“ Address: Via Tre Olmi 19 / 41010 Modena / Italy „
When you're travelling through a country which is steeped in history and culture such as Italy is, there's nothing like lodging in hotels that are similarly steeped in history and show off the best of that nation's architectural culture.
The Idea Hotel, Modena fits that particular bill precisely...it's nothing like lodging in ...etc.etc.
Suits me sir.
If I'm spending the day slogging around ancient ruins, medieval alleyways and tripping over baroque ornamentation, the last thing I want when I lay my weary head to rest is a rickety old metal bed frame, 'rustic' furniture, and hotels just chock-full of 'character'. No sirree bob. I want modernity, non-descript decor, sound-proofed windows and AC that is functional rather than merely decorative.
Not always, but mostly.
But why would anyone want to visit Modena?
Well, there are those who follow the Pavarotti Trail (assuming such a thing exists), and there are those who would visit for some big expo/conference or other as seemed to be the case when we were there, or it could be that you were travelling from Venice to Pisa and it was a convenient stopover. Guess which category I fell into?
Incidentally, was it any coincidence that that well known bon-viveur, epicurean and part-time chanter, Pavarotti, was so...um, plump? In the two nights we stayed there, we had probably the two best meals we've ever had in italy - and we've had a few. But I digest...er, digress (Freudian slip).
Where exactly is the Idea Hotel?
Glad you asked. Only a fool would be struggling to find this hotel. It's just off the junction of the A1 and the ring road on the northern edge of the city, and as it's about 10 floors of grey concrete set amongst low rise buildings and greenery, it sticks out like an honest man at a bank convention.
Reception is pretty standard - business-like and efficient with multi-lingual staff sorting you out quicker than an interest rate dropping. Marble and shiny stuff abounds, as do comfy sofas.
We soon sped our way up to our room on the fifth floor - nice enough view but a floor a little higher would've enabled us to get a panoramic vista of the city 3 miles distant.
The room itself was nice enough. Fairly large, we had two beds (both were comfy), small sitting area with table and chairs, sideboard on which sat a large TV (usual channels and pay view etc). The mini bar was well stocked but still had plenty of room in case anyone wanted to chill a beer or two of their own (you never know). We were also equipped with hair drier and trouser press, and a small safe (no charge) hidden away in the large, built in wardrobe.
The carpets, curtains and bedspreads were all new but the room itself could've done with a lick of paint just to freshen it up a little although the large windows kept the room very bright.
The bathroom might've been larger, but it wasn't. It was clean though and well stocked with teensy-weensy items of toiletries. No shortage of hot water, the shower was powerful and did the job. It was a little on the dingy side, and the mirror wasn't best placed for applying those finishing touches make-up wise...so I didn't bother. However, as a bathroom for me is really only a place to take care of the three S's - sit, shave and a shower, I wasn't too disappointed.
We didn't dine in the hotel so I've no idea of the restaurant's merits...or otherwise. However, as I've already stated, the restaurants in Modena were amazing and it's a 5 minute drive, or around 10 euros in a taxi from the hotel to the city centre so there's no need to feel stuck.
There's also a huge shopping and entertainment complex just a short walk away so you're hardly stuck in the wilderness. Having said that, to the back of the hotel lies a nature reserve so it does have a feel of being out in the sticks.
We paid 94 euros room only but took advantage of a special offer to get a second night free making it a pretty good deal. At the time, we wondered if we'd made the right decision but Modena turned out to be a jewel of a city and we were glad of the extra night there.
In conclusion, this hotel is a perfect stopover if travelling the main north/south route in Italy. Convenient for the motorway, but with somewhere special to spend the evening.