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
This is a large city hotel located along a stretch of buildings opposite the sea. Across the street is a walkway with benches so that pedestrians can stroll. We found that it is quite safe to stroll along the water during the day and at night until about 11 o’clock.
The wonderful part about being in this location is not only the fantastic views of the water but the historic squares as well as the heart of the shopping areas are only 6 to 8 minutes away by foot.
There are many restaurants along the route to the old town and in the historic squares. Most people and families eat late at night so squares are very safe.
The hotel was very comfortable the beds were good the rooms were clean. We did not have a view we just looked out into an interior courtyard. The rooms are extremely modern with unusual furnishings.
The reason they did not get five stars for me is that it is an impersonal large hotel although the bellman treated us well. This is in contrast to our recent hotel stays in moderately sized hotels in which we received a lot of personal service and instant recognition. I would definitely stay here again if I was to come to Bari it is the only hotel near the water and within a very short distance to restaurants and the large shopping area.
Best place to stay when in Bari, Italy. Access to all and view is great also. Looked around at others but non were as good. Wife and I had and have a comfortable and relaxing stay when we are there. Make it a point to go and say hiandstay for a night or two. You will not regret it I promise.
Great choice in a city with few well-known hotel brands. Convenient location right on the seashore but still within walking distance of old town and new town shopping district. Modern hotel with well-designed room choices. We booked a room facing the inner courtyard both for cost reasons and for less noise; we got a free upgrade to a panorama room facing the side street and the harbor. With windows closed, our third floor room was very quiet.
Comfy bed, neither too firm nor too soft. Lots of toiletries in the bathroom area. Shower was a little unusual – no door – so you had to be careful not to spray water outside. Not a lot of counter/desk space. Good controls on A/C and heating.
Very good buffet breakfast on the top floor restaurant with a good view of the harbor. Not a lot of hot dishes, but ample cold meats, cheeses, pastries.