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Hotel Romae, Rome, Italy

We stayed at the Hotel Romae for 3 nights when we took part in the Rome Marathon in 2012. Before we go into details, here’s a short film that I made on arriving at the hotel. It’s not meant to be a glossy film showing the accommodation at it’s best, just an honest first impression on what the average visitor might encounter on arrival.

Location - Hotel Romae is at Via Palestro 49, a 10 minute walk from Rome’s main Terminus Train Station. It took me just under 40 minutes to reach the train station by direct bus from Rome Ciampino Airport. If you want to get around the city by underground then there is a station very near the hotel. If like me you want to walk then the main sites are less than 25 minutes away from the hotel. There’s several restaurants nearby including one recommended place right next door (Mamma Angela’s – more about this place later) and also a ‘Conad’ supermarket up towards Terminus Station if you want to stock up on picnic food for lunches. The area seemed very safe – day and night – and friendly.

Check In/Reception - Check in was efficient and took less than 3 minutes. I received my room key card, a city map, tokens for breakfast (to be taken over the road at Yellow Bar), a free drinks token for Mamma Angelas and an internet cable for use in the room (I had my own laptop and there was also wi-fi available. If I hadn’t have had my own computer, there was one to use for free in the tea room, which was just next to reception).

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The staff spoke superb English, were very friendly and had the answers to all the questions I asked, such as, ‘Where’s the best ice cream bar in Rome?’ (If you’re interested, the answer is that there are so many! But Della Palma in via della Maddalena is a very good bet). The artwork on show in reception, the hallways and the rooms is worth a mention; there are plenty of Roman scenes that are excellently painted and easy on the eye.

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The Room - My room, number 15, was spacious and glowed with a very cool minimalist style. The decor was mostly white, except for the green floor tiles and curtains and a classy, mainly-blue painting, above the sofa.

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I really liked the rounded edges of certain parts of the ceiling, and the mirrors. Small touches, but they added to the overall comforting, soft feeling of the room. The bed and sofa were extremely clean and comfortable, as you’d expect. As soon as I lay down I was asleep; no issues with lumpy mattresses here. There was complimentary fruit, a safe and a minibar, a variety of soft lighting options and a small table where I could set up my computer.

The telephone had it’s charges very clearly displayed; 1 euro per minute for overseas calls, and .50 cents a minute for local.

I really loved spending time in the bathroom. Just the look of it, first of all. Such brilliant green tiles! Luminous, almost. The shower was powerful and hot; there were plenty of toiletries and a huge towel.

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The bath was square and deep. When I sat in it the water came up to my shoulders, usually it reaches my mid chest in other baths.

The TV had about 20 Italian Channels and the facility to pay for Sky Sports/Movies if I wanted (I didn’t).

There was a little noise when the people in the room next door showered, I guess it was their boiler, but otherwise there was no traffic noise, or any other type of noise, at all. Lucky I had my alarm really, as the mornings were completely silent, even though I laid in until about 8.30 most days.

Here are a couple of photos of other rooms, to give more of an idea of what to expect.

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The Restaurants - The Hotel Romae doesn’t have a restuarant onsite. Instead it’s owners also own the ‘Yellow’ bar across the road, where you get your breakfast, and the highly regarded ‘Mamma Angelas’ next door.

Yellow Bar is decorated with old film posters and art deco fittings. The barman, a friendly Australian, took my order and it was with me about 5 minutes later. The standard continental offering was 3 slices of toast with honey, croissant, cheese, jam, a kiwi fruit, yoghurt and orange juice, coffee as well if you wanted. It was fine; the toast was hot, everything tasted good and it wasn’t too heavy on the stomach.

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I ate at Mamma Angela’s several times. Always the food – much of it traditionally Roman – was of a high standard, served very quickly, and I didn’t find it too expensive. For example, a very creamy, tasty carbonara with a bottle of fizzy water cost 11 euro. They also gave a glass of prosecco as I arrived, and another of lemoncello as I left, complimentary, which was a very welcoming gesture. The waiters all spoke English and weren’t at all pushy. It was a pleasure to eat there. Check the place out of Trip Advisor for more details, its very well spoken of on that website as well.

The Hotel Romae does have a small tea room, where the communal computer is, as well as a sofa and the day’s newspaper laid out. Guests are welcome there anytime to take tea, coffee or juice free of charge, and relax.

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In Summary - The owners are doing a great job of creating a pleasant scene in this part of town. There’s a really welcoming and relaxed atmosphere in and around the hotel and cafes that I haven’t found in previous visits to Rome (actually, it’s rare to find this in any city nowadays). The owners are also just starting up a cycle hire/tour business, offering the chance to see little known parts of Rome on two wheels. For those who prefer to walk, they also offer regular free guided tours of the city. The feel of the whole operation is of an efficiently run, good value, almost backpacker-style outfit, but with the upmarket accommodation option of Hotel Romae thrown in (Bar Yellow also offers cheaper, hostel style rooms).

The Hotel Romae is a very popular place, and rightly so; if you decide to stay here, do make a reservation. Several times whilst I was in reception or the nearby tea room potential guests would arrive asking if there was a room available. There never was. All in all, the Romae is a great hotel for a very reasonable price, and Highly Recommended.

For more information on Hotel Romae, please click www.hotelromae.com

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