While you’re not too far from the city centre (five-minute taxi) and the river’s quite close, the hotel is in a bit of a no-man’s land, which creates an isolated feel that sort of suits the palatial ambiance. However, this means there’s isn’t a great deal in terms of restaurants and shops in the immediate vicinity.
The opulent, period suite I stayed in was so heavenly, I felt embarrassingly under-dressed and positively oafish, lounging on my chaise longue in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Once more appropriately dressed, in my fluffy robe, I felt like a European Count, surrounded by all that marble and period drapes, candle chandeliers, antique cabinets and wardrobes, and gilt-framed oil paintings. The standard rooms are, of course, smaller and less grand, but they still maintain the palatial charm of the hotel.
Even if you’re not staying here it’s worth coming to have a wander around this place – it's more impressive than many of the city’s museums. The hotel is set around a serene landscaped botanical garden, the lobby has a double-winding staircase (with red carpets, of course) and stained glass windows, there are antique-furnished living rooms and there’s even a chapel where guests can get married.
A marble swimming pool stands where a lake used to be, which has an ornate fountain sprouting out of the middle. There’s also a reminder of the 21st century in the modern spa, indoor swimming pool and children’s play area.
Very attentive. Nothing was too much trouble.
Who stays there
Honeymooners, couples and the odd family.
September to March are good times to visit, when the price of the suites is greatly reduced.
- Culture vultures
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Unique and historic
- Expensive standard rooms in peak season