and top light block
* staff knew the area better than other expereinces we had across Sicily
* room service was excellent and inexpensive for the quality (ex-glass delivery)
* good breakfast with huge block of fresh ricotta and interesting cheese plate
* balcony overlooked the local houses/courtyard in the back which was fun
* great little cafe just on the corner of Via Alessandro Paternostro where we ended the nights chatting with the owners and sampling amaros

All-in, a nice oasis to relax and experience a comparatively dodgy (vs new town) but very atmospheric part of Palermo. And if they get the details right in the future, then the price-quality mix will make more sense. So, enjoy, but manage your expectations.

Room Tip: rooms facing the courtyard next to Via Roma may be noisy
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Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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London
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

The hotel has much to recommend it: location, modern fittings, lovely rooms, character building. However, there are a few things missing. The staff are pretty average almost disinterested in service. We requested two quiet rooms next to each only to be given two rooms at either end of the building and the quiet location turned out to be next to a staff room that was banging through the night. We changed rooms next morning to side facing onto San Francisco church which has plenty of character;

Breakfast, for such an expensive establishment was a lacklustre affair . . it might have something to do with only a handful of guest in the hotel . . but it was not helped by sullen service.

So overall a mixed experience . . and at the price charged probably worth getting a special offer or looking somewhere else . . though there are few top quality places in Palermo.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Florence, Italy
Top Contributor
394 reviews 394 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 267 cities Reviews in 267 cities
222 helpful votes 222 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

What makes this four-star hotel uncommon is its elegance on the one hand, the thickness of its history on the other (and the two qualities are certainly connected).
The building, by its imposing square appearance, sharply contrasts with the often winding streets of surrounding neighborhoods (we are not far from the historic market "Vucciria"); it is then a prestigious hotel fully inserted in the ancient center of Palermo.
It dates from the late sixteenth - early seventeenth century, when it was (and for a long time has been) a monastery. After the Garibaldi's landing in Sicily (1860) and the Italy unification, it was turned into the seat of what could be called the Palermo stock exchange (hence the Italian name "Borsa": on the website of the hotel you can find details of this history). Finally the transformation of the hotel came, as I said elegant without being ostentatious. An example: over the room beds there is a simple shelter, which could be considered the modern interpretation of a canopy.
The great cloister (closed at the top by a glass dome during the winter, when I have visited it) is the focus of attention, the most attractive point . But many other environments (rooms, corridors, staircases) are impressive.
Obviously the rooms are comfortable, with air conditioning, wifi, mini-bar, fully equipped bathroom (in my room there was also a separate space with Jacuzzi pool, I don't know if all rooms are equipped). The breakfast is up to the standard of the hotel: the presence of typical Sicilian cheeses is remarkable.
The service is excellent: a single flaw in my stay (but not enough to chiange my rating of the hotel) is that one night I couldn't make a long distance call from my room. The staff immediately came and put me in connection through the reception.
The hotel is of course not for those traveling on budget. The cost of my room (as I said Jacuzzi included) amounted to € 126 per day, and is probably reduced as a result of an agreement with a public Board. However, this is overall one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for 5 nights as part of a small-group tour of Sicily. Palermo was certainly the loudest, most chaotic and unruly place we visited on the island, and in some ways the hardest to like, but the Piazza Borsa was such a welcome (and welcoming) refuge in the center of all the madness.

The historic, gracious building with its lovely inner courtyard (the Cloister) has a very central location within walking distance of many of Palermo's attractions, yet it's set back enough from the main drag that all is tranquil within its walls. My twin room had a balcony overlooking a busy neighborhood side street, but when the balcony doors were closed, all was peaceful inside. Both bedroom and bathroom were very comfortable and well-supplied with amenities, and the housekeeping staff kept everything sparkling clean. Only two quirks detracted a bit from the room: The hangers in the closet were so high that unless you're over 6 feet tall, you'll have to stand on a chair to hang up your clothes; and wi-fi doesn't work in the room.

Breakfast--an excellent, ample buffet included in the room rate--was a treat, with enough variety to please all palates. They even served soy milk and almond milk as alternatives to dairy milk--something I haven't often found in hotel breakfast buffets. More self-indulgent treats included cakes and pastries on the sweet side and a whole prosciutto on the savory side. The staff kept the buffet well-stocked and cheerfully brought to our table endless cups of cappuccino. What a great start to the day!

Finally, the efficient, gracious front-desk staff deserves special mention. Any request, no matter how large or small, were met with courtesy and kindness. If I ever return to Palermo, I would happily stay at the Piazza Borsa again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Address: Via dei Cartari, 18, 90133 Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Palermo > Palermo > Tribunali
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Palermo
#5 Luxury Hotel in Palermo
#8 Romantic Hotel in Palermo
#13 Family Hotel in Palermo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa 4*
Number of rooms: 126
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa Palermo, Sicily

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