I am a middle aged woman and this was my first time travelling in Europe alone. I stayed here from Oct 13- 21st in a private room (203) and loved everything about this hostel. The room was a good size- high ceiling and equipped with a dresser, wardrobe and table and chair.The double bed and the pillows were comfortable. The lighting was a bit dull but there were 2 nightstands with lamps and for the amount of time I spent in the room this was insignificant. The clean bathroom with 4 private stalls was directly across the hall and one of the shower rooms was just down the hall. There was some mould on the walls in the shower room but the shower stalls themselves were always clean with hot water and good water pressure.
There is a breakfast nook and although the official opening time was 8:00 a.m. it was always open earlier and I was in there every morning at 7:30. Breakfast was much better than I expected. It was a little weird seeing white bread in a packet but when toasted was quite tasty. There was cheese, melba toast, yogurt, jam, cake, orange juice and 3 Lavazza machines that made the most incredible espresso. After breakfast was finished, the room was kept open until midnight providing use of the fridge and microwave. There is a pretty inner courtyard and a cafe (Bio Bio Cafe) on site as well as a restaurant that charges 8 Euros for a dinner that includes a beverage. I only ate in the restaurant once and was pleased with the meal.
Large hallways in the hostel double as a lounge with couches, 2 computers (free internet and WIFI)and some books and magazines. The front desk women were very helpful and provided city maps and directions. One of the women was very helpful in booking me an underground Colosseum tour and Virginia, the newest employee was very sweet and always smiling.
The location of this hostel is perfect. It is on a quiet street, only a 5 minute walk to the heart of Trastevere. Just down the street from Orsa is Villa Farnesina- a Renaissance Villa decorated with frescoes by Raphael (don't miss it). A short walk to the top of Gianicolo Hill with incredible views of Rome, 10-15 minute walk to the Vatican, Castel Sant' Angelo, Campo di' Fiori and Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. Colosseum was about a 25 minute walk. I walked everywhere from this location- probably Piazza del Popolo was the furthest at a 45 minute walk. I did not find it difficult to find the hostel. I followed the directions provided by the hostel- from Fiumicino took the FR1 train (heading toward Fara/Sabina) to Ostiense Station (8 Euros). From there took the 280 bus (1.50 Euros) to Ponte Mazzini and from there it was an easy 10 minute walk across the bridge and to Via San Francesco di Sales. The return trip to the airport was even easier as the bus stop was only a 3 minute walk from the hostel.
I met many nice women from all over the world at this hostel - some travelled with friends, some solo, some mother/daughters, some single, some married (don't quite understand last paragraph in previous review from Bhakti) and would definitely recommend this hostel to any woman. I enjoyed my private room as I am a light sleeper but the women I talked to who stayed in the dorm rooms all said they had an enjoyable stay and had no problem sleeping. I would return to this hostel in a heartbeat.
NOTE- On many of my trips I hear people talking about getting bitten by bedbugs. One of the women showed me some welts on her neck and shoulder area from where she said she was bitten but she was hesitant to say they were bedbugs. Her sister was convinced they were spider bites. I was bitten several times by flies when I was outdoors eating my lunch in the parks in Rome. I did develop some hives on my neck 4 days after returning to Toronto and was told they were definitely not bed bugs, more likely fly bites or an allergic reaction to the scented pillowcases that they use at the hostel. I'm just saying- not all bites are caused by bed bugs.
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