We returned from the Rafaello yesterday. It had been recommended by friends so we were already expecting it to be suitable for our needs but it was far better than that.
Easy to find, short walk from Termini (15 mins), welcome was friendly, quick check in and up to our room (in the tiny lift but it does just the job - kids used the stairs!). Take the train from the airport it's easy to do and quicker than a taxi - though for 4 people the cost would be similar 14 euros each, free under 12.
We had a quad room on the 4th floor as we had an 11 year old and 14 year old - not old enough for their own room but too old for camp beds. Room was just what we required - bedroom off a bedroom - proper beds for all and a nice spotless bathroom (shower). No view, as stated in previous reviews - that would just have been a bonus. Pillow menu was a nice surprise - we all chose differently (!!) and free Wi-Fi was fantastic bonus - where would we be without email and Facebook! Also, it is an area restricted for traffic so there is very little road noise so we got a very good nights sleep even with the windows cracked open!
The area of Monti is super - loads of reasonably priced, authentic bars and restaurants. Pretty square with fountain & evening sunshine surrounded by nice bars, plenty of nice small boutique shops and a fantastic gelateria on Via Leonina for after dinner ice-creams. It feels safe, busy in the evenings with nice local people having a good time and no hard sell touts. Perfect for families with older kids looking for an "Italian evening" without crowds or having to walk too far!
The Rafaello doesn't have a restaurant - it doesn't need to with all those great restaurants on the doorstep. However its small breakfast mezzanine is perfect. Breakfast was lovely and the service from the ladies there every day was just great - friendly, smiling, helpful and kept everything clean, tidy, topped up and running smoothly. And, there is a nice coffee machine, kettle etc in the lobby to help yourself to a free drink when you return from a long day out!
Front desk staff very cheerfuly, friendly and helpful. Return airport taxi (set cost 48euro) arrived 3 mins after booking and was efficient on a Sunday - weekdays I would use the train again. Housekeeping impeccable & friendly.
I would definitely stay at the Rafaello again if we returned to Rome and would recommend it to anyone (expect perhaps those with small kids in pushchairs - the cobbles, hills, stairs, lift etc may be too much a challenge for them). For us, the area in the evenings was the biggest plus - a really nice place to be, particularly if you've had a hard day sightseeing.
Thank you to all the staff at Rafaello.
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