Lodging Review: Novotel Torino Corso Giulio Cesare
Attraction Review: Museo Egizio
Lodging Review: Hilton Bonn
Lounge Review: Lufthansa Lounge, Cologne-Bonn Airport
United 777-200ER Old Style vs. Polaris Business Class
I was disappointed that for the first few nights of this trip we would not be staying in a hotel where I had any status. Though I had never signed up for an account with Accor Hotels (the parent company of Novotel) I did have an account with Fairmont Hotels and they’d recently been acquired by Accor. I ended up having to call Accor to find out my account number but I did manage to get it attached to my reservation.
The car service (I used both Rideways and Sun Transfers on this trip and both were fine) dropped us off at the front door of the Novotel Torino. It’s in a rather industrial area and I don’t mean there are necessarily factories around but it was not an area I’d feel very safe walking around alone at night. Perhaps that’s just my perception but buildings around seemed to be a bit run down. There were no restaurants nearby, just the one in the hotel. It was, however, very convenient to the office where our meeting was held.
The front desk is immediately to the right upon entering the front door. I was greeted warmly and my membership in the loyalty program was acknowledged. I was told I was being given an upgrade to an Executive room though I believe that’s due to the rate my company was paying rather than my participation in the loyalty program as my co-workers got the same room type.
I was given a room on the second floor and, since this is Europe, that meant two floors above the lobby, which is the Ground Floor (and not the First Floor). My room was just a few doors down from the elevator but I did not have any trouble with hallway noise. In the photo of the hotel’s exterior, my room would be hidden behind the trees, just to the right of center. It overlooked the hotel entrance and across the street was a field where sheep were grazing! It was a very quiet area.
The room had the standard hotel room layout with a bathroom on one side and a wardrobe on the other. In this case there were two wardrobes: one with shelves and the safe and the other with room to hang clothes.
Across from the beds was a long piece of furniture that served as a shelf and a desk. A flat screen TV sat at one end with the Nespresso machine and kettle at various spots along the wall. The outlet where the kettle was plugged in did have one extra outlet though it was shaped oddly and I didn’t recognize it as such for a couple of days. I ended up unplugging the kettle (which was fine as I wasn’t using it anyway) so that I could recharge both my phone and my tablet at the same time. There were no plugs on either side of the bed, which is terrible.
Beneath it on one side was the mini-fridge. On the other side were several drawers. One thing I really liked about this room was the amount of drawer space, even though I didn’t make use of it on such a short trip. (We only stayed here three nights.)
The shower tub was across from the door. The tub was elevated, which meant it was a bit of a step to get into/out of it. If your mobility is limited you may want to ask for a room where this is not the case. The oddest thing about the tub was the shower partition. In the photo below you can see that while the tub wall goes straight back, in the area around the shower head it bulges a bit. The shape rather reminded me of a thermometer with a bulb at one end and a straight portion. My tub has a curved clear partition to keep the water inside but if you look at the ceiling you’ll see a curtain track in a half-circle shape. Others in my group reported that they actually had a shower curtain instead of the clear partition. It worked fine, it’s just very different from any setup I’ve seen before.
All the rain outside meant the humidity was up and our rooms stayed rather humid. Several of the folks in my group commented on that. Apparently the building has a master switch that’s set to either A/C or Heat and by early November it had been turned to heat. So we couldn’t turn the A/C on in our rooms to remove the humidity or even cool it down to help us sleep at night. We were able to open the windows a bit which did help some with the temperature but, obviously, not with the humidity.
We were provided with two large bottles of water, one still and one sparkling. I didn’t inquire about refills.
Our room rate included breakfast which was available in the N Restaurant, located off the lobby. It was a buffet and wasn’t extravagant but I found plenty to eat. As an American I’ve been conditioned to want OJ at breakfast and they didn’t have any. I also had lunch here the day we arrived and it didn’t knock my socks off but I didn’t go hungry either. There’s also a lobby bar, Le Bar Novotelcafe.
The hotel offers seven meeting rooms with a maximum capacity of 220. If you wish to host a banquet they can handle up to 90 guests.
There is a “gym”, if you can call it that. I looked into though I apparently failed to take a photo. It was so small that I may have been unable to get a good angle. I note that on the hotel’s website the photographer shot into the mirror to let the reflection tell the tale. Likely he couldn’t get a good angle either!
In early November the pool is covered but the photos on the website make it look far larger than the pool I saw. It’s also possible there’s another pool I did not see.
In the end
This hotel is advertised as a 4-star but I question that. 3.5 stars, sure, I’ll give you that. We arrived on a Sunday and it appeared there were a number of teams of young girls who were participating in some sort of tournament or event. I’d chalk that up to reasonable room rates on the weekend when there’s no business travel. This hotel is about 20 minutes from the airport and there’s no shuttle service, which is not uncommon in Europe.