“Boutique B&B reaches Palermo: contemporary-meets-antique rooms spread across 2 smart townhouses in the heart of the old city”
The bedrooms are spread across 2 buildings: 7 in the original palazzo and another 4 in Moncada Palace, an early 20th-century townhouse a couple of minutes’ walk away. In all, neutral colours provide a stylish backdrop for a playful combination of contemporary design and salvaged antiques. Starck chairs sit next to gilt-framed mirrors, tailor’s dummies by striped wallpaper, and candelabras beneath glass bauble lights by Ingo Maurer. Beds (mostly kingsize or twin) are wide and firm, flanked by lacquered shelves or chrome Eileen Gray tables, and ensuites are small but well-equipped.
Sizes range from the smallest Standard Room to the larger Deluxes, though none are by any means tiny. We stayed in a mid-range Superior Room, Gold: a vast space dressed in metallics, with brass bathroom fittings and lustrous fabrics. We also liked Mandarino and the shimmering, silver-themed Bergamotto, Deluxe Rooms with a terrace and a flower-filled balcony respectively.
If you want more space then splash out for the Suite, L'Orangerie, which has a doubled bed, a single sofabed, a kitchenette and a dining area. What's more, it’s one of the few rooms with a tub: a huge egg-shaped affair by Matteo Thun, placed decadently in the centre of its open-plan bathroom. You can also book 2 or all 4 of the Moncada Palace rooms (all Deluxes) as an apartment for 4-8.
Both buildings have breakfast rooms where a light continental spread is served: fruit salad, croissants, bread, jam, yoghurt, cereal. In season, creamy cannoli (sweet pastries) supplement the usual fare, and in fine weather you can sit under the sky on the terraces. You can also help yourself to tea and coffee at any time, and come evening guests often congregate for wine and a few nibbles.
For other meals, there are plenty of restaurants and cafés nearby. In your room you’ll find a list of recommendations, all personally vetted by Patrizia. We headed to Via Cassari and enjoyed delicious beef carpaccio and ceviche-style seafood at Gagini, a romantic restaurant with sparkling candelabras and exposed stone walls. Also worth trying are the eateries on the top floor of the Rinascente department store, just around the corner from either building on Piazza San Domenico. We spent a happy couple of hours working our way through the cocktail list on the outdoor terrace, before moving inside to trendy Obikà, which specialises in mozzarella-based dishes.
If you book the Moncada Palace rooms as an apartment, you’ll get full use of the kitchen for self-catering. It’s kitted out with everything you need - oven, hob, fridge, dishwasher, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery - and the famous Vucciria market is a great place to stock up on groceries. If you don’t fancy cooking, a chef can be arranged for an extra charge.
Children of all ages are welcome, though most guests are couples. Chaotic Palermo can be a tricky place to navigate with little ones, although the seafront and parks provide respite from the heat and traffic.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Baby cots can be added to most rooms, and the Suite has a single sofabed. The twin Standard Room in the original palazzo building, Cedro, is ideal for older children as it connects with the neighbouring double room. Larger families can book 2 or all 4 of the Moncada Palace rooms as an apartment for up to 8, complete with a living area and kitchen.