My wife and I recently (June 2010) traveled to Europe, and this was our first time in Paris & Rome.
We flew from Paris to Rome last Tuesday morning (June 22, 2010) and arrived at the Napoleon Hotel around 10am. The cab ride cost about 45 euro's, plus tip. My wife and I both noticed the graffiti on the buildings as we began to enter Rome. It seemed very rough and run down, and was this way for most of the ride to the Napoleon after we entered Rome (about 10 minutes). Both my wife and I were concerned that we were in a bad part of town, but felt better once we entered the Napoleon.
We were greeted by Franco (Concierge), and he helped us check in. We asked if we could check in early, and he had us in our room in 10 minutes. We noticed that the hotel is old, but what isn't in Rome?! The room was about the same size as our room at the Hilton in Paris. The Napoleon has more of a Bed & Breakfast feel than a chain hotel. There was a TV, but there was only a few English Channels just like Paris. That wasn't that important to us since we didn't plan to spend a lot of time in our room. The bed was comfortable, but the pillows were just ok. In fact, I bought a new pillow from the furniture store down the street for 15 euros. However, after opening it, it was about the same as the ones at the hotel. I guess they just have thinner pillows than we do in the States.
I opened our window to see our view and found it wasn't great, as it was a view of the back of an apartment building about 20 ft away. I went down to the front desk and asked if we could get a room with a better view and was told that all of the rooms had the same view, and that none of the rooms overlooked the square in the front of the building. Franco also added that this helps keep each room very quiet and we would sleep better. It really wasn't that big of a deal since we really weren't going to be there much, and he was right, it was always very quiet.
The room was very clean and had a remote controlled air conditioning that worked great. The hotel offered free wireless internet, and even had computers available at no charge in the reception area. The Napoleon also offered complimentary breakfast every day, which included eggs, toast, assorted pastries and more. It was better than the breakfast at the Hilton, and was free. The Hilton in Paris charged us 22 euros per day for internet access, and 25 euros per day / per person for a lesser continental breakfast.
We asked Franco if he could recommend some tours for us while in Rome. He not only helped us, but booked them for us with the Tour company via telephone while we waited. He was extremely helpful and professional, and even gave us a recommendation for dinner that evening that was just a couple blocks away. We decided to walk around the area near the Hotel that evening, and found tons of locals (men, women, children, old & young) walking around too. We never felt uneasy or threatened as this area appears to be mostly inhabited by locals who live and work there. We found the area to be very pleasant, and noticed an outside Theater playing a movie in the park across the street from the Hotel.
We took a cab into "City Center" each day, and it cost us around 8 - 10 euro per trip. The restaurants were all really good around the hotel, and were actually better than some we ate at that were in City Center. There is a great restaurant just a couple blocks from the hotel, and was next door to a fresh pastry shop. Again, we noticed mostly locals that were patronizing these places. The prices were better than in City Center, and the food and service was better.
We were invited to attend a complimentary wine and cheese tasting at the Hotel, which happened to be our last evening there. We attended this and met other guests from all over the world. Everyone seemed very satisfied with their stay, and were enjoying themselves. My wife and I were both raised near Napa, CA. I would say that we are a wine snobs, and the wine that the hotel was serving was excellent. The cheese and appetizers were also very good. We met the Owner (Roberto), and he made a real effort to greet each one of the guests and shared the history of the wine and cheese that he was serving (He was actually behind the bar serving). We visited with many hotel staff members that evening, and we found them to be very conscientious and proud of their hotel. They were all focused on how they can improve each guests stay. Again, it felt very "Family Owned & Operated" because it is. I was surprised to find out that Franco was not part of the family that owned the hotel because he really acts like it is his own, and will got to great lengths to ensure your comfort and happiness.
In closing, we saw a ton of hotels closer to "City Center", and had the option to move closer to downtown Rome. We had the opportunity to inquire about other hotels from other travelers who attending the same tours as us. All of them said that their hotels seemed dated, and most didn't feel their hotel was very clean or safe. Others said that they found it hard to sleep as their hotel had thin walls and was noisy. The Napoleon is extremely clean, and well kept, and the staff will do everything possible to make your stay enjoyable.
One last thing that we found to be very important. It appeared that each hotel has their own set of Tour Companies that they recommend. We ended up doing two tours (Coliseum / Ruins & Vatican City), and we definitely had the best tour guides (both local Roman female guides). You will notice the other guides while you are on your tours, and you can't help but watch & listen and the quality isn't even close.
I believe and trust in the Napoleon enough that I recommended their hotel to my parents, who will now be staying there later this year.
Thanks again to the Ownership and Staff for a great stay!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centrally located, close to the Colosseum, Metro stop outside the hotel, direct connection with the Vatican. Family run, free high speed WI-FI throughout the hotel, 2 internet access, Concierge and Porterage 24H, Restaurant / Bar Bistro / Breakfast buffet, Gym. Very quiet rooms, all overlooking courtyards large and sunny, away from the noise of the city. Individual air-conditioned. Superior service, with professional and qualified staff. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Napoleon Hotel Rome