Last year we visited twenty cities in Italy! We were following the medieval pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome. So, Italy was the fourth and last country on our journey. As a result, we visited twenty cities between Grand St Bernard Pass in Switzerland and Rome. Turin was our first overnight stop over.
Normally Via Francigena pilgrims walk or ride a bicycle, but we were travelling by car. So, we hired a car at Turin airport and drove to our hotel through some very unattractive parts of the city. Consequently, we were a bit nervous about what to expect at the Turin Palace Hotel.
In 2017, Trip Advisor gave Turin Palace Hotel ‘the best hotel in Italy’ award and ‘fourth best hotel in the world award’ for 2016. I was quite delighted to know that we had stayed there last year. So, here are some of my reasons why I would agree with this decision.
Arriving at the Turin Palace Hotel
Eventually, we found the Turin Palace Hotel on a very busy street close to the enormous Porta Nuovo railway station. And, although it was a great relief to find the hotel, we had no idea what to do with the car! Then, to our surprise, a porter rapidly appeared from the hotel, took our bags inside and drove the car away to be parked. This was a very impressive start!
Inside the hotel, we found the staff even more friendly and helpful. And I was very grateful to relax in a soft comfortable arm chair while Paul checked-in. From the outset, the atmosphere in the Turin Palace Hotel was luxurious and inviting. I was expecting to see a renovated palace. But, the Hotel is located in an 1850’s building which is palatially decorated inside. And, I loved the decor with its white marble floors, chandeliers, comfortable chairs and great art works.
A very friendly woman led us to our room and explained all its features. Overall, we were very happy with our ‘superior room’ which was amazing value for money! We had a spacious marble bathroom, and a comfortable spacious bedroom.
After a rest, we headed to the hotel restaurant, Les Petites Madeleine, which is listed in the Michelin Guide. Here, we found ourselves in a quiet, relaxing and elegant dining room. After such a busy day, it was a great pleasure to dine in this peaceful atmosphere! Overall, we found this restaurant to be fine dining at its best! First of all, the atmosphere is just perfect. Secondly, the service is first class with friendly hospitality and lots of help choosing food and wine. But, best of all was the food! The restaurant aims to use ‘ingredients that convey emotions’ and they certainly achieve this! These dishes certainly have sensory appeal!
Breakfast was served in a large, elegant dining room with aqua walls and sparkling chandeliers. And, the breakfast buffet was filled with local produce! I really enjoyed the Italian cheese and Parma ham, and fresh fruit. But, the little Madeleines cakes and massive chocolate blocks on the dessert table were my favourites. If Paul is looking a little serious, it is because he is too full to eat anymore chocolate! So, after a very indulgent breakfast we headed for the colourful and relaxing spa!
Visiting the Sights of Turin
There are so many attractions within walking distance of the Hotel. But, my main interest was the Shroud of Turin in the Turin Cathedral. We also visited the famous Egyptology Museum and the most golden Palace I have ever seen. So, do read my article Turin in a Day to find out more about these magic places!
Also, the Turin Palace Hotel website has great photos and lots of information about reservations. Although there is a variety of rooms to choose from, we were happy with our less expensive room. But, what makes this hotel stand out is the overall excellent quality and consistency of the service. In addition, the amenities, the food, and the palatial decor are a pleasure.
We stayed two nights at the Hotel and were sad to leave. There is so much to see in Turin and the Hotel was very pleasant. The staff were very polite and friendly as we checked out. But, we really appreciated the way our car miraculously appeared on the busy street with no delay, and no fuss. And, lots of help with our bags and care for our safety. It was a very smooth departure!
Golden Book Hotels
I was delighted to discover, when visiting Italy this year, that there is a Hotel Chain associated with ‘Golden Book Hotels‘. Being the owner of a very large collection of books, I thoroughly agree with their motto,
‘A room without books is like a body without a soul’ Cicero
These hotels give books to their guests, as an elegant gesture which is part of their image.
On my recent visit to Milan I stayed at the Hotel Spadari Al Duomo and found this delightful little book on my bed. It is part of a “Miló” series of short stories in an imaginary Golden Book Hotel. The stories in the series are written by emerging writers who enter in the “Eureka!” literary competition.
The two stories in this book had a great plot and were written in my favourite style, magic realism. After a very busy day in Milano, it was really good to read and relax.
Overall, I can’t wait to visit both the Turin Palace Hotel and Spadari al Duomo again this year!
The former inspired me to paint! And the latter, to write!
But, then Italy does this to people!