There have been several reviews that are challenging the Lido Palace’s claim to be a four-star hotel, either conveniently forgetting (or maybe not even knowing) that the number of stars awarded an establishment refers to the level of amenities provided by a hotel as determined by a single organization, be it Fodor’s, AAA, or whomever it may be. The art-deco era Lido Palace may not be “Manhattan elegant” as travelers may expect, suffering instead the same slightly weather-beaten appearance as any other beach-front hotel and sacrificing complete hotel renovations in favor of keeping their establishment full and profitable. No doubt at some point the ownership will be faced with another complete renovation, but this property is far from requiring it at this point. In fact, given the climate and sheer number of people descending upon this area during high season I’d say all the public spaces are in remarkably good condition, inside and out.
The Lido Palace earns its 4-star appellation honestly, providing stunning views of the harbor and Mediterranean Sea, a fitness facility, restaurant, lounge, and conference facilities. Make no mistake though – this hotel is here to service tourism. Despite the well-groomed outer appearance of the hotel, restaurant, and bar I did indeed find the rooms to be somewhat worn, and the configuration is definitely weird, if not downright bizarre. From the hallway one must descend a narrow flight of about six or eight stairs to a narrow landing to the room entrance. Once the door is open you must descend another couple of steps to the main room containing the bed, bureau, and tables. Access to the closet and bathroom is down another small flight of stairs – four or five – to a slightly lower-standard bathroom on one side and the closet on the other. As advertised though – once you throw open the balcony doors and step outside you realize that the view is the main selling point of the room.
Check in was quick and easy, but be warned that the smallish lobby area can quickly become cluttered with suitcases and other obstacles late in the afternoon or during check-out. There is no parking at the property, and if you have a vehicle you have two choices – find a place on the street and ensure you have paid for your spot during the “fee hours”, or park in an enclosed garage just up the street for a nominal fee. I can’t recall the exact amount but it was under twenty Euros per day. During low season parking on the street may be a viable option (although we did choose to park in the garage), but during high season street parking would be a nightmare.
The only meal we had in the hotel was breakfast, which served a wide variety of pastries, breads, rolls, cold cuts, hot scrambled eggs, and beverages. The food was not spectacular, but it was tasty and completely adequate. The “American-style” bar was very comfortable and well-appointed.
Choosing a hotel without seeing in person can be difficult. Reviews are inherently subjective, hotels will naturally highlight their best selling points on line, and prices, especially in this area, can be very high. We chose the Lido Palace for a couple of reasons. The price was a good balance between economics and hotel amenities, and the location cannot be beat, although the same can be said for all the hotels along the beach in Santa Margherita Ligure. This is the perfect location from which to explore the Italian Riviera from Portofino just up the coast all the way to the Cinque Terre. Portofino is a short drive (or cab ride) away, and the hotel is walking distance from the train station, where you can catch a train down to the Cinque Terre.
To summarize, if you’re looking to lounge away the day in a modern, elegant room then this is probably not the property for you. If you’re looking for a stylish, amenity-laden hotel that’s easier on the budget than most hotels in the area, and from which you can base your explorations of the region then the Lido Palace fits the bill perfectly.
Every room has a beach view. Less-mobile travelers may have challenges navigating luggage up and dow...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC