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Agrigento: Colleverde Park Hotel

www.colleverde-hotel.it

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Reviewed by: Joseph from CT, review #1873

When: April 2007

A well-run hotel with attractive common rooms, outdoor pavillion, gardens. A comfortable place to return to after a long day in the archeological park.

I stayed at the Colleverde Park Hotel for two nights in April 2007 and it delivered everything we were looking for.

It's true that the rooms are laid out like those in "chain" hotels: Forgive them for thinking that well-sound-proofed and carpeted rooms with a king-size bed with good lighting for reading and nice size night tables, a long low bureau with a well-lit writing desk incorporated into it, good size closets, etc., etc., were good things. It is in fact an authentic "type" of family-owned and operated Italian hotel -- well run, efficient, friendly, knowledgeable, clean and attractive. No, it is not a converted palazzo or former villa filled with "Nonna's" antiques. Yes, you might find a bus parked outside. Nevertheless, it is the type of accommodation that one once considered oneself lucky to find (and I still do) after a long day of driving or sightseeing, when what one wants and needs most is comfort and efficiency and a good night's rest in preparation for the next long day of sightseeing.

In other words, when the "experience" is not the room or the hotel, but rather the local sights and attractions. It seems to me that this would be welcomed in Agrigento most especially after walking through temples and museums on probably very hot days.

In addition to a very comfortable sleeping room, for 110 euro we got ample free parking just steps from the lobby, several nicely decorated and spacious public rooms with cozy seating, free internet access, interesting conversation with French and German travelers and a Japanese art professor, a very good restaurant (that makes a dynamite vodka martini) with lovely garden views, a very large covered pavilion in a park-like setting which must offer delightful dining in the summer, and glimpses of the temples off in the distance.

The staff was knowledgeable and friendly, and it was the first time in a month that we were able to catch up with news on CNN. Yes, this is a "tourist" hotel that caters to groups and offers Americans their breakfast eggs (the first we tasted in weeks) and Germans their breakfast meats, etc. But guess what, I'm a tourist, and for catering to me like one they shouldn't be condemned. In fact, it was a nice change of pace for us, since we were in a (charming) apartment in Ortigia for a month!

If you want a unique albergo experience in Agrigento, by all means you'll get more of what you're looking for (and you'll get closer to the temples) at The Hotel Athena. We've been there, and we had a nice "experience" -- and just a few kilometers away in Palma di Montechiaro there is the Mandranova villa/agriturismo that looked very inviting and chic in its olive groves. But that doesn't make Colleverde a "Ramada Inn." It offers its own kind of Italian-tourist-hotel experience. When we went on two- or three-day jaunts outside Siracusa, we did a lot of driving and a lot of walking. At the end of the day we were tired. We considered ourselves fortunate to find comfortable places like Colleverde in Agrigento, and Hotel Scrivano in Randazzo, and even Hotel Sicilia in Enna. While utterly "charmless" on the outside (the Scrivano faces a gas station and the facade of the Hotel Sicilia needs urgent attention), they all offered convenient parking in central locations, clean and efficient rooms and generous breakfasts for less than heart-stopping prices.

They are all truly "Italian" and a little eccentric in one way or another, precisely because they are family owned and operated. At the Scrivano, you'll dine with the owners on most nights (what could be better to insure quality food and service than having the owners at the table next to you); you will enjoy talking to them about their collection of old photos; and they might even send over a free dessert for you as they did for us. I think it's fun to make places like this part of one's travel experience. They are not "Ramada Inns"!


Reviewed by: Stefano from NY, review #1293

When: November 2005

Here's the bottom line on this 4-star hotel ...

Let's call a spade a spade--this hotel is a Ramada Inn. It's as standard as it gets. Want anything cozy, charming, boutique? Don't stay here. However, if you're in Agrigento to see the temples, this hotel is ideal.

We were there very recently. The place was an absolute ghost town. We had our choice of rooms and chose a double with views at a reduced rate for 120.00. We had a perfect view of the Valley of the Temples. The room was big, the bathroom was nice and breakfast was decent and generous. I suspect there are only a few rooms with as great a view as we had, so don't expect this during peak season.

We could walk to the temples--I can't imagine one would need anything closer. And there was a very solid restaurant (Trattoria Dei Templi) just beyond the Collaverde. Frankly, we found the city of Agrigento to be unpleasant and a slightly "heavy" in its vibe (i.e. mafia), so we were content to be on the perimeter. If you're looking to base yourself in the 'centro', this is not the hotel for you.


Reviewed by: Nancy G. from CA, review #446

When: November, 2003

We didn't like this place and would not stay here again.

The Colleverde Park in Agrigento is purportedly a 4 star establishment. We were disappointed. Its atmosphere is akin to a Holiday Inn, although it is set in a rather nice garden (it was too cold to really enjoy that feature in November when we were there).

Our room had the promised view of the temples, but the window was rather small, so that you really had to hang out of it to enjoy the view. The fan in the bathroom was either broken or non-existent, and we had to call the desk for toilet paper both nights we stayed there. The staff was nice, though, and even sent up a bottle of wine to our room when they found out that it was my birthday, but that still didn't make up for everything else. We would not stay here again.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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