I am honored today to welcome a new guest blogger to the Got My Reservations family — my friend Debbie. Debbie and her husband are avid and intrepid travelers and have lots to share about the places they’ve seen. In this post, she introduces us to a small boutique hotel in Rome that you may want to put on your Rome Pinterest board, as I did.
We were in the mood for visiting Italy. The excuse we used was our niece was studying in Rome. However, do you really need an “excuse” to visit Italy? We don’t think so.
So, since the niece was in Rome, we had to spend some major time there. We (there were 4 of us – myself, husband, brother and Mom), decided a week in Rome would be nice. Then, take the train to Florence for 5 days. Now, when to go and where to stay?
We went to Italy in November, after high season, when rates are lower and tourists are fewer. In addition, we were able to schedule the trip so we left on a Wednesday afternoon arriving in Rome on Thursday morning, obtaining cheaper airfare and skipping a night in the hotel. We returned from Florence 12 days later, on a Monday. We were in Italy over the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, meaning we only had to use 6 days of vacation time, always a consideration.
One of our main criteria in travel lodging is location. We want to be able to walk as much as possible to see the sights or be able to take public transportation. We are fine with a 3 star hotel – you will receive a clean, serviceable room with in-room bathroom, good location and service, and a decent breakfast for a reasonable price.
The hotel we found and enjoyed in Rome was the Romance Hotel Rome, located about 4 blocks from the Colosseum in a quiet, safe neighborhood with good restaurants and cafes. Breakfast was included, along with free Wi-Fi. The photos on their website looked good and it was “quaint”. The hotel has only 13 rooms. It was also close to a taxi stop, bus stop and the metro stop is by the Colosseum, so it “ticked all the boxes” we require.
The four of us arrived at the hotel at approximately 10AM. This was after driving around the hotel twice, as none of us saw the hotel entrance. The entrance is located at street level with minimal signage.
You enter through the gates and go directly downstairs to the reception area. The reception area is directly ahead and there is a sitting area off to the side which has a pc available to all guests.
The desk clerk was very kind and helped us to check in and stored our luggage, as the rooms were not ready. As we were waiting, they offered us drinks, so of course we had to have our first cappuccinos.
We are very “loose” travelers. We have a list of places we want to see, but no timing in particular (other than making sure we know which museums are closed on which days). After obtaining a local map from the clerk and talking with him, we decided on a walking tour of the neighborhood. We did our tour, had lunch and came back to check into the hotel around 4pm.
We went up to our rooms. This hotel is so small you must take the elevator if your room is not on the main floor. Don’t worry; there are stairs in case of an emergency, but they are not easy to access. The elevator is typical Italian – a cozy squeeze for the 4 of us. Good thing we are family!
The rooms are small, but then again, you are in the middle of Rome. We did upgrade our rooms, so we were on the back side of the hotel, rather than street side. This was a good idea, as it was warm and we had our windows open (there is no air conditioning after the end of October). The lighting was “OK’, but not great. It was rather typical for a hotel. The room had a sitting area and a bed area, each with a window. The rooms were pretty quiet, but you are in the middle of the city, which means the garbage trucks work during the night 😉
Breakfast was a selection of fresh fruit, pastries, cold cereals, cheeses and meats. And, of course, the wonderful selection of coffee drinks, made to order by the nice hostess who ran the breakfast room. The breakfast room is very tiny – in fact, some people took their breakfast and ate it in the sitting area near the reception area, in order to have a bit more room.
We liked the hotel and the staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, willing to help in any way. We would stay here again and recommend this hotel to anyone contemplating staying in Rome.
When not traveling, Debbie works as a glass artist in the Chicagoland northwest suburbs. You can see her beautiful work on her web site, Debbie Watson Glass.