Hotel Palazzo Grillo: Old World Class in Old Town Genoa

| Mon, 06/03/2024 - 05:00
Palazzo Grillo entrance
Entrance at Palazzo Grillo

Ed.: The Inspired Stays series highlights hotels we love around Italy. Each property is independently reviewed by an Italy Magazine writer, who is generally hosted on a complimentary basis. Our contributors do not accept compensation or gifts in exchange for specific types of coverage. We only showcase properties we would genuinely recommend overall.

Why we love it 

Palazzo Grillo dazzles as you enter, drawing your eye upward to frescoes from the 1560s that depict scenes from the Iliad and Greek mythology. The historic surroundings of the building lend an extra dose of authenticity to a stay in Genoa.

What to expect

Fresco at reception
Ceiling fresco at Palazzo Grillo reception

Old meets new in Genoa’s historic center at this 16th-century palazzo built for nobility. The frescoed ceilings and stately staircases are complemented by the modern, cozy rooms and friendly service.


Constructed in 1545 by Marquess Domenico Grillo, Palazzo Grillo’s building was left abandoned for decades before being renovated in 2011 and turned into a hotel, which preserves many of its original decorative elements, including imposing marble columns. The renovations also revealed a previously unknown fresco on the second floor. The bright colors and intricate scenes depicted will leave you with an aching neck as you wander the halls to your room.

Location, location, location 

I was welcomed at Palazzo Grillo to the sound of an organ playing in the Basilica Santa Maria delle Vigne just in front of the hotel. It’s in the heart of Genoa’s old town — a network of narrow alleyways full of surprises. It also makes a great base for exploring the rest of the endless Ligurian coastline.

Where you’ll sleep

deluxe luxury suite with view at Palazzo Grillo
Suite at Palazzo Grillo

The 16th-century rooms and their original details mostly speak for themselves, so the addition of modern minimalist décor, sometimes with a retro flair, gives the space a nice balance. I stayed in the deluxe suite, which had floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the basilica. Palazzo Grillo offers a range of other sized rooms, from classic singles to junior suites, some with noteworthy city or waterfront views. Don’t miss the second-floor Salone Clelia — a reading room perfect for cozying up with a book, catching up on work, or people-watching out the immense windows overlooking the piazza.

Dining & drinks

The fifth-floor breakfast room is cozy and bright with a sunny terrace. A hearty breakfast buffet offers everything from focaccia and cakes to eggs and toast. In the afternoon, the space is open so guests can relax on the terrace and enjoy a coffee or tea. There are plans to open a bar next door by summer 2024, tentatively in July, where the hotel will also offer lunch and aperitivo.

Service notes 

marble staircase at Palazzo Grillo
Staircase at Palazzo Grillo

Everyone from the reception to the breakfast service was friendly and helpful. The staff is available to help you plan tours, book shows and reserve restaurants. There is no on-site parking, but the hotel offers an Ape car service to pick you up from wherever you parked.

You should know...

Don’t miss the exhibition space next door, which is open to the public. Info about what is showing is given on arrival to the hotel. The space is housed in the other half of the same palazzo and curated by the hotel.


  • Elevator
  • ADA-friendly rooms and bathrooms

Features & amenities

living room at Palazzo Grillo
Living room at Palazzo Grillo
  • City setting
  • Free WiFi
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Pets allowed 
  • Family friendly


Hotel Palazzo Grillo
Piazza delle Vigne 4, Genova
Tel. +39 010 2477356