This is a review of the 5 Star luxury hotel Grand Hotel Savothee viewed as the best if the Genoa Hotels. I stayed here while attending a travel bloggers conference.
Your room is ready Hercule Poirot…
From the moment I walked into the Grand Hotel Savoia I felt like I had stepped onto the set in an episode of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot TV series. It was grand, art deco like and it felt like someone had hit the “pause” button on the world outside sometime in the 1930s. Someone needs to call the location manager for the show to tell them I have found a perfect set for Hercule Poirot to solve another murder in. I immediately knew that I would like staying here. 1930s Poirot like style, without the death (hopefully).
So many old hotels nowadays have yanked themselves into the modern world, and sanitised what they offer. The decor gets to be efficient and functional, and is all too often never memorable. The beds get more comfortable, but the rooms get more bland. The bathrooms get better plumbing, but become uninteresting. The wi-fi gets installed, but the heritage and charm gets thrown out. I felt that the Grand Hotel Savoia had somehow managed to stay in a previous decade and feel really old and historic, but had found a way to add in all the things we modern travellers require and expect.
The hotel actually had to be more recreated than I had first thought. As I found out more about the hotel, I discovered that it started life as a very grand and luxurious hotel dating back to the late 1890s. It flourished and prospered by serving the rich and famous travelling on transatlantic services from the Genoa port to New York.
The choice of the rich, the famous, royalty and dictators too..
Very rich and very famous people stayed here in those glory days when Transatlantic crossings were glamourous and fabulous affairs. Some of the guests at that time included members of Royal families, such as King of Italy (Vittorio Emanuele III) and the Spanish royalty (Maria and Carlos de Bordone). Even the Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini rested his head in the grand hotel. Painters and composers like Igor Stravinsky enjoyed hospitality here.
Restoring the glamour of its transatlantic crossing hotel of choice days.
The end of the grand, and glamourous, transatlantic services meant the hotel slowly went into decline, and it changed hands many times over the years. Finally in 2007 it was restored and reborn as the Grand Hotel Savoia to bring back the glamour, heritage and feel of the glory days of its history.
The bedrooms are small, but have real character. There are large images of old Genoa in screen prints as a headboard. The cupboards are open. The bathroom has art deco style mirrors and light fittings. The furniture looks of the period. Although small and compact, they are cosy and inviting to stay in. The wi-fi is erratic at times, but is free and easy to connect to.
The public rooms are fabulous with large ceilings and warm comfortable furniture. You can imagine people passing the time taking tea, having drinks and smoking while waiting to join their ship. There is a fitness room, and a strange (in my view) kids playground with a wooden ship. The breakfast buffet is huge and varied. The staff in there are friendly and welcoming.
Views worth seeing.
The meeting rooms up on the 7th floor are worth a visit even if you are not at a meeting. The views across to the port, where there are always cruise ships docked during the day, is fabulous. You also get great views across to the distinctive yellow and orange buildings that are typical of the city clinging up the hills.
I really loved the hotel. It felt dated and old fashioned – in a good way. It was comfortable and welcoming. Recommended not just for Hercule Poirot, but today’s traveller looking for something other than a standard chain style hotel.
Watch the video of Room 318 that I stayed in:
Read more that I have written about Genoa:
Genoa: The Beauty and The Beast. Tips for Travellers
See all my photos of Genoa on Flickr