Let me begin by saying the location of this hotel is unbeatable for a tourist--within walking distance of The Vatican, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, etc. It is also one of the most aesthetically-pleasing and beautiful hotel interiors I have stayed in. The building has been redone very well from a design standpoint.
That being said, I have some major concerns with the rooms. We stayed in a Deluxe Room (the middle price tier). Photos from the website for the Deluxe rooms do not reflect the bathroom that was in our room. Immediately upon walking in the room is a jacuzzi tub/shower IN the room. The only privacy is a narrow mirror, and there is NO privacy if someone is bathing/showering and another person opens the hotel room door. Anyone in the hall of the hotel could look in and see the bather. The photos on the website show a separate bathroom with shower, but this was not the case. We also had no desk, as was also shown in the website photo, only a narrow chair-less sill (6" deep) under the window, which faced a narrow alley. We were told no other rooms were available.
Perhaps my largest and most serious complaint about this room was the fact that it had an adjoining room separated by a sliding door. This sliding door provided NO sound insulation. I can understand the hotel not providing certain creature comforts, but privacy from room to room should be a bare minimum when staying at a hotel room. I could unfortunately hear far more than myself or my partner cared to hear: the individual in the adjacent room using the hairdryer, closing doors, bed springs when he/she sat or moved on the bed, flipping light switches, etc. This is unacceptable. No privacy.
A second major concern: our bed was a fold-out. Had we wanted, we would have been able to fold the bed up. Perhaps this would be okay for a room's second bed, but at the rate we are paying for this hotel room, the room's only bed should not be a fold-out. Because of the design of the fold-out, the bed is left away from the wall by over a foot, so do not expect to lean against the wall to watch TV on the bed or read.
A separate room holds the toilet and sink, but there is literally NO storage in the bathroom. The only (small) shelf in the room holds extra toilet paper and towels, and was above my head (I am 6' tall, so not practical for storage). The entire hotel room only has one small towel bar for a hand towel, so I am not sure where Relais Orso expects you to hang your wet towels after showering, let alone the robes that are provided.
Lighting is not functional: poor reading lights, NO light over the tub/shower. Clothing storage in the room is minimum--only two small open shelves. No closet of any kind. Certainly not enough to unpack a suitcase. No closed shelving, and only 5 hangers to hang clothes, which are open to the room.
When asked to place a local phone call (Rome to Rome), I was told the rate would be €5 per minute. Outrageous.
The dining space/restaurant was not completed, so we were sent down the street for espresso and a pastry at Papa's. The room has a small mini-fridge with expensive drinks (expected) but contained no wine bottle opener. They do, however, have a beer bottle opener.
The bottom line is that Relais Orso spent far too much time and money worrying about how the hotel looks, instead of actually thinking about how a traveler stays in the room. They have left out very basic things which are vital to a hotel room.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With a superb location in the heart of the historical center, Relais Orso boasts magnificent interior designs that harmoniously combine the backdrop of ancient Rome with modern elements of style and luxury. Just a few steps from Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Castel Sant’Angelo, the Relais Orso accommodates easy exploration of Rome’s most famous monuments while its 15 beautifully designed rooms offer an oasis to help you relax and unwind from the day’s activities. While staying at Relais Orso, you can also enjoy Vicolo88, a restaurant dedicated to offering an excellent culinary experience in a relaxing and elegant environment. Vicolo88 also services the Roof Garden, should you wish to enjoy a cocktail while admiring the breathtaking view of the city from above.Relais Orso – Modern luxury deep in the heart of Rome. ... more less
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