Immortalised on film by locally born director and frequent guest Federico Fellini
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Short break | Summer
A destination in itself, the Grand Hotel stands in prime position on the Rimini seafront, just across the road from its own private beach. The hotel is inside a statuesque creamy-white Art Nouveau structure, purpose-built in 1908 and surrounded by lush mature gardens with olive and fir trees, magnolias and roses. It is a living landmark, one of Rimini's most prized monuments and a protected historical site where heads of state, royalty and other VIPs have stayed. Photos in the lounge are a reminder of the Fellini link and both the bedrooms and shared areas have original period furniture and stuccoed ceilings; there's an almost tangible atmosphere of days gone by throughout.
The hotel's 121 spacious rooms maintain the dignified style of the structure; each room is slightly different but they all feature antique furniture and original wooden floors, often matched with pale walnut-coloured walls and many have balconies or terraces, some overlooking the coast. The four Regal suites are especially richly furnished and there are two Versace design suites. While only the suites have kettles, most rooms have been upgraded to incorporate bedside touch-pads for lights and blinds. Bathrooms are generally spacious and some have baths with whirlpool functions and/or rainfall showers; one junior suite also has a steam-room and colour-therapy.
The elegant hotel restaurant is open for lunch and dinner offering a standard menu including first-class dishes such as parmesan risotto with pigeon ragout topped with truffle shavings and plenty of seafood. Pasta, bread and desserts are home-made while much of the fruit, veg and olive oil is from the management's own farm. There is a daily menu for half-board guests. Service is in keeping with the refined location – long trousers are required for men, hot dishes come under cloches and a sommelier is on hand to advise on wine. Meals are served on the terrace in summer when, three times a week, dinner is an open-air buffet followed by live music and dancing.
Lunch is available at the beach restaurant in summer and the hotel bar is open all day, also for snacks and light meals. The breakfast buffet is laid out among the classical columns and chandeliers of the restaurant and can be taken outside in summer. As you'd expect it's an impressive spread: home-made cakes (apple cake is a speciality), croissants and cereals, fresh and dried fruit and yogurt, including soya yogurt. There are several types of bread, cold cuts and cheese; various gluten-free items are available as is rice and soya milk. Hot dishes (with live cooking in summer) include pancakes and waffles, sausages, bacon and eggs and various types of veg. Coffee is made to order and there is a selection of natural teas.
The wide sandy beach opposite is a big draw all year, while facilities here and at the pool are available summer only. Inside there's a fitness corner (free) and paid spa with small indoor pool, sauna and steam room; face and body treatments are available also for children. Shared areas include the ground-floor lounge and bar while the open-air terrace and garden are particularly appealing spots to relax.
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