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Hotel Ambasciatori, Palermo: Review

About Hotel Ambasciatori

Hotel Ambasciatori is a pleasant three-star hotel in central Palermo, close to the historic parts of town and also to the railway station. The hotel's best feature is its glorious roof terrace, but it is also a reliable and convenient place to stay for travellers. I stayed at the Ambasciatori for one night in May 2010, booking a 'deluxe triple room' online for €105.

> Check availability / make a booking at Hotel Ambasciatori

My stay at the hotel

It can be hard to get your bearings in a new city, and with Palermo's reputation for traffic chaos I thought the streets might be hard for pedestrians to negotiate. But actually Hotel Ambasciatori was very easy to find and only a short walk from the main train station, Stazione Centrale. The hotel is in one of the tall, anonymous buildings lining the shopping street Via Roma, but was easily identifiable with a sign on the wall outside. The entrance was smart, leading to a ground-floor reception desk with friendly staff, who welcomed us and directed us to the small old-fashioned Italian lift, which climbs to the main hotel reception on the fifth floor. We'd arrived before noon and our bedroom wasn't quite ready, so the helpful English-speaking receptionist suggested we sit and rest on the roof terrace. This was a lovely way to relax after our journey and to enjoy stupendous views over Palermo. The terrace was lovely in itself (read more about it below) but was also a practical aid to sightseeing, allowing us to spot the town's landmarks and plot out our afternoon's activities.


Our bedroom, which was ready after only a short wait, was inevitably a slight anti-climax after the fantastic roof terrace, but it was decent enough. The room was situated off the stairs to the roof terrace. It was a reasonable size for three people, with a good-width double bed (2 singles put together) and a rather small single bed. The room didn't get a great deal of natural light - the window looked out onto the backs of buildings - but was decorated pleasantly and brightly in a classic hotel style, with pale yellow décor, a wooden floor, and an Impressionist print on the wall. Furniture and fittings included a very large flat-screen TV, bedside tables and lamps, a small fridge, a nice working desk and a suitcase stand. The room was equiped with both air-conditioning and a radiator. There was a small safe in the wardrobe, and a leaflet about the hotel on the desk. Our en-suite bathroom, with a shower, was fine, apart from a rather speckled mirror and a noisy tap. Sachet-type toiletries were supplied.

The bedroom didn't seem particularly "deluxe", but for a three-star city hotel it was quite reasonable. The only real negatives were that the window shutters were a bit awkward to open and close (I had to open the window and adjust slats; the only other window covering was a gauzy curtain) and that the elevator style muzak played on the staircase was faintly audible from within the bedroom.

Breakfast, facilities and public spaces

The hotel's great advantage was its lovely terrace, smartly tiled and provided with tables, comfortable chairs and parasols, as well as those super views of Palermo. Up another flight of steps was a small eyrie with some sunbeds, so guests could actually take a break from city sightseeing and sunbathe. The terrace was a pleasant and refreshing place to spend time in the hot daytime sun, and was also an atmospheric bar at night (the bar prices were typical of hotels: high but not too off-putting: a glass of wine was €4 and a cappucino €2.50). There was some indoor seating by the roof terrace, and another lounge and bar area downstairs near the reception desk.

Breakfast was a buffet, upstairs in the bar and roof terrace area. The self-service buffet offered a big choice of croissants, rolls, cereal, ham and cheese, yoghurts and some fresh fruit salad. Waiters served hot drinks at the outdoor tables.

Internet was available in the hotel rooms but at a charge. There was also an internet point. The staff we encountered spoke good English, and were helpful, friendly and efficient. They provided us with maps and advice on things to see in Palermo, gave us bus information, and kept our luggage securely on our check-out day.


Hotel Ambasciatori is on Via Roma, one of the principal arteries of Palermo. It's a fairly modern street which cuts through the town's historic quarters, lined with clothes shops and busy with traffic (though on Sunday we found the road pleasantly pedestrianised). Via Roma begins opposite Stazione Centrale, Palermo's main train station. It is easy to find from the station – cross straight over the piazza in front of the station building, then walk down the right-hand side of Via Roma until you reach the hotel. The location is within convenient walking distance of Palermo's major sights: the Cattedrale, the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Regional Art Gallery and more. We ate very near to the hotel, at Bellini, on Piazza Bellini. There are a number of other restaurants and cafes in the little streets off Via Roma.


We only stayed for one night at the Hotel Ambasciatori, but I wouldn't hesitate to return for a longer stay. Our bedroom was comfortable, the staff and service were excellent, and breakfast was good. The really great thing was the roof terrace - on a city break in busy Palermo, it was blissful to escape the traffic and heat of the streets, and relax up here enjoying the fantastic views. Though our bedroom wasn't particularly spacious or light, the availability of the roof terrace meant this wasn't an issue. I'd recommend the hotel for its location too. Arriving on foot from the railway station was easy, and the historic parts of town lay in both directions from the hotel, and could be explored by walking.

Make a booking

> Make a booking at Hotel Ambasciatori

I also stayed in a good four-star hotel, in the modern part of the town centre, which had more spacious and impressive bedrooms, but lacked the advantages of the Ambasciatori's roof terrace.
> Read my review of the four-star Hotel Garibaldi
> More accommodation in Palermo

> Read about Palermo


Hotel Garibaldi review - good Palermo 4-star

Choosing a hotel in Italy



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