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Apr 15, 2000 09:13 PM

hotels in Rome

  • d

Can anyone offer any suggestions for good hotels in Rome? I'll be going in September with my wife for a week of serious eating and drinking.

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  1. I have stayed at the Crowne Plaza Minerva several times and I like it a great deal. Last November we spent a week there and found it getting slightly worn but still very comfortable. The best thing about it, is its location as it is just in back of the Pantheon. So walking all over Roma to see the "sights" is easy. However, next time in Rome, I will be giving the Farnese or the Rafaele a try. At the very least we will have dinner on the roof of the Rafaele while staying at the Farnese. Hotel prices in Roma continue to rise but don't hesitate in pushing for a discount. Restaurants I think are quite good are: Papa Bacchus; Paris; La Rosetta; Quinzi and Gabrelli; Agata and Romeo; Antico Arco; and Checchino dal 1887. For a real culinary treat take an hour drive to Acuto to enjoy the restaurant, Le Colline Ciociare. Also try the outstanding pizza at Pizza Re, which is close to Piazza Popolo on via di Ripetta. I almost forgot to mention Al Fauro, a small trattoria in the Parioli district of Roma. This one is a real treat.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Peter

      You might try the Aldrovandi Palace near the Villa Borghese - we just came back from 5 days there. It's a very Italian hotel - not a shiny new international/American style hotel. The restaurant is extremely good - highly rated in all the guides & really deserved it we thought (& we had the dinner delivered to our room, course by course, so that our 2 year old could run around.) The staff was more than friendly, being so near the gardens of the Villa Borghese is quite a treat - alleviates the oppressive air in Rome. You do have to like to have a bit of a stroll down to the sights, but cabs are easy & relatively cheap & there is also a street car. Oh, definitely get one of the better rooms - it makes a difference.

      1. re: Peter
        Stuart Miller

        Paris is a great, homey, hard to find restaurant in Trastevere. Papa Bacchus "terrace" is a row of tables on the sidewalk. But great Tuscan cuisine in Rome. So based on agreeing with your first two, I'll accept your next recommendations. AS to Minerva, we're planning on booking (after much, much homework) this summer. I thought it was recently redone -- so I was surprised at your comment about it being slightly worn. Two factors in its favor: location in center of city and location NOT on major Via. Last time in Rome we stayed at Excelsiore... and the street noise was unbelievable.

        1. re: Stuart Miller

          The Minerva can also be noisy as there is a lot activity all the time in the area, especially Friday and Saturday nights. We always get a room in the front but next time there we will move to the back of the hotel where the views aren't as nice. It was renovated three or four years ago at least. The rooms are large for an Italian hotel and the service is good.

          La Rosetta has just about priced itself out of the market so beware of the prices there and the same goes for Quinzi and Gabrelli but still I like the latter one very much. When we there last November we tried to get into Sora Margherita for lunch but the wait was too long. On the way back from our luncheon restaurant we took a look inside and were sorry we didn't wait. This is a must try for us on our next visit. It is only open for lunch and no reservations. It is about a 15 minute easy walk from the Minerva in Piazza della Cinque Scuolo. There is no sign to mark the place. We also like Il Simposio in Piazza Cavour on our last trip.

      2. my husband and daughter and i are going to rome in june and so, while i have yet to stay in a hotel there, i have obsessively researched reasonably priced hotels. i don't know if price is an issue for you, but if it is you should reserve a room now. smaller, less expensive hotels book rapidly, especially in high season. i used three guides, let's go italy, cheap sleeps in italy and the eyewitness rome guide, to compile a list of ten hotels in the main part of the city. i chose them based upon the guides' reccommendations, their proximity to major attractions and expense. they are, including fax numbers: coronet 699-22705, arenula 689-6188, navona 688-03802, sole 689-3787, campo de fiori 687-6003, pomezia 686-1371, smeraldo 688-05495, parlamento 679-2082, panda 699-42151, lunetta 689-2028. dial 011-39-06 before any of these numbers. we asked for a room with a "letto matrimoniale" and another bed for our daughter and a bathroom. and even though we asked for prices with and without breakfast, most of them quoted with. (i think jubilee year has been good to hoteliers.) they were all about the same price-$130 per night. (yes, hotels cost as much there as they do in new york.) we chose the coronet. they responded instantly (some took as long as two weeks), their rooms are supposed to be large (apparently rarely the case in rome), and being in the doria pamphilj palazzo, it's close to lots of stuff including the pantheon and the forum. we'll see in june and report back.

        3 Replies
        1. re: nelle

          Reading your message really takes me back. In the seventies I spent a year as a student in Rome, & since my school's program was based in the Palazzo Cenci most of the students stayed nearby at the Pensione Arenula. I wonder if that's the same place you mentioned in your message. In those days it was very, very cheap, a little seedy - your typical pensione. The bathrooms were down the hall & the clientele was out of a Fellini movie (the guy with the hairnet, the maid who kept children's dolls on her bed...).

          1. re: pam

            The Arenula is indeed the same as the place you describe but it has upgraded in the past several years. It is still only a two-star, mostly due to the lack of an elevator. It is a good climb to the first (our second floor) reception area, but the rooms are generally functional and clean and the location can't be beat. Rooms generally run around Lit. 200.000 for a double now...about $100.

            Jim Zurer
            Great Travels, Inc.
            Washington DC

            1. re: Jim Zurer

              Thanks for the update, Jim. You are certainly right about the location being great - from a chowhound perspective that means shopping at the nearby mercato dei fiori among other things.

        2. September is a busy month commercially in Rome (think NY - its not primarily a touristic city) so hotels then can be busy. I recall it also as a great time to be there. If youre staying for a whole week, you might want to checkout some of the rental agencies - an apartment can be so much more comfortable. If you want to get off the main tourist track, there are several nice, quiet hotels on the Aventino which is a lovely area between the Circus Maximus and Testaccio; a suites hotel on the Piazza Bocca della Verita and the Casa Kolb (a quasi religious establishment)on Via San Teodoro across from the forum.
          We enjoyed staying at the Portoghese many years ago on our first visit to Rome; its gone somewhat upscale since then but, like the Raphael and other hotels previously, it has a marvelous evocative location in Old Rome...waking up with the sun streaming in and old churchbells ringing...Getting around in historic Rome is really no problem-its walkable and buses, trams and metro are convenient when you tire (just remember to buy a bunch of tickets ahead of need at a tobacconist - marked with a "T" sign, and get the ATAC map if you can - its much more reliable than the tourist maps for bus/tram routes.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jen kalb

            Any experiences with Hotel Ponte Sisto?
            Gambero Rosso Guide to Rome likes it a lot.
            I.ve had no luck contacting them by fax, phone or email.

            1. re: m

              did you try to go through one of the on-line reservation services? See attached website, but it indicates the hotel was scheduled to open in March - maybe they didnt make it.

              Good luck!

              Link: http://www.italyhotel.com/roma/pontes...

              1. re: jen kalb

                My 2000 GR gives Ponte Sisto "two keys" out of three. The Farnese is about the same price earning "three keys". While I usually stay at the Crown Plaza Roma Minerva mainly because of its excellent location which is just behind the Pantheon, I am looking forward to staying at the Farnese when next in Roma--which I hope is fairly soon. Still the Minerva is not a bad choice. Jen has already posted the URL for Ponte Sisto so here is the one for the Farnese: http://romeguide.it/farnese/farnese.html