We just came from Due Torri in Verona and I thought that was an impressive "Old World elegance" hotel. Then we come to Bologna and I just found out that Grand Hotel Majestic was another Due Torri Hotel - and even more impressive than the first one.
First, the location. You can't imagine a more strategic position - it's refurbished a grand villa right on Via Independenza Street which is the central street of the historic city center and the main shopping street which becomes 100% pedestrianized during the weekends. It's a very wide villa but the entrance, right in the middle is quite small, which deceives you in to thinking that it's a small boutique hotel - until you realize they own the entire building and that the shops to the left and right of the ground floor entrance are part of the building concessionaires.
Like the De Torri of Verona, they took an 18th or 19th century rich family-owned villa and transformed it into a hotel, which will explain the elegant staircase running at the back, the lovely corridors, the small lifts which weren't there a century or couple of centuries ago, the high ceilings.
The hotel entrance is so beautiful that I just had to take a lot of pictures - lots of columns, great lighting, nice art, impressive walk down to the dining area, When we got to our floor, there was a great foyer-corridor where I could imagine the old family having a small reception at high tea - or something similar. Like the Verona De Torri, it's old world brass key, no electronic keycard for them - which could be a slight hassle if there are two or more of you. The washroom is separate from the T&B area which is always great, there's a weighing scale that was a nice touch (though we didn't know how to adjust it), they had two hair dryers (the newer one was much more functional than the older one attached to the wall), they had the usual in-room safe, ac controls were easy to manipulate, room chandeliers reminded us of the Due Torri lighting in Verona, ditto with the cloth wallpaper which was reflected as well in the curtains, the ceiling is nicely high, the beds and pillows are outstanding. Breakfast was at the lower ground, a very elegantly furnished and decorated room with a false atrium that allowed you to think you were having coffee at an outside garden since that section had a skylight and a garden wall mural. Breakfast fare was outstanding, with all the usual amenities plus cream cheese, rice, quiche which you don't normally find elsewhere. Toiletries, like the Verona Due Torri, were classy, and the tissue paper was of highest quality (note, I usually never remark on toilet paper unless it's made of recyled paper or it's very high end super-soft embossed kind like what this hotel offered.) They had complimentary water although I would suggest that they offer still rather than gas since I'm guessing more foreign guests prefer still water.
The staff are superb, more service-oriented than the Verona Due Torri. Special commendation to the doorman and the breakfast head waitress. Just a quick example - I was looking at the butter selection and she quickly runs over and asks if she can help me since she knew that I wasn't sure if I was looking at the butter or the cream cheese (turned out I was indeed incorrectly looking at the cream cheese selection).
Some minor negatives: the bathroom was decent but the white tiles didn't keep up with the classic elegance of the rest of the room. The LCD TV was a bit on the small side. I didn't think it was a negative but my wife thought they could have provided for a regular writing desk with lamp rather than your round writing table with two chairs.There was no coffee maker and no wine glasses (though there were regular glasses that we used for the wine we brought into the room. The clothes cabinet was inside the wash room which was a tad inconvenient. They do need to improve their wifi access though since it seemed that nearly every time you changed web sites, it kept asking for the user name and password, which was a terrible inconvenience, whereas in the Verona Due Torri system, you entered it once and whether you closed or put it in sleep mode, you always had access.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Elegant Classically styled Hotel in historic building near palaces, churches & museums. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Bologna
- Grand Hotel Baglioni