Rome: Apartment vs Hotel

Aug 29th, 2007, 12:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 63
Rome: Apartment vs Hotel

Hubby and I are ending our November 07 Italy vacation with 4 nights in Rome. I have found an apartment that I like in Trastavere (behind Santa Maria) for 100 Euro a night (plus clean up). Now that I am getting ready to book, I am experiencing some second thoughts, outlined below in no particular order:

-With only 4 nights, is Trastavere too far from the main sights?
-Carrying around and then paying that much in cash sucks.
-Will we miss the concierge services of a hotel for tours, etc? (not that I've really used that before)
-Will an apartment be less convenient for a party of 2 than say for a large family?
-I wasn't able to find a review for this specific apt on Slowtravel but the many of the negative ones were on apts from the agency, Sleep in Italy.

The positive is that I really want to keep our lodging cost close to 100e so the price is right - and the apt appears very nice in the pics with a terrace.

I appreciate any comments on my dilemma!
dmdevl is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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That location is a little farther than I would want to be, but if you like walking, lots of people like Trastavere.

Less than 400 Euro really isn't all that much cash. You don't have to carry it around, just get it from an ATM before checking into the apartment.

Only you can say whether or not you are comfortable with no concierge or clerk to help with tours, restaurant reservations, help with directions, etc. Is it your first time in Rome? If so, you might miss those things more than someone who is familiar with the city.

I don't see how an apartment could be less convenient for two.

I just booked an apartment with Sleep in Italy for the fourth time. Never had a problem.
SusanP is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Re your questions,
1) Check the site
to find out about the tram line into central Rome if it's too far to walk to some of the things you want to see. Hit the button calcola il percosa and then select english. Give the address of your apartment and some other location, and you'll see how far you need to walk to catch the tram. The tram takes you to Largo Torre Argentina on Corso Victor Emanuelle, and from there you can take buses all over Rome.
2) Find out if you can pay the rent in Euro denomination travelers checks. You can get them from American Express. My wife and I did this last May to avoid carrying a large amount of cash.
3) Search in this forum for tours in Rome if you need them. Also, contact your rental agency to be sure that there's a list of nearby stores in your apartment. One of the big money savers in renting an apartment is eating some of your meals there.
4) I don't see why renting an apartment for just the two of you should cause any problems. Even the devoted spouses sometimes need a little privacy, and you get more of it in an apartment than in a hotel.
5) Although you didn't ask this question, it's usually a good idea to have some means of phoning in case of an emergency or to make reservations. If your apartment doesn't have a phone, and most of them don't, you'll need to use cell phones. Using them in Europe is a big problem, and you should search this forum for posts on cell phones and sim cards if you're not familiar with cell phone calling in Europe.

Good luck!
sjj is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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You could get the cash when you land, like lots of us do. I only missed the maid cleaning the room daily, when staying in an apt. My husband and I rented from SIL in January and had no issues with them. Just bring your documentation. Can you post a like to the apt.? Part of the fun of an apt is finding little grocery stores to fill up the fridge and buy soap etc. Makes you feel like a local.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Really once you cross the Ponte Sisto bridge you are almost in the heart of everything. I think you'll love it.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:27 PM
Original Poster
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Susan, thanks for your points and also the info that you have booked with them before. It is our first time.

Sjj, thanks for the great tips. I will definely look at the tram website. We are 40ish and pretty spry so walking will be a plus to work off all the eating we plan to do!

Sandi, here is the link to the apt:

I think that I am second guessing myself a little with this last lodging arrangement. Thanks for the great advice!!!

dmdevl is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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I had the same reservations about going with an apt. We are leaving in September and just booked one that looks great. We figure we could end up at a horrible hotel just as easily as a horrible apt. If anyone has been to let me know - and please only say good things as i just sent in my deposit
raychill is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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here's a thread on transportation from Trastevere

the #8 tram goes across Ponte Garibaldi right up to Largo Argentina, a central transportation hub.

there is a tourist information booth at Piazza Sonnino right near the apartment which should be able to give you all the maps and info you need. If you want to book tours there are lots of threads on the forum giving suggestions.

the apartment looks nice--you'll have a lot more space than in a hotel room

I think you'll be fine with the apartment and will enjoy Trastevere.

Having said all this I decided on an apartment in the ghetto area instead of Trastevere because it was more centrally located. If you are really concerned about location you could look for something closer to the Piazza Navona/piazza della Rotunda area.
Vttraveler is online now  
Aug 29th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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Posts: 1,392
I had the same reservations. In fact, at one point on this site I identified myself as a 'hotel girl.' But then we rented our first apt in June to save money and now we are hooked. It was cheaper and frankly nicer than the hotels we could afford. Go for it!
rbnwdln is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 05:46 PM
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I've been puzzling this too, and not because we haven't done rentals in Italy before. We have.

But: we will probably end our trip in Rome and need to be at the airport in the morning. I don't want to stay near the train station, and if we are in a hotel, we can at least rely on them for a car or taxi to the airport or Termini. Our flight is early in the morning, so I am not sure if an apartment works in that scenario.

Anyway, it's something to think about.

tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Aug 29th, 2007, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,602
We used sleepinitaly in May with no problems. We will be using them again in March 2007. Both apartments are in the Trastevere. We loved this area of Rome. We had no problems getting around, by foot or by tram and bus. We never used a cab. We did use romelimousineshuttle to get from FCO as I didn't want to carry alot of cash on public transportation. That was just my preference. Apartments are the way to stay when traveling (in my opinion).
opaldog is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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tuscanlifeedit, I have had very early flights out of Rome while staying in an apartment. I just book a shuttle. I've used four times. Great service. They will pick you up any time of the day or night.
SusanP is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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I love staying in apartments, but that's me. I'm not shy and while I appreciate concierge servies, I do like to try (futile though my attmepts may be) to do things myself. I've stayed in several apartments in Rome and have always enjoyed it.

Do ask about the bedroom-to-street ratio. This is a ground floor apartment in a lively area with a lively and noisy nightlife. Could be a problem. Unless I'm missing something, which is possible.

Have a great trip. Rome is just the best. It really is.
Leely is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 11:29 AM
Original Poster
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Thanks, Everyone, for the advice!

I booked the apartment. I am sure we will enjoy our trip either way and will likely not be spending a lot of time inside a room anyway.
dmdevl is offline  

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