Palace Catania UNA Esperienze is very well located in the city of Catania. The hotel is a little outside Catania city centre, a mere 7 min walk to the elephant statue in Piazza Del Duomo. There are tons of restaurants around the hotel and no lack of shopping options. There is a department store directly across the street and a supermarket about a 6 min walk from the hotel. The airport bus stops by the bus stop diagonally across from the hotel, where some bus services also stop. Attractions in Catania city, such as The Roman Amphitheatre, the Duomo, and Ursino Castle, can be accessed by foot under 15 mins from the hotel. The bus terminal and central train station in Catania are also 15 mins walk from Palace Catania UNA Esperienze.
We stayed in the 48 m2 Suite at Palace Catania UNA Esperienze, a duplex suite room. This is the only suite category room in the hotel. It seems like Palace Catania UNA Esperienze ran out of creative juice to name their suite rooms, they decided to call a spade a spade and just termed the only suite room they have in the hotel as “The Suite”. The Suite in Palace Catania UNA Esperienze is designed with the living area on the lower floor and the sleeping area on the upper floor.
There are several configurations of The Suite in Palace Catania UNA Esperienze. We were assigned to a corner suite with a long entryway before we came to the living room. I like how Palace Catania UNA Esperienze furnished the entryway with a wardrobe, making it very convenient for us to hang our jackets. However, I find it odd that the only in-room safe is placed inside this wardrobe. Besides hanging space, there is plenty of storage space in this wardrobe to store small items. We mainly used this wardrobe to hang our jackets.
A door reveals the powder room along the corridor leading to the living room of The Suite. Inside the powder room is a sink with a large mirror and another separate room where the toilet is housed. The sink area in the powder room already screams luxury with the use of a single black marble as the countertop for the sink. A wood carving around the mirror, coupled with the floral patterned side lamps sticking out of the wall, reinforces the luxurious theme in The Suite. The inclusion of the powder room not only allowed us to do last-minute business before heading out but also allowed our friends staying in the other rooms in the hotel to use when they popped by our suite for movie night.
The living room occupies most of the space on the lower floor of the duplex suite, with a small corner reserved for working. The decor in the living room looks modern and elegant at the same time. A white marble top work desk sits against the wall of the living room. The work desk is of a good size, coupled with the power outlets on the wall. The work desk is excellent for those who want to be productive when staying in The Suite at Palace Catania UNA Esperienze. It seems like the hotel intended multiple purposes for this work desk. On top of using it as a work desk, the hotel also placed a Lavazza coffee machine on the work desk, doubling up as part of the minibar. The work desk also serves as a make-up table with the installation of an elegant white wooden panelled mirror. A beautiful white table lamp decorated with gold leaves, placed at one corner of the table, matches the theme at the work desk while providing additional illumination.
An oval-shaped TV cabinet sits next to the work desk. The TV cabinet has the same design as the work desk, decked in white-coloured wood at the base and refined marble at the top. An LCD TV is placed on top of the TV cabinet, providing entertainment, mainly in Italian, while lounging in the living room. A mini fridge is nicely hidden inside the cabinet under the TV. A black fabric three-seater couch and an armchair along the wall, next to the TV, gave us plentiful space to lounge around in the living room of The Suite at Palace Catania UNA Esperienze. However, I find the placement of the couch does not make sense. The couch is placed facing the staircase leading to the second floor of The Suite instead of the TV. It seems like the hotel does not intend for guests to be lounging and watching TV in the living room. Another TV cabinet, this time with nothing on top, less a small “no smoking” place card. We found a use for this cabinet as we packed our luggage on the last day at the hotel. I also find it weird that the hotel did not furnish the living room with any coffee table (not as if there isn’t space for a small coffee table).
The staircase, opulently made of marble to add to the luxurious theme, leading us to the second floor of The Suite, wraps around the parameters of the wall. The bedroom has an open concept, sitting directly on top of the living room. A king bed occupies a substantial amount of space on the second floor but still leaves us a good amount of space to access the other parts of the bedroom. The sleep quality on the king bed was good, but the pillows were a tad too soft for my liking. Fortunately, Palace Catania UNA Esperienze has a pillow menu catering to the different preferences of guests. The space on bedside tables was a tad limited, leaving us just enough space to charge our mobile phones. The light switches and power outlets were conveniently placed on the bed’s headboard for easy access. The bedside lamps were mounted onto the wall to free up the already limited space that comes with the bedside table. There is another larger TV in the bedroom, mounted onto the wall above the entrance to the balcony, facing the king bed. We could still watch the TV from the king bed despite its location. However, we were stuck with the limited English channels as there were no outlets for us to plug in our laptops to stream any movies we had on our laptops.
Instead of a standard wardrobe in the bedroom, Palace Catania UNA Esperienze fitted The Suite with a walk-in wardrobe on the left of the king bed in the bedroom. The walk-in wardrobe has a generous amount of space for us to hang all our clothing, and I like how the hotel provided sufficient hangers here. There was shelving on top of the hanging rack, which gave us additional space to store our things. An open five-tiered shelf sits by the walk-in wardrobe entrance, providing space to put our smaller clothing items. The bench in the walk-in wardrobe allowed guests to stow away their luggage or duffle bags after unpacking their clothing. We did not bother bringing up our luggage as they were pretty heavy.
The bathroom is to the right of the king bed and has an elongated design. We were greeted by the black marble top sink when we entered the bathroom. Perched on two wooden legs and mounted by the wall, the sink countertop has just enough space for us to place our toiletries. Palace Catania UNA Esperienze supplies their guests with a complete set of toiletries. The hairdryer in The Suite is mounted on the bathroom wall, next to the sink area, freeing up some space at the sink countertop for guests.
Opposite the sink area, by the bathroom entrance, sits a bathtub with shower facilities. Guests can use the tub to soak away their fatigue from exploring Catania and even have the option of showering after their soak here. The hotel was thoughtful to include bath salts for guests to indulge in. The toilet and bidet are mounted on the wall on the same side, just after the bathtub. The Suite has a separate walk-in shower. There is no rain shower but only the regular shower head here. I find the walk-in shower space a little tight and a tad dark as the hotel did not fit any lighting at the walk-in shower. We had to rely on the lighting from the bathroom to illuminate the walk-in shower. There is shelving at the walk-in, but I thought the shelving space was limited. We had to use our Tetris skills to fit all our showering amenities on this shelf.
The Suite at Palace Catania UNA Esperienze has a small balcony between the lower and upper floors. The balcony is large enough for only two persons to stand on, looking out into the streets of Catania in front of the hotel.
Service in the hotel felt very standard, and nothing memorable. I am not sure if it is the language barrier that inhibits the staff from providing better service. We noticed only two of the staff at the reception spoke English, while others made do with some very basic English. Check-in was standard but took a tad too long. Requests for items took a while to be delivered to our suite. Having said that, the hotel thoughtfully placed the three rooms we booked on the same floor without needing to request for the arrangement. We commented to the hotel about the original suite we were assigned being stuffy, as the hotel does not turn on air conditioning during winter months. The initial suite we were assigned is the only one at Palace Catania UNA Esperienze that does not have a balcony. The small window did not provide sufficient airflow into the suite. The female staff who attended to us offered the solution of swapping our suite the next day after the guests had check-out. She took the initiative of arranging for our luggage to be delivered to our new suite while exploring Sicily.
We spotted that Palace Catania UNA Esperienze had facilities like a Turkish bath and a gym on the button in the lift. However, when we tried to locate these facilities in the hotel, the floor where we could find these facilities seemed to be closed for renovation work. Therefore, we did not bother asking the front desk staff about these facilities.
The room rate in Palace Catania UNA Esperienze comes with breakfast. Breakfast is served in the restaurant on the first floor. Breakfast mainly consists of a wide selection of pastries, from bread to croissants to pies. The hotel dedicated one full buffet table for pastries. The other table is a mix of cold cuts, fruits and cheese with a small selection of warm food such as baked beans, sausages and scrambled eggs. Despite the limited selection, the breakfast served was very tasty.
We had a great stay in The Suite at Palace Catania UNA Esperienze. The hotel is very well located, slightly outside the heart of Catania. The proximity to the city centre and the presence of the bus stop where the airport bus stops provided the additional advantages of staying at this hotel. The spacious duplex suite was comfortable, with living and sleeping spaces segregated by floor. The sleep quality on the king bed was superb, and we always woke up feeling fresh. Service at the hotel was good but not impressionable. We certainly did not regret staying with Palace Catania UNA Esperienze.