Hotels we stayed at in Italy - June 2003

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Hotel Marconi in Milan

Hotel Marconi seen from Via Fabio FilziWe stayed at the hotel Marconi for 3 nights during our trip to Milan in June 2003.

We took the Malpensa Express from the airport Malpensa to the Stazione Centrale (the main railway station). Based on our guidebook the hotel was supposed to be located not far from the hotel. It is of course not always easy to navigate when you come to a new city so we did end up walking more than we needed to. The hotel is located on Via F. Filzi number 3 and the easiest way to get there is by walking down the main road from the central station towards Piazza della repubblica. The road Via F. Filzi is the road located parallel on the right hand side and it takes about 10 minutes to walk to the hotel.

The location of the hotel is OK. The main thing for us was that it was located near Repubblica Metro station and from there it was a short ride to the city center. It took us about 5 minutes to walk to the metro station and for 1 Ä you get a ticket to ride the metro for 75 minutes if Iím not mistaken.

There are a few restaurants in this area and there was also a couple of markets right across the street. There are some construction work going on outside front of the building.

We made our reservation through http://www.italyhotelclub.com/ and when we got there everything was in order. We paid 75 Ä for the first 2 nights and 99 Ä for the last night and this was including the breakfast. The lobby included the front desk, a few chairs and a TV and there was also a bar that was open during the weekend. The hotel has about 70 rooms.

The bed was pretty comfortableThe room had tiles on the floor and I have read that this is quite common in Italy and I guess it makes sense because it is easier to clean. We had a king size bed that was nice and soft (to my likings :-), a couple of chairs, a desk, a TV with quite a lot of Italian speaking channels and just a couple of English speaking channels (CNN and EuroSport), a wardrobe with about 5 hangers, a small minibar with some water, soda and alcohol. A door with windows provided the light and also gave us access to an open area in the middle of the building. The open space was not very pretty at the moment because there was some construction work going on.

The bathroom was also tiled and it had a toilet of course together with a bidť, a shower (with a shower curtain) and a sink. We also found a couple of shampoo bottles, some small bars of soap, and a hairdryer mounted on the wall. The shower was a bit small but the shower curtain did prevent flooding when we took a shower.

It was pretty quiet in the room and we didnít hear anything from the traffic in the street in front of the hotel. But there is a church right next to the hotel and the bells keep ringing every half hour :-)

The breakfast at the hotelBreakfast was included in the room rate and it was served from 7 to 10 am. There was a selection of cereal, yogurt, buns, jam, honey, nutella, juice (which was not very good by the way :-), fresh fruits and lots of sweet pastry stuff. We got tea or coffee together with the breakfast. It was not the most exciting breakfast but it is always good to get something to eat before you start walking around town.

Conclusion
The Marconi is an OK and there is not mush more to say about the hotel. We didnít spend much time in the room because we were out exploring the city all day long. The main thing for us was that the room was clean and that it was close to the metro so that we could get around.

Back to the Italy - Milan travelogue here.

Hotel Continental in Venice
We stayed at the Hotel Continental for 4 nights during our trip to Venice in June 2003. Hotel Continental is a 3 star hotel located near the train station in Venice. We stayed at room 114.

Hotel Continental seen from across Canal GrandeWe arrived by train in Venice and when we got out of the train station I found Venice just the way that I Had imagined it to be: sunny, Canal Grande, lots of boats and lots of tourist. Fortunately the hotel is not very far from the train station so after a 5 minute walk we were there. The hotel didnít look very impressive on the outside. It looked grayish and some of the building was covered due to construction work. But the hotel is located by the shore of Canal Grande and it is close to the vaporetto stop (vaporetto is the boat ďbusĒ that goes up and down Canal Grande) and close to Scalzi bridge (bridge crossing Canal Grande from Cannaregio to Santa Croce/San Polo)

In the hotel area you will find lots of shops, restaurants, internet cafes, a laundry place, ice cream shops, markets, mask shop and so on.

According to the guide book you have to book a hotel pretty early when going to Italy. We didnít plan it very well so we didnít book a hotel until 1 week before we left for Italy. When booking this late you either get something that is really bad or something that is a bit expensive. I guess you can say that we got a hotel room that was pretty expensive because we paid 150 Ä per night including breakfast. We booked the hotel room using http://www.holidaycity.com

The lobby at the hotel was small but with air condition so it was really nice to get inside. We had 35 degrees Celsius on some days and I guess that explains why I appreciated the air-con J The people working at the front desk where polite and spoke several languages (Italian, English, Spanish). In the lobby we also found different newspapers (USA Today). The hotel has 107 rooms by the way.

When we got to the hotel the porter carried our luggage to our room and we were excited when he headed for the room located on the canal side. And we did get a room with a view to Canal Grande at it was very nice. We had two large windows facing the canal and 1 window in the bathroom which didnít have much of a view.

Inside the room at Hotel ContinentalThe room was not tiny as I had expected it to be. Instead we got a room that was above average in size. The room had a carpet, a king size bed (which was a bit too hard for me), a sofa, two chairs and a small table, a wardrobe with a few hangers, a small color TV (with quite a few German, Italian and English channelsÖbut with a remote that wasnít really working that well) and a small safe. With the air condition in the room we could control the temperature. The only thing that would have been nice to have was a small minibar.

The bathroom we got had tiles and included toilet, bide and a bathtub. The only problem with the bathtub was that there was no shower curtain and we ended up splashing water all over the floor when taking a shower. Apart from this there was a hair dryer mounted on the wall and little bars of soaps and shampoo in small bags.

The breakfast at hotel ContinentalBreakfast was included and we enjoyed this every day. When it comes to warm stuff the hotel offered scrambled eggs, boiled eggs and bacon. And they had a toast machine and a selection of both white and dark bread. And with toast you get a selection of jam, honey, cheese and ham of course. They also had quite a selection of sweet stuff. Apart from this there was a couple of choices when it comes to cereal and they also had canned fruit mix which I enjoyed. They had a few choices of juice but it wasnít great. And we got tea or coffee served at the table.

When we were there they were doing some sort of construction work on the outside of the hotel and it got pretty noisy in the breakfast room area.

Conclusion
We were pretty thrilled to get a room with a view to the Canal Grande thatís for sure. The room was larger than expected, the location was pretty good (after all it is a small town and you can more or less walk everywhere) but it was a bit expensive. But Venice is so popular that the hotels are expensive here.

Back to the Italy - Venice travelogue here.

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