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“Beautiful residence in the heart of Palermo”

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La Dimora del Genio
Ranked #236 of 475 Palermo B&B and Inns
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We stayed in this lovely residence for a few nights with our two young children. I can't refute the negative reviews but I still think this little gem was worthwhile even as a family. The apartment is lovely and filled with interesting art objects. It is loud at night until about 10:00 pm but what can you do if you are located in the center of town? The owner was typically Italian, neither cold nor effusive. We felt welcome and our baby crawled around the length of the common space in the afternoons and evenings. We were reminded to be careful with the antique furnishings. We were also welcomed to a dinner hosted in the residence during our stay. This was entirely unnecessary and the owner even brought us a simple dinner when it was clear that it would be impossible to attend when we were traveling with two kids. Breakfast was basic, just coffee and bread. Everything was very clean and well-cared for and we felt comfortable for our brief stay.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Jojo6429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (22)
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7 - 13 of 22 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2012

I too was lured to this deceivingly attractive bed and breakfast.  After a long drive from the southern seaside we arrived to Palermo by car.  Though tired and overwhelmed, we were looking forward to our Blue Guide recommended room, sure we would be shown warm hospitality and given helpful advice.  After hiking three flights of stairs we entered the aparment's large and truly luxurious living room, and searched for someone who worked there. Once we found the owner though all our excitement was killed by her awkward and cold attitude, making us feel like and imposition.  The room was ok, but felt a bit juvenile with its red lighting and polyester bedspread. In the shower were old empty bottles of shampoo and no hand soap. Nice towels. We were given one dinner recomemdation but when we inquired (kindly and with obvious enthusiasm) about lunch she suggested we eat a gelato.Though books and music filled the living rooms we were never invited to take advantage. When we returned from our day all lights were off, and when we tried to relax on the couch an even more unpleasant woman reminded us not to tear the upholstery.Brunch was indeed beautiful, but the atmosphere was tense.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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2  Thank slalexandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2008

I've just returned from a 3 night stay at La Dimora di Genio, a solus photographic trip. I'd booked in here before reading the mixed reports on Tripadvisor, so was unsure what to expect. Here's my own view.

Location - is in the old part of the city (not necessarily the poorest, as another report suggests). Whether or not it's the best location depends on why you're visiting Palermo - if it's to experience the city 'for real' then here is a good place to base yourself. Just 5 minutes walk from the railway station, easy access to all major sights including the markets of Vucciria, Capo and Ballaro. Agree it's not that easy to find, but Via Garibaldi isn't that long a street, so it's not impossible either.

The owner - Paola Mendola's English isn't strong (but then neither is my Italian!) But with a little effort and goodwill we communicated. The housekeeper speaks a little more English and I found both very helpful. Signora Mendola provided restaurant recommendations and directions.

The accommodation - inside, the house is elegant and beautifully furnished, with a lived-in quality that makes it a pleasant place to return to after exploring the city. You're given the keys to the building, the house and your room, so you're left pretty much to your own devices and to come and go as you please. My room was spacious with 3 single beds and a writing desk, and a large ensuite bathroom with toilet, bidet, washbasin and shower. Everything was spotlessly clean. Note that, in my room at any rate, there was no wardrobe or drawers, just a hanging rail in the bathroom. (This was fine for me, but I know my wife wouldn't have been impressed!) Also there are no fridges or tea/coffee-making facilities in the rooms. Breakfast was pleasant and varied a little each morning, and shared with other guests.

The noise - if you are easily disturbed or annoyed by extraneous noise, this probably isn't the place for you! When I was there a lot of building work was going on around La Dimora, and from about 7.30am to 6.00pm this was evident in hammer blows, chisel taps, drilling and the singing and whistling of workmen. (Though I was out for most of the days, I was in my room when it started and again when it finished, so presume it continued throughout the day - with a break for lunch!) A French window in my room overlooked the alleyway below, where a family played out daily life with children playing and shouting, much loud conversation and laughter and, of course, the frequent buzzing of scooters. Not only didn't I mind this, but it added to my enjoyment and experience of the city, but I can understand that, at 10 or 11 in the evening, not everyone would think so!

So, my advice...

DON"T GO HERE if you like hotel comforts, have no will to try and speak a few words of Italian, or no sense of direction. And especially if you are sensitive to noise.

DO GO HERE if you want to immerse yourself in a slice of Palermitan life for a few days, with all that entails, in beautiful old house in a convenient location. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank alanmsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2007

I flew to Palermo. Palermo airport is small and I easily found the bus service for 5 euro that takes you to downtown (and several other stops on the way)

It was about 9:00 pm when I arrived at the train station. According to my map, the B&B was close and I asked a couple of bus riders where Via Girabaldi was. It is actually one block east (towards the water), up Via A. Lincoln from the station. Via Girabaldi is marked on the left side of the street and on the right side it’s called Corso dei Mille. There is a flashing yellow light that would make you think there is a pedestrian crossing, but Ped Xings do no exist in Palermo, you just cross the street where ever you want and keep an eye on the traffic. Turn Left/north.

It was dark as I dragged my bag down Via Girabaldi, I though of all the stories of crime I’d been hearing (You're going to Palermo alone?) but I had no problem, hardly no one was out.. The street numbers start to get lower, then go higher. I just ignored it and kept walking and almost passed Hotel Dimora Del Genio. It is on the west side of the narrow street.

Dimora del Genio is a private residence of a woman whom I will call The Artist. She has photos and paintings all over the residence, which is up about 45 steps from the street (no elevator).

The residence is located in a multi-story building (the whole street is that way) across from a business that sells hats/berets. It looks like several of the buildings are in the process of getting long overdue facelifts. The entrance is two very large very old wooden doors that actually open to an enclosed garage for the building. You need to buzz to be let in so I would suggest you call ahead of time so The Artist will know when you are coming. In my case I had flight issues and arrived late and stood outside buzzing for about 15 min. when a man (a friend of The Artist’s) arrived to let me in. She arrived about 15-20 minutes later. The Artist does not speak English but it appears she is trying to learn. She a man that helps her out, Richardo, and he speaks decent english.

The residence is beautiful. The high vaulted ceilings are wood beamed and all painted, some of it original to the building. You first enter a large room with two large parlours containing period furniture; and a large dining room to the right. My room was through the further parlour. My room was large and contained three single beds and a French door that opened to a small balcony that over looked the street. The view is not that much but the breeze was nice and the street noise did not bother me. The only thing I did not like was that there was no private bath in this room (other rooms have baths) but I had exclusive use of a bathroom with shower that was located just past the kitchen.

Breakfast was the typical Italian breakfast: juice, bread, a coffee cake, etc.

The area is good for access to the buses and trains. I picked up one of those hop on/off buses and used a city bus to get to Piazza Indipendenza. If I walked north, I found a couple of restaurants that were good. There is a tourist Info booth in the Piazza of the train/bus station (N/E corner) and they have good maps.

The Artist has you pay when you leave. If you leave your bags to explore the city a little more before leaving, I would suggest you pay the night before or that morning.

Things to see in Palermo: Norman castle (especially the chapel if it is not covered in scaffolding and drop cloths, Monreale Cathedral (worth the trip alone. Absolutely beautiful) and the Cappuchin catacombs – a must!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled solo
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6  Thank IVernazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2007

The place was nice, the made friendly and the breakfast good BUT it was impossibile to sleep because the water pump was dreadfully noisy and each time someone in the house opended a tap the noise was very loud ..we were very stressed ..so DON'TGO! Moreover the price was to high for the offer.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AnnafromRome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2007

Found this b&b on (-) but booked directly with the B&B. They also have their own website (-) Everything looks lovely on their website and there is no mention of maybe having to stay in a different building and in a very different accommodation altogether.... We arrived and rang the doorbell and once the door was opened for us (the host did not come to the door / gate) we had to walk in through a not so nice entrance and stairs to the 3rd floor of a shabby building. The owner (a middle aged woman) didn't even let us in the door of the apartment where the B&B is located and led us back out accross the street to an even shabbier building with a shabbier entrance.She took us to an attick space - it wasn't too bad if this is what you would have been expecting but this is not what we had booked. And the worst of it was - to get to that room in the attick we had to walk through her mother's apartment and her kitchen every time we came or went! And none of them spoke english. The shower didn't work very well in the morning - the water would go cold constantly. We had to go to have our breakfast in the other building where the actual B&B was and there wasn't much left for us even though we were not late. I then spoke to the owner and asked were there no rooms available in the B&B itself and she said that she had made a mistake and that the B&B was fully booked for the duration of our stay. We also told her about the problem with the shower.But because she had very bad english she said that her husband and herself would come over at 7pm to our place to sort out the problem. We waited until 7.50pm and there was no sign of them. We then went over to the B&B. She didn't even apologise and instead of her husband she had asked one of the B&B guests (an italian woman who spoke very good english) to translate. She basically said that she had made a mistake with the booking and that we could go and check out another B&B that her friend owns, which we did straigh away and decided to move into the next day. The next morning when we went to pay she was expecting us to pay the full price and because she couldn't speak english very well she dragged that poor italian girl in to translate again who was stuck in the middle of an argument. We were adamant that she should give us a discount. She wasn't happy and proceeded to lie - she said that the price she quoted us when booking was for the attick room and not for the B&B cause the prices there are higher. This was a complete lie and she never mentioned anything about this when we booked it. After an unpleasant argument we ended up giving her less than she had quoted but she treated us very badly and if we wouldn't have said anything she wouldn't have said anything herself about making a mistake with the booking etc. And she never apologised once! Only for the host, and provided you would get a room in the actual B&B this would be a nice place to stay. But it is in the poorest part of the town - not the best location in Palermo to say the least. So my advice would be to make sure you clarify that you get a room in the actual B&B and not in the attick room above her mother's apartment accross the street.....It seemed to me that she was doing this regularly to her guests pretending she made a mistake but in actual fact she just did it out of greed not to turn anyone away, because the italian girl who was translating for us said that she had to stay in the attick room for her first night as well...

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Djorven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2017
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  • Stayed: June 2017, traveled on business
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Thank ClaArezzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paola M, Proprietario at La Dimora del Genio, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago
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Additional Information about La Dimora del Genio

Address: Via Garibaldi 58, 90133, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Palermo > Palermo > Tribunali
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #236 of 475 B&Bs / Inns in Palermo
Price Range: $85 - $116 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — La Dimora del Genio 3*
Number of rooms: 4
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La Dimora Del Genio Palermo, Sicily

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