On our recent Christmas trip around Italy, we stared our journey in Bologna, staying in the Best Western Hotel Re Enzo. We paid around €48 per night for a double room with bed and breakfast. We are not hotel snobs and don’t mind staying somewhere cheap and basic, so we looked around and found something for a good price compared to the competition, but still in a location that we desired. When paying a low amount, compared to other quotes in the area, we certainly don’t expect the world, but when you’re paying any amount to stay somewhere, you do expect a basic level of cleanliness and functionality.
The location was OK, although the hotel itself was quite hard to find. We took a wrong turn somewhere pretty much every time we were walking to it as it’s down a very basic little side street, amongst a maze of lefts and rights. It’s close to various bars and shops and was about a 20 minute walk from Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, where we spent most of our time.
The room was small but not at all cramped, with a big bed (although it was two singles pushed together which I cannot stand! I end up sleeping on the crease and getting horrible back ache!), a small wardrobe, shower and toilet room and desk space. The room at the Best Western Hotel Re Enzo Bologna was much more basic than the pictures, but basic is fine. What’s not fine though, are soiled walls and tatty, cracked and broken furnishings.
The toilet seat was cracked (not the nicest way to have your bum pinched!), the bathroom door looked like it had been kicked in (or out?) and the walls were covered in splashings. I couldn’t tell if it was damp/mould or if someone had shaken up a coke bottle and gone nuts.
The bathroom was actually quite nice, apart from the cracks. It looked like it had been done up quite recently, but there was a nasty smell in there the whole time. It must have been something to do with the drainage as it was relentless. It wasn’t over powering, but it wasn’t pleasant.
The breakfast at the Best Western Hotel Re Enzo in Bologna was a disappointment and I was very glad it was in with the price and we hadn’t had to pay extra for it (although, we’d never pay for a hotel breakfast). I had some chocolate cereal, which was stale and clearly the cheapest value option, the pastries were not fresh that day and judging by the hardness, maybe not even fresh that week and the orange juice was… well look at the colour of it, certainly not fresh juice or any kind of concentrate I’ve ever seen before.
So the room was cheap, but still quite below expectations, the breakfast was a write off and the location was alright but the staff were what made this part of the journey enjoyable. Upon check-in they were incredibly helpful, giving us a map of the area and showing us where we were, offering recommendations and generally being very warm and welcoming. I don’t like, however, that you are expected to leave the room key when leaving the hotel. I always hate this- no one checks anything when you come in and say your room number so what’s to stop just anyone giving any number and gaining access to your room? I’ve never understood this.
My trip was really made though when, on the train to Venice, I realised I’d left my mobile in my room at the Best Western Hotel Re Enzo in Bologna! Joe was furious and my heart was racing. I called them and they confirmed they had the phone and would send it on for me- they posted it to our hotel in Venice and it arrived just 2 days later. They’d even turned if off for me so it still had some juice when it arrived (which was lucky as we had to run as soon as it showed up for our train for the next part of our journey!)
All in all, it’s not really a hotel I’d recommend. Even though the price is good, it wasn’t the only low cost hotel in the area and the rooms were grimy and in need of some work, but the staff were exemplary. If the hotel spent a little bit of cash on cleaning up and repairs then I’d have no problem recommending this place to anyone wanting to stay in Bologna for a budget price.