ROME: Bolivar OR Nova Domus?

Old Apr 16, 11, 2:29 pm
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ROME: Bolivar OR Nova Domus?

Hi, Any advice on deciding between the Comfort Inn Bolivar or the Quality Inn Nova Domus would be much appreciated.

our criteia are:

1- Cleanliness
2- Location
3- Rooms that are routinely provided for reward redemptions.

Thanks to all for their time and comments.
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Old Apr 17, 11, 12:44 pm
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Have you checked reviews on www.tripadvisor.com? Generally I find lots of information about Choice properties I'm considering that way. If you're not familiar with "how to read" TripAdvisor reviews, the general consensus is to throw out the best review in case it's by the hotel itself and throw out the worst review in case it's by their competition acorss the street, and then look at what's left over, possbly biasing more toward recent rieviews over ones several years old (if there's enough reviews for that).

Obviously, what you get on a reward stay is better answered here, but can only be answered if you find someone who's done an award stay at that specific hotel.

But the rooms that are provided for reward redemptions ahead of time, that you can figure out for yourself, by just trying a booking (which you don't need to complete) at the Choice website (assuming you have enough points for at least one night already). In general, at most hotels, they tend to be "standars" rooms; only occasionally do "fancy" rooms "leak" into the mix.

And, in general, upgrades for elites are far and few between, so by default I wouldn't count on any room better than what you can book online as a reward.
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Old Apr 17, 11, 6:51 pm
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Thanks for your reply.

I AM an avid reader of Trip Advisor , but was hoping for FT'ers who had reedeemed in Rome to augment my research.
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Old Apr 17, 11, 10:12 pm
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Couldn't comment on Comfort Inn Bolivar as I've never stayed there. I spent 3 nights at Quality Inn Nova Domus in late January and I was happty with it.

My room, the lobby and the restaurants were all clean, presentable, didn't see any nasties.

Location is ok - it's good if you are gonna spend much time visiting the Vatican Musems as the hotel is about 15-minute walk from St Peter's Square.
It's between 2 Metro stations. There're shops and restaurants nearby, and there's a Carrefour Express near the Vatican/hotel where you can get groceries.

Dunno about reward redemptions as I booked my rooms via Expedia. The reception is aware of the Choice program though.

Internet is NOT free - costs 2.5-3 euros per hour. You buy 1/2/5 hour blocks.
Breakfast is good - buffet style with lots of pastries. There're cold cuts, hot sausages and eggs.

A good thing about being close to the Vatican is that the kiosk inside the Vatican Post Office/Tourist Info exchanges foreign cash (USD, GBP, JPY, etc) to Euro and vice versa, COMMISSION FREE. It's the ONLY legal place in Italy I know of that doesn't charge the standard minimum of 6 euros transaction fee. You can also ask for Vatican Euro coins - but they are REALLY stingy - it's harder to get Vatican Euro coins than seeing the Pope (whom I did see at a weekly general audience).

Personally I would stay around the Termini as it's close to most things and easier for travellers with much luggage. There's a Best Western right by the Termini, seemed to be recently refurbshed.




Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
Hi, Any advice on deciding between the Comfort Inn Bolivar or the Quality Inn Nova Domus would be much appreciated.

our criteia are:

1- Cleanliness
2- Location
3- Rooms that are routinely provided for reward redemptions.

Thanks to all for their time and comments.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 7:44 pm
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Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
Hi, Any advice on deciding between the Comfort Inn Bolivar or the Quality Inn Nova Domus would be much appreciated.

our criteia are:

1- Cleanliness
2- Location
3- Rooms that are routinely provided for reward redemptions.

Thanks to all for their time and comments.
I just stayed at the Bolivar last week for 4 nights, first of all its hard to find, its off the mains street, but also good, for being across the street from the forums and being quiet. The hotel is nice, not 4 star, a 3 star, all the employees are all nice. Small lobby and elevator, the room was on the small side, like most European rooms I have stayed in. The rooms are clean, but our shower did not have a shower curtain in the tub, but made due.
The breakfast is nice, its on the garden room on the rooftop, buffet style with bacon and scrabble eggs and all the traditional pastries and coffee.
And I was able to redeem for 8,000 choice pts, so heck of a deal.
10 min walk to Forums and Colosseum
10 min walk to Trevi fountains
20 min walk to Vatican city
I say you can get a better location for being right in the heart of Rome.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by yuel View Post
And I was able to redeem for 8,000 choice pts, so heck of a deal.
Wow!

What happened here? The last time I checked, I think all the Rome hotels were in the 25,000 - 40,000 points/night range. Both the Nova Domus and the Bolivar are now 8000 points/night, and the Rouge et Noir is only 6000 points/night.

Makes Rome look more attractive.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 9:30 pm
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Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
Wow!

What happened here? The last time I checked, I think all the Rome hotels were in the 25,000 - 40,000 points/night range. Both the Nova Domus and the Bolivar are now 8000 points/night, and the Rouge et Noir is only 6000 points/night.

Makes Rome look more attractive.
Shhhhh, lets keep it quiet until Wednesday!
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Old Apr 18, 11, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
Wow!

What happened here? The last time I checked, I think all the Rome hotels were in the 25,000 - 40,000 points/night range. Both the Nova Domus and the Bolivar are now 8000 points/night, and the Rouge et Noir is only 6000 points/night.

Makes Rome look more attractive.
I stayed at the Bolivar a couple of years ago with my family for 25,000 miles and I thought it was a good deal (a well-located 3-star in an expensive city). At 8,000 points it's a CRAZY good deal and YOU would be crazy to pay significantly more to stay anywhere else! They even feed you breakfast for that price.

I don't know about the Nova Domus but, for the average visitor, wouldn't the location be significantly less convenient?

Europe is a very much a crapshoot for Choice. I recently scored a similarly amazing deal in Stockholm (10,000 points for the Sign, a great 4-star hotel including buffet breakfast), and a good deal in Paris (the Andre Latin, a well located 3-star, but not as good as the Bolivar). But I'm next headed to the south of France and the Choice selections are, um, terrible.
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Old May 7, 11, 5:54 pm
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Thanks we'll be there in a few weeks. A little nervous about the Bolivar.
I'll report back.

I'm wondering if the Inter Continental is a better choice at $240 All in.
240 dollars, not euros.
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Old May 7, 11, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
Thanks we'll be there in a few weeks. A little nervous about the Bolivar.
I'll report back.

I'm wondering if the Inter Continental is a better choice at $240 All in.
240 dollars, not euros.
I just cancelled the Intercontinental at 40,000 points for an 8,000 point per night stay at the Bolivar. Just looking at the thumbs up icon on tripadvisor, the Bolivar has a slight edge over the Intercontinental and with the Free Breakfast, it makes it a no brainer IMO.
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Old May 7, 11, 7:44 pm
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I stayed at Nova Domus about 5-6 years ago on Priceline NYOP reservation. It was very basic in most every way and the location was anything but great -- not only because it involved us walking several minutes to a subway (not sure if that was the closest subway or not) in order to get around to see things but there wasn't much in the way of choices for good restaurants around there in so little as I looked). The staff were neither good nor bad, just sort of there; but they handled all our requests professionally and adequately.

It was sufficient enough and the neighborhood ok enough that I would probably consider it again for 8k points per night (as I'd get my breakfast's worth out of it), but it really did have me feeling like this is how I might have stayed if doing a post-high school European trip with buddies on a rather limited budget but not needing to "hostel it".

The hotel did get some organized tour buses that do come around just outside to pick up guests who want a couple of those Cityrama-type tours, so it isn't entirely off the tourist track.
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Old May 7, 11, 9:49 pm
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Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
Thanks we'll be there in a few weeks. A little nervous about the Bolivar.
I'll report back.

I'm wondering if the Inter Continental is a better choice at $240 All in.
240 dollars, not euros.
What exactly are you "nervous" about?

As I mentioned earlier, I've stayed at this property for a few nights on my last trip to Rome. I consider myself somewhat of a "hotel guru," as I've stayed in several hundred hotels over the years all around the world, from 1 star to 5 star.

Based on this experience, I can assure you that there is nothing to be nervous about -- unless you never stay at properties below 4 star and this lack of "luxury" would be a problem for you. If you NEED a 4-star hotel, you should not stay at the Bolivar. It just isn't that. It provides "Comfort Inn level" comfort, albeit in a small mid-priced European-hotel way (even though the regular rates there aren't mid-priced!). And it has great location.

The reason to stay is that, at 8000 points, you're paying about $35/night (including breakfast!) to stay in a well located decent hotel in Rome (assuming you bought points from DailyGetaways). It's a bargain of epic proportions. I don't think it will be as comfortable as the Intercontinental. But you ain't paying $240 either.
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Old May 8, 11, 3:39 am
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Did I miss something about Italy Choice Hotels having this mega deal on points stays? I mean, dang, I was just going to Rome a few days early before boarding a ship and now I'm thinking, what the hell, do Venice at 8000 points, and maybe Naples and Ischia.
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Old May 8, 11, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by bigbuy View Post
Did I miss something about Italy Choice Hotels having this mega deal on points stays? I mean, dang, I was just going to Rome a few days early before boarding a ship and now I'm thinking, what the hell, do Venice at 8000 points, and maybe Naples and Ischia.
Each hotel is priced independent of others.

Nobody here said that every hotel in Italy is 8000 points. This "mega deal" mentionied in this thread is comparing a specific hotel's cost on money versus the cost on points if the points were purchased during the recent DiscoverAmerica point purchase promotion.

Also, at Choice, hotels change point amounts every couple months. So just because a hotel is 8000 points now or in the near future doesn't mean it'll necessarily be at the same level year-round.
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Old May 8, 11, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Each hotel is priced independent of others.

Nobody here said that every hotel in Italy is 8000 points. This "mega deal" mentionied in this thread is comparing a specific hotel's cost on money versus the cost on points if the points were purchased during the recent DiscoverAmerica point purchase promotion.

Also, at Choice, hotels change point amounts every couple months. So just because a hotel is 8000 points now or in the near future doesn't mean it'll necessarily be at the same level year-round.
Well, before I wrote the post, I checked almost every hotel in Italy and they were all 8000 points including the one in Venice, which is an absolute steal. Some were 6000 points. BTW, I never implied that the deal was good year round, but it sure is in late June when I will be there. I just rechecked on the Choice web site and every single hotel they have in Italy is 8000 points or less. I bought the max amount of points on the Discover America deal and am in the process of cancelling Priority Club and SPG points stays to take advantage of this deal.

Last edited by bigbuy; May 8, 11 at 9:51 am Reason: more info.
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