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“Great Value” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Santa Maria alle Fornaci

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Casa Santa Maria alle Fornaci
Piazza S. Maria alle Fornaci 27, 00165 Rome, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #437 of 1,269 Hotels in Rome
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Great Value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

We had previously been to Rome and we tried to book a room with a B&B where we had previously stayed. The owner said she was fully booked and recommended Casa Santa Maria alle Fornaci. Having multiple interactions with her for the past two years I trusted her opinion so we booked a room and I am glad we did. It is an excellent value and great location if you are looking to be near St. Peters Basilica. Our room was clean. While we were staying a monastery there was no curfew (most have curfews) and there was free wifi in the public areas and your room. I found the daytime staff to be friendly, we did not interact much with the night time staff. Breakfast was pretty good and included hot tea, coffee, juice, cereal, pastries, cold meats and cheeses, bread...your typical European breakfast. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
You can hear people outside and in the other rooms however it didn't bother us too much.

The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is that we went straight to the booking link provided on their website and we overpaid. I would book through booking.com (after checking today they seem to have a better price) or definitely do a little bit more research in prices.

We also booked a "king" bed and we were expecting our beds to be pushed together however they were not. It was two twin bed across the room from each other and there wasn't a way to push the beds together. It wasn't a bit deal to us as we were only staying there one night before we jumped on our cruise ship.

If you are looking for a great deal on a clean room near St. Peter's and the Vatican definitely consider staying here. We were looking for an inexpensive place to lay our heads for the night and this hit the spot.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
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NEW JERSEY
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

This Hotel was our home for 9 days During March and April 2013. We have nothing but good things to say. The breakfast is great. the Hotel is spotless. the location perfect. it is not the Waldorff it is a basic Roman hotel. Safe, clean , affordable. I fyou want luxury this is not your hotel. If you want comfort and security it is

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

We had to cancel our booking, so bad was this establishment. The photos are completely misleading. This venue is actually more akin to a religious house than an actual B & B / hotel as advertised on another popular site with even more positive reviews than here. First of all, the place is actually a converted 300-year old monastery, though it looks like the conversion process was kept to a minimal.

We had an immediately negative impression of the place from the start as the receptionist was unfriendly, and when my wife struggled with the door, he did not offer to help, but instead just smiled when I figured out how to open it. Things took a downhill turn from there when we got inside the place. The receptionist, who was attired entirely in black, complete with a shaved head, did not welcome us- in fact, he barely even looked at us- but instead just went through the formalities of admission, before handing us a key with what looked like a solid brass paperweight attached to the end, and then gave us directions to the room.


Everywhere was decorated with religious paraphernalia. Since the venue obviously emphasized its religious credentials, and we are Catholics ourselves, the unwelcoming atmosphere struck me as an odd contrast with the long tradition of hospitality found in the great religious orders, from the Benedictines onwards. When we got to our room, by means of a creaking old lift, we were horrified to discover not only that it was in a dilapidated condition, but that it consisted of two single beds, which looked like they'd last been made up in the 1950s. The room was tiny, and the bathroom even smaller. (It was almost identical to an actual Cistercian monastery which I have stayed in). We immediately went downstairs to try to rectify the situation. When we managed to explain that we were a matrimonial couple, it seemed like they were doing us a massive favour by giving us what they described as a “king-sized” bed on another floor, but only for one night, according to the shaven-headed receptionist. “We have your money,” he declared. “You can't expect much for 38 euro a night,” he added. Clearly, he was unaware of the competition, or else was just being disingenuous, as there is vastly superior accommodation within walking distance of his monastic digs. At this stage, he was joined by what appeared to be the manager, who sported a stupidly serious face, complete with a down-turned mustache, as well as other acolytes. They changed their minds then, and said we could stay in the room with the “king-sized” bed for the rest of the stay. We decided that we would check out the room before committing to staying (they seemed to find this insulting).

The “king-sized” bed turned out to be just an ordinary double-sized bed in an equally dilapidated room, complete with dampness on the wall, and on overall air of unreconstructed shabbiness. It was my wife's birthday and she actually cried when she saw the room, which looked like it hadn't changed much since 300 years ago, when it housed monks. Personally, I don't mind austerity if that's what I have in mind, or what I have planned for. The last time I was in Rome, I came as a pilgrim, and slept on the floor of a schoolroom in a sleeping bag, but I didn't pay for that. What I don't appreciate is false advertising, or paying for something that is sub-standard, especially considering the ample competition, offering much superior accommodation and facilities. Once I checked out the contract, sitting on the "king-sized" bed, where I discovered there was no wi-fi (despite the advertisement), I decided to cancel asap, even though I would have to pay for the first night without staying there. They had offered me that, but didn't mention that it was in the contract, more as if they were doing us a special favour. I just wanted to get out of there, so I paid for the first night and hot-footed it out of the place. If the receptionists and manager had been more friendly, I might even have stayed.

I should add, though, that the last receptionist I dealt with, a younger man, seemed more pleasant and friendly. What I can't understand is how accommodation of a seriously sub-normal kind like this can have such good reviews, while other decent places score lower.


People should be warned that this establishment is more appropriate for those looking for a spiritual retreat in a monastery (for which, though, you normally offer a donation and not the hotel / B & B market rate), or a little taste of purgatory, and not tourism or a normal kind of pilgrimage. After this, we will look around carefully before trusting online reviews.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
trinitatis, Direttore at Casa Santa Maria alle Fornaci, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
The only proper sentence of this “hilarious” story is placed at the end: pay close attention to on-line reviews.
The obvious desire to say necessarily negative things about our structure and our staff by this person clearly clashes with those who are the opinions of many, even many, other guests, as to be minimally credible.
Guests who enjoy our hospitality and manifest this daily, in person or by writing reviews.
The wounded pride of this person, had necessarily need to dwell in many lines of contempt for trying to be minimally credible, but, failing that indeed, even has come to define the judgments of the other guests in a negative way to gain credibility.
The best thing is that, asking to other guests to read this review, they started laughing, so the only “hilarious” review, up to now, appears to be just this !!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

This was our second stay at this location, we were there in 2004 and had a good experience so we decided to try it again in 2012. Again, it was a good hotel with a great location and I feel safe in the area. When I choose a hotel It is based on location and cleanliness, this place fit both criteria. It is not fancy, it offers the very basics, but it's everything you need at a very reasonable price in Rome.

They charge per person. There were 3 of us, mother, daughter and granddaughter, all adults. We paid 125 Euro per night for the room, we stayed for 3 nights. The room had 3 single beds a big window that we opened when we were in the room, air conditioning, a desk with chair, a small table, wardrobe for hanging clothes. The bathroom has a very small shower, plenty of towels for 3 and basic soaps. The room/hotel is very clean, the room is cleaned daily.

The front desk is friendly and they speak English. There is an elevator. A basic buffet is included in the room rate, choice of cereal, yogurt, cheese, cold cuts, toast & rolls, sometimes hard boiled eggs and the best coffee or tea.

The best thing about this hotel is the cost for the location. It is in a quiet area very close to St. Peter's, about a 5 minute comfortable walk. There are a few restaurants in the area. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We have several places we like to stay in Rome but they were all booked up for the beginning of Jan. So, we took a chance on Casa Santa Maria alle Fornaci and we were glad we did. The rooms and bathrooms were very clean, and the hotel staff is friendly and helpful. They speak English, and we decided to grab a taxi to our airport hotel when we were leaving, they called, booked the taxi and got a great rate for us.

There is internet service at a very, very good rate that is good for the duration of one's stay.

The location outside seems tired but the interior is spic an span.

It is about a five minute walk from the Vatican and there are some really reasonably priced restaurants with good food near by.

The taxi driver who dropped us off was not sure of the address and just have the taxi drop you off at the corner near by rather than go around the one way streets.

We also asked for a late check out time because we had plans early in the morning, and they gave it to us and stored our things in a secure room until after dinner.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ushuaia, Argentina
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

This is a former monastery that still lacks any posh comforts. However, the price and location can't be beat in Rome. The beds were okay and the facility was very clean. Rooms have private bathrooms but the walls are thin so you can hear your neighbors conversations quite easily. There is little/no ambient street noise.

The front desk is manned 24-hours but the staff needs a lesson in hospitality.

Wi-Fi is available (7 euro for 3 hours).

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

Well this is my 4th stay at Santa Maria. As all previous stays, the experience was excellent. Great prices, great location, great service. The breakfast ( which is included) is always a highlight of the stay. I truly enjoy it, everything is fresh and delicious. The breakfast staff is courteous, polite and professional. The breakfast room is immaculately clean, as is the whole facility.

As far as location goes, when you exit the facility St. Peters is just a 5 min walk,the dome is in view of the facility.

The staff is helpful, and courteous. They go out of their way to help you even if its items unrelated to your stay. All speak english fairly well and communication is never a problem. They helped me arrange travel to and from the airport as well as some sightseeing .

Can't say enough about this facility. If you want to go to Rome and :
1.be in the best location
2. stay in a clean, secure facitlity with 24 hour desk service
3. have an awesome breakfast included for your stay
4.have four star service at a facility that is ridiculously inexpensive

then Santa Maria is for you.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Santa Maria alle Fornaci

Address: Piazza S. Maria alle Fornaci 27, 00165 Rome, Italy
Location: Italy > Lazio > Rome
Amenities:
Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Best Value Hotel in Rome
#320 Romantic Hotel in Rome
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The building is at 300 meters from Vatican with rooms all equipped of ensuite hygienic services, conditioned air and internet wi-fi, and receive those who, singularly or in groups, want to stay "in the shadow of the big dome". Approximately 10.000 hosts coming from all over the world, every year, demonstrate to appreciate the total absence of architectural feature that provides access to handicapped, the breakfast-room, the tv-room ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Santa Maria Alle Fornaci Hotel Rome

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