On my trip to Rome 2 years ago, I stay at the Hotel San Silvestro at Via Del Gambero 3 in Rome. I loved the location of the hotel, but was not wild about hotel itself. I'm going to Rome again in October, and I'm looking to stay in that same area, but in a somewhat nicer hotel (looking to pay $300-$350 US per night). I've looked on trip advisor and a few other sites, but I'm a bit confused about what this actual area is called...historical area, central Rome, etc. I also used one of the interactive maps to locate the names of hotels in that general area. The ones that came up are: Suite Della Vite, Hotel Palamento, Spagna Royal Suite Rome, NTB Roma, Town House Fontana Di Trevi, Relais Fontaine Del Papi, Cenci B&B, Hotel Nazionale A Monticetorio, Daniel's Hotel, Prestige Guest House (I may have some of these name a bit wrong). Do you know any of these, or do you have a recommendation in the area? We'd like to be within walking distance (a few miles) of Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon and Colosseum. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
Apr 23, 12, 6:26 pm
Hi Jenness0429. First, I thought you might be interested in reading a thread I started about the piazza that you were adjacent to when you were in Rome last. (I posted it on Slowtravel, where my name is "Jady"):
Rome's Piazza San Silvestro got a makeover (http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/862600685/m/216008386001)
Regarding the name of the area you're looking for - it could be called many things depending on the booking engine, or hotel's marketing choice. Downtown Rome, historic center, centro storico, Spanish Steps area, Trevi Fountain area (or its Italian names for these last two of course)...
This is how I look for accommodations when I have a specific area in mind: I use google maps as the starting point and look for the imbedded ads for the various hotels and accommodations, then click on the hotel's website to gauge the prices and how the rooms look, and then if that passes muster I look at TripAdvisor for the reviews. If the reviews are good, I then go back to the hotel's site and try a dummy booking for the dates I'm interested in to see if the rates are affordable.
And I did just that after plugging in the address of your first hotel, The San Silvestro, and the third place I found looks extremely promising, in fact I've just bookmarked it for my own files. And it turns out, it's the first one mentioned in your list above. (About the others on your list, I only know what the online reviews say, I've never stayed at any of those places myself).
I looked at your other thread and see you and your husband need 3 nights, mid October and above I see your requirement of a $300 - $350 price. Guesstimating a $1.35 conversion rate (incl the FOREX your cc will charge), that means you're looking to spend €220 - €260. And that you want something "nicer" than the San Silvestro.
If you want a full service hotel, with nice public spaces (lobby/bar), a staffed concierge desk, bell hops, etc, then my suggestion is not for you.
But if your definition of "nicer" just regards the room itself then my suggestion may be something for you to investigate.
Suite Della Vite
Regarding its location, here you see on Google (http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Via+Del+Gambero+3,+Rome,+Italy&daddr=Via+della+Vite,+54+00187+Rome,+Italy&hl=en&sll=41.90319,12.483075&sspn=0.004839,0.011319&geocode=FRtjfwIdAnC-ACkXdP6FU2AvEzFRiHCgmk8JEw%3BFSVnfwIdfXS-ACljGJSPVGAvEzHeJzgoL6faGQ&dirflg=w&mra=ltm&t=m&z=16)the proximity of this to your San Silvestro (Hotel San Silvestro is marked 'A', Suite Della Vite is marked 'B').
This is not a "hotel" though in the conventional sense. From what I've read, it seems this a relatively new enterprise by the restaurant owner of the adjacent Ristorante Mario (http://www.ristorantemario.net/homepage.html). It appears to be comprised of only 3 individual accommodations: a classically decorated 25 square meter (270 sq feet) classic studio, a similarly decorated 45 square meter (485 sq ft) deluxe studio and an ultra modern and sleekly decorated 100 square meter (1,075 sq ft) penthouse. And that as a fourth choice, there are rates to rent both studios together which appear to connect via an independent foyer. However, the wording on the website implies there is more than 1 deluxe studio - but my gut is telling me that there are only 3 units in total, FWIW! [Note, I converted the square meters myself - the website shows inaccurate conversions to square feet). The description of the penthouse is that it's comprised of 2 levels on the 6th and the 7th floors, but there's no mention what floor the 2 studios are on. So our restaurateur has converted some apartments in the adjoining building and opened a "hotel". And in the reviews I see that you need to go into the restaurant to "check in" and from there you'll be escorted to the apartment. Here's the google streetview of the apartment building (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Via+della+Vite,+54,+00187+Rome,+Italy&hl=en&ll=41.903868,12.48168&spn=0.000004,0.00283&sll=41.903363,12.480962&sspn=0.009678,0.022638&oq=Via+della+Vite,+54+00187+Rome,+Italy&doflg=ptk&hnear=Via+della+Vite,+54,+00187+Roma,+Lazio,+Italy&t=m&layer=c&cbll=41.903868,12.48168&panoid=MNIP6u2h68GN9HKc5iMRoQ&cbp=12,303.32,,0,4.09&z=19), number 54, seen between the awnings showing Ristorante Mario.
You're probably wondering why am I excited about this odd place?! I first am impressed with the size of the deluxe studio, 45 sqm. This is very spacious for Rome. I'm next impressed with the quality of the furnishings and the bathroom, and that is has a kitchenette. It also says you get bathrobes and slippers (to me, always a sign of a "nicer" place), it's soundproofed and you're gifted with a bottle of wine on arrival. From the website:
All studios are equipped with free usage Nespresso coffee machine, complimentary minibar, free usage of MacBook with free wi-fi internet access, Full HD LCD TV Sony Bravia, free SKY movie and sport channels, room-to-room audio-video telephone system, direct line, safe, fully independent climate control.
And next I'm excited about the price. I plugged in random dates for October and received a consistent €250 for Sunday thru Thursday nights, and €280 for Friday and Saturday nights. And these rates didn't change if I entered in 1 guest, 2 guests, 3 or even 4 guests. And the rates include breakfast.
And the reviews are very good overall.
So to me, based on its locations, the price, and the quality and size of the room makes me feel comfortable recommending it to a friend - providing they were already familiar with Rome somewhat and were comfortable being in an independent environment. I also really like that it has a kitchenette. For longer stays than yours, this could be extremely handy. Of course, this brings up the question of, what not just rent an apartment? And you could find one, much cheaper than this - but you'd have to in most cases prepay a deposit, that very well may not be refundable, and you'd most likely have to pay the balance in cash upon arrival. This place though, IS set up like a hotel in terms of its booking policy. Your cc is only used to guarantee the res, you can cancel without penalty up to 2 days prior to arrival, and if cancelling within 2 days, you're penalized the first night's rate (and all that is very standard).
I'm also bookmarking this for future use because its 100 sqm penthouse seems amazing and its rates, again with random October dates input, are €380 for Sun - Thurs and €440 for Fri and Sat. And these are the same rates if you were to rent the 2 studios combined. These prices are comparable to a standard room at many luxury hotels in high season, which usually would only be about 35sqm. (But of course, for those hotels you'd get a "real" hotel).
Here's the hotel's website:
Here's the page describing the Deluxe Studio (I most like that they include a floorplan for each room):
Note on the website: As you look at each room category's page you see pictures flashing above, but these are not necessarily the pictures for the room type in question. For that click on the pictures at the bottom of the page. And I noticed that the pictures shown for the Deluxe Studio include a shot of 2 different bathrooms - so one of those pix must go with the Classic Studio. And the pix shown in the gallery on the Classic Studio shows the picture for the Deluxe Studio. But since floorplans are also shown, you can sort all this out for yourself. And there's also an offer for a discount to his restaurant.
Here are the Tripadvisor reviews (there are not many, which would make sense since this place is fairly new, so do use the Google translate feature to learn from all of the reviews):
And here are a couple more reviews through Expedia:
And Venere only shows one English language review:
And one in Italian:
Jenness, this place seems to meet your location and price requirement, but whether you'd be content with basically renting an apartment, vs a hotel room is the question. If I was planning to book this for a friend, I'd probably email the "hotel" and ask what floor the studios were on, and where the windows faced (the street or an interior courtyard) and I'd ask if there were more than one Deluxe Studio and more than one Classic Studio. Maybe this guy owns a few floors of the apartment building and there are more than 3 units?! And I'd ask this because IF there is more than one Deluxe Studio I'd want to make sure that the pictures I was seeing online correspond to the room that I'd receive. And if you do email him Jenness, I'd let him know of your profession - I'd imagine he'd be interested and would perhaps extend you more favored treatment if you were to dine in his restaurant or at the least, take more care in the bottle of wine he selects for you....
And lastly(!) I apologize for the rambling and ridiculous length of this post, if I was a professional travel agent I would have taken the time to edit and condense this - but I'm just a fellow traveler who happens to be fairly obsessed with Rome. :D
Apr 23, 12, 6:51 pm
I hadn't noticed when I posted above that the site has a page on Hotel Services which shows that it has a total of 7 rooms and that it was renovated in 2010:
Apr 23, 12, 7:55 pm
Sk3 - I booked the Deluxe Studio! It is exactly what I'm looking for and sounds perfect. I'm super excited and I thank you so much for your detailed help!
Apr 23, 12, 8:16 pm
Wow. That's cool this worked out!
Adding to my thoughts above - I really was impressed when I saw the rooms and when I read the comments of others.
My pet peeves are the Rome hotels with old mattresses and DNA laden-bedspreads. So I always get excited when I find a new place, or newly renovated place because I translate that to mean a new mattress and linens!
And I liked that there are coffee machines in the room. Of course, who'd want that when you can get the world's finest at a nearby cafe - but I've often had jet-lagged induced weird sleeping patterns, and being able to make a cup of coffee at 4 in the morning to me is a treat. And I liked that it has SKY TV, that means you'll be able to select channels' English language versions through its menu so you'll have lots of choices. But one would say why be concerned about watching TV when you're in Rome - and again, to me it's the jetlag issue. When I'm wide awake at 4 in the morning, I've found it nice to be able to watch something! And of course, it also means access to English language news programs...
I did note that some of the reviews mentioned glitches, but every place I've ever stayed at something's gone awry...
Anyway, I'm so glad that my "afternoon project" above turned out to be useful! :)
Apr 23, 12, 8:30 pm
I agree 100% with your pet peeves and it is why I didn't like the Hotel San Silvestro. I was afraid to get in the bed! And I feel similarly about the TV. Thank you again. I SO appreciate the time and effort you put into helping me. :)
Apr 23, 12, 8:54 pm
Hi again. You're welcome! And I LOVE doing this - I love most being in Rome, then next to that I love planning my trip to Rome, and after that I love best helping others plan their trips (so thank you for giving me a project today!)
I just wanted you to know that I also did a search on Ristorante Mario, since its "Mario", Signore Mario Mariani, will also be your proprietor - but I couldn't find anything from Katie Parla, Elizabeth Minchilli, Maureen Fant, or on Chowhoud where they often post, nor did I find anything on Tavole Romane. But there are a bunch of TripAdvisor reviews, for what they're worth.
Here's the TripAdvisor page for the restaurant:
And here's Mario's bio from his restaurant's website:
And if you're unfamiliar with the women I was mentioning above, here are their links (using their blogs/apps/websites you should be able to have only good meals throughout your visit in Italy!):
Katia Parla (http://www.parlafood.com/)
Elizabeth Minchilli (http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com/)
Maureen Fant (http://www.maureenbfant.com/)
Chowhound Italy Forum (http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/58)
If you're interested in anything referenced in the above threads, just add your questions to the thread. The Master Threads for the 2 SPG properties are massively long, so I'd start reading them maybe from a few pages from the most recent. (But of course it would make sense for you to first check out the hotels' websites to see if they're within your price range. And regarding prices, do checkout the SPG forum for discount promos, etc). Or if nothing seems suitable in the threads above, maybe you could start a new Florence specific thread here and tell us what your criteria is, so as to elicit the best replies.
On the Slowtravel forum I found these threads that might help:
New Modern Hotel interior, Florence (http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/862600685/m/734002685001?r=734002685001)
Florence Hotel Help (http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/862600685/m/802007560001?r=802007560001)
Hotel in Florence? Suggestions please! (http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/862600685/m/805108292?r=805108292)
If there's something in these Slowtravel threads of interest to you and the thread is closed, just start a new thread on Slowtravel. They're VERY friendly over there (I've actually been chastised by their mods for not being friendly enough, and I'm sickeningly friendly over there - whatever!)
In fact, I'd highly recommend you starting a thread there regarding your http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/italy/1338373-driving-florence-paris.html posts, because I'd bet you could get some very useful suggestions, as well as Florence accommodation reccomendations. (But caveat, their whole deal is "Slow" travel, so you might get some annoying comments that you're attempting to do too much in too short a period of time - but you can just file those comments in your recycle bin ;) )
Good luck with all your planning - it sounds like it will be a fantastic trip!
Apr 24, 12, 9:37 pm
Sk3-thanks for your help and pointing me in the right direction - AGAIN! ;).
I'll read through all the threads and I'm sure I'll find some very helpful info. You're a gem!
Apr 25, 12, 12:15 am
You're very welcome :) I'm happy to help a fellow Californian!
And thank you for such good manners - it is not at all uncommon around here for a poster to start a thread, receive replies - and then never acknowledge the answers he got....
BTW, there were more Florence hotel related threads, but I just grabbed the first ones that seemed relevant (like I picked the ST "New Modern Hotel" one thinking that it should have rooms with new and "safe" bedding ;) )
Apr 25, 12, 9:39 am
Sk3 - I read through all the threads you sent and jotted down a couple possibilities. Thanks again as they look very promising! I'm also going to widen the net and take your advice to start a new thread here on the Italy forum with some more specifics. My stay 2 years ago in Florence was very similar to the one in Rome. Hotel was in a great location, but left a lot to be desired (downright scary!). I travel a lot on business, but it was the first time I've ever been in tears at the front desk after seeing my room and the clerk would not even consider giving me a different room! Thanks again for the help. You've been amazingly kind to a newcomer.