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Old Feb 7, 07, 1:59 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Westin Excelsior Rome, Italy, 2007 on [Master Thread]

We are a family of 6 arriving at 4:45 p.m. on a Saturday at Fiumicino in July. I sent an e-mail asking whether there was a shuttle and the concierge reported that there is not. The concierge suggested a taxi. Are there taxis that would hold 6 and luggage? Believe it or not, I am more comfortable putting all 6 of us on public transportation (if it is not too difficult) than splitting up into 2 cabs.

I would love any suggestions regarding the easiest way to get 6 people and their luggage from Fiumicino to the Westin. My kids would probably love taking a train/subway if it is safe and not a long walk with luggage. But, if there is a reasonably priced shuttle, that might be easier. Any thoughts are welcome!

I'd also love any suggestions for family friendly restaurants surrounding the Westin. Thanks!

SDFLYER

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Last edited by SanDiego1K; Apr 2, 10 at 2:32 am.
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Old Feb 7, 07, 2:29 pm   #2
 
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The easiest way to get into the city by public transportation is to take the Termini Express train from the airport. Follow the signs for FS (Railroad in Italian) from the terminal. You can buy the tickets either from the automatic machines or from the ticket booth. Normally it leaves from the track on the far right. It goes non-stop to Termini Station. Then you can get the Red Line (Line A) to Barberini (two stops). This takes you to Via Veneto. Walk up the slight hill and around the bend past the US Embassy and you are there.

The alternative is to take the local train to Ostiense and then get the subway there but you would have to transfer from Line B to Line A at Termini. It is a bit less expensive though.

Sometimes taxis can fit six people. They do have some taxis that are like small mini-vans. Of course it is Italy so laws are made to be broken though not everybody is willing to chance it.
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Old Feb 7, 07, 2:42 pm   #3
 
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To get to the Westin Excelsior from Rome Fiumicino airport, take the Leonardo Express train to Stazione Termini. Before boarding the train in the airport, make sure to validate the ticket in the yellow machine. (on a subsequent train to Pisa, we failed to validate, and were fined, along with most others on the train, 5 Euro). At Roma Termini, go downstairs into the subway and take the A subway to Barberini station. From Barberini, you can either take bus 95, 63, 62 or 116 along Via Veneto, or take a pleasant 5 minute walk along Via Veneto. You will see Excelsior on the right hand side right after the US Embassy.

The train information http://www.trenitalia.com/en/treni_s...express02.html

The interactive Roma Metro information http://www.metroroma.it/MetroRoma/HT...Disabled=false

We did this with our 6 and 9 year-olds without difficulty. The metro is very conveniently located. With luggage, it may be somewhat of a trial as the sidewalks are cobblestoned in sections, and very narrow. The Barberini station is the second stop up the line from Termini.

Good luck, and enjoy Rome!
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Old Feb 7, 07, 3:08 pm   #4
 
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Thanks!

I knew flyertalk would come through. Thanks especially for the links. Looking them over, it looks like the train and subway cost would be about 46 euros for our 6 (2 are under 12). Any idea what a cab for 6 and luggage would run?

If the walk isn't too bad (is it an easy walk with luggage--hopefully not too much luggage?), this sounds good. Any concerns doing this on a Saturday evening? I'm not sure how long it would take after luggage and customs.

I can wait until I get there to figure out how to get from the Westin to Ciampino. But, if there is a preferred method for Ciampino, I'd appreciate insights on that too.

Thanks again!!

SDFLYER
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Old Feb 7, 07, 6:11 pm   #5
 
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Thanks L1011...N/StoHNL! and sfozrhfco. We are doing the same thing in April and I was considering checking Frommers/Fodors, etc. I should have known that you guys would have the answers. Many thanks.
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Old Feb 7, 07, 8:22 pm   #6
 
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A couple years ago my wife and I took the train from the airport and then a taxi from the train station to the hotel. On the return, we used an airport shuttle service that was faster and cheaper than the train/taxi combo. It was a shuttle van just like those found at every US airport. The hotel booked it for us and I am sure that it must be offered in both directions, so you might want to ask the hotel about how to get it at the airport.
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Old Feb 7, 07, 9:24 pm   #7
 
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In case you decide against the train/Metro combo, I had originally reserved with http://www.romeshuttlelimousine.com/ before our flights changed to a much-earlier arrival. After doing much research, I found that they seemed to have the best rate, and were very responsive to my inquiries.

Also, when I asked the Westin Excelsior concierge for a family-friendly restaurant recommendation, he made a reservation for us at Le Fric. While the food and service was good, it seemed quite overpriced. This being our first dinner in Italy, we were caught offguard by the seemingly outrageous pain et coperte fee of 6 Euro per head, or 24 Euro for, as it was explained to us, bread (3 small slices, to be exact). This, on top of a hefty bill, shaded our experience. We soon realized this was commonplace for Italy. Oh, and the 10 Euro per small can of Coke still seems a bit steep!

For a delightful breakfast, go two blocks up Via Veneto to a right onto via Sardegna. There is a wonderful little Bar with cafe seating that is full of character and value! Again, the concierge can direct you. Don't expect a ton of personality from the hotel staff, however.

If you go to St. Peter's by Metro, be sure to look off to the left on one of the side streets for the green and yellow neon Pizza al taglio sign off Via di P.ta Angelica (via Ottaviano, the street from the Ottaviano metro, changes names). You will have some of the best pizza you've eaten, in countless varieties, for very little money!

We never felt unsafe in Rome, though, as always, be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against pickpockets. We found that we enjoyed the stroll from the hotel to the Barberini Metro. Be sure to say hello to my Lamborghini convertible in the showroom window at the top of the Metro stairs!
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Old Feb 7, 07, 10:59 pm   #8
 
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Just slightly off-topic...

The Westin Rome is a really nice property. I received a great upgrade there not long ago. Booked my corp discount rate but was upgraded to a beautiful 2room suite overlooking the Veneto. They have earned my future business with the great treatment.

Staff seemed very friendly and effecient to me.

Used the Leonardo Express to get to Termini (cost was about $15 US each one-way). And then grabbed a cab to the hotel (not far, but uphill ), which was another $10 USD as I recall.

Hope you have a great trip! Rome is awesome!!
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Old Feb 8, 07, 5:03 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdflyer04 View Post
We are a family of 6 arriving at 4:45 p.m. on a Saturday at Fiumicino in July. I sent an e-mail asking whether there was a shuttle and the concierge reported that there is not. The concierge suggested a taxi. Are there taxis that would hold 6 and luggage? Believe it or not, I am more comfortable putting all 6 of us on public transportation (if it is not too difficult) than splitting up into 2 cabs.

I would love any suggestions regarding the easiest way to get 6 people and their luggage from Fiumicino to the Westin. My kids would probably love taking a train/subway if it is safe and not a long walk with luggage. But, if there is a reasonably priced shuttle, that might be easier. Any thoughts are welcome!

I'd also love any suggestions for family friendly restaurants surrounding the Westin. Thanks!

SDFLYER
Hi SDFLYER, since you asked for the "easiest way" to the Excelsior... and I'm gathering you'd also appreciate the most cost efficient way... I second L1011...N/StoHNL! recommendation to use http://www.romeshuttlelimousine.com/

I originally heard about them here and I've used them twice and had good experiences. Their site shows a rate 50 for 6 pax in a Mercedes van and they also offer Rome to Ciampino for the same deal.

My suggestion for this as opposed to the Leonardo Express is because this way, you clear customs and are met by your driver, you get in the van and are taken to the hotel. If you use the train (which I've done) you clear customs, you go navigate through the airport to find the trainstation, you board train which can be packed (and hot) while having to maybe put your luggage on racks out of your vision (and theft does occur). You then find yourself in Termini, a zoo of a place where jet lagged confused Americans are prime targets for petty crime, you then find your way to the metro.. all the while hauling luggage and children... and the metro might be packed (and hot - it being in July).... then you stop at Barberini station. You will then have to ascend a steep long flight of a stairs, lugging suitcases and kids and then you're on Via Veneto. Now maybe I'm old and too soft from L.A., but I don't think it's an easy stroll to the hotel - not with luggage and kids. You're climbing up one of Rome's fabled hills, fine and fun when you're heading back from your day's outing, but not coming from a transatlantic flight (I assume). The other option of taking a cab from Termini.... you'd then run across the same problem of possibly splitting up into two cabs or possibly getting ripped off by the cab driver... it should cost about 10 from Termini to the hotel.

And more on cabs.... there have been awful stories reported of drivers ripping off tourists... especially when they're going to a destination like the Excelsior. The fare from FCO to the hotel "should" be about 45-60, but I've read (on Slow Travel for one) of fares in the neighborhood of 120... (Myself, I was once charged 90 to go from the hotel to FCO, and yes, I could have taken his license number and called for police, or whatever, but I was late for the light so just kept saying "tu sei criminale!")

This post is too long, forgive, but IMHO you'll be saving yourself ALOT of aggravation and money if you book a car service.

Hope you have a great trip!
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Old Feb 8, 07, 11:50 pm   #10
 
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Great family friendly restraunt nearby would be Il Pomodorino.
Walk out the front, turn right and then a block or two. Right again (before you go through the arch and into the park, and walk 100m. On the right side.

Three were some Italian families with kids there. Very friendly, not as spendy as the cafes on Via Veneto. Great delicious food. Reminded me of Pasta Pomodoro on "Steroids". Upscale enough so you don't feel like your eating at a chain (although you may be), but not too spendy so that you cringe.

The first time we (2 people) ate there it was $115 the second time was $55. I think the first night we had green salad, tomato and mozzerella, pizza, 2 entrees, 2 bottles of wine, beers and dessert. Way, way, way too much food. But it was our first night there.

We knew what to expect the second dinner there, ordered accordingly, and got out for half the price. Still did the beer and wine, pizza, main (1 or 2), and split a dessert.

The waiters are friendly and aren't gonna try and rip you off but... if you order it there gonna bring it and you'll have more than you can eat.

House wine was very drinkable at like 8 Euros.

I live in the Bay Area. I pay $100 for 2 including dinner and drinks regularly ( ). In that perspective this was a good value, but certainly more than a dinner at Pasta Pomodoro.

Regards, Scho

PS: Supermarket up the street through the subway station. The bottled water in the mini bar is way over priced. Also a small cafe called "American Bar" just a across Via Veneto, continue and then turn right. Essentially it is facing the buildings that back up to those that are across the street from the Westin.

The thing that I found most disorienting was the hours that shops kept.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 7:50 am   #11
 
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we found via veneto to be a right decent climb. train to sta + cab, or take the shuttle.

certain foodstuffs are expensive. fresh fish, etc. most restaurants on via veneto are overpriced. get the current Access guide, and mark the restaurants in the area that are reasonable priced.

again watch out for hotel breakfast prices. do not know where to go in rome, as we have always had it included.

keep everything zipped up and attached and tied down and tucked in. do not carry anything in pockets. get a wearable wallet for everyone. the thing that lives between you and your shirt.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 8:29 am   #12
 
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Another Data Point

I just returned from a 5 night stay at the Westin and loved it. I used http://www.romecabs.com/ from FCO to the Westin 45E for two. Our flight from FRA to FCO was delayed three hours but when we got into FCO the driver was right there to meet us. His English was excellent and gave us a quick tour on the way to the hotel.

As far as restaurants we loved:
GIOVANNI
Via Marche 64, tel: 06.482.1834. Closed Friday evenings and Saturdays.
Located on the street behind the Excelsior Hotel which sits on the Via Veneto. Family run and very elegant restaurant, the service is excellent and setting is very elegant. Traditional Roman dishes done with a bit of a flare. Expensive.

Have fun Rome is great can not wait to go back!
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Old Jul 29, 07, 1:37 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by EquityMind View Post
I should note that the Excelsior doesnt seem to have full King beds however - just the doubles pushed together as a King where the St. Regis has the full King beds. If that is a consideration go for the St.Regis, my vote going back would be for the Excelsior however.
Just came back from 4 nights at the Excelsior in Rome.. was in the Grande Deluxe room on the 5th floor with a huge balcony. It was a full KING sized bed and not two double pushed together..

Overall a wonderful hotel.. As others have mentioned, the Concierge staff are haughty.
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Old Jul 29, 07, 1:40 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
again watch out for hotel breakfast prices. do not know where to go in rome, as we have always had it included.
Breakfast at this hotel is very expensive (45 Euro per person), but very nice!. If you are looking for something "cheaper" ther eis the Restaurant De Paris across the street. American breakfast for 25 Euro. they open for breakfast at only 0800hr.
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Old Jul 29, 07, 6:54 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by ACfly View Post
Breakfast at this hotel is very expensive (45 Euro per person), but very nice!. If you are looking for something "cheaper" ther eis the Restaurant De Paris across the street. American breakfast for 25 Euro. they open for breakfast at only 0800hr.
My apologies for forgetting about this thread and creating another thread reporting on our recent trip. We ate something at the Cafe de Paris literally across Via Veneto from the hotel (30 seconds) every morning. They have wonderful pastries of all kinds (great croissants). We were very happy to stop in and get a delicious pastry on our way out to the sites each day. In addition, we stopped in for dessert a night or two at Cafe de Paris. They had great gelato and excellent pastries such as neopolians, cheesecake, fruit tart, etc. MMMMmmmm.
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