Grand Hotel Palazzo
What We Love
- An exuberantly elegant stay in the port city of Livorno, with breakfast, spa access and moreThe proximity to the waterfront – the promenade is right in front of the hotel
- The luxury, decadent interiors that make you feel like you’re staying in a gorgeous renaissance palace
- Discovering Tuscany - a staple in many a traveller's destination wishlist
What To Know
- Located just a minute's walk from the beach; rooms have panoramic ocean views
- Guestrooms have free WiFi and flatscreen TVs
- There's an Italian restaurant on the top floor
- The city center and harbor are just over a mile away
Tuscany needs little introduction; it’s preened, historic towns, olive grove-peppered hills and world-class wineries keep it firmly on the map. The port town of Livorno, on the western coast of Tuscany, effortlessly encapsulates the region’s spirit and is home to huge piazzas, superior seafood and an abundance of renaissance architecture.
It’s within this beguiling setting that Grand Hotel Palazzo, a five-star grande dame from MGallery by Sofitel, makes its home. Set back from the water, this luxuriously grand property has panoramic sea views, decadent interiors and huge rooms. With a sophisticated restaurant and access to the Tuscany Wellness & Spa to boot, this is slice of Tuscany you won’t want to leave in a hurry.
How to Get There
We went here for our wedding anniversary and got a really good deal on Booking.com. Its a very grand looking building (a bit like a mini-Buckingham Palace!). We chose a room with a sea view and balcony and we got some excellent vistas during our 3 night stay. The rooftop pool was out of action (no warning) and there is no discernible bar, just a small one that serves the 5th Floor restaurant - the food in the restaurant is fine, not totally amazing, just fine.
The standout feature of this hotel is the staff who were all incredibly helpful and friendly.
Our room was double height with the usual European floor plan. Nice and clean though but truly awful TV offering (it was raining when we visited so some decent channels would've been useful). Old tech and busted remote didn't help matters either. We had a small balcony but the handle fell off the door when I tried to use it.
That said we loved our trip to Livorno and this hotel seems to be up there with the best the town has to offer.
So when i pulled up in front of the hotel in our super Fiat rental, the doorman actually looked down his nose at us and bluntly told us to move the car, we were blocking the way. We just wanted to get the luggage out before parking, and we weren’t blocking anybody... there was no one else there!! This was our first impression... wow. Lucky for us the bellboy came running out to help me with the luggage, because god knows the doorman couldn’t care less. I guess our Fiat didn’t impress him much. Maybe i would have gotten a better reception if i had shown up in our Porsche. The fiat was my idea not my husbands ( but thats another story )Check in was ok: very snobbish and cold, but after our first reception outside i kinda figured that this was going to be protocole from the employees. My room... what can i say.... not much good.... it was big , there was a bed....but where was the contour sheet!! Who sleeps on a flat sheet??In the morning the flat sheet , pillows and conforter were all in a ball, my husband moves alot during his sleep. So i basically slept on a wat of Fabric. There was mildew all over the shower joints, the stainless faucets were tarnished and not very clean. The furniture was chipped in many places, walls and ceilings stained from water infiltration,burnt out lights, stains on the cushions. If my credit card hadn’t already been debited for the full amount, i think i would have left running. I’ve been to Sofitels before, this one is no where near the standards of a REAL 5star Sofitel. Maybe it was... but 10 years ago. I think they kept and old 5star sign just for prestige. I would rate this hotel 3 star... it has alot of potential but there has to be major renovations. Apart from the marble and mirrors everywhere the rest of the hotel is rundown..... down to the cobblestone parking with the stones missing, some broken and weeds growing between them. I made the mistake of not ready the reviews before booking, silly me i had full confidence when i saw Sofitel and 5star not to mention the price i payed. To who ever is reading this... don’t make the same mistake as me... go somewhere else. Save yourself the deception. Anyways, there is nothing to do in Livourne anyway.
Stayed in this hotel in April of 2019 for two nights.
The building is huge and stunning and directly faces the sea.
The hotel is about 2km from the core of Livorno so it requires a long walk or 15 Euro taxi ride to get into town.
The rooms are spacious and well thought out, but at this point in time they are very rough around the edges and are in serious need of some TLC.
In our room, the paint was peeling off of the clothing wardrobes, the material the mirror was composed of had peeled off and was stapled back on. The shower was covered in calcium build up and had obviously not been properly cleaned causing the water to shoot out in all different directions. The shower also leaked so there was always water all over the floor.
In addition to this, there was some kind of pillow top on top of the mattress that didn't fit the bed properly so it seemed very bizarre. As is common in Italy, the duvet didn't have a proper cover and was only covered by sheets so it kept being exposed and the duvet itself was filthy.
The pool and sauna amenities cost an additional 33euros.
The breakfast was probably the biggest sticking point - the wait staff never approached or provided us with coffee, the various stations were almost always depleted and took very long to be replenished, and the food itself was quite poor.
As a vegetarian I had very little too eat and there were offerings like boiled potatoes and green beans that weren't fully cooked and had absolutely no flavoring.
In addition to this, the service was certainly not that of a 5 star hotel. Our minibar did not have any water in it as it was supposed to and when I called for water I was told to call various different numbers rather than the front desk just sorting it out for me. I also saw a poor girl who was trying to sleep around 10:30pm complain about all the noise from a party and she was told that the noise would end around midnight rather than being offered another room option.
Overall, the hotel definitely has the potential to be lovely, but at the moment there are many many kinks that need to be worked out.
I would not stay here again.
This place is magical! If you want to have an afternoon drink watching the sun fading away in the seas-that’s the place. Went there to watch the sunset with my mother and we had aperols and little snacks. Staff is friendly, the snacks were top. All in all great experience but also pricey. Bare in mind it is a five star hotel so prepare to spend a bunch. The prices correspond with quality.
My wife and I came to Livorno as part of winter break for a few days In February.
We found this hotel on secrete escapes and it appear to be a bit of a bargain for a 5 star hotel so we booked it (having completed a little trip advisor research first of course!).
There was some mixed reviews on trip advisor regarding this hotel but I’m not sure how fair they are so I’m going to break it down and be honest with both positive and negative aspects of the hotel.
1) location - this is a huge hotels looking directly over the sea and you can fail to smile when you look out of the window and watch the sun rising over over the water
2) staff - I have to stay they were complete professionals from start to finish. Really helpful and friendly and spoke excellent English
3) rooms - we have a classic double which was pretty huge with a balcony and large bathroom. Our rooms were cleaned everyday and turned down every night
4) cleanliness - the hotel was spotless and constantly been cleaned by staff
5) facilities - the hotel has a breakfast room, dining room, spa, gym, rooftop pool and lots of seating throughout
6) Spa - this is not included in your stay and costs €25 per day (weekdays) and €32 (weekends). This is literally just to use the spa area (although gym is free) and does not include any treatments
You do get a 10% discount on treatments but they are still pretty expensive
7) breakfast - the range of breakfast was pretty good from cereals, croissants, bread, ham and cheeses and also bacon and eggs. Make sure you go early as they stop cooking towards the end of service and you will end up with leftovers (as we did several times). Not the most amazing breakfast I’ve had and if you paid full price for your room then you might feel a little hard done by
8) gym - it’s flipping tiny and has no air conditioning so be prepared for this if you want to train whilst away. The locals run, walk of cycle so join in with that instead as there are plenty of paths along the sea to enjoy.
There are really good transport links in and out of Livorno. The LAM BLU bus is great for getting into town (shops are in the centre and station is on the opposite side form the hotel - 15 minutes away). A single bus journey is €2.50
Trains - the train are cheap and pretty quick. We got a train from Livorno to Florence (via Pisa) in 1h20 door to door. Loads of space on the trains and all of a good, clean standard.
Walking - this is a beautiful place for a stoke. Directly outside of the hotel is the sea where you can walk for miles and miles.
Restaurants - There are lots of amazing restaurant in Livorno (over 500) mainly serving Italian food with a few exceptions. I have posted lots of restaurant reviews separate to this but would give this advice. Most of the restaurants chose to go to were local family restaurants (no chains)where the space is limited, the atmosphere lively and the menus non existent! We love walking into local restaurants and. It knowing really what we are going to be served but it’s not for everyone.
If you don’t want to play “lucky dip” then research your restaurants to ensure they have a menu and that it is written in a language you understand.
Town - in the centre of the town is where most of the shops and restaurants are. This is a 45 minute walk from the hotel or 15 minutes on the bus (LAN BLU bus stop right outside the hotel). There is a good range of clothes shops with brands we all recognise.
Time zone - it’s worthy of note that everything starts later here (about 10am) and goes on until 3pm. MOST places close between 3-6 (or 7) and then are open until the early hours of the morning. Very few restaurants open before 7.30pm so this needs to be planned carefully if you normally eat early of have kids to feed.
We loved Livorno... it’s great for a dead days away from home but you might run out of things to do if you stayed for more than a long weekend. If you are willing to travel then Pisa, Rome and Florence are all well worth a visit.
I hope this review is helpful.