Rome Hotels--Location vs. Value? Help!

Feb 18th, 2001, 02:47 AM
  #1  
Len
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Rome Hotels--Location vs. Value? Help!

Ok, I know I am probably reserving too many places and being over paranoid, but it is because I am bringing my Mom back to Italy where she was born for the first time in 42 years. I want to stay in the middle of 'The beauty' of Rome with the history and the restaurants. I have reservations at the following maybe you who have frequented these places can suggest based on location and value. I first booked a room at the Farnese which is over near the Vatican. Fodors rated it very highly as a 4 star but people have told me that I don't want to be that far from downtown and the sights. So I added The Raphael to the list. I booked two double rooms because along with my Mom, my sister and her husband are coming. The rate was 650,000 per night per double at the Raphael. I know it's nice but is it worth $300/night. Then I added Hotel Nazionale a Montecitorio to the list. This is another 4 star on Piazzo Montecitorio near the Italian Parliment. It looks gorgeous but again 560,000 lire per double per night. Is it $265/night good? And Finally I just added The pantheon to my list of reservations. They are running a special for May when I will be there for a double with breakfast 500,000 lire. This is also rated as a 4 star, and for that price and considering it is right between Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain, can I go wrong? AHHHH! Someone help!


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Feb 18th, 2001, 03:44 AM
  #2  
gluck
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My budget precludes hotels in the 4 star category so I can't comment on the value of your candidates, but I wouldn't worry about being too far from anything; Rome is very easy to get around in, and were I travelling with my mother I'd probably factor in the cost of occasional taxis. Even using the subway, the Vatican stop is about 20 mins from Termini, ditto the Forum or Colosseum.


 
Feb 18th, 2001, 04:20 AM
  #3  
Ed
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I'd certainly pass up staying over near the Vatican. As a long time visitor to Rome that makes no sense to me at all.

Any of the others should be fine.

But it does sound like the prices bother you.

So, are you going to Rome to see and enjoy the sights, sounds, people and food of that marvelous city or stay in a 4-star hotel?

If the former and prices in 4-star hotels that will keep in the thick of things are too high, choose a 3-star.

If you'd rather be in a chic 4-star hotel you can afford, regardless of inconvenience to sights and whether near recommendable restaurants, take the Farnese.

There's a reason location and price don't go together. About the same reason they say one can't have ones cake and eat it too.

I'd guess the Santa Chiara (***), if they have space, would satisfy you nicely, and the Genio (****) almost as well-situated may be a better buy, though you'd have to check with them for their March rate ... again, if they have room.

Ed
 
Feb 18th, 2001, 05:20 AM
  #4  
sandi
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Ed,

I don't know why you keep saying that (at least I think it was you that I've seen mention this before). I know there are many hotels in great places in Rome, but staying near the Vatican is no big deal. We were there for 3 days and were about 4 blocks from the Vatican and still walk all over the city. We saw everything on our "must-see" list. I thought it was great.
 
Feb 18th, 2001, 07:12 AM
  #5  
Ed
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I keep saying that, Sandi, because staying near St. Peter's and Vatican puts one at the extreme western edge of what's interesting in the city. That makes little sense to me.

Ditto for staying north and east of the train station ... it's at the extreme eastern edge of what's interesting.

That's not to say that one can't walk about ... one can. One can also walk from Brooklyn to the Empire State Building in NYC, but that doesn't mean I'd recommend staying in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan on a tourist visit to NYC.

It's just flat true that one is, on average, closer to all the important sights and sites, has a broader choice of recommendable restaurants, enjoys better access to transport, if one lodges more or less centrally in the Centro Storico (historic center).

To give advice to the contrary is to mislead new visitors to Rome.

Ed
 
Feb 18th, 2001, 07:18 AM
  #6  
Gina
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I agree with Ed. Staying at the Julia, just behind the Quirinale and near the Trevi Fountain, I was quite literally within easy walking distance of pretty much everything: 5 minutes from the Trevi, 15 minutes from the Forum and the Colosseum, 15 minutes from the Borghese Galleries, 2 minutes from Palazzo Barberini, 10-15 minutes from the train station, 10 minutes from Piazza di Spagna, 20 minutes from Campo dei Fiori...it couldn't have been more convenient.

By comparison, I did walk back from the Vatican one evening. It was a doable walk, but a *long* one, and I don't think I would have wanted to do that walk every day to get to the things I wanted to see. Staying near the Vatican may be convenient for some particular types of itineraries, but for a general visit to Rome, I think the Centro Storico would be much handier.
 
Feb 18th, 2001, 11:42 AM
  #7  
gluck
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Len, it occurs to me that I should have first asked you to clarify what your version of 'too far' is.

We have fond recollections of our evenings spent strolling in Rome, followed by a hop on the subway to our hotel which we usually reached in about 10 to 15 mins. But I realize that this just wouldn't suit many people, who like the idea of being able to walk, door to door, from their hotel to the restaurant or historical sight in the same amount of time.

In our case, budget was a much greater concern than for you, so for us, our hotel delivered 'value' since it delivered our most important objective; a quiet, comfortable hotel for about $125.

As Ed wisely pointed out, when Rome is out there waiting for you, hotel ambiance is less of a priority. But, all things considered, the more convenient the location, the higher the price.
 
Feb 18th, 2001, 04:16 PM
  #8  
nancy
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Len,
I bet these answers haven't done much to help you make up your mind!, have they!
But,this
is what happens here. you get some really good, and varied viewpoints.

This trip sounds like it is a really special one for your mom, and probably not one that you will be repeating soon/often.
So, if you can afford it, and want to be right in the center, go with the Raphael,( and relax.)
If you guys do not mind taking a bus or subway , or walking, then stay in the Farnese.
I think that both places sound great, and I am sure you will be comfortable where ever you end up.
I understand you wanting to make this a "perfect" trip for your mom, and that is a really sweet thing.
But, I think your mom will be so happy, that the hotel will not be as important
So, take a deep breath, make a choice, But don't forget to cancel the other places!!! (you don't want to be charged for a no-show)
And if you can't make up your mind, do what my daughter always does;
Inka Binka Bottle of Ink ,
which is the modern version of;
Einy, Meiny, Miney Moe.

Have a great trip, and lots of fun with your mom!
 
Feb 19th, 2001, 05:34 AM
  #9  
eleanor
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Check out the hotel at this website: www.italyhotel.com/it/roma/pantheonview/

It's in a great location and the price is right!

El
 
Feb 19th, 2001, 08:25 AM
  #10  
chris
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El
I am so glad you recommended this B&B to Len. I just booked there for mid March and it is a great price for that location. Have you actually stayed there? I would love to hear details from anyone that has. I'll have a great time no matter where I stay but planning and the anticipation are way too much fun
Thankyou
 
Feb 19th, 2001, 06:24 PM
  #11  
Len
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Thanks everyone, and especially you Nancy--As always your advice is always fantastic!
 
Feb 20th, 2001, 01:00 PM
  #12  
carol
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Hi Len,

Here's my two-cents worth: the Raphael has a very good reputation as a really classy, elegant and intimate hotel. It's on its own quiet lovely little pizza in the heart of Rome and I think it's a really special place. I stayed right across the piazza from the Hotel Nazionale, which is where all the members of the national assembly stay, and it will have more Italian and European guests than Americans. It's more of a businessman's hotel than the Raphael and I think, for the money, the Raphael is much more special. Go for it!
 
Feb 24th, 2001, 01:14 PM
  #13  
Melinda
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Rome is not very big area-wise. Anyone who is used to walking 2 or 3 miles a day can get around on foot easily there. I think where you stay has more to do with cost and how much you like to walk.
 
Feb 25th, 2001, 05:48 AM
  #14  
Bunny
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I read fairly recently (w/i the month - althought I'm not sure when the post was written, as I pulled up the info doing a "search") that the Raphael was "connected". The post said there were also other hotels in this "situation", but didn't say which ones. Does anyone have the real scoop on this? True or not?
 
Feb 25th, 2001, 07:50 AM
  #15  
jim bauerlein
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again asking if anyone has stayed at the B&B Pantheon to give some specific feedback.also how is the underground to get around??
 
Feb 25th, 2001, 12:35 PM
  #16  
Capo
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We're staying our first four nights at a pensione near the Spanish Steps, and then we're moving to a B&B near Piazza della Liberta, which is across the Tiber from the Piazza del Popolo. I ideally wanted to stay as close as possible to the Piazza Navona, in order to be within *very brief* walking distance of most sights in the Centro Storico but we couldn't find anything that had availability in that area in our price range (under 200,000 lira for a double) during the time we're going to be there. From looking at a map, it seems like staying near the Pizza della Liberta -- while not IN the Centro Storico -- will still be a relatively short walk (although not as short as I'd prefer) to most of the sights. And, we're *hoping* that area (called the Prati, I believe) will also be relatively quieter at night.

Anyway Ed, when you say you don't recommend staying "near the Vatican", do you mean *very* near the Vatican, or would you consider the Prati district (and, specifially the area near the Piazza della Liberta where we're staying) to be near the Vatican, in the sense that you'd not recommend staying there? Thanks!
 
Feb 25th, 2001, 10:56 PM
  #17  
Celeste
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I've booked three nights at the Monte di Pieta B&B near Campo dei Fiori for 200,000L per night in May. Right now the exchange rate is 2100L to the dollar so I feel that's a great price for the area.
 
Feb 26th, 2001, 04:32 AM
  #18  
gluck
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Jim, a picture is worth a thousand words; try to get a hold of a map of Rome (most guidebooks to Italy have one.) You will see that there are two main subway lines, one from Termini to Vatican, the other from Termini to Colosseum and points beyond. In the older section of Rome, there are buses. Both subway and buses are easy to use.
 
Feb 26th, 2001, 04:53 AM
  #19  
Ellen
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Hi we are staying at the Valdiere in Rome and can not find nay pros/cons on this hotel anywhere. Help! We heard it was nice but find nothing. Why?
 
Feb 26th, 2001, 08:16 AM
  #20  
pam
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For Ellen: Are you sure it's not the Valadier? A google search returned many hits for Valadier in Rome.

For Jim Bauerlein: The Metro is easy to use but the stops are few and far between. Buses will get you much nearer but are more complicated to me.

This is purely a semantic point, but indulge me or stop reading here. In my opinion, value=some combination of location, price, and amenities, and "value" is very subjective. Ed & Sandi's discussion, for example, of staying near the Vatican is purely a matter of the value each of them places on that interplay of location/price/amentities. For me, location + quiet are paramount in Rome, but everyone will have different priorities. I'm willing (but just barely) to pay 330,000 for a silent double room w/ bath right in the middle of everything. The price is a bit high, but I know the place and that comfort level is worth quite a bit to me.

 

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