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
This hotel is located at the waterfront, slightly away from the centre of Livorno. Incredible architecture with beautiful views. Staff is very friendly but not over the top. Breakfast is very nice and some tables set at the veranda. Try to get a table outside and don't miss the great views while having your breakfast. This hotel has gym and swimming pool. Swimming pool partially covered and partially outside. It is very small pool but if you would like to spend a bit time in a larger pool, there is a summer club type of facility opposite to the hotel. It doesn't belong to the hotel but with a small fee you can get an access for a day. There is no beach near the hotel but I believe there is a shuttle to take you to the nearby beach (have not tried it). Restaurant is located on the top floor. The menu is very limited but make sure at least one night have a dinner on the teras just before the sun goes down. It is a great venu for a meal. I think it is the best hotel in Livorno, don't miss it.
We, mother and daughter from Australia are on a 4 months Europe trip (like several holidays before) and have chosen 61 four and five star hotels along our way.
We very unfortunately booked Grand Hotel Palazzo MGallery by Sofitel in Livorno in good trust.
While my daughter checked in, a girl from Reception (not in control of English) came to the car telling me "what we had to do and what she would do"
I am handicapped and am using a small scooter - her demands were ridiculous and she kept going until I had to tell her to STOP.
Coming in to the hotel looks appropriate for it's class.
Needing dinner soon we asked the front receptionist (he later stated he was the deputy manager for the night) if there was a restaurant across the road on the beach, which I thought I had seen, as we needed to make certain since the ramp on the entrance on both sides is very long and very steep - not easily accessible for wheelchair or scooter. And they have no other ramp, exit etc option available.
We were told there is NO restaurant across (a blatant lie since we ended up having a truly wonderful dinner there later) so we said we would go in to town later and find one. We then were told the best restaurant is only a short taxi drive away and the view outstanding (next day we passed by it on the way out of Livorno and it was certainly not close. Not only that, there were plenty of restaurants there with the same view etc much much closer all along the street)
We insisted that we would find a place ourselves but were bombarded by the receptionist that he would book there for us.
After the fifth denial to that request we agreed to go there.
We went to our"luxury room with seaview" to find a room nicely decorated with furniture, which did not really reflect the room so well, and with NO handicapped provisions which we asked for.
The seaview was only partly possible as we had only one window circa 80cm square in the entire room which was squished in just over a roof with a house across the road which took most of the view.
Not even our request for a shower chair could be fulfilled. And our request for a disabled room was completely ignored even after many mentions from us at check-in and then again to the porter and of course when booking)
We then went down to ask for a NORMAL taxi to be called. We made the point of normal since we had been fooled for a 100 euro taxi before. In came the taxi and we felt something going wrong again. We had to wait more than 15 minutes for the car to arrive and it was a mini bus which makes it hard for me to use as they are so high to get in. We asked for a replacement "normal taxi"and were told that was normal. OK, we drove 18 mins through town to take photos and then wanted to eat. The driver started to go towards that booked restaurant and left Livorno and each time we asked he said only a few more minutes. We told him to stop and turn around to Livorno to the restaurant we thought of before across the road from the hotel and BiNGO our taxi bill was 100 euro! When we left the taxi he gave us a card which stated he was a tour bus. NOT a taxi. And let me once again reiterate we did not ask for a tour bus - we requested a normal taxi! Had we have proceeded to the restaurant the hotel suggested would we most likely have been charged another 100 euro to return?
As we came back to the hotel we told the receptionist in charge that we felt robbed (we have no restrictions for what WE want to get or buy but getting fooled that way is not what we expect from a hotel of that class.)
He who initiated all of that then claimed there are no other taxi's in Livorno and made a point by saying "I swear" and then promised to investigate. Well he must have absolutely forgotten that...what a fool. Livorno clearly has taxi's which you find on google but we trusted an untrustworthy hotel ( and to think this hotel is partially run under his command) One wonders who gets the extra money from this taxi business the hotel or their staff?!
Also before we left the hotel for dinner we asked the same man if he could get the extra padding that Sofitel puts on top of the mattress off the bed and replace the large doona with 2 small blankets which he said would be done straight away. When we came back more than 2 hours later this was not done. And no it was not due to a language barrier (his English was very good and he'd lived in Australia for a year)
As we tried to charge the telephone at night the electrical socket actually fell out of the wall and into my hand. Not very secure.
The light switches near the bed didn't work properly either.
During the night I reached out to get one of my medications and dropped my lttle pocket lamp to the floor. Not a good idea since the shine of the lamp revealed a lot of dust etc throughout.
The shower head was filthy and again the fitting not secure and if you want to use the handheld shower and not the rainshower head you have to pull and not let go of the fitting. Very unusual set-up. As for looking at the grout between the tiles - if you like clean and hygienic avoid looking there.
Next morning we had breakfast which of course is mainly for the Italian taste...dolce!
As for the international taste there was little and the cheapest on offer. The personnel there couldn't greet or get a smile on their face. And upon my request for a 4 minute soft boiled egg I was told 4 times!! that this was a "boofffattt" until I gave up.
In any and all hotels of any good name you get several fresh fruit juices.....here you had to pay 5 euro for a glass of freshly pressed orange juice... omelettes etc were also an additional charge if you actually had a chance to order it and weren't continuously told it was a "boofffattt".
There was also only one bain marie which contained some blue tinged scrambled eggs and some small sausage cuts which looked like chopped off fingertips. The other bain marie stood empty and unreplaced for over 30 minutes.
The story could go on endlessly.
And.....by the way ....you need your car to get up the ramp to the entrance but if you leave it there for a few minutes it needs to be removed because I hereby quote the 2 helpers from the hotel:
"The manager is afraid that some marble could get damaged"
We also couldn't push the trolley with our luggage out of the door due to "security reasons".
Thank goodness we booked this hotel only for 1 night or our 'marbles' would have gone too.
The hotel is sadly sadly below the standard one expects from a Sofitel. We had torn bedsheets and after we asked them to change, they put other torn bedsheets. The safe was broken and repeated requests to have it fixed were ignored. The wifi is so bad you cannot do any internet. The swimming pool is a glass box and the chairs had no cushions and we sat on wooden beds. The breakfast had canned fruits and eggs cooked at least 2-3 hours previously.
Lastly, the gym had no lights or air conditioning even in summer.
Thankfully opposite is a wonderful sea and swimming facility from the commune which is where we went.
As a travel blogger I cannot recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a luxury vacation.
Sofitel really needs to pay more attention to details. This hotel could be amazing but for the moment its a place I will never go back.