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Reviewed 16 September 2018 via mobile

I was considering giving this hotel four stars because the price of the rooms is so good and I wanted to take that into account. However, the truth is there are plenty of cheap hotels and guest houses that do things much better than this hotel, so I settled on three stars.

Talking of star ratings, I don’t understand how this hotel can get away with officially calling *itself* a four star hotel. The reception is not manned 24 hours day, there is no minibar in the room (though you do get a kitchenette in some rooms), there is no bar or food available in the hotel outside of breakfast time, and there appear to be no other facilities to talk of. There is nothing four star about it.

The hotel is old-fashioned, some may dated, but I think when it comes to the rooms you can be kind and rather see it as traditional. It’s comfortable and quiet. More importantly, the staff are truly delightful - they are so friendly and welcoming and are also genuinely helpful, within the parameters of the possible.

There is nothing inherently bad about a hotel not moving with the times when it comes to decor and style; it is however less acceptable, and I think pretty unforgivable, to be so set in its ways when it comes to ‘the rules of the house’ (my phrase, not theirs). Some of this stuff really does look like it has been in place for decades and it needs to change because the overriding impression it leaves you with is a lack of generosity. Here are some examples of this lack of generosity:

1) Fine, the hotel reception is not manned 24 hours a day, but then don’t charge guests a hefty surcharge if their flight happens to arrive at a time that means they have to check in “after hours”. It’s a not a boarding school; it’s supposed to be a hotel.

2) Breakfast is served only between 7:30 and 9:30. Most hotels these days, and certainly four star hotels, have a longer breakfast time to allow guests to relax and sleep in if they wish, particularly at weekends.

3) Talking of sleeping in, check out time is 10:30am. Why? Most hotels, and certainly four star hotels, have a 12:00 check out. If the hotel cannot turn the rooms around in a three hour period (at its most rushed) then it is not employing enough cleaners. Let the guests stay until midday!

4) I was travelling alone; consequently, they provided me with just one bath towel and one hand towel. Now that’s all very eco-friendly, I get it, but just in terms of the impression it leaves on a guest, it would be have been nice to have seen two towels in the hotel room, like in a normal four star hotel, rather than it feeling like the towels are being rationed.

5) You can’t control the air conditioning entirely independently. They have to set a minimum temperature for you on a computer at reception. If you then decide to turn it down below that at some point in the night (when the reception is not manned, remember) you cannot do so. And if you turn it up (which is permitted) then you can’t turn it back down again to the minimum you originally asked for. The only possible explanation for this ridiculous system, which I’ve never seen anywhere else in the world, is that they are trying to save money on the air conditioning.

In summary, while the rooms are perfectly nice and the staff who work in the hotel are lovely and friendly, the management-style of the hotel feels stale, ungenerous and out of step with expectations.

Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank troubleinthecityt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Residenza A, Responsabile reception at Residenza d'Aragona, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2018

Dear Guest

We were waiting for your review.
We knew that you would write it, but we didn't expect your "feedback" so early, you left the hotel just.... yesterday.
Anyway your feedback is really.... impressive! Are you a reviews-writer for work? It's well detailed!
It would been nice to have a "real" so detailed feedback upon check-out when we asked you if everything was fine fine and you answered that everything was "PERFECT". Especially because you stayed in our Residence twice in a short period!
However we knew that you were going to write a review regarding the point number FIVE, which, even if is the last in your list, is the only one that you shared with us.
We will start an itinerary on all your concerns, trying to give you so answers so detailed as well as your opinions are.

First of all: RESIDENZA D'ARAGONA is not an hotel. It's a Residence which belong to a different category of hotels. You should know (because you seem a professional reviewer) that in Italy we have a lots of hotel, b&b, apartments and different categories of them.
However, even if we are a Residence, we try to supply to our guests the same services of an hotel of good quality.

We know that our apartements are really big! Probably the biggest for the hotel/residence of our same category. But, so big to don't find the essential things?
It's funny for us to read that you think we don't have a minibar (Yes we have a minibar in all the rooms, we have a also a furnished kitchenette)

1) Reception is open all days from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, we are open almost for the entire day. Because we are a Residence, it's not mandatory, to have reception 24h.
All our guests are well informed, this information is online on our websites and on all the websites of the agencies which works with us. The extra charge for late check-in is mandatory and not dealing, because a person which should end the work shift at 11:00 pm have to stay overtime waiting for the late arrivals.

2) Breakfast service is just until 9:30 am but we are always flexible to serve breakfast in the room also later than 9:30.
We will consider however the option to extend breakfast service for extra 30 minutes inspired by your review! Thanks!

3) Check-out is at 10:30 am because we are a small building with 20 big apartments! It's not a purpose of saving money as you are mentioning. From 10:30 to 14:00 we need the time to clean WELL all the apartments (which are normally rented for families of 3/4 people each room).
We must respect the check-in time and make all the rooms availables at 2:00 pm for all the guests.
The hotels with check out at 12:00 which you are mentioning, are normally big hotels of 50 or more rooms. They have more flexibility for this reason.

4) Towels: You booked a room for 1 person not for 2 people, why we have to provide towels set for two even if you booked for one?
We set towels depending on the reservation made. If the room is booked for 1 we set towels for 1 person. You said that it would be "nice to seen" have more towels. We don't customize the room depending on the guest's tastes.
You could have asked more towels at the reception.

5) Air condition: In order to respect the Italian law (DPR n.74/2013), all the offices, stores and enterprises open to the public, must keep the temperature around 24° with -2° of tollerance. So as you can understand is not just a purpose of saving money.
Anyway you get 23° in the room and in the night which was enough.

Hopefully we answered to all the "lacks" which you found on us.

Thanks,

The Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2018 via mobile

We stayed here two nights and booked the Superior Double Room. It was huge, with a good sized bedroom, a large living area with table, chairs, spare bed and sofa, and a bathroom. We travelled on the overnight ferry from Naples and arrived at the hotel at 7am and were very grateful that our room was ready (we let them know we were arriving early). It was only about a fifteen minute walk from the ferry terminal and is also only two blocks away from the Free Shuttle Bus which was very handy for sight-seeing and for getting to the train station on the day we left. The included breakfast was good and the staff very friendly and helped me with my attempts at speaking Italian. Our only disappointment with the hotel was that the lifts weren't working during our stay and we were on the fourth floor. This didn't really bother us, although as we arrived early in the morning it would have been nice for them to offer us breakfast as compensation for this. Otherwise, can highly recommend this hotel.

Date of stay: July 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Residenza A, Responsabile reception at Residenza d'Aragona, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2018

Dear Peter, Thanks for sharing with us your feedback. We are very proud to read your review! We are glad that you enjoyed your stay in our Suites and our breakfast services. Our job is not just a job. We are always happy to make our guests feel good and make their holidays unforgettable.
We are sorry for the inconvenience of the lift that didn't work when you arrived. However we are happy that it was fixed just a few minutes after.
Please, don't hesitate to get in touch to us if you'll come back in Palermo! Best Regards The Reception

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2018

The Residenza d'Aragona is spotlessly clean. The rooms are enormous, with couches, four seater table, and an enormous bed. Plenty of storage space.

The common seating area off reception are comfortable. There is a lift to all floors. Luggage storage is available on day of check out. WiFi is faultless. Air Con is in perfect working order. Reception and housekeeping staff are all extremely accommodating.

The property has a two set down car spaces outside the entrance for your limo / taxi pickups / drop offs and CPO team vehicles. The reception is secured 24/7 with one internal locked door on buzzer from 7am to 11pm when reception is manned. After 11pm two locked doors secure the property and access between 11pm and 7am is via keys issued to you by reception on arrival. Doors to rooms are like bank vaults and my room was noise free - no other room noises and no street noise.

The property is the perfect base for the Arab-Norman sites of Palermo and most of the sites are within walking distance for those who like a pleasant walk - the Cathedral(s), the Norman Palace also the Opera, the docks, the shopping district are all within easy walking distance. There are many bars, cafes, restaurants, tobacconists, and grocery stores within a couple of hundred metres of the location.

The taxi fare from Palermo airport to the property is between 65EUR and 85EUR depending on various factors including time of day, amount of luggage, and whether your drivers meter is on the fiddle. The ride is 20-30 minutes depending on time of day.

The taxi ride to Mondello Beach (which is beautiful) is between EUR25 and EUR35 - the reception will arrange one for you. There is also a bus to Mondello Beach - the 603 - I note there is some confusion about this on some sites. Its about a 45 minute ride.

Note to those going to Mondello Beach by taxi. The taxi ride is 20 minutes or so. Make sure you arrange with the outgoing taxi to pick you up for return or get the number of a firm of taxis. You will struggle to hail a taxi on the street in Mondello. There is a taxi rank but I never saw one there. Also if Palermo FC are playing at home then be aware that you will struggle to get back to the city using the normal route after 6pm for evening games as the stadium is on the Palermo - Mondello main route and roads close for match days.

The taxi rank in Mondello Beach is opposite the bus terminus for Mondello which has a frequent service to all areas and the city.

The taxi rank and bus terminus are on the opposite side of the road to the section of private beaches at Mondello where you pay circa 14EUR for entry for two beds and an umbrella rather than using the public beach. Card readers are issued for entry and on returning them you receive a 2EUR refund. These beaches close at 7pm. They have showers, changing rooms, toilets, bars, and snack bars with full access to the crystal clear waters of Mondello Beach for which it is famous.

For excellent coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, snacks, pasta, and salads give Bar Da Dominik a try on the square around the corner - 5 minutes walk. Also La Duchessa is the best for huge Sicilian salads and pizzas (pics below).

Smokers note: the tobacconists close at 10pm and unless you have an Italian National ID Card then the machine will keep your money and issue a receipt after a long delay for a refund at a shop.

Cannot comment on breakfast at the property as I did not have any.

Enjoy!

Room tip: No particular tips on room selection - all rooms are excellent
Date of stay: June 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Graham P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Residenza A, Responsabile reception at Residenza d'Aragona, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2018

Dear Graham

Many thanks for your very kind review. We are glad that you enjoyed your staying at Residenza D’Aragona.
We hope to welcome you soon in Palermo for your next trip! We look forward to meet you.

Kind Regards Reception – Residenza D’Aragona.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2018 via mobile

Check out time at 10.30 and breakfast only until 9:30 is a little unusual for a high end season in europe. In addition to 40 eur fee in cash on the spot for late check-in because of a plane delay.

Large family room but wallpaper peeling off.

I don’t think we are going back.

Date of stay: July 2018
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Dagmar010681
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Residenza A, Responsabile reception at Residenza d'Aragona, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2018

Dear Dagmar,

Thanks for your review.
We are really sorry that you didn't like our conditions.
Dear Dagmar,

Thanks for your review.
We are really sorry that you didn't like our conditions.


We are a small hotel with 20 rooms, so we don't have enough rooms to guarantee late check-out, because check-in is at 2 pm and we need enough time to clean well all the rooms.
As we don't have reception 24h (this is written everywhere in all the websites) a person must wait for you with overtime after 11:00 pm.
The late check-in charge is a kindness which we do, because we should close at 11:00 pm without waiting for late arrivals.

Kind regards,

The Reception

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Reviewed 17 June 2018 via mobile

Maybe it’s a good position and a large room but overall it’s tired and the website presents a far better picture than the reality. Sadly lacking in Italian charm or style this small hotel could do with a makeover.

Date of stay: June 2018
Thank Linda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Residenza A, Responsabile reception at Residenza d'Aragona, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2018

Dear Mrs Farrell,

Thanks for your review.
We are really sorry that you didn't like our style, which is often appreciated by our guests.
The Neoclassical style is an authentic Italian style of the 19° century.
All our furnishings are handmades by Sicilian carpenters. Obviusly it depends on personal tastes.
By the way the pictures showed on our websites are exactly the same of the rooms which we offer to our guests.

Thanks for staying with us.

Kind Regards,

Front Office

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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