Arrival/Check-In: The five-star Brufani Palace is arguably the top hotel in Italy’s Umbria region, perched on the “balcony” of Perugia, with cinematic views of the city’s medieval rooftops and the undulating countryside beyond. Perhaps because it was low season the desk staff didn’t have anything better to do, but when I arrived it appeared as if they’d been preparing for the moment all morning. Two people with a better command of English than I had at the time (it’d been a rough trip) attended to me, handing me paperwork, keys, a WiFi card and messages in a flurry of action before I was escorted to my room, where I was graciously left alone. (20/20)
Guest Quarters: My junior suite was elegant Old Europe décor all the way. Reds and golds, dark wood, tapestry wallpaper, art, high ceilings, period lighting fixtures and a chandelier (of course) dominated the room. The bed was mildly disappointing in both thread count and comfort, but the soundproofing was amazing, considering the building’s classic structure. The green-gray marble bathroom was adequate and spotless, with admirably strong water pressure and a hydro-massage bathtub. My pet peeve for absent in-room coffee-making implements was tweaked; then immediately assuaged by the complimentary bottle of wine and chocolate. (13/15)
Services/Amenities: The Brufani Palace has a small, but distinctive indoor pool with a glass floor revealing Etruscan ruins below. It’s a beauty to behold, but the water temperature was a few degrees below my fairly generous comfort zone and the Jacuzzi built into one side blasted out water with fire-hose intensity.With no footing to use as leverage, it was nearly impossible to keep from being propelled across the pool. Moreover it hurt, and not in a good way. In one crowded corner, was the meager fitness area, consisting of a treadmill, a bike and a small rack of free weights. The steam bath and sauna were small, but acceptable. The “business center” consisted of a single, ailing computer, printer and fax in the basement, with no attendants. On a positive note, the WiFi ($4 per hour) was robust throughout the hotel and there’s an excellent onsite restaurant and bar, with alert service and a painstakingly crafted wine menu. Also, this is the only hotel in congested central Perugia with off-street parking. (35/45)
The Experience: The aggravating pool/Jacuzzi incident aside, the Brufani is undeniably superior. The ambiance, décor, service and attention to detail are superb. The staff is wonderful; willing to break their necks to help you before you’ve even fully realized that you need help. And the bartender makes the best mojitos outside of Cuba. (19/20)
Total score: 87/100
HOTEL BRUFANI PALACE
Piazza Italia 12
tel 39 07 5573 2541, fax 39 07 5572 0210
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
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