Unlike other popular Italian cites like Venice and Florence, it was not an easy task finding the right Hotel in Rome that offers our top criterion for a good hotel stay - Central Location, Quiet for a good night's sleep & Italian charm. And of course, for people like us who are from the Tropics, air-conditioning was of utmost importance to us.
Having cancelled a nearby Hotel in order to stay at this Hotel Nazionale last minute, we thought the Hotel oozes much more Italian charm. Whenever we are in Italy, I will try to stay in classically designed Hotels. And from the reviews here, rooms were reportedly more spacious, and I am glad to say that rooms are indeed bigger here; common areas are also classically beautiful!
Took a cab from the Termini and arrived at Via del Corso's Palazzo Chigi (the PM's office) and the Hotel Nazionale was easy to find - just cross the road and walk straight on! Having requested a higher floor room facing the Hotel's back, we were shown to a 4th floor Executive room, facing other houses' roof tops and courtyards. A glimpse of St Peter's was in the distance. Not facing any roads or the Piazza Monte Citorio, the room was indeed very quiet for a good night's sleep.
Our room was indeed very spacious, it is certainly the size of a suite by any Itatian city's standards - right beside the comfy bed was a closet room, a dressing table within a wall niche (nice for putting on make-up!) and a spacious bathroom with jacuzzi tub and shower. Separated by a door to the bedroom was a nice walk-in area and sitting room with 3 seater sofa bed, dinning table, coffee table, armchair and an office table.
Though everything in the room was not brand new, everything worked and there was sufficient lighting for reading. Toiletries including body lotion and a safe were available. There were 2 TVs with English channels, good for catching up with news happening around the Globe. Breakfast choice was the widest among the 6 hotels in this trip, enabling us to enjoy something different during our 2 nights stay - perfectto!
Location wise, this Hotel is also very centrally located - 5 minutes to the Trevi and Piazza Navona, 10 minutes to the Spanish Steps for branded shopping and Il Vittoriale for the Capitoline Museums etc. But the closest supermarket we could find was at Forno's, a shop right beside the Trevi, 5 minutes away. Maybe there were other closer shops around the Hotel to buy drinks and fruits, but we did not come across any during our stay?
All Reception staff that we had come into contact with was knowledgeable, kind and helpful. Special mention must be made of Sig. Yanni, who had gone out of his way to help converse with the owner of a handicraft shop in Spoleto, to help to send our purchased items to the Hotel. Grazie mille, Yanni, we cannot thank you enough!
So, after all the praises, why still the 4 star ratings … Frankly, if not for the air-conditioning issue, we could have given this Hotel a 6 stars ratings if we were allowed to do so. Yes, from beginning to the end, we were so pleased with this Hotel that my husband had said that after numerous trips to the Eternal City, this was the Hotel in Rome that we should be returning to and I fully concur with him.
Our stay was at the beginning of the autumn season. In the day, I could still see ladies walking around in T-shirts, sleeveless blouses, baring their cleavages and sweating. Night time temperature was still around 20 or 21 (note: Rome is not like the Umbrian cities which were already experiencing 10-15 degrees during the nights due to their hill-top elevated position).
Much to our surprise, on the night of 3rd October, from 6pm onwards, air-conditioning was switched off for all rooms. A check with the Receptionists had confirmed my most feared - that the Hotel didn't think air-conditioning was necessary, and so switches it off. We then requested and received a huge fan, which blows no air - this still puzzles me at this point? Needless to say, we open all windows but I still didn't sleep well that night.
The next night, I asked again, and this time, received a much smaller fan that actually worked! And with this smaller fan, I had slept much better, in preparation for a 13 hour flight home the next day. During our stay, I had also seen porters sending fans to the other rooms, so we weren't the only ones who complain about the lack of air-conditioning.
In our honest opinion, the Hotel should have waited till mid October, or for the temperatures to fall below 15 degree C, before turning off the air-conditioning. Needless to say, this air-conditioning thingy will keep us from coming back to this Hotel at least during the 'border' months of October, March and April. So if air-conditioning is important to you, my advice would be to double check before you book.
Notwithstanding the air-conditioning issue, I thought we had enjoyed our stay very much at this well located and well managed Hotel. We thought it should have enjoyed a much higher rating. The price and quality ratio is really quite high here but to us, rooms must be air-conditioned unless you are talking about the period from November to mid March. Enjoy this bella & comfortable Hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Nazionale a Montecitorio Rome
- Rome Hotel Nazionale