Rarely do I write about the accommodation we enjoyed/endured during our trips unless it is exceptional. However, on our most recent visit, we found some truly excellent accommodation.
One such place was Hotel Liliana, and it isn’t even in France. It is in Italy. Diano Marina, to be precise, on the Italian Riviera.
Some last-minute changes to our itinerary meant that we would fly into Nice, travel along the Italian coast to Savona, then north towards Turin, across the border again to Haute Savoie, then Lyon, and back to Nice – a perfect round trip.
Diano Marina is approximately midway between Nice and Savona, and Hotel Liliana sits on a hill overlooking a beautiful landscape of olive trees and the Mediterranean, about a ten-minute drive inland.
Although a bus regularly travels between Imperia and Diano Marina, stopping conveniently outside Liliana, a car is still the most convenient method of getting around. Parking is free at Liliana, but be warned though, the roads can be quite narrow, “as wide as my kitchen table”, noted one French guest.
The location of this hotel allows guests to enjoy the beauty of the Riviera del Fiori, being close enough to the beachside town of Diano Marina, which is busy and noisy, but being in the calm of the mountains with a privileged view of the sea.
We spent a week here, and while it is possible to enjoy your whole stay relaxing by the pool, we took the opportunity to explore Diano Marina, Imperia with its Cathedral of San Maurizio and Savona with its Cappella Sistina and Cathedral dell’Assunta. For those who prefer to walk, many small traditional villages dot the landscape.
I always evaluate accommodation by whether I would want to stay there for a few months and write a PhD or a novel. Liliana fits the bill. Our room was in the main building (the hotel occupies both sides of the road). It was quiet, large and comfortable, with a spacious bathroom and a big balcony finished off with a magnificent view. WiFi and TV were excellent, though no English channels.
Also, Liliana has a panoramic restaurant that offers buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, focussing on regional specialities. No need to go looking for a restaurant at night.
The swimming pool is full size with a helpful attendant who doubles as a barman in the little cabana. The chairs and umbrellas are modern and comfortable, and the view is exceptional. The perfect place to relax with your favourite beverage.
But what stands out about Hotel Liliana is its atmosphere. Without that, its view and amenities would stand for nothing. It is a family-run hotel, with a genuinely warm and friendly feel. Silvano and his team are very attentive, and they will surprise you with the little things they remember about you. They will go out of their way to ensure your stay is the highlight of your holiday, and that you will want to return next year, as many guests that we met do.