Hotel Touring: quality in a great Bologna location

When I met Manuela Stagni at the World Travel Market in London and saw her enthusiasm in describing her hotel, the Hotel Touring in Bologna, Italy, I made a note to keep her in mind if I ever traveled in Italy again. A couple of months later, when she mailed me an offer to stay at her hotel, I jumped at the chance to explore Bologna for a weekend.

Disclosure: While I received two free nights at Hotel Touring (we paid for a third night), all opinions expressed here are my own. I’d like to thank Manuela and her family for giving us such a pleasant weekend in Bologna!

The Hotel Touring is located on a narrow side street, which means it is remarkably quiet for a city location.
The Hotel Touring is located on a narrow side street, which means it is remarkably quiet for a city location.

The Hotel Touring, it turned out, made a sharp contrast to the last three-star hotel I stayed in: my review of that South Korea hotel was less than stellar. The main problem was that many things about that hotel hadn’t been well-thought-out, and I ended up writing a post called 11 Tips for Hotel Management. I concluded that good hotel management shouldn’t even be noticeable. The Hotel Touring lives up to that description.

Four-star quality

Hotel Touring is definitely at the four-star end of the three-star range. It’s family-run: everyone we met (except for one hotel school intern) seemed to be related in some way or other. With only 38 rooms, service is personal and thoughtful in a way that only family-run hotels can be.

Our room at Hotel Touring in Bologna
Our room at Hotel Touring in Bologna

Our room – I stayed with a blogger friend, Shobha of Just Go Places – was not large, but plenty big enough for two, and scrupulously clean. It had all of the necessary furniture, a wall-mounted TV, a safe and a mini-bar. The décor was sophisticated and modern in shades of white and grey. It had clearly been quite recently renovated, and I was told that only the first floor has not been renovated yet. Some rooms are bigger, some have balconies with views, and four suites are available too.

Our bathroom had a very welcome rain shower and stylish fixtures for the sink, bidet and toilet, as well as plenty of large high-quality towels.

I was particularly impressed at the quality of their free wifi; facetiming wasn’t a problem, and there were plenty of accessible outlets around the room. Each room has air-conditioning and an in-room safe.

Only one part of the breakfast on offer at the Hotel Touring
Only one part of the breakfast on offer at the Hotel Touring

A good continental breakfast is included, offering a wide array of choices: bread, cheese, sliced meats, eggs, yogurt, pastries, fruit, juice, coffee, and so on. It is served in a cheerful basement room that was once a wine cellar.

Location of Hotel Touring

Hotel Touring’s top selling point, though, is its location. Right around the corner from San Domenico church, it’s only a few blocks to the most important sights like Piazza Maggiore and Torre Asinelli. And yet, because it’s not on a main shopping street, it’s surprisingly quiet despite its excellent location.

This panorama includes about half the view from the Hotel Touring rooftop terrace.
This panorama includes about half the view from the Hotel Touring rooftop terrace.

From the roof, the central location of the Hotel Touring becomes particularly clear. A lovely rooftop terrace reveals almost 360-degree views. We could see all of the major churches as we looked over the city’s red roofs. Even the distant San Luca church was visible. In the evening, the lowering sun gives everything a warm Mediterranean cast. We visited in winter, but I could see how pleasant that rooftop terrace would be in warmer weather.  A Jacuzzi on the roof, available to guests in the warmer months, must be heaven with that view.

view from the Hotel Touring rooftop terrace at sunset, with the Church of San Luca in the distance.
view from the Hotel Touring rooftop terrace at sunset, with the Church of San Luca in the distance.

Bologna, meanwhile, is a dynamic small city of 375,000 inhabitants, and it’s well worth exploring. Here are the other articles I wrote about that weekend:

If you have young children, read Shobha’s article: Five Reasons to Visit Bologna with Kids.

Only one part of the breakfast on offer at the Hotel Touring
One more view from the roof of the Hotel Touring

If you decide to stay at Hotel Touring, you can get a 15% discount on their rates, which range from $80 – $325, by booking directly at hoteltouring@hoteltouring.it.

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about Rachel

Hi, I’m Rachel!

Rachel’s Ruminations is a travel blog focused on independent travel with an emphasis on cultural and historical sites/sights. I also occasionally write about life as an expatriate. I hope you enjoy what I post here; feel free to leave comments! Read more...

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Thanks for inviting me! I had a great time and loved Hotel Touring. Finding a great 3 star hotel like this is like gold dust.

We enjoy staying at family run places and I love the location of Hotel Touring – close to the sights but in quiet local area.

I just read one of Shobha’s stories about Bologna. Looks like a great city. Hopefully, you guys are going to write about the food in there. Great to know you guys had a pleasant hotel stay. When traveling, it feels good to know you have a nice place to rest after a day of walking all over a city.

This sounds like my kind of place: I love smaller properties, personal service and discrete attention to detail and that rooftop jacuzzi doesn’t sound half bad either.

Sounds like a great find. I’m all about the small hotels!

It’s always nice hearing about good hotels that exceed their 3 star rating. I almost went to Bologna after doing Cinqueterre, but ended up in Genoa. I’ll have to see what else is in Bologna for my next trip to Italy.

That picture with the church of San Luca in the background looks idyllic! Also, I notice what seems to be a artwork of Rio above your bed? Maybe I’m mistaken.
Good to get honest tips from bloggers on hotels – thanks for sharing yours.

Love family run hotels and the Hotel Touring looks like a great value with many comforts and a soothing decor. I’ve pinned this post to remind me of your recommendation for a future time when we can travel to Bologna. Thanks for the tip!

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