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Chiavari: Hotel Monte Rosa

Via Monsignor Marinetti, 6, Phone: 0185.300321

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Reviewed by: rkorchid from NH, review #2747

When: October 2009

This hotel with half pensione in central Chiavari was a delightful surprise and a great home base for exploring Liguria south and east of Genoa by train. {3 stars}

Monte Rosa, photo by Stephen

The 3-star Hotel Monte Rosa is a few short blocks from the train station on the western edge of the pedestrian city center. The town is flat with disabled ramps at every curb, so traveling with luggage is a snap. While the hotel is not directly on the sea, it is away from the train station and the main road (via Aurelia) so it is very quiet.

The room was large and extremely comfortable with excellent drawer (bureau) and closet space. The bathroom was very large with the usual square shower stall with sliding doors. A nice feature was the 110 volt outlet with a USA plug.

The standard features include a hairdryer and a small television with satellite reception with the major Italian channels, CNN, BBC, and a local Tigulio channel which was useful for morning weather reports.

The hotel has a full service bar open from 7:30 am to 11 am. It seemed to be very popular with local residents. Alcoholic beverages were always served with a platter of olives, potato chips, and crostini topped with delicious pesto and tapenade. In addition to the standard coffee, wines, and liquors, they offer an extended selection of beer from around the world.

Chiavari turned out to be an excellent center for exploring the region by train. The town is a major hub with almost all trains stopping including regionale, InterCity, and Eurostar. It has an extensive pedestrian center with miles of covered arcades filled with shops. There seemed to be a pastry shop or bakery on every corner. There is a delightful seaside boardwalk, although access has to be planned ahead as it is separated by the rail line.

The best surprise of the hotel was its delightful restaurant. We had some misgivings about committing to a week of dinners in advance, but we were not at all disappointed. The quality of the food and service was very high.

Essentially you ordered 4 courses off their restaurant menu with no prices except for a couple of dishes which required a supplemental charge. The only appetizer offered without extra charge was a salad buffet. You then had a choice of half a dozen primi (usually pasta), another half dozen each of fish and meat secondi, a standard selection of desserts supplemented by daily bakery offerings.

The selections were mostly regional specialties which changed every night we were there. There was always a major fish dish (sole, orato, branzino, etc.). Because we were also eating lunches during our daily travels we often did not order every course. Half portion orders and split or even skipped courses were met with equanimity. The wine list was mostly regional and very reasonable (Eu 15-20 a bottle) with house wine available by the carafe. As usual leftover wine and water were saved and served the next night.

With an extensive breakfast (fruit, cereals, meats, cheeses, pastries) and dinner for 2 each night, our room rate was Eu 133 a night. Computer access is also available in the lobby for Eu 2 for 30 minutes. Although not in use because of the season, there is a lovely outdoor terrace with bar service. The hotel also offers a garage and air conditioning for additional fees.

We thoroughly enjoyed the friendly staff at the desk, bar, and restaurant. Thank you, Luca, Micaela, and Chiara.

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

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