For a relatively cheap city break deal my friend and I thought that the location of this Hotel would be suitable for travelling around Roma to the various sites, being a short walk from the Stazione Termini, and were aware that the surrounding area would not be especially pretty. As expected, the Hotel was a decent distance from the nearest Metro station, a short walk from the Termini and close to a number of bus/tram stops but in a pretty nondescript area of town. However, the location was not the issue.
On arriving at the Hotel (having initially found locating it slightly infuriating) we were informed that there was a 'slight problem' with the room, and that our room was not accessible by the lift and the staircase was not complete. Confused, we followed the concierge into the lift where we were taken to the third floor. The concierge then took a deep breath before hoisting our two suitcases through what can only be described as a Health & Safety inspector's nightmare. We were led through a hole in the wall; the door way had literally been smashed out of the concrete wall. We then crossed over the open lift shaft which was covered merely by a plank of wood and a rug emblazoned with 'Hotel Best Roma ****' . The staircase was incredibly narrow and consisted of bare concrete blocks lined by a wooden banister consisting of various planks of wood of all shapes and sizes whacked together with one nail. I was reluctant to hold onto the rickety 'banister' for fear of riddling my hand full of splinters, not to mention plummeting to one of the basement floors below. Of course, we could not lean onto the other wall for fear of being covered in plaster. When we finally made this descent into the hell that was far from what the website had mentioned in its talk of a 'new facelift' we were taken to the room where a piece of plastic pinged off of the door frame before the concierge promptly tore it off. He gave us a jolly warning in the form of 'I hope you have life insurance' before chuckling to himself and disappearing. Once inside the room we were delighted to find various wires hanging out of sockets and a glorious view of the construction site that was the garden area. It was only then that we realised if there was to be an emergency we would actually be trapped in the concrete basement, nails and all, and of course there were no fire exits labelled as they didn't exist.
After much complaining/rowing with the concierge after we were told that there were no other rooms available until the following morning despite the fact he then checked in a couple to a new room out of the no mans land below, and then being awoken by a builder at the window and the harmonious sound of sawing at 730am, we were finally given a new room which was actually accessible and very nice inside.
Had the Hotel mentioned they were still completing huge renovation work on their website this might not have been such a hideous shock and would have been our decision as to whether to risk it. Instead, what could potentially be a nice, cheap hotel with good transport links does not seem quite ready to deal with any customers for a good few months yet. Beware of the basement.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The HOTEL BEST ROMA is located in the heart of Rome, between the Colosseum and the cathedrals of San Giovanni in Laterano and Santa Maria Maggiore, at a short distance from the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain and the stunning Piazza di Spagna. Completed in September 2008, this fully renewed four-star hotel combines beauty, quality, and style in such a way as to complement the glorious city around it. The HOTEL BEST ROMA is the perfect place to stay in Rome, thanks to its welcoming atmosphere, the elegance of its premises, its lovely terrace and inner courtyard. Our staff will provide you with flawless service, and will be very happy to meet your requests. Fully refurbished and made with attention to the smallest details, the HOTEL BEST ROMA offers its guests antique-style rooms with air conditioning. Amenities include satellite LCD televisions, DVD players (on request), writing tables, Wi-Fi connection, minibars, and direct-dial phones. In our marble bathrooms you can find bathrobes, slippers, phones and hair dryers. The HOTEL BEST ROMA also offers you peace of mind in terms of security and privacy for you and your family, with modern anti-intruder systems, 24-hour staff, safety deposit boxes, soundproofing and fire alarms. The HOTEL BEST ROMA provides its guests with Wireless Internet connection in every room and in all common areas. Guests can enjoy a complimentary continental buffet breakfast each morning. The hotel is located within a set of very charming gardens, offering its guests a place to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Guests can also access a magnificent outdoor terrace to enjoy the tranquility of a warm Roman evening. ... more less
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