You may have to navigate some very narrow and seedy alleyways to reach the small square which is home to Hotel Palazzo Grillo. But it is worth the effort. Staying in this dignified and handsome historic building, which dates from 1545, is a treat. Many of the 25 bedrooms, which are comfortable and well-equipped, still have striking period features and look out over the charismatic buildings clustered in the heart of the old city.
The soaring arched ceiling in the reception area is decorated with fine frescos. A very grand stone staircase takes you up to the first floor, where there is a beautiful lounge/library with a double height ceiling and towering shuttered windows. Classical busts gaze down on you while you make use of the respectable Wi-Fi and drink the free coffee. Breakfast is served in a much more prosaic room on the top floor, reached by a slow and small lift. But, up here, there is a small sun-trap terrace with views over the ornate rooftops. During the pandemic, you order a set breakfast in advance and you are served at your table, only helping yourself to coffee from a decent machine and chilled sparkling or still water from a very handy appliance. You can order quite a substantial cooked breakfast or one of the lighter, fruiter options. It's all good.
As Hotel Palazzo Grillo is within walking distance of most of what you will want to see in Genoa, it can act as an atmospheric air conditioned refuge in between sight-seeing trips. Excellent value, this hotel is well worth seeking out. 8/10