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Let the trip planning continue....

I'm thinking long and hard about where to stay in Bologna this fall, as part of my new and improved travel plan B.

I'm actually weighing two hotels that both sound very good (so this is not an unpleasant question!) for the 7 or 8 nights that I plan to stay in Bologna in the fall.

Right now, I've got a double room for single use reserved at the Hotel Porta San Mamolo at a pretty decent rate of 118 euros per night. It has received very good reviews from Slow Travelers, including Girasoli who is returning in June, I believe. The PSM is also ranked the #1 hotel in Bologna by Trip Advisor. It looks lovely, clean, quiet, with good-sized rooms. But it's a bit of a walk from the centre of town, which a few people have remarked on. That also means it'll likely be a decent hike, perhaps a good 30 minutes, to the train station. Since I hope to do a few day trips from Bologna, that's a consideration although it's not a full-out stumbling block.

Here's a link to the PSM: http://www.hotel-portasanmamolo.it/en/location.htm

I think it really does look very charming.

But -- and it's a BIG but, as my former boss used to say -- I'm also weighing a different hotel that looks equally charming.

The Art Hotel Corona D'Oro seems to be smack in the centre of things in Bologna, and has also gotten very good reviews on Trip Advisors (although there are far fewer reviews for the CDO than the Porta San Mamolo) They've offered me a single room with a small terrace and a bath with a tub and shower on their second (and top) floor for 90 euros; a double without a terrace for 125 euros and a double deluxe with a terrace for 135 euros.The hotel was recently renovated, I believe, and looks a bit more posh than the PSM -- although that could be because it's part of a local chain of four Art Hotels in Bologna. It may be that other, more popular Art Hotels are the nice ones and this is the poor relative. Okay, I'm a bit skeptical, I guess, because the rates are a bit lower than I would have expected for something fashionable and central.


I realize that hotel rates in Bologna can fluctuate a fair amount, depending on whether or not there are major trade shows going on, boosting demand.

So overall, I'm feeling a bit torn. I like the idea of being smack in the centre of things, I like the idea of having a little terrace and the Corona looks really lovely. However, single rooms can be really, really tiny and for eight nights, that might drive me nuts! The double deluxe sounds good altho at the high end of my price range. And the Hotel Porta San Mamolo has really gotten wonderful reviews.

This is going to take some thought......