Review of the Best Western Farnese Parma in Parma, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Every once in a while I get the need to sleep in an anonymous and impersonal but comfortable chain hotel. The kind of hotel that screams: parking, WiFi, breakfast buffet. Not the place you would take your girlfriend to on Valentine’s day but good enough for an overnight stay on the way to your next meeting.
Having said and thought all that, I drove down to the Best Western Farnese Parma (again without reservation, I’m kind of hopeless with bookings, I can’t plan ahead). Fortunately I had some help from my reliable friend Tom Tom. The hotel is located in some depressing unattractive back street neigborhood way out of the centre of town, about one minute driving from the bypass to the highway.
Ugly from the outside, great from the inside
And then…There it was: the big white concrete monster! Seriously the Best Western Farnese Parma must be on the list of the top ten most ugly buildings ever! Standing on the parking lot in the snow and cold I hesitated for a minute to even enter this horrific edifice. I did and I did not regret it.
As soon as you step in the Best Western Farnese Parma you get a warm welcome that makes you forgive and forget the exterior and the location of the building. Andrea, the receptionist, speaks well English and is extremely helpful. The lobby is nicely decorated, welcoming and cosy. The furnishing in the rooms is simple but nice. My room had redish tones. Nothing fancy But clean (except for the pair of socks I found under my bed) and comfortable.
The rooms are well maintained. It was – 9 º C outside but the room was well heated. The bathroom was a little bit small but the shower was good and it was perfectly clean. All the usual amenities work perfectly: the Wifi had good signal in the room and the telly had a large choice of channels. The parking in front of the building is free and there was a paid garage under the hotel as well. There is also an outside pool but it was full of snow when I was there.
I had dinner at the hotel restaurant on the ground floor. The waiter (Marko?) did not speak any English but he did speak French quite well. He was very funny making jokes the whole time. The second waiter was friendly as well. I had veal filled with Parmesan cheese. The food was quite ok and the portions generous. The restaurant was filled with businessmen reading magazines while dining alone.
I did not get much sleep that night because the neighbor was watching television all night. I was looking around at breakfast which guest looked like he had been watching telly all night. I think I know who was the guilty one, there was one guy yawning the whole time. The breakfast was excellent by the way, one of the best I encountered in Italian hotels. There was Parma ham and other cold cuts, croissants, cakes, Focaccia, scrambled eggs and bacon, peanut butter, diet jam, Parmesan cheese and more.
All together I would recommend. The Best Western Farnese Parma is a great business stop or short underway stop as it’s comfortable and not too far from the highway. Furthermore the hotel is well maintained, the food is fine and the staff is friendly.