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“Peace and quiet in noisy Palermo”

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Hotel Principe di Villafranca
Ranked #38 of 98 Hotels in Palermo
Reviewed March 17, 2013

If you don't want to be in the centre of old Palermo, we think Hotel Principe di Villafranca is a good choice. We were amazed by how quiet it was, in terms of noise from outside. There's not a lot that can be done about fellow guests who wander past your room talking loudly!
We read other reviews before we went and agree that the breakfast is quite limited and the staff variable in their commitment to service, but unless a great breakfast and effusive customer service are what you want, we don't think that should put you off staying here. The Reception staff were very polite and keen to assist.
Our room was a superior double. It was fairly small, but we didn't spend a huge amount of time in it so that wasn't really an issue for us. The room was clean and comfortable which are much more important to us.
The worst thing, as so many others have commented, is having to pay for wifi.
Overall, a good city hotel and we would stay here again if we went back to Palermo.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 77lejo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GiuliaBriguglia, Sales & Marketing Executive at Hotel Principe di Villafranca, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2013

Dear Guest,
thank you for sharing your opinion about your recent stay at Hotel Principe di Villafranca.
We are very glad that your overall enjoyment of the experience was good, and that you were happy with your choice of staying in the shopping and entertainment area instead that in the historical city centre, which is nevertheless at a short walking distance from the hotel.
With a view to breakfast service, we strive to have the best selection of fresh, local produce, both sweet and savoury, including fresh cassata and cakes, eggs, cold cuts, cheese and much more and for this reason we would be very happy if you could contact us via email to highlight your suggestions as to what you thought was missing in order to achieve a "great breakfast".
Also, if you found superior rooms, which are quite large according to national industry standards, were not spacious enough for your needs, maybe on the occasion of your next stay in Palermo you can try one of our deluxe rooms, which are even larger and brighter.
We really look forward to having you again as our guests on the occasion of your next stay in Palermo and in the meanwhile would like to send you our kindest regards.
Giulia Briguglia
Sales & Marketing Executive, Hotel Principe di Villafranca

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104 - 110 of 359 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed at the Principe de Villafranca for one week over Christmas 2012. We had booked a double deluxe but were upgraded to a junior suite. The hotel is excellent and the staff extremely friendly and helpful. On the basis of other tripadvisor reviews we decided not to stay in the old town (noisy, not great at night etc). This hotel is north of the old town in a great area, plenty of restaurants nearby and excellent shops (if you want them) on the Via Liberta. We walked a lot during the day and at night and felt perfectly happy and safe. The hotel is very busy over New Year but much less so at Christmas, which suited us just fine as it got us the room upgrade. Did not try the fitness room or the restaurant in the evening so cannot report on those. Would stay here again, an excellent hotel. The same owner also has a hotel nearer the centre of town (near the Piazza Politeama) so this might appeal if you don't want to walk too far.

Room Tip: Double deluxe room probably worthwhile if you are staying more than a few days as the doubles are no...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank NSH186361
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GiuliaBriguglia, Executive Assistant at Hotel Principe di Villafranca, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear Guest,
we are extremely happy that your stay experience with us at Hotel Principe di Villafranca was such a great success and that you took the time to share it with the other readers of the Tripadvisor community : we would like to sincerely thank you for your review.
We are really glad you enjoyed the hotel location and its neighbourhood and that your whole stay during these Christmas holidays was pleasant; we are also very happy that you enjoyed your stay in one of our junior suites.
We hope to have the pleasure to have you back with us at Hotel Principe di Villafranca or in the other property of the same group, Hotel Plaza Opéra, on the occasion of your next stay in Palermo!
Kind regards
Giulia Briguglia
Executive Assistant, Hotel Principe di Villafranca

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Reviewed September 17, 2012

The Hotel Principe di Villafranca is a quirky place. Its decor is modern, yet it's set on the site of an ancient garden and has remnants of some columns as features. The hotel itself occupies the first two floors of the building, with other floors being apartments for local people,(accessed by a separate entrance).

The airport is about 35 KM from the city of Palermo. We paid 6.10 Euro each to take the airport bus to Politeama - the closest stop to the hotel .(Look for buses parked just outside the exit of the terminal. If we'd had a better idea of where the hotel was located we could have dragged our suitcases there, but we were unsure, so caught a taxi from the bus, for 10 Euro. (The taxi driver may have overcharged us. It was a short distance, and he did not seem to know where he was going!) This was considerably less than the 40 to 50 Euro others paid to have a taxi take them all the way from the airport - and much cheaper than the 'private' transfers offered by tour companies.

We stayed one night at the beginning of a tour of Sicily and two nights at the end. Both times we were fortunate to have the same spacious room with a large bathroom (which had a weird shower set-up that drowned the floor!) Others on the tour showed us their small bedrooms and tiny bathrooms. They had a different experience of the hotel to ours!

However, we all experienced the worst meal of the week-long tour the first evening at the Hotel Prince di Villafranca. The food was horrible! Possibly this was due to being part of a tour, because those who stayed additional nights before the tour told us they'd had quite good dinners! The group dinners at the end of the tour were better, thank heavens! All agreed breakfast left a lot to be desired, with limited choice and poor service.

I liked the helpful and friendly approach of staff on reception. They marked places of possible interest in the city on a map, and told us which direction to head. Several land-mark buildings were in the area of the hotel, and the main shops were a 10 minute walk away.

On the whole our impression of the hotel was good and we loved being close to the heart of Palermo.

Room Tip: If your room is really small, request a larger one!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank nocatnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GiuliaBriguglia, Executive Assistant at Hotel Principe di Villafranca, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2012

Dear Guests,
we would like to thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Hotel Principe di Villafranca. We are very happy to read that you had a pleasant time at our property, that you appreciated its style and atmosphere, its very convenient location close to the main sights and to the main shopping venues, and the friendly, helpful approach of our staff.
We are also glad you enjoyed your room and bathroom and would like to ensure that all rooms meet and exceed the hotel industry standards for our category in terms of space and comfort. We are sorry to read that you did not enjoy the dinner on the day of your arrival - we apologize for this and are happy that you and your friends had the opportunity to experience that isn't at all the usual standard of the hotel restaurant. As to the breakfast service, as we put a lot of effort in providing all guests the best choice of products and excellent service, your remark will be precious to understand what went wrong during your stay, so that on the next stay in Palermo and at our property you will be able to say the one at Hotel Principe di Villafranca was the best breakfast you've ever had!
We look forward to welcoming you back as our guest!
Best regards
Giulia Briguglia
Executive Assistant, Hotel Principe di Villafranca

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Reviewed September 15, 2012

Located not far from the main street, but a taxi or bus ride (101) to the historic area.
Nice, although small lobby and lounge/bar area.
Can be a little delay processing a tour group.
Staff very helpful when not under queue pressure.
The elevator is very slow, so use the stairs if there is a queue. The porter will carry up your cases.

We stayed for three nights in two rooms. One was minute, the other was OK but compact.
The proximity door key works well.
The rooms look to have been refurbished not too long ago.
Nice KS bed with a thick mattress although still a little too firm for us.
Very good lighting level but no clock, radio or night light, (Actually our room was lit by a street light - but this may not suit everyone.)
No coat hooks and only one case stand as usual. (Why do hotel designers always assume couples travel with only one suitcase?)
Minimal desk space and only one chair. So it's either the laptop or dressing table. Not both.
Would have been nice to have the mirror over the table as well as inside the wardrobe.
A small safe is in the wardrobe and there is a small stocked fridge. Bar price list.
Small digital TV with a few channels in English. No TV channel guide.(Found BBC news on 39.)
The airconditioning was very effective without much air noise.
No tea/coffee making facilities.
The room was very quiet at night except for the random plumbing sounds from nearby rooms and noisy guests in the corridor.
WiFi in every room and costs 3-10euro for up to 24 hours total time on line.

The ensuite was big enough and had some very cool looking plumbing. Seven towels supplied.
Then the problems emerged. The wash basin has no plug, so it was tricky to do any clothes washing.
If you accidently turn on the tap to full, the water splashes over the side onto the floor.
The overhead rain-shower forces you to wash your hair. The hand-held shower sometimes falls off its holder. There is no shelf for soap/shampoo. (I don't think the designer has ever taken a shower.)
The clothes hooks are a little joke. Everything just falls off.
There are no rails for large wet towels, so they remain wet should we want to re-use them.

We had breakfast here every morning. No hot dishes but the rest quite good. Other set meals were just average. We did not use the a la carte restaurant.
Inspite of these little problems, which are common to many hotels, we did enjoy our stay here.

Room Tip: Go for level 1, at the end of a corridor.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jdandjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GiuliaBriguglia, Executive Assistant at Hotel Principe di Villafranca, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Dear Guest,
thank you for taking the time to share your stay experience at Hotel Principe di Villafranca with the other members of the Tripadvisor community.
We are very glad that you enjoyed your stay at our property, its location just off the main street of Palermo, and a close distance to the historical city centre, the helpfulness of our personnel and our breakfast service. We would like to thank you for the suggestions pertaining how to improve the room and bathroom comfort even more - we will take them into great account for next season! On the other hand we are sorry that you experienced trouble with the wash basin and did not ask our staff for assistance, we would have been delighted to show you how the plug worked. Moreover, on your next visit to our hotel, make sure you enjoy our hot dishes, which are made on request and included in our breakfast rate.
We really do look forward to welcoming you again at Hotel Principe di Villafranca and in the meawhile would like to send you our best regards.
Giulia Briguglia
Executive Assistant, Hotel Principe di Villafranca

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Reviewed September 9, 2012

I stood 3 days in this hotel with my girlfriend and we had a splendide stay!

++:
* We found a really price in a low cost webpage
* The reception personnel was very kind, they gave us a lot of advice and helped us finding how to get to our next destination (they all speak french, english, spanish and italian), finding good restaurants and giving us advice concerning the visits
* the breakfast was good
* The room was very very nice, very stylish, clean and modern
* the location is very good, the neirborhood is calm

- - :
* The internet conection was not included in the price, so we had to pay for it (not much but still)
* there is no swimming pool :p

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Graatiken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GiuliaBriguglia, Executive Assistant at Hotel Principe di Villafranca, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2012

Dear Guest,

thank you for sharing your stay experience with other travellers from the Tripadvisor community.
We are very glad you enjoyed your stay at our property from all points of view, from hotel location to room confort, from breakfast service and products to staff friendliness and politeness. We really hope to have you again as our guest on the occasion of your next stay in Palermo - as you underlined, we are a city hotel and do not have a pool, still during the summer months we offer guests the possibility to purchase a special beach voucher issued in cooperation with the private beach area in Mondello Valdesi, so that you will be able to enjoy the beauty of Mondello beach and a wonderful city stay at the same time!
We really look forward to welcoming you back at Hotel Principe di Villafranca!
Best regards
Giulia Briguglia
Executive Assistant, Hotel Principe di Villafranca

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Reviewed September 9, 2012

We have a very good deal for a two days stay, and could not believe it when we entered into the room:it was luxury to us..very comfortable,and the decoration was of good taste. We fell very good during the stay. The advice at reception was good,the personel spoke english and french. We went for a day at mondello with one of the hotels' offers (including the transportation and space on a private beach): we had a great time at low cost. We also followed the personel's advice on sites worth a visit in Palermo.
The breakfast was not the best i have ever had in a hotel but it was not bad at all, and we could chose among various dishes

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Olivia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GiuliaBriguglia, Executive Assistant at Hotel Principe di Villafranca, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2012

Dear Guest,
what a pleasure to read your wonderful review!
We are so glad you enjoyed the atmosphere and style at Hotel Principe di Villafranca, and that you found our rooms comfortable and elegant. We are also very happy that you found our staff helpful and well-skilled, and that you enjoyed a pleasant day at Mondello beach purchasing our beach voucher!
As to our breakfast service, we are glad you enjoyed our sweet and savory buffet offering a wide variety of local, fresh specialties, but as it was not yet the best breakfast you've ever had, we will strive to improve our service even more so that when we will have the pleasure to have you again as our guest on your next visit to Palermo you will finally be able to say that our breakfast has no equals!
We look forward to welcoming you again.
Best regards
Giulia Briguglia,
Executive Assistant, Hotel Principe di Villafranca

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Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed 3 nights in this hotel. On arrival we were a bit surprised that there was no available parking for our car, however, this was solved by parking on the street, I'm not so sure how happy I would have felt had it been my own car, but the economy rental car attracted no unwanted attention.
The welcome was unfortunately not warm at all and whenever we met personnel in the hallways they never greeted us. I was not happy about our room being for a disabled person with a wheelchair and when I questioned this at reception, I was answered with "well you requested a deluxe room", which seemed to answer my unspoken questions about, "why weren't we told", "can we change", etc. We had our booking confirmation with us and I had to rectify the fact that we were charged for Wi-Fi and ask where the complimentary water, kettle, tea, etc was. It's not the end of the world but it felt as if the people running the hotel don't care enough to make it the best possible experience for their guests.
Breakfast was a dismal affair, dark room with a surly manager who lurked about the whole time never greeting guests. Tablecloths were dirty, orange juice was industrial and everything seemed lackadaisical. Only one person had a bit of up and go in them at reception and I forgot to ask his name. Also, I found the hotel to be too far from the main attractions and with the public transport system being what it is in Palermo I would choose something more central next time, possibly a B&B where the owners care about the guests.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank swissgirl_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Dear guest,
thank you for your review.
Reviews like yours really leave us with a sense of loss – in spite of what you have thought during your stay, we put a really big effort in making every stay the best possible experience for each guests, and if a guest leaves with such an opinion about the hotel and its whole staff, we must apologize both with the guest and with ourselves, because we betrayed our mission and goals.
That said, we wish to give some specific feedback about some issues you raise.
As to parking, we are currently refurbishing our garage and that means that the availability of parking spaces is reduced – this entails that some guests who have not specifically requested a parking space may be advised to use the public parking areas in front of the hotel because there are no more available parking spaces. With a view to this, let me highlight that we are located in one of the most exclusive and safe neighborhoods of the city.
We apologize for the bad impression you got from our staff – it would be just too easy to say that all feedback we get both from personal experience and other guests is very good: if you have experienced otherwise, that means that there is still work to be done in order to achieve our goals. For example, you would have deserved a more thorough explanation about your room: two of the three deluxe rooms, which are among the largest rooms in the whole hotel, have been equipped to suit the needs of disabled people. This means they have the right sizes to welcome a person on a wheelchair, and that bathrooms are specifically equipped in this respect. That said, there is no difference between them and the other deluxe room: they all feature very large spaces, high-quality amenities, marble bathrooms – in a nutshell, they are all among the best rooms in the hotel. We never warn any guest about the presence of some specific measures for the disabled because we believe that this aspect does not make them second choice rooms. As to the lack of coffee/tea making facilities, we have personally verified that at present they are in place in all deluxe rooms, so during your stay they must have been removed for cleaning and never placed back and we apologize for that.
We also apologize for the bad impression you got about the breakfast service, which is another aspect we put a lot of effort upon: we will use your comments during our next department meeting in order to review and improve this part of the hotel service. With a view to the breakfast products, we just wish to highlight that in summer we only have orange juice available because it is not the best season for oranges – in winter, instead, we also serve fresh orange squash.
As to the hotel location, it is quite strange that you did find it not central enough: the via Libertà area is really the heart of Palermo, being the most elegant shopping district, filled also with the best restaurants and wine bars. It is also very unusual to hear that it was too far from the main attractions: the vast majority of historical attractions is located a reasonable walk from the hotel and can be reached using very frequent bus lines such as 101.
We would sincerely like to thank you for your comments – they will be vital for us to improve our standards.
We hope that we will have the occasion to have you as our guest again and let you experience our improvement.
Best regards
Giulia Briguglia
Executive Assistant, Hotel Principe di Villafranca

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Principe di Villafranca

Address: Via Giuseppina Turrisi Colonna 4, 90141, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Palermo > Palermo > Politeama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Business Hotel in Palermo
#11 Romantic Hotel in Palermo
#26 Luxury Hotel in Palermo
Price Range: $89 - $311 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Principe di Villafranca 4*
Number of rooms: 34
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Also Known As:
Principe Di Villafranca Palermo
Principe Di Villafranca Hotel
Hotel Principe Di Villafranca Palermo, Sicily

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