My husband, seven year old son, and I stayed at the Smeraldo Hotel for one week in late July. For our preferences, this place was a gem and we will definitely stay there again. However, I can see why it's not for everyone... see below.
How we travel
We like to extend our travel dollars by traveling on the frugal side and staying places for a long time. We are pretty easy going and our child is a great traveler.
What we require is a clean, quiet room in a safe neighborhood with staff who are not going to rob us blind. We don't spend much time in the room and we never touch the TV while traveling so our needs are basic. Most of our trips are not "vacations" where we go to get pampered and rest. We like to call ourselves travelers -- that is, we go someplace and want to immerse ourselves in that culture. So we do whatever is customary in that country.
The Smeraldo is located about 300 yards from the Campo di Fiori in a small street across from a restaurant. The rooms are very small by US standards but they are just fine. We requested a triple with a balcony but were told none were available. We got room 108 which is facing the street. Even with double paned windows, outside sounds could still be heard. But that was nothing compared to the group of teenage American girls staying all around us. We could hear nothing when they were in their rooms but they would hang out in the hallway and that was super loud. After two nights, we moved to the room 406 which was more recently remodeled and super quiet but a lot smaller. Also, room 406 had a refrigerator while 108 did not. Neither of the rooms smelled like cigarette smoke. The rooms were cleaned well and we never saw a bug. The A/C was great.
The beds are firm, which I like. The mattress in room 108 needed replacing as I could feel some of the springs. However, I slept like a baby after walking all day.
The bathroom was very small but had everything we needed, although they could get extra space by getting rid of their bidets.
The breakfast was good, not awesome, but just right to get us going. They serve coffee, tea, yogurt, bread, cereal, milk (hot and cold), some cold cuts, and pastries. There is no fresh fruit but they have canned peaches and pears and some maybe preserved prunes which were actually somewhat welcome. You can ask for a capuccino from the server. There are no eggs either but that did not bother us.
There are two terraces accessible to guests. The one on the 5th floor closes as 7PM but the one on the 4th floor never closes. We often grabbed a bottle of champagne and some fruit from the market just a few blocks away and had an afternoon after-touring snack before dinner.
The staff were efficient and nice. These are busy working people and we did not bother them with trivial issues. They offered to print our train tickets to Napoli and ordered a taxi for our early flight back to the US. I have no complaints about anyone on the staff. I'm sure if you're rude to them the won't be very nice in return. You have to remember, this is Europe and there are courtesies that are expected there -- we always said hello and thank you and I tried to speak Italian in some weird Spanish - Italian concoction that really seemed appreciated. BTW, everyone speaks perfect English at the front desk.
This is the main reason to stay here. We walked everywhere. The only time we did not walk was to Termini to catch a train to Napoli for our day trip to Pompeii and to return to the hotel. The location cannot be oversold! At night, we would walk around Plaza Navona and Campo di Fiori and eat, people watch, and try to become part of the wonderful, if touristy, scene. Of course, as we had our son with us, we made it home by midnight every night and it was great to have 24 hour front desk just in case.
Don't Stay Here
1. If you want to stay in an American - type hotel
2. If you want to be pampered
3. If you need a lot of room
4. If you really don't want to go to Italy but your S.O. is making you because it will be romantic.
5. If you are in Rome to see the sights but not to absorb the atmosphere.
The bakery around the corner is great for a quick lunch. The restaurant across the street was fine.
Enjoy your trip.
Stay high up in a room not facing the street, if you want quiet.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.