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Cramped bathroom



Hotel Alla Cittą di Trieste, Grado: Review

About the hotel

Hotel Alla Cittą di Trieste, Grado

Hotel Alla Cittą di Trieste is a three-star hotel in the heart of Grado, a seaside resort near the Roman ruins at Aquileia. The hotel is located opposite the fishermen's harbour, and right by the tiny medieval heart of Grado. It's not really a 'seaside' style hotel; it offers typical town centre spend-a-couple-of-nights accommodation. I stayed for one night at in January 2008, at the quietest time of year when it was just about the only hotel open in Grado.
> More about Grado.

Hotel facilities and service

When I arrive in Grado the hotel receptionist knows my identity at once, and as I walk through the empty hotel I wonder several times if I am the only guest. Later, and at breakfast, I do see signs of life but no-one resembling another tourist - perhaps the hotel puts up local workers in the quiet season?

I encounter several reception staff during my one-night stay, including the friendly and helpful woman who first greeted me, and a nice English-speaking young man in the evening. The daytime receptionist gives me a town plan and lots of interesting information about the town. She tells me that English guests are very rare: Grado mostly attracts Austrians (I notice a massive Italian-German dictionary on her desk) and Italians.

There is a very small area with seating and a television down a few steps from the reception, and a restaurant which appears to have outdoors tables for outdoors dining in summer. The hotel does offer evening meals, but not during my visit. There is free wireless internet access in public areas and some of the bedrooms, which is fast and efficient.

Breakfast

Breakfast is taken in the hotel restaurant on the ground floor. It's a typical Italian buffet breakfast, offering hot drinks, croissants, cold meat and cheese, boiled eggs, fresh fruit, yoghurts and various cereals.

Hotel bedroom

My hotel room, Grado

My bedroom is on a short first-floor corridor, with a view through a couple of winter-bare trees to the harbour. The road outside is quite busy, but window is double-glazed and I'm not troubled by traffic noise. In January my first concern is the temperature: there's a heating / air-conditioning unit above door which I turn up until the room is comfortably warm.

The room is small, and wouldn't be particularly comfortable for two people spending much time here. It has twin beds right next to each other, set into a wooden wardrobe unit. I have to balance on a bed to reach the clothes hangers. There are coathooks, a suitcase stand, mirrors, drawers and a small desk with only a stool to sit on. A small tv sits on top offering the usual Italian terrestrial channels with an imperfect reception (good enough for me to tell from the news that the Italian Government has collapsed). The decor is plain, with white walls, a couple of art reproductions and monogrammed bedcovers (one with a threadbare patch). I can only find two power points, one by the door and the other utilised by the television. So if I want to work on my laptop I have to sit on a stool by the door, or turn off and unplug the tv.

The room fittings in general are reasonable enough for a budget hotel. It's really when I take a shower that my opinion goes down. The bathroom is small and cramped so that the shower almost overlaps the toilet. The space in the shower is too little for even a thin person, and the way the flimsy shower curtain billows and clings to wet skin is unpleasant and unhygienic as well as making the shower seem even smaller. Having used the shower, the floor around the toilet is a big puddle. The shower was a nice hot temperature, but fills the room with steam which lingers almost as long as the puddles.

It's half-past-midnight when the man in the next-door room returns, and six in the morning when his mobile phone rings twice - at length - and he gets up. I know both facts as there appears to be no soundproofing between the rooms. My room's privacy is not helped by the strangely-designed door which has a kind of 'porthole' made of a loose thin sheet of plywood; voices in the corridor are far too near for comfort. Apart from the fellow-guest disruptions, though, the night is evidently quiet and the bed comfortable for I sleep well.

Location

The hotel's address is Piazza XXVI Maggio 22, and it is in an excellent location for seeing Grado. The building overlooks the picturesque harbour where fishing boats are moored (albeit over the road). It's about five minutes' walk from the bus station in Piazza Carpaccio so it's very handy if you're arriving by public transport. The historic centre of town is right behind the hotel and the more modern part of the town centre is also very nearby. The seafront promenade is a few minutes away through the medieval lanes; the long beach is further away. Local buses stop outside the hotel.

My view

The atmosphere in the hotel was fine and the staff were nice. I'd like to be more enthusiastic than I have been, but the flaws with the building structure - room size, soundproofing, electrics - partially undermine the good presentation. I'd consider returning but only for another short stay. If like myself, you are passing through, spending a night or two in Grado while sightseeing, then this makes a decent base. If, however, you are planning a longer summer holiday, I'd consider more expensive options, perhaps alongside the beach.


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