Hotel or apt in Rome?

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Jun 29th, 2008, 11:41 PM
  #1
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Hotel or apt in Rome?

This would be so much easier if we had a fourth person, but we will be three women in Italy (ages 52-60). Have not determined exact itinerary, but we know we'll spend about four nights in Rome, not really my first choice of where I want to be in Italy (that's where I was able to use airline points), but that's to be saved for another post.

We don't want a hotel room that sleeps three with one shared bath. This fall the three of us are renting a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apt in Santa Fe and it looks charming (my first time using VRBO). Okay, we're also spoiled by nice hotels on business trips. When we travel on vacation I always find us charming inns, B&Bs, small hotels, etc. This time I'm challenged to rise to the occasion.

The last time we traveled as three was in 2001 when we paid $.87 for a euro and took two rooms at each hotel where each of us had a chance to have our own room. With the dollar's decline, we need to be more careful about our budget. I'm thinking we can afford $100 per night per person. I know that doesn't go very far in euros these days. For something worthwhile, we may come up with a little more. I should mention that the other ladies will need to purchase their airline tickets.

I've looked at numerous (really, a lot) of rental apartments in Rome and many of them look lovely. However, I don't look forward to the hassles of payment, having to have someone meet us, etc. that I've been reading about on this board.

That being said, we prefer hotels. We like have someone at the desk for answering our questions. We like the breakfast in the hotel to start the day. Somehow I don't see us cooking breakfast every morning and would go instead to a restaurant/cafe if we rented an apartment.

My apology for the very long explanation. I would welcome your suggestions about this decision.
luvtotravel is offline  
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Jun 30th, 2008, 12:58 AM
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Well with the exchange rate I saw this morning luvtotravl one US dollar equals 63 euro so if you can spend $100.00 US dollar for each hotel room you would need to find one that only cost 63euro. That to me doesn't sound possible unless perhaps you stayed in a convent?

I have never rented an apartment in Rome or anywhere in Italy or actually anyone when on a trip although many people do and have been quite pleased with doing so. So hopefully some other Fodorites can give you some good advice.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 04:58 AM
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Even the 1 star hotels in the city center charge about 100 Euro per night for a double room. And it doesn't sound like you would want to stay in a 1 star hotel. Best bet is an apartment or a hotel outside Rome and commute every day (not my idea of fun). Or the convents that loveitaly suggested.

How many questions do you really ask of hotel staff that you would need to stay in a hotel. And how many hotels in Rome would offer "cooked" breakfast? I've only stayed in 5 hotels in Rome but none of them had more than cheese and yogurt in addition to bread, etc.; nothing cooked.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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She said $100 per person so that would be $300 per night or 191€.

If you get an apartment, try to get one with three real beds so someone isn't stuck on an uncomfortable sofa bed.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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I think if you are staying a week, then an apartment makes sense. It's harder to find apartments by the day, but they are there.

Having two bathrooms limits your choices further, but again, they are there. I found one, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, after a very long search. My guess, is for your price, you won't find a 3 bedroom.

OTOH, finding hotel rooms for 63 euro a night, one for each of you, I think would be very difficult.

I think you're going to have to compromise somewhere, either on price, or number of bedrooms/bathrooms.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 06:51 AM
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Given your budget, I think you're focusing too much on the "hassles" of renting an apartment, and forgetting that unless you pay a pretty penny, most Rome hotels are nothing to write home about.

There are travel review sites that specialize in apartment rental reviews from users. Some places get consistently high marks for ease of use.

Another option you might explore is a small Roman b&b. Some of them only have two or three bedrooms. You might not have three baths to go with it (maybe just one or two), but you would get breakfast and have some concierge services. And they can be very inexpensive.

www.b-b.rm.it



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Jun 30th, 2008, 07:02 AM
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kybourbon - 191 Euro per night for a double and a single in a nice hotel would be tough to find. I know it's $100 per night per person. I was giving general prices based on the OP's budget.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 07:23 AM
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This is very much personal choice but we always try to stay in an apartment over a hotel. Not only are they cheaper (generally) but there is more space, somewhere to sit other than the bed, no one interrupting you to want to turn down the bed or check the mini bar. But some like the facilities hotels offer, including concierge etc. We hate the intrusiveness of a hotel but to each their own.

We have rented apartments in Rome and have had no difficulty at all. If you check out www.slowtrav.com you will find many reviews of apartments as well as agencies in Rome.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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I'm staying in Rome for 4 nights next week in an apartment (with my husband and 12-year-old) that overlooks the Largo Argentina. Paying has been a breeze, the apartment looks great, and it was 120 euro/night-which was our accommodation budget and which we found virutally impossible to meet in Rome. The apartment has 2 terraces and AC-if we'd gone with the 120 euro hotel we would have been in a hostel or a 1 star hotel with no view and NO ac. I've stayed in apartments during business trips before (Spain) and always had a good experience.
A far as breakfast goes, as long as you have some coffee for your coffee pot, why not get your caffeine fix in the apartment and stroll down to the corner cafe and enjoy a cornetto and capuccino, and get an early start on sightseeing.
Here's the link to our apartment. Although we haven't actually gone through the meeting-up process, I can certainly vouch for the way this company has done business with us so far.

http://mercuriusrelocations.tripod.c...tals/id86.html
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Jun 30th, 2008, 08:13 AM
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We just returned with a large group, so we used a variety of accomadations. I would recommend emailing these hotels with your requests and seeing what they have to offer you. We got a better rate via email, than booking through the website at one hotel.

Hotel Julia: Has a variety of rooms, singles, doubles, and triples even some apartments. Serves breakfast. Near the Trevi Fountain.

Hotel Golden: A small hotel, oozing with charm. Bathrobes, slippers, fluffy towels and mini bar with extra low rates. Family owned and operated. Full of information. Just around corner from the 5 star hotels on Via Veneto at a fraction of the cost. Only 16 rooms.


Convent Santa Giuliana, near Piazza Navonna and Pantheon. Very clean and pretty, friendly nuns. Breakfast. Many public rooms for getting together and socializing. Rooms are sparse, beds are firm, and some street noise (bring ear plugs). Wonderful location. Many rooms to choose from around 40 E a person. You could get three single rooms or 1 triple room, I don't think the price changes. Plenty of bathrooms, and some rooms have baths, but all have bidets and sinks.
email-Sister kathryn at [email protected]





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Jun 30th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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I can also recommend the Hotel Julia's apartment annex, the Domus Julia. We had a twin room, with one bath, and a shared kitchen/dining room. They could have a configuration for you, that would provide two baths.

The breakfast does include fresh boiled eggs that are hot, with sliced ham, pastries, fruit, and fresh cappuccino. It's a lovely breakfast room and a well-managed and maintained hotel and annex.

http://www.domusjulia.com

If you want two baths, though, it's going to be more expensive. Maybe a convent is the way to go for you three?
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Jun 30th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Thank you, everyone. I will definitely check out the websites you've recommended and Slowtrav. I didn't think of them.

I'm not sure what we'll wind up doing, but the more I think about it, the less time I want to spend in Rome (I was there 30 years ago). I've been to Paris, London, and Amsterdam multiple times, but I just cannot get excited about Rome. Maybe it's because I love the other areas of Italy so much, or maybe my impression is that Rome is noisy, crowded (we'll be there in April), graffiti is all around, and I have to be so careful about being pickpocketed (I wear a money belt). I want vacation to be vacation. What am I missing about Rome?

Of coure, this doesn't settle the issue of three women in one hotel room (LOL).
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Jun 30th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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"What am I missing about Rome?"

The romance.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 12:40 PM
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Hey luv, I can help you out "This would be so much easier if we had a fourth person." I love Rome and I'm available!!!! Though I dare say if I went to Rome without my DH I'd never hear the end of it!

Have a wonderful trip.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Somehow "romance" does not come to mind when traveling with two women. Although, when I was in Rome I met a beautiful Italian man. Always adds to the memories. But, alas, I'm not young and cute any more. The only date I might make is with "David"--and I don't think he'll talk much.

I don't think I mentioned that for one of the women, it is her first time in Italy, hence the need to see Rome.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 01:00 PM
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"my impression is that Rome is noisy, crowded (we'll be there in April), graffiti is all around, and I have to be so careful about being pickpocketed"--
luvtotravel, I had exactly the same fears before going my first time to Rome two years ago.

None of my fears were true!

I am not a big city person, but Rome was fascinating. You do need to know where you're going and how to get there, though. We walked everywhere, took a bit of public transit to get to the Vatican (but walked all the way back). And took one very wild and crazy cab ride home after dinner. If you must ride in a cab, make sure you don't look, or you're drunk, because it's terrifying! A thrill ride, for sure.

Being there in April will be lovely for you. We were there early May, and it was warm but not hot, a riot of deep pink flowers were blooming on the Spanish Steps (and everywhere else), and there weren't many tourists there yet.

Give it another chance, for a minimum of three nights IMHO.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 01:00 PM
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When my friend and I were in Rome last year, we rented an apartment and very much enjoyed our breakfasts--we bought oranges, pastries, yogurt, made fresh coffee, some mornings we had wonderful rolls and most delicious ham.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 02:23 PM
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"But, alas, I'm not young and cute any more."

It doesn't matter to Italian men.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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If you haven't been to Rome for 30 years, give it another chance! Yes, you have to be aware of your surroundings and careful, but you don't need to be paranoid about pickpockets. There is just so much to see there that is wonderful!

I just want to point out that I agree that Santa Giuliana Falconeri convent is in a fabulous location and is a great place to stay. However, all rooms do NOT have a sink and bidet. My single room did not. And there is only one room with ensuite bath, and it's a double. That said, I had never stayed anywhere with a shared bath and was a bit hesitant about doing so, but it really was fine. You won't beat that price for that location, and it has an elevator.
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Jun 30th, 2008, 03:09 PM
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And I should add that the nuns were always able to tell me which bus I needed!
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