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Perugia: Hotel Fortuna

19, Via Bonazzi, Phone: 075.5722845

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Reviewed by: sandrac from Canada, review #2463

When: September 2008

Still a great hotel, in the historic centre of Perugia, but a few things changed since my last stay.....

I gave Hotel Fortuna a rave review after I stayed there in June 2007. However, because my experience in September 2008 was a bit different, and because I also had an opportunity to see a few more rooms in the hotel, I thought I would update my review.

I would still recommend Hotel Fortuna fantastic location, great staff, and good rates. (I paid 95 euros during high season when the hotel was almost full.) On this, my second stay, I had a large, triple room for single use for six nights. The experience was very good, but not quite as good as during my first stay 15 months earlier.

In 2007, I had a huge room I suspect the best room in this 3-star hotel with large windows and window seats on two walls; excellent air-conditioning; satellite television; a large private deck. I assumed then that I lucked out because the hotel was only half-full at that time.

For my return, I again booked a double for single use with a balcony and it was a great room. Probably one of their best and actually a triple room rather than the double I requested. It was very large, with a nice little balcony, a small but efficient bathroom, an okay double bed plus a single bed. However, there were a few small problems which made me realize the quality of rooms at Fortuna varies quite a bit.

The air-conditioning didnt work well and turned itself off several times, although each time I asked the front desk to reset the AC, they did so promptly. There were no English-language TV channels because, the staff explained, only a few rooms are actually connected to the satelite. Neither of these were big issues, but since I had raved about both in my previous review, I thought I should point out different rooms have different services.

I also had a peek into a couple of the hotels least expensive single rooms. When the AC was cutting in and out, a young man on the front desk offered me a floor fan as backup. Because he was busy, he gave me the keys to the rooms (unoccupied) where he thought the fan was stored. So I was able to look at a couple of single rooms. They looked extremely plain. Each had one very small, high window just under the ceiling, a very narrow room with a single bed. No AC, no TV. I know that single rooms in European hotels can be spartan and these certainly were.

Breakfast was also a quite different experience on this trip. Same frescoed breakfast room with a series of long tables, and friendly staff. But this time, the hotel was almost full with a couple of bus-tour groups staying there. They appeared to rise early and very hungry almost every morning when I went down for breakfast, it looked like an army had gone through, wiping the buffet clean of fruit, cheese, yogurt, pastries they usually left some dry cereal behind.

Staff replenished the yogurt and croissants, but not much else they were pretty busy scrambling to clear tables after the tour groups left. But they still make wonderful cappuccinos!

So, Id still recommend Fortuna and Im sure Ill return. But I would be careful in terms of what room I book and if I want a big breakfast, Ill get down there early!

Reviewed by: sandrac from Canada, review #1975

When: June 2007

A great hotel, with wonderful service and some interesting quirks, in the historic centre of Perugia. {3 stars}

I stayed six great nights in Hotel Fortuna and can highly recommend this large and somewhat quirky but charming three-star hotel, located in the historic centre of Perugia.

My very good experience at Fortuna was shaped a bit by the fact that I was there in early June, when Perugia was not at all crowded and the Hotel Fortuna was likely not more than half-full. That was likely a factor in the fantastic room and great service I received.

I had booked a double room for single use, at 91 euros per night, after reading a few reviews that suggested the single rooms might not be the most appealing. And the double room the hotel had reserved for me was remarkable, possibly the best I've stayed in during a half-dozen trips to Italy.

It was certainly the largest hotel room I've had in Italy, with a very comfortable king-sized bed in a room that had great storage space, lots of lights, and large windows, with window seats, on two separate walls, giving me wonderful views across the city. The air-conditioning was powerful and worked extremely well -- a real blessing, since a serious heat wave hit while I was in Perugia! I had one small problem with the plumbing that was fixed only a few minutes after I called the front desk to complain.

But perhaps the best part of the room was its private terrace. A good size, it looked towards the west and north, down on to Via Bonazzi where it connects with the grand Corso Vanucci, Perugia's wonderful pedestrian street that forms the heart of the historic centre. A window in the room's large bathroom also opened onto the terrace.

Actually, several rooms at the Hotel Fortuna have private terraces and I think some might have had a bit better view than mine. However, because my room was on the fifth and top floor -- which had only two guest rooms separated by a small sitting area -- it felt particularly private. Much of the fifth floor was taken up by a large, sunny terrace for general guests' use, which was located off of what I soon thought of as "my" sitting area.

The hotel's structure was quite quirky, in a very charming way. The elevator only reached the fourth floor, which meant two fairly steep but short flights of stairs to the two rooms and public terrace on the fifth floor. A few rooms jutted off the landing set midway up the stairs. On another floor, perhaps the third, there was a very large and lovely library area, with a small terrace overflowing with flowers. A few more guest rooms opened off the library and other rooms seemed to be tucked into all kinds of other nooks of the hotel.

Breakfast was taken at long tables in a fairly plain room on the ground floor, and included the usual cereals, pastries, bread, yogurts and a couple types of fruit. But wait staff made espressos, cappuccinos and other drinks to order. An Internet point was set up just outside the breakfast room, with free access after 8 p.m.

The location of the hotel was perfect -- set only about a half-block from the Corso Vanucci on the narrow, pedestrian-only Via Bonazzi. One slight drawback: taxis had difficulty getting right up the narrow street to the hotel door; coming and going, I had to drag my suitcase for perhaps a half-block, but the street is flat at that point (a rarity in Perugia!)

A few minor quibbles: my room seemed to sit either right on top of the elevator shaft or near the machinery, so at times it would crash and bang fairly loudly. But that didn't seem to be a problem after about 10 p.m., possibly because the hotel wasn't full, so the lift wasn't in constant use. Some noise also came into my room from the public terrace. Actually, guests didn't use the terrace after sunset while I was there; the only night it really was an issue happened when a local woman booked the terrace for pre-dinner drinks that actually lasted past 11 p.m.! I think the hotel manager finally had to shut the party down at that point, so the wait staff could clean up and end their shifts!

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

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