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Parma: Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati

Parma: Savoy Hotel

Ravenna: Hotel Centrale Byron

Ravenna: Albergo Cappello

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Find and book a hotel in Ravenna. With location maps and guest reviews.


Albergo Cappello, entrance


Albergo Cappello, Ravenna: Hotel Review

About the Albergo Cappello

Albergo Cappello, Ravenna: public lounge

I stayed at the Albergo Cappello in Ravenna in April 2008 (albergo is simply the Italian word for hotel, so this is the Hotel Cappello). I booked the day before, using the internet. Although the hotel is quite pricey for a three-star, I found a good rate of 89 for a double room - a considerable saving on the hotel's standard prices.

Albergo Cappello is not a typical town-centre hotel. It has more claim than many to the trendy label 'boutique hotel'. The Albergo Cappello has just seven rooms and suites, and is a genuinely special place to stay. Accommodation is on the first and second floors of a historic building which still feels like the piano nobile of an elegant palazzo. There are stone fireplaces, painted beams and frescoes on the walls in the public spaces.

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The hotel and its services

The hotel's entrance hall is long, with doors leading off either side to the smart restaurant and wine-bar. These appear to be popular and fashionable in Ravenna; the previous night I'd seen handsome 30-somethings chatting over wine-glasses. The hotel's reception desk is at the rear of the hall. A friendly young woman with good English welcomed me - this is a tiny establishment so they'll know you by name - and showed me to my room. A glass lift in the rear, overlooking a tiny courtyard garden, took us up to the first floor and into the long open public area. I'm not sure what to call this, as lounge sounds too small a word. This would be the principal reception space for visitors if it were still a private palazzo; a grand welcoming salone. Nowadays the space contains tables laid with flowers and books and some chairs for resting and pretending all this is yours. At one end of the room there was an internet point (as far as I can remember there was a charge, but quite a reasonable one).

My bedroom

Bedroom and facilities

My door opened onto a brief corridor, with the bathroom opposite and the bedroom through a doorway. An additional door opened onto this corridor space; this obviously connected with the adjacent room but had been locked and apparently sealed with carpet tape.

To judge by the room plan, mine was the smallest double room. At the price I paid I could hardly complain, though. It was a comfortable size, anyway, with a good double bed, wooden flooring and smart wood furniture: bedside tables, suitcase stand, wardrobe, desk and chair. The decor was tasteful and decent without being grand or stuffy. Nothing here shrieked 'hotel' like the striped or blue bedcovers used by almost every hostelry in Italy. There were a couple of large historical prints on the wall, a pretty chandelier, a flat-screen television and a mini-bar. It was all very nice; my only disappointment was pulling back the curtains which covered one wall and finding only one smallish window. This looked over a narrow side-street. It was very quiet during my stay - in fact, my room was almost uncannily silent: I heard no signs of life at all from inside or out apart from a couple of street-cleaners who passed by hosing down the street outside. The window was double-glazed and the walls are thick. Admittedly, it was a Sunday night; the bar and restaurant on the premises were closed and Ravenna is quite tranquil.

I've never been a bed linen connoisseur, but I did actually notice what good quality the sheets were and wonder if they would spoil me for the future.There were controls on the heating/ air-conditioning unit so it was possible to adjust the temperature. I was slightly bothered by the little flashing light on the room's smoke detector, but otherwise it was easy to enjoy a good, peaceful night's sleep.

What faults would I find with the room? It was a shame there was not more natural light or a prettier view, but with a historical building obviously that can't always be arranged. I'd have appreciated a full-length mirror - there was a good mirror in the bathroom but it was set back behind the deep marble surface so wasn't ideal for make-up. And I still haven't found a hotel in Italy with a convenient power socket at the desk for my laptop.

The bathroom was definitely well above three-star standard. Fittings were marble, attractive and good quality. The spacious shower unit had a mirror incorporated. There were the usual basic toiletries, including two small sachets of shower gel.

Frescoes and fireplace in the breakfast room

Breakfast

Breakfast was taken in a lovely room off the main salone. Tables were laid with places for each guest (three others, I counted). The room was bright and decorated with fresh red flowers. This was the first time I've sat at breakfast and written in my notebook "pastoral frescoes - hunting scenes - bear etc". Around the top of the walls are charming frescoes, some damaged but others quite complete. It really felt like being a guest in an elegant private house. The breakfast buffet was arranged on a central table, and comprised a reasonable selection by Italian standards. There were a selection of croissants including ones filled with chocolate, rolls, yoghurts, a selection of branded cereals in mini-boxes and some fresh fruit. The fruit juice still failed the Italy Heaven test (it was the half-sugar-and-water kind) but there was a good selection of tea bags and friendly service.

Location

The hotel can be reached on foot from the station - ask for advice if you're bringing a car as it is within the pedestrianised area and doesn't have a car park. To walk there, follow Viale Farini ahead from the railway station, then turn right on Via Roma and take the next left, Via Costa. Continue along this road until you come to Via IV Novembre on your left - the hotel is a little way down the street. The walk takes around ten minutes. An alternative route is to head straight on from Viale Farini until you reach Piazza del Popolo, the heart of Ravenna. This is at the other end of Via IV Novembre so you just turn right and walk to the hotel. This second route is more picturesque but there are quite bumpy paving stones to bounce your suitcase over. This is an excellent location for sightseeing and wandering, as it is right in the middle of Ravenna and in a network of pleasant nearly traffic-free streets.

My view

The hotel was very quiet and comfortable. The lovely historic building and the original features make it an unusual and special place to spend a night or two. For a romantic holiday it would be ideal. Although it is a more expensive option than the comfortable three-star down the road where I stayed the previous night - the Hotel Centrale Byron - it has a totally difference atmosphere and is worth the price if you enjoy more elegant and exclusive surroundings. Book ahead if you want to be sure of a room - or wait until the last minute as I did in the hopes that you may find a cheaper price.

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Hotel Centrale Byron, Ravenna - our review


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