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“Good property, but must focus on detail at this price level” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

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Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa
Ranked #3 of 101 Hotels in Palermo
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Good property, but must focus on detail at this price level”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
See more room tips
Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank viribustotis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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615 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
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London
Level Contributor
66 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ben-Saud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
736 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 466 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brun066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
133 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelbug61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotch Plains, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

Although overall, the location, the property and the room were all fine and would have rated a very good rating, but at the end they left us shaking our heads in disbelief. On the first day, I'd taken a bottle of water out of the mini-frig and put it on top. It rolled behind the frig; we couldn't reach it. I duly reported it to the desk, they sent someone up, but he couldn't retrieve it either. The frig was nailed to the cabinet etc. and would have required tools etc. Don't you know they charged us 1 euro 90 for the water?! - Then we made the mistake of not paying for all our glasses of wine at the bar with cash and not putting it on the room tab. They did give us receipts but these had NO prices on them. At the bar, they were 4 euro. If they wanted to offer a more expensive glass, then we would have known to refuse it if paying with cash. When the room tab was presented, it had charges far in excess of 4 euros a glass. - The only Wi-Fi (free as Americans understand it) is in the lobby area, close to the desk. This area is very cold! - The property is very pretty and "grand." Too bad that they're spoiling the whole experience with their chiseling. Caveat!

Room Tip: Our room was close to the residential buildings on the other side of the street. There was noise of...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Carol K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
993 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 283 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2013

I had reservations about staying here as some reviews on TA were not favorable. However, our experience was excellent. After I made my reservation online, I had a couple of questions about my room and location. I called the hotel and they pulled it up immediately and resolved my issues. The hotel was bright and clean and the front desk was very helpful. We wanted to check if the Archaeological Museum was open and he called a couple of people to confirm that it wasn't. We were very pleasantly surprised and would definitely stay here again. The location is excellent and within walking distance of all the historic area. Other posters had said it was difficult to find the entrance so I have posted some pictures that I hope will help.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Scott8147
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013 via mobile

Architecturally this is a gracious hotel with a beautiful inner courtyard. The hotel is the former stock exchange building. It is ideally located in a quiet square. We had a very clean, well appointed room. The dining room is large and majestic? The desk staff are friendly and helpful. The main purpose of this hotel is to cater for conferences, seminars and other functions. It can feel a little impersonal. However, it suited our needs very well and we were very happy with it.

Stayed October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lesley18
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

Property: 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 Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Palermo
#2 Luxury Hotel in Palermo
#4 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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa Palermo, Sicily

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