We booked this hotel after various research for my partners birthday whilst in Rome. We also took my sister in law with us for the 5 day stay. We booked two double rooms and on arrival we were upgraded for our room for a suite/roof terrace room 502 which was a nice touch.
The other room for my sister in law was also excellent/large 4TH FLOOR but she wanted to stay on the same floor as ourselves.
ROOM/SUITE 502 - smaller room 510 - 5TH FLOOR:
We spoke to Massimo on reception who booked us in - he was able to find a room on the same floor- this room was slightly smaller but very adequate and she was happy with it. (Room 510 She wanted to stay on the same floor as us and we were all very grateful the Hotel was able to accommodate this change at short notice).
I had emailed prior to our stay Salvatore Sansone, manager who stated and responded via email we would receive a bottle of proscetto for my partners birthday - but this didnt materialise.
But this was no hardship at all - we had, the upgrade and we were buying wine at a near by supermarket to the left of the entrance and across the road to Saint Maria Maggiore - this didnt spoil our stay.
There are signs for the Spar by the Tourist Information opposite the Saint Maria Maggiore Church ..but across the Piazza was this other supermarket where we purchased our "Vino" and bruschetta to have on our roof terrace etc
Both rooms had room safes, our room coffee facilities, aircon, tv, enough wardrobe space, our room had a shower over a bath; my sister in laws room had a power shower (The room safes - which were not huge but you could fit valuables in and were a great asset/room facility in most hotels nowadays
NB...on booking in ask for the room safe key, otherwise return to reception to collect it).
The roof terrace was a great added bonus, we used to sit on the terrace a glass of wine and some bruschetta etc.
The room did at first appear "musty" after our first day as some guests stated but i think this is due to the air con or the room being secured all day - we opened the windows/patio and the smell was gone...no problem to us. We were out all day after breakfast anyway and returned late at night - it didnt appear to be a dirty smell - but you have to remember this is an old building in the city of Rome, but a very charming one for that and very good value for money.
The room was not dirty in any aspect - cleaned daily by the maids, coffee making facilities in our room ie suite but not in the other room my sister in law was in
(NB but there is coffee making facilities in the room 502 if your room does not have coffee facilities - at the main reception/also tv/internet computer area - there if you want to drink coffee whilst on the main computer etc)
Tea/coffee items were replenished daily, you have a small fridge and usual beers and soft drinks at a Hotel set price
The bathroom washing/shower items were replenished every day when used. There is a wall mounted hairdryers in the bathrooms were adequate but some ladies may feel they would rather take there own ones with them. My partner used the Hotel one but took a while to get used to it and in her opinion lacked a bit of "power" but she used it - just took a bit longer to get ready thats all.
(NB No great hardship and no criticism of the Hotel because as the manager states in previous reviews it is the "same type of hairdryer" that other hotels have and hotels we have stayed in before have - no hardship, it saved on carrying a haridryer in our hand luggage).
All the staff on reception were very professional, courteous and knowledgeable - unfortunately i do not know all their names. (NB Maybe name badges for staff to wear Reception/dining staff/maids would assist for + or - feedback? As other hotels do)
BUT we didnt have any negative treatment by any staff member while we stayed there
Only person name i got to know was on asking the staff member his name - who booked us in on reception - he was called Massimo on reception
He was excellent, was able to rejig the room for my sister in law and was very knowledgeable and professional. He was NOT IMPERSONAL as some guests say the reception were - i found all the reception staff to be professional and courteous when you needed something or advice. Not in your face but happy to help when asked something
I asked Massimo on different occassions/days the following..he was the one on duty when i needed to ask reception staff some questions and i found the other staff professional as well :-
Q: where nearest supermarket was,
Q: best means to get to vatican ie metro at the termini,
Q: best local restaurants to use in the vicinity(see other reviews re restaurants)
Q: directions to the Coliseum and Forums which are nearby
Q: City sightseeing bus near to at the termini...we used the Roma Open top bus and was excellent for two day price and buses came every 15-20mins and was on a larger route to seeing the sights than their competitors.
He/Massimo was very professional and imparted his knowledge to me - adding the information on to a map at reception for us to take away
Were also very professional and polite and were always clearing away tables for other guests to arrive..breakfast is from 0700-1000hrs and usual continental breakfast with scrambled eggs as a cooked choice. There was no complaints at all re breakfasts, our 3 party was able to find various things to eat for various eating desires, from vegetarian, fruits, croissants, cakes, cheeses, cold meats, yoghurts, toast and jam. Fruit juices, coffee and tea etc
Very well done -Hotel Raffaello for a varied selection for breakfast!
Thankyou the 3 x female Dining staff we seen and the chef - as stated i cant name them due to not knowing there names/no name badges
Maids were cleaning our room daily and the "blonde hair" italian woman who also did work on some days in the dining rooms/ as a maid the next day during our stay were all/always polite, professional and saying "morning" good day when we bumped into them etc. Thank you all as well.
BUS ROMA/ROME OPEN TOUR - CITY OPEN TOP BUS TOURS:
Hotel Raffaello only had a leaflet for the Green Line tours in the reception but we found the Roma open tour - City bus tours to be the best value/timescales, seeing the most sights/route of the bus ie
We spoke to an independent Tourist Information Bus rep by an umbrella stand opposite the Termini who explained independantly the tour companies...he was impartial and helped us get the best city sightseeing bus company which in my opinion was Roma Open Tour - open top bus tours.... not the others ie Green line
( NB U do get a lot of people trying to sell you/get the Green line bus tours/other bus companies on most corners but we were glad we chose the Roma Open Tour /Roma tours due to buses coming every 15-20mins and it covers the all main sites/routes (some bus tours didnt on set days) - if you have any mobility problems buses on Roma Open Tour come every 15-20mins ie to take the full route from Termini to all the routes/sites and back to the Termini takes 2hours- stops for 10 mins at the Vatican facing St Peters and then at Termini for 10 to 15 mins..they park all tour buses on the left of the junction of Via Cavour/Termini - opposite the Termini...then the bus heads off down Via Cavour towards Saint Maria Maggiore ..
see website link/reviews for ROME OPEN TOUR bus company;
26 Euros for 48 hr bus ticket
(NB if staying at Hotel Raffaello- nearest Roma Open Tour bus stop and some others is on THE ROAD THAT LEADS UP TO AND OPPOSITE the Saint Maria Maggiore church on the right handside - think the road was called Via Paolina that is the one way road that leads to the Piazza Saint Maria Maggiore - before the tourist Information hut- you will see the bus sign "Roma Open Tours " by a Trinket shop
We stayed November 2011 and it was very hot 20 plus degrees when we stayed..it was a bit cold till about 1000/1100hrs then it went very hot/we had 5 days of sunny days which was great ...we were amazed re the temperature at this time - We had packed for extreme cold UK weather! So this was a great bonus eating ice cream at Trajans column in the sun, sitting on the steps facing it! Lol
SISTER HOTEL ROOF TERRACE -ALBERGO DEL SENATO HOTEL - FACING THE PANTHEON:
Only regret was, i wanted to take my partner to the Albergo Del Senato Sister hotel of the Hotel Raffaello for a drink on the roof terrace for her birthday and then a birthday meal nearby but Salvatore Sensane/manager emailed me to confirm that the roof terrace at this sister hotel in November was closed - ie email confirmed " I regret to inform you that the bar of the Albergo del Senato (our sister hotel ) is open only in summertime but we will try to find an alternative".
This was a shame BUT was not the hotels fault, it was the date of my partners birthday ie November - Cant change that date ha ha - we wanted to enjoy a drink at the roof terrace facing the Pantheon lit up at night and during the summer they do offer you tickets to use the roof terrace bar at the sister hotel - so just ask if staying during this time
You must visit the Saint Maria Maggiore Church nearby- amazing interiors and church artefacts, one of the Papacy churches etc
Capuchin Crypt- is very interesting worth a visit cost 1 euro but only takes 10 mins - NO PHOTOS can be taken but you can purchase for 50 cents postcards of the sights there
Vatican Museum/St Peters - last sunday of each month you can gain access for free for the Vatican museum and the St Peters Basilica - but be aware get to the destination before 0900hrs, we waited in line for 1 hour, only opens at 0900hrs and the Vatican museum was a must - didnt get to St Peters by the time we got out of the Museum but our next visit to Rome we will be heading there first, reason to return
(in the queues - there are persons trying to get you out of the queues saying it is 3 hrs wait to get in to the Vatican/ St Peters Basillica and offer at a cost for a private tour, but we were there on my partners birthday and the we wanted to mark it by going to the vatican..this day was coincidentally the free day and birthdate/birthday so we went then - we waited only 1 hour. Speaking to other people who left the queues with these private tours still had to queue up and still had to wait and of course pay on the free day for the private tour!
Vatican museum/ Sistine chapel was amazing - but the usual idiots were trying to take pictures of the sistine chapel when security were trying to tell people not to and having to run over to stop them- this i found disrespectful. It is a working church chapel/holy place so please please please obey the signs/instructions by staff.
We did see security and plain clothes staff pulling up and stopping visitors from taking photos in the sistine chapel and again unfortunately people talking loudly in the chapel instead of being quiet and respectful
IRISH PUBS IN ROME WE FREQUENTED:
Didnt like the Irish pub Druids Den, off via urbana Via Urbana/Via Panisperna - nearest to Hotel Raffaello
(NB : EVEN THOUGH PART OF THE SISTER PUB OF THE - FIDDLERS ELBOW)
FIDDLERS ELBOW IRISH PUB:
But we all but loved the Fiddlers Elbow Irish pub off from St Maria Maggiore again near to the hotel, they have an irish music on a wednesday night..from around 2200 hrs to 2230hrs - get there early for a seat "busy" - a mixture of tourists and Italian frequent this pub - on a thursday they have an open mic and more music
Scottish female barmaid at the Fiddlers Elbow was great as well as the Italian bar staff at this venue
(ROME RESTAURANTS WE FREQUENTED - SEE OTHER REVIEWS IN DUE COURSE):
HOTEL RAFFAELLO - CONCLUSION:
I could mention other aspects of our stay but want to give a honest and truthful experience of our stay in Hotel Raffaello.I feel i have given an open opinion of this hotel/facilities.
(If person(s) wish further answers you can ask me via email)
The Hotel is in an up and coming area surrounded by Restaurants/Bars - various building on Via Urbana are being renovated
It is prime location for the Termini/City bus tours nearby, easy access to the Sites ie Coliseum/Old Rome within walking distance, nice restaurants/irish bar- Fiddlers Elbow and music. and access to the metro for the Vatican via the Termini which is on other side of Rome/river - only about 6 stops via Line A to OTTAVIANO metro stop which leads down to the Vatican/ St Peters after a ten minute walk...........from St Peters walking also accessible to Castel Saint Angelo Via Della Concilliazione - twenty minute walk from St Peters( or get the Roma BUS TOUR which stops facing St PetersBasilica)
There are some "down and outs" begging for money streets off the Hotel BUT they are also throughout Rome and do not appear to be all Italian - put this aside because most European cities Dublin, Paris, Barcelona have similar begging - a polite "No Grazie" worked during our stay etc
This is no fault of the Hotel
Would i stay at this Hotel again- we usually do not stay at the same Hotel BUT if as and when i want to return to Rome; i would stay at this hotel or the sister hotel at the Pantheon
We chose this hotel because it ticked all the boxes we wanted near to sites, access to termini and bus shuttle from the airport one way 8 euros, good facilities and varied breakfasts for all our parties meal requirements
We had a memorable stay and staff at this hotel were excellent and professional
Thankyou all the staff at Hotel Raffaello!
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