I stayed at the Hotel Diana for two nights while on a business trip in Italy during September 2013. Upon arriving at reception, I was left standing twiddling my thumbs while the two members of staff did their utmost not to make eye contact. Then a bus arrives outside, and I stood in disbelief as 10 or so people were greeted with huge smiles, offers of help and then checked in by these two members of staff. I listened as they were handed maps, informed of the wifi and even that the contents of the minibar were included.
The horror show had begun! I eventually managed to gain the attention of a reception staff member got checked in with sour faces, no offers of help, no information about wifi until I asked myself, and certainly no information about the minibar (which was empty as it turned out!), I chalked the terrible experience down to being a once off, picked up my bag and went up to my room rather unhappy.
Upon arriving I instantly realised I'd been given a cubby hole in the corner containing a bed. A cosy four star furnished and decorated, but a cubby hole none the less. I think to myself, I'm only here to sleep and I don't need much space so think no more of it.
I spent the first evening working on my laptop in the restaurant, while having dinner and enjoying a beer, I found this member of staff serving me to be very friendly and more than happy to help. My spirits lifted, I soon retired to bed for the night, hoping to get an early start in the morning.
The room was very stuffy, I then went to turn the air conditioning on only to find it was malfunctioning and a big bath towel sitting under it soaking up the leaking water. The hotel staff were also aware of this. Once more I said to myself, not a problem! I'll just open the window and let the outside air cool the room. I spent the night listening to the cooks chopping meat of some form or another. I was on the 4th floor, I'm not quite sure where the kitchen is, but the court yard seemed to amplify the sounds of the bar on the roof down, and the kitchen up. It took a lot longer to get to sleep than it should due to this situation.
I woke early, and went for breakfast. I noticed a reasonable spread waiting for the hotel guests. I drank my coffee and retired back to my room. From 9:00 - 15:00 I continued to work in my room. I had two different teams of workmen fixing the air con, and house cleaning services during this time. I noticed the minibar being stocked by the house keeping services, which was not stocked the first day. I decided to go for a quick walk around the city to clear my suddenly darkened mood.
I was to be joined by 3 colleagues later this evening, two staying at the hotel, and a third elsewhere. We had decided to meet at the rooftop restaurant and bar at Hotel Diana. Once more I was left standing, while the barman mutters under his breath. At one point he makes eye contact, raises his eyebrow with the universal indication he's ready to take an order. I smile, and ask would it be possible to order a drink, he instantly sneers and almost shouts "just a minute please!", it felt like I was asking him for something after I had deeply insulted him personally or something. I'm shocked. I stand in silence as he continues to work. Two minutes later I see him pouring a beer which he then throws in front of me, and shouts "Seven.". He did not ask what I wanted to order, and in shock and utter disbelief I paid him for this beer. Then walked to my seat. A second member of staff is shouting to take a seat at a two man table, and only grudgingly relents when I mention I will have 3 colleagues joining me shortly.
As my first beer is almost consumed, my first colleague arrives, and I take the opportunity to get a refill. The same barman stands ready to insult me once more! "WHAT do you want?" he asks once more in an aggressive manner. I must be coming down with a case of Stockholm syndrome I think to myself as I pay for a second beer. The original plan had been to have dinner at the Hotel Diana, but after discussing the situation we decided the only real way to deal with this was not to hand over another Euro to this company. We looked up the closest half decently reviewed restaurant and had a lovely evening there instead.
The next morning I went for breakfast, only to be met by the same sour faced restaurant staff from the previous night, who once more is half shouting at me telling me where to sit, I instantly do a u-turn, head back to my room, pack and head down to the lobby to checkout. I'd had enough.
This time I was served reasonably quickly. I was in no mood for niceties or pleasantries, and was amused to have received none from the staff member. I sat in the lobby waiting for my colleagues to checkout. Twice during this 20 minute period I had both the reception staff poking their heads around the pillar long enough to catch my attention with unfriendly faces making sure I felt unwelcome. I even had the porter walk right up to within 3 meters of me, also looking unfriendly and concerned at my presence!
My entire stay at the Hotel Diana was pretty nightmarish! Not only will I never stay at this hotel again, but it has ruined my entire trip to Rome! I'm unlikely to ever willingly return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Elegant Hotel offering modern comforts and amenities, restaurant and bar; situated in the heart of Rome near the Opera House. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Diana Rome Italy