I had the first night of my June 2021 trip to the Emilia-Romagna region right in the South of Lombardy, in Guardamiglio. I aimed to find a hotel, which allows me to pass the Milan traffic congestion (after having landed in Malpensa Terminal 1) and just have a relatively short drive to Modena, Maranello and the other cities I wanted to visit. Hotel Nord right at the autostrada felt to be the perfect choice for that. Apart from that, the hotel and motel comes with a very interesting concept. Here is my review.
Hotel Nord – Location
Guardamiglia located right at the edge of the Lombardy. Most of the people who stay at the hotel (and don’t just need an overnight at a road trip) likely aim to visit Piacenza, which is already in the Emilia-Romagna province. The hotel is located really right at the motorway A1, the huge (fenced and secured) hotel parking lot is more or less right at the toll booth of the Italian highway.
The hotel is located in a commercial area. With a bit of walking, you do reach a minor petrol station and few stores – but realistically, once you are in the hotel, you stay in the hotel.
Hotel Nord – Concept & Atmosphere
I stayed in Hotel Nord, the hotel part of the accommodation. It is in fact located on the upper level of the building. The lower level is a very classic motel and thus reminds of North American stays. In front of every room, there is a parking lot. The cool thing about these rooms, which are marketed as Motel Nord, is that the parking lot is roofed and that you can even lower a cover so that you close the parking lot from the front. This means that the car is not heating up so much in the sun – but also it adds a lot of privacy.
The hotel drives a huge parking lot, which is majorly for the hotel guests of course. Facilities like the restaurant or the lobby / reception are shared. Especially if you stay at the motel, you may just pay at a cashier right before you leave the area – there is a drive in desk before the barrier. One thing which may be a bit of bothering for hotel guests is that only the reception entrance (which is the longest distance from the parking) features an elevator – the other doors to hotel level can only be reached by stairs.
Hotel Nord – The Room
Even though I just have been on the overnight, the low prices attracted me to go for the best room category available at booking, the Junior Suite. The rate with a five day cancellation period was 84 Euro, including breakfast. The room was really spacious. A bit of traditional (or: old-fashioned), but not bad at all. I liked the huge bedding and the work desk. Only some of the power plug in the room were central European style. You should always be aware of that in Italy that they typically have two plug formats (I tend to forget that). The minibar was available for a reasonable charge and I had a tea and coffee kettle with quite some selection of items.
The key argument for the Junior Suite, however, was the located in the bathroom: This room category comes with a jacuzzi, which was actually very nice. The design of the bathroom fitted to the living area: a bit of traditional and old-fashioned, but warm, clean and very functional. There were a lot of amenities, which even included bathing salt – really cool. Thus, the room overall gave me a really enjoyable time.
Hotel Nord – Breakfast & Food
The hotel had a very good breakfast system under Covid-19 conditions: instead of the buffet they typically offer, you could select all items you want from a list the evening before and leave that at the reception. This worked really well. When I arrived at the restaurant, I just had to wait a very little time. The staff was really kind and attentive. The breakfast staff was slightly weaker in speaking English than the dinner waiter – but everything worked out really smoothly.
As I said above, there is no village or other touristic structure right around the hotel – so if you are at Hotel Nord, you stay at Hotel Nord. This gave me the opportunity to try out their 30 Euro try-out menu for dinner, which even came with a glass of wine, a bottle of water and coffee. The food was really good, especially in relation to the price.
Hotel Nord – Services
The hotel staff was really kind and helpful. WiFi worked well, so that I had a relaxed time working. The hotel even offers to rent a bike – this may be a cool option to explore the area or to get an impression of Piacenza.
Hotel Nord – My View
Indeed, it would be absolutely wrong to call the design of the hotel modern – but the technical stuff worked great, the staff was lovely and I enjoyed the food. Apart from that, it is a great location. If I happen to be around, I would definitely give this place another try – especially as I am just too curious how it is like to stay in one of these motel rooms.