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Historical Traveler Reviews NH Lingotto Turin
Encouraged by some of the reviews on this site (and perhaps discouraged by the reports on other hotels nearer the city centre) we booked a three night stay at this hotel in August 2006.
We used the link to venere.com to make the booking and got an immediate confirmation. Unlike some of the other booking services, venere does not ask for payment upfront: we paid on checkout.
It was Ferragosto - the middle on August, when most Italian cities have closed down while the inhabitants flee to the beaches - and this undoubtedly was the reason for the amazingly good rate of EUR 140.00 for a stonking great room (almost a suite really) - the lobby was as big as the "double rooms" in some other hotels. The hotel is next to the main Turin exhibition ground, so don't expect such good deals at other times of the year!
It is a big four-star hotel, which are, in my experience, somewhat impersonal and cold; this was more so because it was Ferragosto and the hotel was very quiet. Staff members were friendly and helpful (but were not exactly rushed off their feet).
The room was fine, with all the usual bits and pieces you expect (including the ubiquitous trouser press) and internet connections etc. Breakfast was the usual buffet style, with fresh-squeezed orange juice - you put the oranges in the squeezer yourself and juice doesn't come much fresher than that. The scrambled eggs and bacon looked a bit tired, but the rolls, buns and pastries were fine.
Because it was the holiday season many of the restaurants and shops in central Turin were closed for three or four weeks, which rather restricted our choice, but rather than eat in the hotel dining room, we decided to look around. Part of the building is a shopping mall (turn right out of the hotel door, take the next escalator to the right) which incorporates a food court. This is nothing like the eponymous institutions in British retail centres, but offers a range of eateries from fast-food joints through to astarched-napkins-and-polished-cutlery restaurant. We chose a mid-range place that already had a fair number of diners, and ate reasonably well. If you are looking for a romantic candlelit dinner for two, this is not the place (the ambience is, well, a large and echoing shopping mall) but for two of us after a long day's travelling, it was a) fine, b) reasonably-priced and c) convenient.
We also recommend the Pizzeria Vecchia Lira across the via Nizza opposite the main entrance to the hotel). In spite of its name, it does not just do pizza: we ate a good three-course meal with a decent bottle of Barolo. The night we went, the place was packed out with locals (always a good sign, in my book) and was buzzing.
If, like me, you object to a hotel charging a 1000% (yes, one thousand percent) mark-up for the simple act of putting a bottle of water into the room's mini-bar, you have two options:
a. the local restaurants, no slouches themselves at mark-ups, only charge EUR 1.00 for a half-litre (against EUR 3.00 in the hotel). Order two bottles, drink one at the table and take the other back to your room.
b. there is a supermarket at the northern end of the complex which sells the same water for only EUR 0.30 per half-litre.
OK, the hotel is away from the centre in a quietish suburb but judging by reports on the station area in Turin, this is no bad thing. Public transport to and from the centre is good (to get to the city you have to walk a block to the east to catch the bus/tram; getting back they stop outside the hotel); the journey takes 10-15 minutes. Fare is EUR 0.90 per person giving you unlimited rides within a 70 minute period.
And, even if you have no intention of jogging don't miss the rooftop test track: ask at reception for a key.
Not the best hotel
La Meridian in Turin, although a nice business hotel, is not set up for the traveler through Europe. The rooms are large but lack warmth and other amenities, such as coffee maker and iron and ironing board. The staff is quite unfriendly and when I asked to use the business center (the wireless internet was down) I was shown to a room that was only to be used by one guest at time. When I failed to get a connection, I was told that there was no one available to help me. The breakfast area was nice and well maintained but again, the staff was unfriendly. All in all, I would not stay there again, unless absolutely necessary.
We had a great stay at Le Meridien. The rooms were stylish and clean, and the track on the roof was a sight to see! Keep in mind that the hotel is not in the city center, so you'll need to take a cab or the bus to see the sights.
Miserable in Turin
I stayed at the Meridian Lingotto while attending a conference in October. It was my worst hotel experience ever! The rooms were unbearably hot. We were finally (after several attempts) able to get the hotel to send up an engineer at midnight the first night of our stay. Unfortunatly they were not able to solve the problem and had no other rooms to move us to. Had them return again the next morning and still no air. It felt like 90 degrees. By the next day we were fed up! They finally offered us another room. We moved, same problem. By now we realiized other guests in the hotel were having the same problem. Again they offered us another room. I was on my way to a meeting so I requested making the move later in the evening. That was not an option for them. It had to be done asap. I had a major disagreement with the manager over this. They sent a bus boy to by room for an immediate transfer anyhow and I was forced to miss my meeting. And after all of that, the third room was hot as well. Management was extremely rude, no reduction in the $300+ full price rate was offered, and the hotel had an unclean feel to it. I was so shocked by this. I had very pleasant experiences at other Meridian hotels I have stayed in. After all of that, I sent a note to the manager and never received a reply. I am returning to Turin this October for the same meeting and rest assured, I won't even consider this hotel.
We stayed at the Le Meridien Lingotto for one night after staying in a gite in Provence for the week prior - a little culture shock. The room was beautiful with the high ceilings and large windows really really big - it's hard to imagine it as a Fiat factory. The hotel sits behind the Fiat offices. I really loved the bathroom, but the water didn't stay hot long enough for me.
Our room came with breakfast the next morning - it was a buffet filled with lovely Italian goodies. We were obviously two of the four people who were not staying at the hotel as part of business - but no one seemed to treat us any differently.
We weren't able to make it over to the Art&Design wing to check it out - maybe next time?
Very Comfortable - Business Type Hotel
In September of 2005 my partner, my mother and I stayed at the hotel for 2 nights. We paid $145 Euros/night for a king-sized bed The rate also included an excellent breakfast buffet. The previous reviews posted are very accurate. The rooms are huge by European standards - the bathroom alone was bigger then many rooms I've stayed in. There is some wear and tear beginning to show in some areas, but we've certainly stayed in worse. The hotel was spotlessly clean and had a sleek design.
Check in staff was very pleasant and efficient.
The breakfast buffet had a plethora of choices - both hot and cold. The biggest highlight for us was dinner in the "Torpedo" restaurant at the hotel. Both the service and the food quality were exceptional. A very nice surprise, as the first night we were just too tired to find another place to eat. It was so good, we returned on the second evening as well.
Our only difficulty during our stay was driving to the hotel. I would strongly suggest arriving during the day so that you can clearly see the small "Lingotto" signs that mark the directions. A very good detailed street map of Turin will help as well. We arrived early in the evening on a Friday and traffic was bumper to bumper to get into the city. Lots of things are currently under construction due to Turin hosting the winter Olympics in February 2006. As other reviews have pointed out, this hotel is not central to the downtown areas but bus service is readily available if needed.
Another hint - if you're going to check out the local sites of interest, be sure to get a current list of opening hours. We were disappointed to learn that the Stupinigi hunting lodge had one posted "closing" time, but in reality the last tour leaves 3 hours before that, so we missed our opportunity to see what appeared to be a fantastic complex. Be sure to drive up to the Basilica di Superga for some great baroque architecture and outstanding views of the city. Trips to the Barolo wine region are also a must - and that area may be a better place to stay if you're looking for a more low-key atmosphere.
Great hotel offering excellent value for money
My girlfriend and I stayed here for 4 nights (Check-in Mon. Check-out Fri) during July 2005. We paid £255.93 (special deal of 3 nights @ £85.31 and the Wed night free) for a 'Double Superior' room which, according to the webite, provides 28 sq mtrs.
Our check-in was quick and efficient. The staff were friendly and courteous and even indulged me as I tried out my basic grasp of Italian on them. As mentioned in other reviews, access to the rooms is via a glass partitioned walkway which takes you through the 'Garden of Wonders.' No offer of help with our bags but this was not a big deal as neither my girlfriend or I like too much fuss when we stay away.
Our room was on the first floor in room 153. We thought are room was great. The 'Double Superior' rooms are the Lingotto's standard and, for UK travellers, were spacious. The lobby area was big enough so you could open the wardrobes without the doors banging into others. The bed was huge: we were provided with three pillows and rang housekeeping for one more. This arrived within five minutes. Bathroom has bath/shower. One downside was there were no mirrors except for in bathroom.
All rooms look out onto the Gardens. All windows had external blinds (as well as the standard internal curtains) which are operated by a button on the side of the wall. A nice touch so the room doesn't get too hot in summer.
As other reviews have mentioned, the Lingotto is part of a complex which used to be the Fiat car production plant. There is a new Fiat office block right next door. The complex also includes approx. 90 retail shops/restaurants, a supermarket, the Le Meridien Art & Tech hotel, office suites, a Pathé cinema and even a department of the local university! The hotel room are situated a level above the shops, so when we looked at of our room window we could see shoppers on the floor below.
The breakfast offered probably the best choice either of us have ever had in a hotel. There was both hot and cold food, cereal, fruit, yoghurt, freshly squeezed orange juice, cheeses, jams, bread, etc etc. Absolutely fantastic! My girlfriend is a vegetarian and there was plenty for her to eat.
The City Centre is approx. 3 miles away. The local bus stop is no more than a five minute walk whilst the return bus drops you right outside the hotel. The reason being is that the hotel is situated on a main one-way road. Bus fare is €0.90 per journey. We took taxis both to and from the train station and were charged €10 and €12.
The Fiat cars used to be test driven on the curved roof track, which has now been converted into a jogging track 1km long. Take a trip up to it to see great views of the City! The Agnelli family (who own Fiat) have an art gallery and history of Ferrari exhibition in the complex. Entry is (from memory) €8 and worth a visit.
One evening we splashed out and ate in the Torpedo restaurant situated on the ground floor. Food was excellent, wine list extensive and staff both attentive and polite.
All in all, the Lingotto offered a great stay with excellent value for money. When comparing the price to some hotels in the UK, we would thoroughly recommened the Lingotto and stay there again.
Great if you work at it
Stayed at this hotel for a short break in Feb.2004.
We found it excellent value if a little "cool" and businesslike. The rooms are large and stylish and the dining/breakfast area likewise. The route from reception to the bedrooms is via an enclosed glass walkway through the central courtyard of the building now laid out as a tropical garden. It is obviously oriented towards expense account travellers but as long as you're ready for that it has a lot to offer - particularly if you have an interest in the history of the Italian motor industry.
The Lingotto complex was one of the earliest purpose built car factories (anywhere) which has been converted into a modern conference and business complex - but with shopping mall, university, cinemas, food courts and the Agnelli (FIAT) family's private art gallery on the roof floating above the old car test track (now a jogging track). There are not many hotels in the world where you can get up in the morning and take the lift up to the top floor to view a few millions worth of Canalettos, Picassos, Matisses and the odd Renoir or two and then go for a run.
Its main shortcoming if you are visiting for the purpose of spending time in the city as a tourist is that it is located at least a 15 minute tram/bus ride out of the centre and the service frequencies are not quite as good as we expected. Also don't try getting here from the airport by public transport. It is very hard work. But don't let any of this put you off. Turin is a real city warts and all, but worth putting up with the warts.
You can spend hours strolling along the arcades and through the squares, drinking coffee (some of the best I've ever tasted) and other local beverages in the many stylish traditional cafes, and visiting the numerous historic buildings, museums and galleries - the National Museum of Cinema is absolutely unique as a museum and a building.
The best local tradition is the aperitivo - walk into many cafes/restaurants before dinner time and with your drink you get to sample a whole range of delicious "nibbles" which are laid out in tempting displays for you to help yourself. Easy to eat so much you don't need dinner. We found the best area for smaller, cheaper, off beat eating places to be il Quadrilatero (the old Roman city) to the west of Piazza Castello.
Up to now the best thing about Turin must surely be that it is not a tourist city - lets hope the Olympics don't spoil it.
Overall, I give this hotel a strong rating. Room sizes are good due to this conversion of the former Fiat factory. However, hotel is inaccurate in its bedding descriptions on its website. I booked a room with "2 queen beds" and in fact beds were just extra-large twins (but not quite double). This should be corrected, and I informed staff. Eventually, after some persuasion, I was given 2 connecting rooms, each with a king bed, in order to correct this deficiency.
One of the nicest bonuses of this hotel is that part of the Lingotto complex includes a large shopping mall, including a supermarket and large electronics/hi-fi/computer store, so it is terrific for shopping. Parking is also free, which is uncommon in Europe.
However, do be aware that you are outside the downtown area, and about a 10-15 minute drive to the centre of the city.
Stayed at Le Meridien Hotel at Lingotto, Turin for 4 days end of May2004. Although hotel a little out of the way it was worth the 10 mins travel to centre of Turin. Couldn't fault hotel or staff! nothing was too much trouble and extremely helpful. Room very comfortable and extremely quiet. Hotel on site of old Fiat car factory and had a shopping mall incorporated -verybizarre - with Art Museum, Car Museum and panoramic view from racing track housed on roof (hotel guests allowed access). Used Torino Pass which covered all transport and entrance to museums and boat trip etc... buses and trams plentiful from Lingotto (1,35 and 18) to centre. Cinema Museum a must together with Egyptian Museum.The snapshot we had of Turin left us wanting to return, if only for the chocolate. Alot of building works around central Turin as hosting 2006 Winter Olympics but still a very beautiful city.
TripAdvisor Reviews NH Lingotto Turin
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