Everything about Pensione Barrett is perfect - from its location to the room and the attentive service by all the staff.
We took the Shuttle Bus from Fiumicino airport ( 5 Euros per person single or 8 Euros for a return ticket) to Termini station. From there we caught the 40 Express bus (1.50 Euro per person which gives you 100 minutes unlimited travel). The bus stops right in Torre Argentina and it is only a few paces to the hotel. We didn't time the journey as it was such a smooth and pleasant one but I guess it took less than an hour door to door. Our arrival was greeted warmly - and we were presented with our football tickets which Michele and Cinzia very kindly allowed us to have delivered straight to the hotel.
The room was amazing. Other travellers have commented on the size and how small it is but, to be honest, we thought it was just right. You will never get a big room in Europe (unless you pay for a suite) but the room was just right - we could walk around normally,have room to hang our clothes (double wardrobe), store our valuables (safe) and put our toiletries (good size bathroom). The suitcase could either go under the bed or, in our case, we put it on the single bed that was in a separate area of the room. The decor in the room was absolutely fabulous and the attention to detail was impressive.
The breakfast is a great idea and has definitely influenced my view on staying in hotels where you pay for breakfast as part of the cost. This is fine if you have a large appetite but if you just need a little something to start the day (eg a bowl of muesli), you just pay for what you eat. How refreshing is that! The real surprise is that Michele and Cinzia don't use the minbar as a way of generating lots of income. The price was for a bottle of water was only 0.52 Euros, an Espresso (made freshly by the machine in your room) was about the same price, a half-size bottle of Prosecco was only about 1.50 Euros etc. The variety of foods available would also cater for all tastes and appetites - melba toast, pate, cheese, variety of cakes and bisuits, mousse - the list is endless. I would recommend having a small something in your room to keep you going and then stop at a local Pizza place for lunch where you pay for your pizza according to weight. (The beauty of this is you can try several different types of pizza. One that I would never have normally tried - but was delicious - was spinach and anchovies). There are breakfast trays in the room so you can have breakfast in bed or sit at the table.
You don't get a room key but this was never a problem. The hotel is staffed 24/7 and we pushed the buzzer and straightaway the door was released to allow us in. Not having a key actually meant we didn't have to worry about losing it or finding space in my bag to keep it with us!
The hotel is centrally located for all of the major sights. We didn't use public transport for the 3 days we were there and walked everywhere from the Colosseum to Vatican City and even to the Stadio Olimpico. I would recommend you take sensible shoes though as the cobbled streets do make it hard going on your feet if you walk as much as we did.
Both Michele and Cinzia are very helpful when it comes to recommending places to go or how to get around. They also give you a detailed map which is really handy for visiting the sights.
The extra facilities in the room are a nice touch - a massage (jacuzzi) shower, a proper hairdryer, foot spa, foot massager, back massager. The curtains are really thick so you can get a good night's sleep and not realise what time of day it is when you wake up. The bed is huge and very comfy. If you're easily disturbed, you shouldn't have any problems with noisy neighbours with loud TVs as you can only listen to the TV by way of earphones which plug into a socket by your bedside - what a lovely touch.
We would highly recommend this hotel. And, when it comes to leaving, you'll be looking forward to watching the DVD Michele and Cinzia gave you - and worrying about how on earth you'll find a hotel in your next place to visit which comes anywhere near close to Pensione Barrett.