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All reviews third floor santa guilia free parking excellent location historic center beautiful city two nights train station stay there again air conditioning church conference ronaldo piazzale luxury luggage receptionist
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Reviewed 29 July 2022

I do not usually write reviews, but in this case, I felt I had to. I hope this helps someone down the line, so that you can avoid the same disappointment we experienced.

I found this hotel after doing quite a lot of research for places to stay in Brescia. I had looked at many other hotels in the area, including several at fairly high price points, like the Marriott, the Hilton, or the Hotel Master. As we were celebrating a special birthday, we thought it would be nice to splurge on a more expensive, more luxurious hotel.

When I first found this hotel, I thought it looked lovely. Based on the pictures from their website, it seemed to be exactly what we’d been looking for: It had a lot of history, with beautiful architecture and a grandiose staircase, and the photos showed nice furnishings and spacious rooms with king-size beds.

The description of the hotel by the website also sounded very promising, professing to be “an ancient Palace at the heart of Brescia center” with “a mission for hospitality: combining the historic character-&-allure with efficiency, the courteous service with professionalism”, and which afforded “a Monumental Baroque-style Experience with garden view. ” In other words, the perfect way to ring in an important birthday.

There was no issue with the check-in, and the receptionist was very polite. The reception itself seemed to reflect the photos on the website, so we were looking forward to seeing the rest of the hotel.

This is where we had our first disappointment: The beautiful stairs seen in the photos are not typically used to gain access to the rooms. Instead, we are sent the other way, to a much less grand and rather dustier staircase with none of the same presence, and none of the architectural interest. Many of the windowsills had peeling paint and dust / debris on the ledges. The lift (which we needed to get to the third floor), was cramped and old-fashioned. It also had a rather interesting quirk: unlike modern lifts, which will let you choose your floor, and then softly close the doors, this one would immediately shutter the doors after pressing the floor button, regardless of who or what was in its way, with bruising force. Somewhat surprising, but not a deal-breaker.

We got to the third floor, which is noticeably hotter than the rest of the hotel, as it is in the eaves. The carpet is rather worn, and there is what seems to be a bleach stain in the corridor, which has discoloured a patch near our rooms.

Our second -and largest- disappointment came when we viewed the rooms. As stated earlier, we had decided to splurge, and so had booked two “Panorama” rooms. These were supposed to offer either a panoramic view of Brescia, or of their internal gardens. When booking, we had gone so far as to add a little note, explaining that this was for a special occasion and asking to be given as nice a view as possible.
The first room did indeed have a panoramic view of Brescia. However, the balcony furniture visible on the photos did not exist, so there was no real way to enjoy the balcony other than by standing in it – forget relaxing in a comfortable chair and enjoying the sunset.
The second room did not have a panoramic view. Not of Brescia, and not of their gardens. It looked out onto a roof, and a gutter. Even standing on tip-toes and craning your neck barely gives you a small glimpse of greenery from the inside courtyard. So if you are given room 309 after paying for a panoramic view, be warned – there won’t be anything to look at other than tiles. There was no balcony furniture in this room either.

We were sufficiently disappointed to go back down to reception and ask for a room change. We were told they could offer us a different panoramic room, with a view of Brescia, which we accepted – there were no other rooms of a different type available when we asked. The new room had an identical view to the first room, which made up for the initial disappointment, if nothing else. We did wonder why we were not given this room in the first place, as it was apparently free, especially as the birthday girl was given the room without a view, despite our note.

Unfortunately, the view alone did not solve the multitude of issues these rooms had.
• The balcony (which is tiny – barely 2m x 2m, if that), as well as having no furniture, also has peeling paint. Both balconies’ sides are slightly above chest height, so in actual fact it is less of a balcony, and more of a cut-out in the eaves.
• Both rooms were very dark. The light of day, even with the balcony window, is not enough to light them. There is no overhead lamp, so you have to rely on two beside lamps to do all the work, with low-voltage lighting, and this is not enough. The desk in one of the rooms was practically unusable, as it was wedged in a dark little corner with no access to any lighting.
• The king-size bed is not a real king-size: it is two twins stuck together and held in place by a sheet, which means there is a permanent gap between the two.
• There are no functioning curtains: the thick curtains seen in the photos are for show and do not actually close. Instead, there are transparent, gauzy white curtains which do not block any of the incoming light, which is not ideal for a lie-in. There were wooden shutters, but these were latticed and so did not block out the light that well either.
• The bathrooms are small and tired, with old-fashioned yellow lighting and no natural light. There is an open plastic bin with no bin liner in one corner, and a ventilation shaft and hairdryer which are thickly coated with dust. There is a small, square shower with doors that do not close fully. When the bathroom light is on, it hums loudly, and will keep humming for a while after it has been turned off. The toilet fills itself slowly and loudly after being flushed, and will sometimes struggle to fill itself, resulting in a trickle which can last for hours unless you manage to jiggle it sufficiently to fix the issue and stop it.
• The room itself has scratch marks on the walls, and several harder to reach areas have a fine layer of dust on them. One of the sheets had a black mark – not huge, but not ideal for an expensive hotel. The furniture is worn, and the rooms are really rather spartan. Luckily, we were out most of the day – had we wanted to spend time relaxing in either of the rooms, it would have been quite depressing.

The breakfast was fine, with no issues but nothing special. The staff were nice, and the croissants were tasty, but there was a single choice of meat and cheese. The cakes were clearly not fresh or high-end, and were overly sweet. The juices were from a carton. All in all, less of a luxury hotel and more a budget motel vibe. Not bad, just uninspired.
Having breakfast in the little green courtyard was very nice, although one of the days they had gardeners loudly strimming all the hedges for the entirety of the breakfast – it seems like an odd time to have them come, give how noisy it was, especially as the breakfast had less than an hour left before it ended.

Suffice to say, we were not happy. We felt disappointed, and like we had been sold something completely different to what we got – and paid quite a lot for it.

Our main issue was this: the hotel, in and of itself, is perfectly liveable. Is it luxurious, as shown in the photos? No. Is it in tip-top shape and “completey renovated”, as stated on the website? Also no. Is it an acceptable place to rest your head. and also happens to be in an excellent location? Absolutely.

Our problem stems from the false image of the hotel that we were sold, and for the expensive price we paid to stay in it. They would do much better to lower their prices, explain that this is a building with a lot of interesting history / architecture but which is still old-fashioned and in need of a facelift to bring it into this decade, and call it a day.

This would avoid the inevitable disappointment of booking what professes to be “a Monumental Baroque-style Experience” in an “Ancient Palace” and ending up with peeling paint, dripping toilets, and worn carpets. A little honesty would go a long way – and I’m sure they would still find many people willing to stay, as the hotel certainly had some positives to it.

These positives include:
• The private parking, with the car safe within the walls of the hotel;
• The location, in the heart of Brescia: everything was really easy to get to on foot, including the town centre and the many shops and restaurants in the area;
• Some of the architecture: although most of the hotel was rather tired, there were a few areas (such as the reception, the main staircase, parts of the courtyard) which were ornate and very pretty.

We were sufficiently upset with the quality of the rooms to ask for a partial refund. The receptionist was unable to provide this, but said he would get in touch with his manager. The manager was not available to meet us in person, or speak to us on the phone, but we were given an email address to write to with our issues.
Not only did we have to spend time out of our day writing this email instead of going out and exploring the town, but to add insult to injury, the manager’s reply was rather rude.

It was a bizarre experience to have a hotel manager tell us off for voicing our disappointment at the discrepancy between the photos / descriptions online, and the reality of the hotel. We expressed that a lot of effort seemed to have gone into the marketing of the hotel, and rather less into the upkeep. He seemed personally offended that we did not consider a baroque staircase to be a substitute for quality rooms, and told us that as we were not “Hotel Revenue Managers” within the Brescia market, we were not in a position to determine what a reasonable rate for the rooms were.
Amazingly, after the end of our stay, we received an automated email from this man (apparently the hotel’s marketing manager), saying “I hope that your recent visit has already turned into one of your sweetest memories’. Not really, to be honest.

I hope this review can help someone avoid being let down like we were – or at least give you the chance to make an informed decision.

Room tip: Avoid room 309 if you want a panoramic view
Date of stay: July 2022
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank N0tAHappyTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Centro Paolo VI, Marketing at Centro Paolo VI, responded to this reviewResponded 31 July 2022

Dear Nightskystargazer, thanks for sharing your ideas with this community - I'm sure you'll be successful in helping everyone make an opportune and informed decision with respect to whether staying with us, or not. I'll be shorter than you - also considering that you already wrote to us approximately the same things in private mails. First, I’m persuaded that the reader will be individually able to consider that attributing the features of “false” and “rude” to a person or institution that is simply trying to explaining and depicting its reason is - I’d say - pretty much unethical, dishonest, and immoral. I remember, I personally invited you to publicly share your thoughts, not only since it’s your right but also because we strongly believe in the transparency and clarity that public reviews amongst community like this can give. As we love the five stars we usually receive, at the same we believe to have the responsability to reply and explaining ourselves to who freely attribute us a far weaker evaluation
Second - and perhaps most important -, the fact that our "advertising" (I'd better say self-description) is false, is simply untrue, nothing to add. This because - as certified by thousands of reviews and comments through this community and others - the photos we published exactly show what one will find as she/he arrives at our venue. Also, as written on our website, we’re not a hotel, but an experience: mainly, experience of the ambience and the garden. Finally, there are several kinds of different rooms; all of our Panorama rooms (rooms with balcony) have either a view on the Castle of Brescia or the garden.
And now I'm underlining your contribution to the community, harmonized with ours, linked to the latter point of mine: since we’re an experience and - I hope - a type of peculiar entertainment, we look for people who’s looking for an experience as well. If one desires - legitimately - to sleep in a traditional city-hotel room, to spend the majority of the time in the room, and to have the traditional hotel room services, our precious colleagues from the hotels in Brescia could offer her/him the perfect experience; but not us.
Alternatively, we're always trying to carefully select the smart and curious contemporary millennial travellers: to meet them in the garden at late evening while having a chat&drink, hearing the Nature sounds. Or, to cheer them while they're roaming through the Noble (first) floor, admiring the ancient painted doors and even making photos of the monumental staircase and frescoes-vault to share them, for example on Instagram. If the reader recognizes her/himself in this latter kind of profile, she/he'll take the best out of the experience with us. This was simply not the case of yours, and this is fair.
Thus - and in conclusion - it was our fault. It was our fault when we had failed in communication and didn’t give you the opportunity to make the best decision for your personality. We’re sincerely sorry about that. But, concurrently, we really hope you love our fabulous city of Brescia, ready to become the next Italian Capital of Culture in 2023. We'd be thrilled to know that you'll join again our city next year and all the events that will take place to celebrate, staying, next time, in a place that will perfectly fit your needs and give you the possibility of expressing your personality. Thanks once more, Nicola - CMO

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2022

This hotel was formerly a seminary. The luxury of the public spaces does not carry over into the adequate guest rooms. The deluxe room where we stayed for four nights faced the parking lot. The staff of the Centro is helpful. We especially enjoyed the welcome in the breakfast room. When we first arrived at the hotel we feared we were in the middle of nowhere, but we quickly learned that it was ideally placed for a traveler interested in Brescia's cultural attractions. The Santa Guilia Museum is a five minute walk away and the Tempio Capitolino and Piazza del Foro are just a little bit further on as is the historic center with Piazza della Loggia. The Piazzale Arnaldo with its lively nightlife is even closer. The hotel itself is very peaceful and the outdoor area is lovely.

Room tip: Try to get a garden view.
Date of stay: April 2022
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Nuyorker
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Centro Paolo VI, Marketing at Centro Paolo VI, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2022

Hey, thanks for your amazing words about us! I love your review's headline "Not your usual hotel", since it's actually our best pay off, to be unusual, off track, ready to be discovered. Also, I loved you noticed and tasted that we're an ambiance experience and historic installation, more than offering time to be spent in the room - that's our charisma.
Moreover, I appreciated you suggestion: ask for a garden view. Where you can stay in history - in Italy - concurrently facing the peace of a entire green park Nature's soundtrack? Thanks once more, and hope to see you soon, Nicola - CMO

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Reviewed 3 January 2022

The hotel is situated perfectly: It's close to everything yet very quiet and has an internal park. We booke a panoramic view room and had a balcony overseeing the city, the castle, churches and trees.

Date of stay: December 2021
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Barbara v
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Centro Paolo VI, Marketing at Centro Paolo VI, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2022

Thank you for your review and for appreciating our accomodation. We hope you would choose our staying next time you'll come visit Brescia. Best regards.

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Reviewed 3 December 2021

I booked 2 rooms (101 and 201 I think) that were recently updated. The rooms were quite and fairy roomy. The bathroom had plenty of hot water and good pressure. They have a gated parking lot located on site so parking was included. The historical attractions were all within walking distance. I didn’t use the breakfast but selected a neighborhood coffee bar.
Brescia is a wonderful city with plenty to see castle, museums and churches.

Date of stay: November 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Coachmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Centro Paolo VI, Marketing at Centro Paolo VI, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2021

Thanks a lot for your nice review and for appreciate all the services of our accomodation. Hope to see you again in your next trip in this city. Regards, Staff.

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Reviewed 29 October 2021

We enjoyed our stay here very much. Our third floor room was somewhat basic, but did have a balcony overlooking the central courtyard, and was clean and very quiet. The courtyard itself was a lovely place to sit and enjoy the greenery and peace. The breakfast offerings were unvarying throughout our five day stay, but certainly adequate. The hotel's central location was a real plus, allowing us to enjoy Brescia's array of fascinating museums and art galleries, and the nearby square with excellent restaurants and lively bars. Not to be missed: the museum of Santa Giulia, the Roman forum, the Tosio Martinengo Pinacoteca (art gallery), and the hilltop Castello. The staff were professional and helpful.

Date of stay: October 2021
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank 924mimih
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Centro Paolo VI, Marketing at Centro Paolo VI, responded to this reviewResponded 24 November 2021

Thanks a lot for your nice review and for appreciate all the services of our accomodation that distinguish us from other hotels in Brescia. Hope to see you again in your next trip in this city. Regards, Staff.

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