31 October 2015

2015 ITALY Alba 11 - Lodging

The Palazzo Finiti (click here to read more) in Alba wins for most square feet of space. Our suite named Azzura (or Blue) had two large rooms--a spacious bedroom with lots of storage and separate spacious lounge with desk, sofa, chairs, TV. The bathroom was also spacious except the shower. It was Jacuzzi style with several jets, but for us ugly Americans, we felt a bit squeezed in.

The view from our Juliet balcony was across a narrow cobble-stone street onto resident windows trimmed in lace curtains, flower boxes and wrought iron. Very quaint and Italian-ish. You could look up and down the street to lovely local buildings and passageways.

Chef John was right on for every location. This hotel has only nine well-appointed suites. It is located in the heart of Alba just 1-½ blocks from the historic main square and festival action. From the outside the building did not look like a hotel and, I think, originally must have been a wealthy family's residence. No signs other than the address numbers.

The lobby was warm, elegant, and inviting. In order to recreate the original atmosphere of Palazzo Finati, they house paintings of local artists of the area, which are also of sale.

The building itself is early 19th century recently renovated to preserve the original architecture, but add modern amenities. It had a tiny elevator just big enough for two and luggage. Rooms are individually decorated in Old World Italian style--lovely frescoed ceilings, antiques, marble bathrooms, hardwood floors, and Persian rugs.

The room keys weighed about a half pound each with a heavy doorknob like piece attached. This encouraged you to leave the key behind when you went out, so it didn't get lost. That worked for Mikie.

The breakfast buffet was in the lower level. It had a coved ceiling and original stonework. The two hostesses were most smiley and accommodating. They prepared your choice of coffee in extra large cups instead of the mini-espresso size. Needed it, loved it.

The buffet included cured meats and cheeses from the Langhe area, homemade breads and croissants, and fruits and jams. That was all we needed to get us going in the morning. Heck, we were still full from the previous day's meals.

Here is S&K's room.

Fun, fact:
Each room had a little card in it telling what famous people had stayed in that room. Lina Wertmüller (a female Italian director and one of our faves that often features Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini), Fioretta Mari (Italian actress), and Yōichi Takahashi (Japanese cartoon artist) had stayed in our room. And apparently Churchill, Marilyn Monroe and JFK (probably not at the same time!!) had also stay at this hotel.

Here is where our hotel was located in Alba (at Karen's cute face in white circle) and the donkey races were in the green field to upper left of us.

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.