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karrie Jan 13th, 2003 02:51 PM

Hotel Panda or Hotel Smeraldo which would you choose?
Hi, I am considering either of these two hotels for our trip to Rome next fall. I have read good things about both and both are in our price range. Which would you choose? Any comments from anyone who has stayed at either would be great. I think my main concern is the location. Is one better than the other? Thanks in advance.<BR>Karrie

Mark Jan 13th, 2003 05:33 PM

Hi Karrie!<BR>I haven't stayed at the Hotel Panda, but I just topped an old post containing my comments about the Hotel Smeraldo. Air conditioning and noise may or may not be factors if you're there in the fall. All the same, I wasn't terribly impressed with the Smeraldo.<BR>Buona fortuna!<BR>Mark

Vita Jan 13th, 2003 06:35 PM

I stayed at Pensione Panda on my first trip to Rome in October 2001. I haven't stayed at Hotel Smeraldo, but I stayed at a B&amp;B around the corner last November. Pensione Panda was great and satisfied all of my needs. The rooms were small, but it was clean, quiet, and fairly conventient to all the sites. I walked practically everywhere during both my stays. I'm not familiar, with Hotel Smeraldo, but if people return positive comments, I'd stay there because of the location.

karrie Jan 14th, 2003 01:52 PM


Kay Jan 14th, 2003 04:38 PM

We liked the location of Hotel Smeraldo, but it is a little difficult to find first off, it's in a maze of narrow streets. There is a map on their website, print it off and take it with you. We stayed in 2 different rooms there, one was small with a very small bathroom, the other was older and a bit worn, in a different section of the hotel, larger bedroom and bathroom though. We found the front-desk service to range from indifferent to dreadful. The area is great, the hotel so-so.<BR>Kay

Amanda Jan 15th, 2003 12:51 PM

I've stayed at both. If location is your top priority, I preferred the area around the Campo. Lots of shops, cafes, locals, restaurants, etc. There's a cafe across the alley from the front door that was the gathering place for all on our trip. However, the rooms were dull, dull, dull. Our room had the feel of a dorm room. Adequate but nothing nice about it - run down feeling. The Panda was much nicer in that it is newly renovated, marble everywhere, and clean. However, I find that the Spanish Steps area, while beautiful and exciting at times, doesn't have as many locals roaming about and there aren't as many small, local shops - more up-scale boutique shops. Plus, it's a futher walk to other sites. That's my opinion but I'm sure there are loads of people who prefer the SS area. Good luck.

PhilF24 Feb 2nd, 2003 09:23 AM

Do yourself a favor and stay away from the Hotel Smeraldo. The room we were assigned (room 27) was a little larger than a closet, right on the street with constant street traffic. We salvaged our Rome visit by moving to the Mecenate Palace Hotel, which we were able to get for about the same price as the Smeraldo. This place has a great location, but is an absolute dump. The staff is rude, and wanted to charge us an additional night for our move -- they backed off that stance, but were not pleasant people to deal with.<BR><BR>A better choice in the Campo dei Fiori area is the Residenza Farnese -- we will be returning thee for 5 nights in April 2003.

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