My wife and I stayed at Hotel Isa for seven nights in early November. After a couple of nights our feelings were still a bit mixed but as the week drew to an end the negatives started to outweigh the positives.
The first impression was good. Isa can be found at a convenient location with both the metro station and the Vatican reasonably close. The neighborhood feels safe even during late night strolls. Many of the side streets sport Italian or ethnic restaurants, our favorite being San Marco whose pizza “Prosciutto and Funghi” will blow your mind.
We had a standard room on the fourth floor with a window facing the garden. It was clean but slightly old-fashioned and tiny even by European standards. As there was nowhere to put your belongings we ended up keeping our clothes on the floor in our travel trunks. The only half-size cupboard available was partly occupied by a small safe to which the key could be rented for 5 euros per stay. The room had a flat screen television with 300 channels of which only CNN was English. We had a pants press but no clothes iron. Free wireless Internet was provided but the quality was poor, and it took numerous attempts to connect, and once connected, the dropouts were frequent. We tried with a Nokia, an Apple, and a Sony tablet. The bed which occupied most of the room was hard - think brick and mortar. We are used to concrete mattresses but this was perhaps the most solid surface I have slept on. The worst thing, though, was the front door which lacked any kind of insulation. We were lucky not to have hard partying fellow guests but when somebody entered a room on our floor or uttered a single syllable we could hear it all, crisp and clear as if somebody had been in the room. The windows were not much better and did little to block the noises of garbage being thrown into metal containers every morning at seven. I should perhaps mention that my wife slept with ear plugs the whole week.
The breakfast is good. Although they serve the same ingredients every morning, the selection is large enough to justify it. The only complaint is that they make no effort to keep the bacon, sausages and vegetable stew warm. It did not matter if you had the breakfast at 7.30 or 9.00, these items were always cold. While the staff working in the lobby made quite a nondescript effort at being welcoming, the cleaning ladies were tremendous. Everything was kept clean and spotless and whenever you ran into any of them there was a smile and a greeting coming up. The opposite can be said about the hotel’s airport shuttle service driver. During the 40 minute trip to the airport in an ancient Mercedes with no AC, the only thing he muttered was that he wanted the money (50e). We got no receipt.
Our visit to Rome was very pleasant, and it feels important to underline that despite what I have written, our stay at Isa was okay enough not to ruin it. It would just have been so much better had the bed been comfortable, and the noises kept in check. To me it seems that while the hotel staff is doing a proper job, the facility itself and the characteristics of the rooms are just not very good. I would give Hotel Isa 2.5 stars mainly because of poor sleep quality, and conclude that next we come to Rome we will try something else.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.