While Modena feels more “gentrified” than Parma, Modena is still by no means a touristy town. You can tell by the list of hotels available on Tripadvisor. They are mostly 3-4 star hotels which seems to have been around for a very long time….
My friend suggested we stay at the UNA Modena, which is relatively new and very affordable. But it was also quite far from everything and we didn’t have a car.
In the end we decided on the Best Western Premier Milano Palace. When we booked there wasn’t a lot of reviews or photos on Tripadvisors to go on, but I took comfort in the fact that there aren’t a lot of reviews because it has been recently renovated. Plus, it is within walking distance to the train station!
The Location: It is not exactly in the center of town. But since the town is so small the center of town is not that far away either. The hotel is located right behind a massive townhall looking structure (we never found out what it was) that overlooks a piazza leading to the main streets. It is a nice, almost scenic 5-10 minute walk. On the other side, there is the train station which is about a 5-10 minute walk away (with suitcases) across crossing-less roads (which makes for a somewhat dangerous crossing). All in all it was convenient enough for us location wise, and the quality of the hotel more than made up for it not being completely smack in the middle of town.
The Hotel: After 2 nights at the NH La Spezia, arriving at the Best Western Premier Milano Palace (the locals call it the “Milano Palace”) was a huge relief. While its entrance is somewhat non descript being part of a row of old buildings, its interior was refreshingly modern and chic. On the left is a simple reception, where the staff were friendly and efficient. On the right, there is a very chic bar area with a grand piano that leads to the breakfast room. What I loved most about the lobby was the checkered marbled floors and the mosaics. I think I see Versace?
The only downside was the elevator, which was surprisingly slow and rickety compared to the rest of the hotel. We had a few suitcases with us in the elevator and it took forever to close.
Room: We booked the classic room, and it was everything we expected it would be. The room itself was moderately sized, clean and well decorated. The bathroom was spacious and well equipped, lined again with Versace-esque marble. And most impressively, is that it had a LEGIT HAIRDRYER. I had super happy hair that night!
The only downside was the lighting. The room was very very dark when we entered. So we pulled back to drapes thinking to let the light in. But instead of the glass window we were expecting, we encountered an authentic old school wooden window. For a moment, I thought it was fake and started to get claustrophobic. But we eventually figured out how to open it and let the light in, though it was difficult (almost as if they were not expecting us to open the window?).
Breakfast: Breakfast was included. Given the rest of the hotel, I thought it might be promising. But I guess when they say continental they really mean continental. It was very far from my large American breakfast buffet expectations. The spread was limited (though expected since there didn’t appear to be many guests) and I didn’t eat much.
- Newly renovated and modern
- Walking distance to train station and center of town
- Legit hair dryer
- Slow and wonky elevators
- Dark rooms
- Mediocre breakfast
Conclusion: As far as I can tell, this is definitely the best hotel in Modena. I would definitely recommend it to my friends and stay here again myself!
Read more about my trip to italy here!