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Hotel Duchessa Isabella, in Ferrara (Italy)

Hotel Duchessa Isabella, in Ferrara (Italy)

Old Feb 24th, 2004, 09:40 AM
  #1  
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Hotel Duchessa Isabella, in Ferrara (Italy)

Has anyone been to this hotel? It sounds very nice, but I'd love some personal input. (I already checked TripAdvisor.com) Also, any info about Ferrara? Still planning several days in Emilia-Romagna... (I can't believe that more Fodorites haven't been to this area of Italy!)
Lexma90 is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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Please share what you find. We are also planning to go to Emilia-Romagna this September and are having a difficult time finding info in the usual places.
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Ttt, for Marija and me...

Marija, feel free to contact me at [email protected] to trade travel plans and ideas
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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My husband and I stayed here in October of 2001. We had asked for a quiet room in the back, with a double (matrimoniale) bed as opposed to 2 single beds. When we arrived, we were shown to a room directly fronting the street, with 2 single beds. It was incredibly stuffy and when we opened the window, it was very noisy. The room was decorated in Pepto-Bismol pink and white striped wall paper with flower borders, pink bedspreads, pink carpet, etc. The entry in my journal states "it was the most frightening thing I had ever seen". My husband went back to the lobby and asked to be moved for the reasons stated above. The woman at the front desk insisted the room was quiet and that there was a double bed. She only backed down when another employee verified our claims. We were then told the only other room was a suite at the price of 770,000 lire per night. We eventually got the suite for 610,000 lire per night. The suite was huge and decorated in the same over the top fashion, but in blue instead of pink, which made it easier on the eyes for us. It also overlooked the garden in back and was extremely quiet.

Now for some good things to say: Huge suite, comfortable bed, sofas, chairs and bathroom. Every afternoon the doorbuzzer would ring and a maid would deliver a large silver platter on which there were wonderful pastries, cookies and fresh fruit. The napkin rings had grapefruit sized silk flowers on them. (More of the over the top decorating style). The staff (with the one exception noted earlier) were very accomodating. The dining rooms are sumptuously decorated, breakfast is very generous and there is a nice bar. The garden area has chaise lounges and tables and chairs. There is even a semi-underground taverna used for private parties that a nice waiter showed us. There were salami and prosciutto hanging from the ceiling, etc and it looked like it would be a fun place to be!

The hotel is about a 5 minute walk from the center of Ferrara. It is easy to drive to and the parking is right there at the hotel.

We enjoyed Ferrara very much and we would like to return. However, we would probably pick a different hotel, since that suite was a big splurge for us and I'm not sure I could take all of that decorating in a regular sized room.
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 04:18 PM
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Ferrara is a lovely town with relatively few tourists. The Duomo (chiefly the exterior) is fascinating; the Museo del Duomo has some interesting Romanesque works and probably Cosme Tura's best work. The Palazzo Schifanoia, with the frescoes of the seasons, was unfortunately undergoing restoration when I was there in April 2003; if the restorations have been completed, the frescoes of the spring months are delightful (I had seen them on an earlier trip). The Castello Estense is well worth seeing. There are other, smaller palaces/museums that have their own charm, such as the Casa Romei. One of them, and I don"t remember which one -- Schifanoia or Romei -- has a modest restaurant
behind the palazzo, where one can have just a drink and sit for hours in the garden enjoying the peace and quiet. I have eaten several times at La Romantica (via Ripagrande) and it was wonderful every time. I think the Duchessa Isabella is probably far out of my price range, but if you just want a nicely appointed room, look up the Locanda Borgonuovo on the Web. It's a bed-and-breakfast within 100 yards of the main square in Ferrara; the breakfast is Continental (i.e., no bacon and eggs) but the signora makes her own breakfast baked goods, which are incredibly good. Enjoy Ferrara! I know I did.
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