Time of year: March, 2017
Purpose of trip: Our five days in Verona were part of a two-city Italian spring break.
Why we chose this place: We had stayed at the luxurious and historic Corte Realdi development closer to the city centre, and were keen to compare this with another of this company’s developments:their more contemporary, slightly lower priced Cinque Rooms at Piazzetta Portichetti.
How long we stayed: We stayed in Verona for three nights; the first two at Corte Realdi rooms which we reviewed separately, and our third night here.
Our accommodation: We stayed in ‘Mr White’; the only suite of the five rooms within this building (once a butcher’s shop located on the ground floor of “Palazzo Portichetti”). All of the accommodation here is in individually designed rooms with bright, contemporary wallpaper, quirky designer style furniture and state of the art technology (such as Bose blue-tooth hifi , free wifi and Nespresso coffee machine and LED nightlighting). The king-sized bed boasted good quality linens with a range of adjustable lamps and lighting nearby; a desk and chair, and a seating area with sofa and designer table, plus a large TV.Some of the rooms here have doors directly onto the street; ours was accessed from inside the building with (one-way) views onto a side street. The shower-room was contemporary, with shower, toilet, bidet and two sinks and great Italian toiletries.
Service: Like the rooms at Corte Realdi,the Cinque Rooms team offer a personalised concierge type service.The on site team-member who greeted us was happy to book us a taxi for the following morning, and order in an early breakfast so that we could catch our train in good time.
Location: San Zeno is a more residential, but still lively part of Verona. There is a wide range of places to eat and drink from your doorstep, with the city centre an easy walk away. It is typically between 8 and 12 euros by taxi from this area to the city’s railway station.
Food: Our on-site ‘concierge’ style team member delivered a delicious cold breakfast of bread, pastries, fruit, juice and coffee to our room early on departure day.There are plenty of options for breakfast outside the building nearby if you prefer to eat out. It’s worth mentioning that the development here is part of the Casa Perbellini group, and special gourmet dinners can be arranged at the double Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name, or slightly less expensive gourmet experience evenings at other, Michelin-recommended restaurants in the city.
What we paid: We received one night’s complimentary stay at Cinque Rooms in return for writing a review. Depending on seasonality, expect to pay from around 120 euros per night.
Activities close by: Over the road in this San Zeno district is the impressive Castellvecchio (castle and museum) which dates back to the 1350s. An easy walk away is the ancient Roman arena, once home to gladiatorial conflicts with fellow humans and exotic beasts from far away lands; but now a popular international classical and operatic concert venue.Verona’s Shakespearian connections are hard to miss. The city is home to Juliet’s house, balcony…and wall of paper-scrap messages from those seeking or proclaiming love.The famous Piazza Erbe market square is about ten minutes’ away, so too the Torre (tower) dei Lamberti , which fitter visitors climb for the stunning view at the top. It’s a great place to shop, whether you’re looking for designer fashion or tiny trinkets to take home. Away from the ringing tills and the more obvious historical attractions, you can just wander, and find plenty of beautiful, peaceful squares with churches, bars, and benches to watch the world go by.
What empty nesters might really like about this place: These rooms are bright, quirky and individually designed, with luxurious and contemporary touches.The location is more residential, yet still central.Verona itself is small enough to see on foot over a long weekend, yet close enough to Venice or the Italian Lakes to make it a stopping point on a longer Italian holiday. You can come and go as you please here, as you would in a hotel, but the company’s friendly, professional, discreet concierge-style team is there to answer your questions or arrange a more bespoke tour, shopping or ticket booking service if you need them.
What empty nesters might not be so keen on: The rooms here are at ground floor level with one-way windows; so while private, they obviously can’t offer the views that some accommodation can. The rooms are decorated individually, with bright wallpaper and fun, one-off designer pieces which made us smile. If you prefer a more conservative, corporate look when you travel, you might need your shades (or a corporate, beige, hotel chain..!) San Zeno is central and full of history; rather than jaw-droppingly beautiful; but this accommodation offers comfort and style with a boutique-hotel feel at a competitive price.
In the interest of disclosure, we received one night’s stay at Cinque Rooms on the promise of writing a review. If we had had criticisms about any aspect of the accommodation or the service, we would have written about it. For more on our disclosure policy, read here.