It’s the small things in life that make you happy. Like all the little extras you get when you stay in a good 4 star hotel in Italy. The dish of sweets, the complimentary toiletries, the bathrobe, the slippers, the well-stocked minibar. With Hotel Corona D’Oro in Bologna, not only do you get the little extras but you’re treated to the elegant character features of a former aristocratic residence, including marble floors, cream and gold decor, frescoes and at least a 12 foot stud ceiling.
The Hotel Corona d’Oro isn’t stuffy with it though, and welcomes all kinds of people through their doors. Although some guests I spied at the breakfast buffet were obviously well off, others were dressed in lycra ready for a day’s cycling. To that effect I started off wearing heels to breakfast and down graded it to sneakers the next day since no one really cared.
Located near the end of Via Guglielmo Oberdan, this luxury Bologna hotel is well placed for visiting the Two Towers and Pizza Maggiore, as well as exploring many of the other streets that branch off from the central hub such as: Via Rizzoli, Via Castiglione, Via Zamboni and Via via dell’Indipendenza.
Climbing the Torre degli Asinelli was a highlight, hair raising for the sheer height and rickety wooden staircase, but worth it for the incredible views of the red roofs of Bologna spread out below. I’m glad I went when it was brilliantly sunny as the next day was drizzling. Another highlight was the fresh pasta shop and restaurant in Via Castiglione, Sfoglia Rina. Here I got to try tortellini allo zabaione di parmigiana (tortellini is a speciality of Bologna) as well as their incredible crostata con pere e ciocolata.
Via Guglielmo Oberdan was also well stocked with eateries, like the Neaera Lounge Bar which offered a buffet brunch and an array of dishes to choose from, including Bologna’s famous mortadella (pork sausage). Speciality shops like Franco e Bruno kept the locals happily supplied with meats, cheese, olives and bread, while there was also a small supermarket for buying ingredients for an indoor hotel room picnic should you tire of eating out at restaurants.
The only thing I couldn’t do at Hotel Corona d’Oro was boil the kettle for a cup of tea to have with my picnic, as there were no tea or coffee making facilities in my room. But this was a small thing, and apparently normal for many Italian hotels, even a luxury Bologna hotel like this one. Luckily I’m not English so I didn’t suffer too much from not having a cup of tea!
(Hotel Corona d’Oro has a rating of 9.1/10 on Booking.com)