Capital of the Ligurian region, this Italian city sits on the nation’s north-western coast, due south of Milan. A long-standing trading port, its maritime history is well documented, not least as it was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. It has one of the oldest and tallest lighthouses in the world, as well as a range of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture. But Genoa can also be a gateway to the French and Italian rivieras, Sardinia and Corsica. If you’re planning on passing through, do stay a night or two to experience some of this glorious ancient city.
Grand Hotel Savoia
Dating back to 1897, this is one of the oldest hotels in the land. And during its century and a quarter of business, the Grand Hotel Savoia has welcomed an illustrious list of guests. Each room is individually styled, with Belle Époque features and art representing the city’s connection to overseas adventure. Its pretty seventh-floor terrace provides views across Genoa’s rooftops – a charming spot to breakfast. Evening meals can be taken here, or in the interior dining room of Ristorante Salgari, with its frescoed walls and dark wood furnishings. And there’s the enveloping Spa La Spiaggia Segreta for a little self-care time.
A boutique stay in a residential area, Meliá Genoa places guests within a short stroll of attractions, yet offers lots of onsite amenities. Its Blue Lounge & Restaurant is a hit with visitors and locals alike, cooking up regional specialities – don’t miss its stone-baked pizza and Genoan focaccia. The lounge area frequently hosts events, plus there’s an excellent range of aperitifs and finger food for those wanting a lighter bite. Meliá’s wellness centre boasts an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, Turkish bath, rain shower and a 24-hour gym, and there’s a relaxation/reading room. Bedrooms have minibars, seating areas and soundproofing.
Hotel Palazzo Grillo
This was a palace back in the early 16th century. Now it’s a palatial boutique hotel with 25 bedrooms that are fit for royalty. Just five minutes walk from the waterside, it has a suitably grand exterior, which gives way to minimal North-Italian designer interiors that are skillfully blended to accentuate original features (think beams, terracotta tiles and frescoes). There’s no restaurant as such, but a memorable breakfast is taken on the rooftop terrace. And with so many Genoan culinary hotspots on the doorstep, you’ll want to try as many as you can manage during your time here.