I stayed at the Hotel Presidente with a group two years ago with no problems. I knew they were renovating this year and had redone the lobby. We apparently arrived the day after they reopened three renovated floors (1-3). We arrived at 4pm to be told that our rooms would not be ready until 5pm. I asked the (very nice) woman at the desk if I could have two rooms right away as three people in the group were older and needed to rest. She assured me the two rooms would be ready in five minutes. The rest of the group (college students) would have to wait. I said they would want to do work while they waited and could they have a password for the internet. The man who was doing the internet passwords was clearly put out that he had to be churning out 10 passwords—my students (who are very mature and polite) remarked that he did not seem to want to give them passwords and he seemed very rude. I asked for a password so I could email them the rooming list and he told me I would have to wait. Finally I got a password and emailed the list (I usually send the list ahead but had had several days with no internet).
At 10 minutes to five I went back to the desk (we have all been sitting in the lobby all this time in plastic chairs) to ask if the two rooms that we were promised would be ready at 4:05 were yet ready. The (again) very nice man at the desk replied that they were not. I then asked why the rooms were not ready by late afternoon. The man who had been doing the passwords came over and introduced himself as the boss. He was very short with me, telling me that they did not have to give groups rooms before 6pm; they usually try to accommodate groups and will give them rooms immediately if they are ready. It is their policy. I have been in communication with this hotel for about 8 months—including sending them a significant deposit. At no point (as I explained) was I told about this policy. His reply? ‘We have lots of policies and do not feel it necessary to inform clients of them all—would you like to be informed in advance of our policy about the hours you may eat breakfast’ (I cite this just to give the tenor of his reponses). I have never been spoken to by hotel staff in this way. (Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m just an unpleasant person who provoked the manager, read my other reviews—I am usually a most reasonable person.) He made no sense—to the point that I finally said “I’m sorry I just don't understand” “What don’t you understand?” “I think my Italian is not good enough to understand your explanation”—so he proceded (in the same abrasive defensive tones) to explain in English. It turns out I had understood him completely but none of his explanations made any logical sense. His responses to me attracted the attention of my entire group, greatly distressing them.
At 5:45 the rooms that were supposed to be ready at 4:05 were ready. Most of the rooms were ready about 6:20, but when we got to the floor what a surprise! The hallways were full of matresses and there were staff running around trying to equip the rooms with beds and linen and wash the floors! Had the manager written to me ahead of time to tell me they were behind schedule—or even informed me when I arrived that that they had just reopened and the staff was frantically trying to equip them, I would have understood. It was seven thirty before I had all the rooms—so I wound up with a group of students in my room who had no where to go unless I wanted to relegate them to the lobby for the full three and a half hours. And then the rooms didn’t lock and had to be fixed.
By this time I was totally exhausted; we got take out from Cibus (yum: up the main drag on the left about two blocks) and opened a bottle of wine. I poured wine into my friend’s plastic glass from the room and the wine (red) went all over his clothes—the glasses were all cracked (invisibly) and when the glass got half full it burst. His clothes are ruined.
Last time I was here I stayed on the non-harbor side and slept fine; our rooms this time face the harbor: good view but so noisy we didn’t sleep. The traffic is unrelenting. But the bed was comfortable (although all the beds in the new part are matrimonale—no twin beds).
Breakfast was a disaster: PACKED from the time it opened; only one coffee machine worked and we stood on line; when we got to the front of the line that one broke too; the food (what there was of it) was unappetizing and picked over.
OK: so: the hotel is situated at the harbor and very convenient for the ferry; the main street (safe) is one block up; the staff (except for the manager) is lovely. The renovations are fine—modern and modular and not particularly well done. The shower is good (but leaks a bit onto the bathroom floor) and the beds (brand new) are comfortable. The older rooms (which we were in two years ago) were fine. More importantly: will they raise the rates to be more in accord with their new “first class” status? (the manager’s words, not mine—he said to one of the members of the group “I don’t know why she is upset—she is getting a first class hotel at the old rate”). There is nothing first class about this hotel. And I do not say that out of the frustration I have experienced. It is now a charmless modern hotel instead of an ok older hotel—modular furniture, poor paint jobs, unevenly installed fixtures.
Frankly I will never stay here again and I would not encourage anyone else to. Were you ever to have a problem in this hotel you would not get satisfaction from the management—and chances of your having a problem seem significant, if my experience says anything.
- Also Known As:
- Quality Inn Palermo
- Palermo Quality Inn
- Ibis Styles Palermo Sicily
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We freely smile and professionally serve our guest,at the Quality Hotel President Palermo,at your servise, always! ... more less
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