Grande Albergo delle Nazioni
What We Love
- Fabulous location within walking distance of Bari's atmospheric Old Town and its historic sights
- Lounging by the rooftop pool and sundeck
- Italo Rota's bold and breezy design
- Excellent menu designed by rising Italian chef Diego Rigotti
What To Know
- Free-standing glass showers in some rooms may not meet everyone's privacy requirements
- The gym has high-tech equipment but is rather compact
- Pool area lacks umbrellas and a bar
- WiFi is free
- No on-site parking; street parking or an off-site parking lot are available
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Overlooking the azure Adriatic, close to Bari’s best sights, the Grande Albergo delle Nazioni blends a 1930s pedigree with the luxe trappings of a 21st-century hotel. The curved, streamlined façade recalls a grand ocean liner and is a fitting overture to Milanese architect Italo Rota’s nautical interiors. Built as a palace in 1932, it functioned as the legendary Grand Hotel Nations for more than 40 years, opening as the Grande Albergo delle Nazioni in 2014 after an extensive renovation. The lobby features a floor-to-ceiling metal sculpture inspired by traditional local fishing nets. A sparkling granite floor and giant vanity mirrors, meanwhile, pay homage to the hotel’s legacy as a filming location for Alberto Sordi’s 1973 movie Stardust.
Bed and Bath
Rota’s playful theme travels to the guestrooms, where the eye is drawn to the orange minibars, flat-screen TVs encased in white fiberglass, and armoires opened by butterfly-shaped chrome handles. Parquet floors and walls sheathed in sky-blue patterned textiles reinforce a subtly nautical feel. Stylish bathrooms come with walk-in rain showers, huge mirrors and a fabulous range of toiletries scented with myrrh, orange blossom, tea leaves or blue Tahitian chamomile. The best rooms have balconies for enjoying sunset views of the Adriatic and the silhouetted Old Town.
The shining star of the two restaurants is the appropriately named Polvere di Stelle (which translates as “stardust”), on the fifth floor. Settle down amid minimalist design and sweeping sea views while nibbling on squid ink–infused bread rolls and seafood delights brought in that morning by local fishermen. Evenings can start off in the well-stocked bar with a signature Bloody Mary made with juice from heirloom fiaschetto tomatoes. The buffet-style breakfast includes cooked-to-order eggs and a small selection of gluten-free items. The spa floor (served by a discreet guests-only elevator) has a small indoor-outdoor gym, beauty and massage treatment rooms, a mixed sauna and access to the petite rooftop pool and sundeck.
In the Area
Step outside the hotel to join locals on their passeggiata (evening walk) along Italy’s longest seafront promenade before heading for a drink at Dona Flor. This trendy restaurant-bar is attached to the venerable Teatro Petruzzelli, home to fine opera, ballet and classical music. For another culture fix, admire paintings by artists ranging from Tintoretto to de Chirico at the Pinacoteca Provinciale. Ease tummy grumblings by joining clued-in locals for antipasti and pizza at Enzo e Ciro or head to Ai Due Ghiottoni for such local tastes as riso, patate e cozze (rice, potato and mussel casserole).
How to Get There
We stayed here on our first night in Bari. We then travelled around Puglia for a week and enjoyed our stay so much that we booked in again for our last night. The location is great, right on the seafront and around a 10 minute walk to the old town & city centre. The hotel itself has great facilities, heated outdoor pool, beautiful restaurant with great views. Staff were extremely friendly and helpful, would definitely recommend and return if we get the opportunity.
we booked DIRECTLY and received a discount and free breakfast. most of the front staff were very informative and the rest were very kind. we had the sea view room and the patio was a delight in the sun. very nice modern clean new room. breakfast was plentiful. American coffee was ho hum so I finally learned to order cappuccino! great location on the sea and 10 minute walk to old city. 15 to train and easy to find. highly recomend
Checked in very late and there was no parking to be found near the hotel. The reception person was very helpful in arranging valet parking services. We were upgraded to a better room which always is welcomed. The room was nice with a view of Adriatic. Two comments: 1) It would be nice if they provided some complimentary water (as claimed to be a 5-star hotel) and 2) the people on the reception didn't do a great job as a Concierge. Although we do our own research, they discouraged us from going to Matera and instead recommended that we go to Torre a Mare instead. Glad that we didn't listen to them.
I stayed at this hotel for seven nights. The room was very comfortable and the stuff was very friendly. They tried to help me in any way they can. Location is perfect, right on the ocean. It’s close to Bari central rail road station and the center of the city.
Definitely pay the extra for a room with a view, it’s spectacular, including sunrises in the morning. The design of the rooms is sort of quirky but has its charms. I would say it’s in pretty good shape but soon enough it’ll need a renovation: light strip LEDs outside were blinking, the shower head was a bit calcified.