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Villa Igiea Hilton - Palermo | Hotel Review

5 Star Hotel but not 5 Star Accomadations


Hilton Villa Igiea - Palermo (Sicily), Italy:
Historic Palermo is an ideal destination for individuals who want to visit a city rich in cultural significance. Aside from the tourist attractions such as the Vucciria, Palermo is host to a Hilton hotel called the Hilton Villa Igiea, notably commended as the best hotel in all of Palermo.

First Impression/Lobby:
We arrived at the Hilton, and we were quite impressed at its luxurious fa├žade. You'd expect that a hotel bearing the Hilton name would be class and quality through and through, however when we went inside, this was simply not true.

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The lobby was tiny, outdated and lackluster. The age of this hotel certainly shows through the interior, which isn't always a bad thing especially for vintage class and style, however you get the feeling that the hotel just hasn't been renovated that much ever since. There's a difference between vintage and old, after all.

Though initially disappointed by the way the hotel looked from the inside, we were pleased that reception service was great during both check in and check out. They were consistently pleasant and courteous, and always seemed to impart a welcoming feeling. It's good to know that you can feel at home even though you're literally miles away from it.

The Hilton's concierge service was rather odd. A five star hotel of adhering to Hilton standards would certainly not recommend their guests to have dinner at a restaurant which was closed on that particular day of the week, but that's exactly what happened to us, leaving us famished and rather disappointed.

That's not to say that we didn't get some good recommendations, though. We just found it strange that the concierge didn't seem to be knowledgeable about fine dining restaurants in Palermo because they would usually take a large amount of time just looking things up and asking each other. True five star concierges give the answers to these types of questions at the snap of a finger.

The Room:
As usual, we wanted one of the best rooms the hotel has to offer. We got a King Deluxe Room Plus, which sounds rather extravagant, but is really only a run of the mill room. It had a king-sized bed, a large chair, a desk and a flatscreen TV. I didn't like the idea that the room looked seriously dated, with gold trimmings and floral wallpaper running the length of the room. The carpet looked like it had not been replaced in decades.

The bathroom wasn't extraordinary, either. It just reminded me of how old the place looked, with its standard-issue shower tub, sink and toilet combination that you find everywhere. It also looked like it hasn't been renovated in a long time.

Although the room looked troublingly outdated, its one saving grace was a large terrace where you could see the ocean. Though you certainly didn't have much privacy while being out on the terrace, it still is the room's best feature and ours had the best view out of the entire hotel!

Room Service:
Since our spirits were dampened by the room's interior, we decided to get some room service to brighten us up a bit. I'm glad to say that room service was excellent in that you got what you ordered in the shortest possible delivery time. The food was also delicious, and was certainly up to a five star hotel's standards.

Housekeeping was standard and transparent, doing only what was absolutely necessary such as making the bed and cleaning the bathroom. They didn't offer any special service, but at the same time made sure that everything was in order.

Even though the hotel had a number of restaurants, we didn't try any of them. The concierge didn't even recommend them to us, so that led us to believe that the hotel didn't think much of their own restaurants.

My companion and I had a buffet lunch down by the pool where they charged Euro 24 per plate. When we served ourselves, I had a piece of lasagna on one plate and some cold pasta on the other, while my friend had eggplant parmigiana on one plate and some lasagna on the other. The hotel literally charged us per plate, which added up to Euro 96 (although they lowered this to Euro 80 as a 'discount.' Absurd!).

We initially thought that it was Euro 24 per person (which would still have been expensive considering their tiny lunch buffet table), but we weren't reconsidered. This is one of the biggest rip-offs I have ever experienced in all of Italy, and it was so ridiculous that I proceeded to explain everything to the front desk personnel upon check out.

Overall Impression
This outdated five star hotel didn't make me feel like I was staying at a Hilton, and although the service was great I just didn't glean anything incredibly positive about the experience. The hotel's look and feel combined with the unknowledgeable concierge and buffet ballyhoo led me to give the Hilton Villa Igiea a rating of somewhere between Bombastic and not.

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