Hotels in Rome and Florence

Old Sep 28th, 2004, 05:53 PM
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Hotels in Rome and Florence

My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in May 2005. I am in the process of figuring out what hotels to stay in (we will be 3 nights in Rome and 4 nights in Florence.) Can anyone give me an opinion on the following hotels in Rome:
Intercontinental de la Ville
Raphael Hotel (have read mixed reviews)
Hotel Scalinata di Spagna

What about the J and J Hotel in Florence?
kleinjk is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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We stayed at the Hotel Scalinata di Spagna a couple of years ago, and it was nice- a small, boutique hotel- small rooms, but nicely decorated. I don't remember what we paid for it, but I remember thinking it was fairly expensive for what it was.

We liked the location a lot- at the top of the Spanish steps just across the street from the Hassler. (We liked it even better when we discovered that we could use the elevator in the metro instead of climbing the steps every time!)

A few weeks ago we were back in Rome and stayed at the Albergo del Senato, which was very nice. We walked past the Raphael, and thought it looked great and was in a perfect location. We went into the lobby, and it was very attractive, so when we got home, I looked it up on tripadvisor, and was disappointed at the not-so-good reviews there.

I'd be curious to hear about it if you decide to stay there.
marcy_ is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 08:03 AM
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ira is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Where is the Albergo del Senato located? Was it close to the sights etc.? What sightseeing did you do in Rome? Any restaurant recs?
kleinjk is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Albergo del Senato has a website, you may want to do a little research to help answer your own questions.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 09:09 AM
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Good morning, stayed at the DE LA VILLE, in 96 and 97 and found it to be an excellant hotel, service and etc., were very good, the only problem was at checkout, had difficulty using a visa card to pay the final bill.
Being at the top of the Spanish Steps
resulted in use choosing future hotels at the bottom. Richard of LaGrange Park, Ill.

dickv2 is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 11:14 AM
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We will be in Florence in the next two weeks. Staying at Antica Dimora. A lovely looking and well located small hotel. They have been wonderful to work with during the planning stages. I will post a reveiw when we return.
TC is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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We were debating whether to stay at the Intercontinental or the Raphael and finally decided on the Intercontinental because we got such a better deal there. We got a great weekend rate, you really have to push the reservations person sometimes to come up with these rates but they found one for us. Then we used our Certificate for one free night that we had received by joining their Six Continents Club (now called Ambassador's Club). We also got upgraded with our Six Continents Membeship to a Junior Suite. When we stayed there the furnishings needed to be redone but I have seen it since and it's gorgeous. Our Junior Suite had a very large terrace overlooking Via Sistina. Loved it. The total for the four nights came out to about 1/2 of the Raphael. The hotel has recently, in the last year, been refurbished. It is just beautiful, small, not a large corporate feel to it like some Intercontinentals. Location is absolutely great, next door to the more stuffy Hassler; we walked everywhere except to the Vatican. I have read too many mixed reviews about the Raphael. Hope this helps.
Maggy is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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The Intercontinental chain generally often has very good AMEX special deals or prepaid rates through the web site. I don't know about the Rome one.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2004, 05:52 PM
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we stayed at the Gallery Art Hotel in Florence. It is part of the Feragamo group of hotels. (they have three in Florence). I would highly recommend this hotel. The location is perfect. It is in on a little side street just a minutes walk to the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchia. The lobby is very contemporary which isnt my taste but the rooms are very comfortable with wonderful beds and linens. It was very quiet for sleeping.
In Rome we stayed at the Albergo del Senato. It is a very pretty little hotel in a great location. Walking distance to everything. It was amazing to look out our window at the Pantheon. The room was fine but not nearly as nice as the Gallery Art in Florence. It was small and clean. The bathroom was very tight. There was water running noise from other rooms and we could hear if anyone was in the hall. The staff are very helpful. The rooftop bar is wonderful overlooking the roof tops of Rome. I would recommend this hotel but if I went back I would want a little more.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 09:50 PM
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We stayed at the Rapheal last year, wished we could have gotten a room at the Senato. We felt help at the Raphael was glad to take your money and even happier to say good bye when you left.The Pantheon in our opinion, was a better place to be for dinning and shopping. We've been to Rome 4 times. Next time my money will go to hotel near the Pantheon. Good luck
shelleyw is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2004, 05:29 AM
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We stayed at Antica Dimora the beginning of Sept. Lovely small hotel with a very helpful staff. We enjoyed it very much. The rooms were furnished nicely and had great A/C. The only drawback was I found them located a bit far from the main tourist area. Other than that the place for the price is a real gem
DianeP is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2004, 10:08 AM
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We stayed at the Raphael 2 years ago. It was a fantastic hotel right aroind the corner from the Piazza.

Right outside of tehe hotel is sort of like an alley. When we were there they were having a heat wave and it was n the 90s. The bags of garbage right out front were very smelly.

The location of the hotel was great, but the "street" right out front, not so nice. Inside it was fantastic and we found the help very friendly and cooperative.

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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 10:20 AM
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While we know someone who regularly stays at the Raphael, I would choose a hotel near the pantheon..the Albergo Del Senato, the Albergo Santa Chiara or the one we have been staying at, and like very much, the Nazionale Montecitorio.
Florence, and it's center, is so much smaller that location isn't quite so important. That said, I would probably opt for a "quiet" location NOT too near the Duomo, Santa Maria Novella or the Ponte Vecchio. We have stayed at Hotel Marios on Via Faenza and would again.
iluvitaly is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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I am a frequent visitor to Rome and a reuglar business traveller to Florence. IME the Pantheon area of ROme is my favorite. The Del Senato is a very good choice if you do not need large rooms. For a splurge, the Grane Hotel de la Minerve is a real treat. I have not heard good things about the Raphael. The Marriot Grand Flora is a large and very pretty hotel on Via Veneto and the Westin Excelsior is gorgeous as well.

In Florence, I have several recommendations. If I had unlimited budget, I would choose the Westin Excelsior on Piazza Ognisanti. I spent a fabulous week there a few years ago. For a more intimate and still refined experience, I enjoy the Antia Torre Tournabuoni. Request a room with a private terrace. I like to be near the Arno and the Continentale is a nice choice there as is the Degli Orafi.

It is a most wonderful city and you will have a fabulous time!
kfusto is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2004, 06:39 AM
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Hi kfusto,
thanks for the advice. We actually found a great internet rate for the Regency hotel in Florence. It is alittle further away from the center (they say about 12 minute walk) but we don't mind. I am still researching Rome. We might do the de la Ville Intercontinental or the Albergo del Senato. My husband is concerned that the Senato will be very loud because of the location on the Piazza. What do you think?
kleinjk is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Re the Regency, it is a good thing to be out of the center when the crowds are there. We stay at the San Gallo Palace in the high season just to avaid the masses. I am sure it's a good choice. There is a great market near there, Saint Ambrosino, which is much more "local" than Mercato Central. We always visit while there.

We had a room directly on Pantheon Square with large, shuttered windows so we could look out over the Pantheon. I am a very light sleeper and noise disturbs me but I had no problems here. The square is pedestrian only so the main noises are people and an occasional scooter on the street directly in front of the hotel.

I really love this part of town and the Minerve is one of my favorite hotels in the world so if you can find a decent rate on the internet, I would highly recommend it. I am not a big fan of the area around the Spanish Steps but this is personal preference. I have been visiting Rome since 1974 and love the city but have certainly developed my own preferences and opinions.

If you'd like, I have some favorite trattorias in both cities and am happy to share.

We plan to be living in Italy in less than 4 years and I am already counting the days!
kfusto is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2004, 11:24 AM
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Hi kfusto,
Looks like we will book at the Senato...Got an email from the hotel with a rate of 250E. Checked out the Minerve on several websites and they said not avail. for our dates (May 05). It looks beautiful though.

We would love some restaurants recs. We will be celebrating our anniversary and thought that we would do at least one "special" meal in each city. Someone replied that Villa Fiesole (florence)is very romantic. Also mentioned a place called Spiritu Divino in Rome.

We are also considering doing a guided tour of at least the Vatican. Very interested in art history and want to make sure we get the full scope of the place. We are thinking about Through Eternity Tours or Enjoy Rome...Any thoughts?

One more question...I am curious...Will you be retiring in Rome or did you find a job over there? I am always after my husband to try and get transferred abroad for a few years.

kleinjk is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2004, 07:09 AM
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Good! You will enjoy the Senato. Ask for a room with a view right over the Pantheon. I will look and see if I made a note of the last room number we had as it was truly spectacular!

Also suggest you get acquainted with a site that has great last minute deals: is a booking engine that deals with empty hotel space a maximu of twenty days prior. It is a great site and all the hotels with empty rooms post there at substantial discounts. I use it often but always have a backup somewhere just in case.

Re our plan to live in Italy, I made that decision at 16YO and it's just taken me a while to get with the program! My husband and I started a leather business last year. He is a third generation shoe maker and I have 20 years of sales and marketing experience, great taste and a huge love for Italy, which is where my grandparents were all born.

We have our own logo line of high end handmade briefcases, handbags, etc. These are all crafted for us in Florence by a famly I have known for years. I have been working towards this goal since 1996 and we opened the doors to our first retail store last week. Our things are gorgeous and I know we will be successful!

This business affords us the opportunity to travel to Florence (our Italian base) 4 times a year and we have made many friends there. We will definitely not settle in Rome, more likely Tuscany or Ligurgia. Each time we visit, we try and spend time looking around to see where we want to buy. In January, we are looking more around Tuscany and in June we will go to the northern part of the country near the Dolomiti.

The plan is to buy an inn perhaps, unless we are successful enough to just retire, period. That works, too!

I have my colleciton of addresses at home for the restaurants there and will pull them together and post them next week. Feel free to email me directly if you wish [email protected]. I have a few all time favorites and some that are jsut for special occasions. I also have a wonderful car and driver service that I have used for years. A really special outing and one I highly recommend is a night tour of Rome with your own car and driver. I will get that to you as well.

You will absolutely love Italy! I have travelled all over the world for business and pleasure and, for me, there is simply nowhere that compares.

kfusto is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Thanks for the reply...Your business sounds wonderful! If you don't mind...I will email you directly with lots more questions.
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