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“Great hotel, needs a better entry system”
Review of Merulana Inn

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Merulana Inn
Ranked #527 of 1,270 Hotels in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 4, 2009

We stayed at the Merulana Inn for two nights at the end of a long Italian holiday. When we arrived at the address we found that it was not a traditional hotel in the sense of having a ground level reception etc, it is in fact a managed apartment. That is, in order to get in you need to ring a buzzer which connects with some chap who presumably is sat at home - who then lets you in remotely. Unfortunately this does not seem to work (which was backed up with conversations with other guests) - the only way to get in is to ring the number on the sign - twice - once to get in the main door at street level and a second time to get into the automatic door on the third floor.

However, this aside (which is a little off putting), the hotel is excellent. Very modern, clean rooms, friendly staff (who are there only in the mornings for breakfast), free wifi, LCD TV, free computer etc etc.

It is also pretty good value, much cheaper than similar spec hotels. You just have to put up with the initial task of getting in, and need to accept that there won't be any staff around for the majority of the time, should you have a late night desire for a club sandwich or the like!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank barnythedon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 105 of 232 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2009

This has to be the best hotel room for a short stay we've ever stayed in, either in the UK or abroad in other cities.
It really is unique. Situated on the 3rd floor of a building only 10 minutes walk from termini station, swipe entrance doors enable you to come and go as you please with your room card once checked in.
There are only 7 rooms, and it felt more like an apartment than a hotel as there is no reception as such.
The bathroom is emaculate and everything seemed to be really new. The bed was very comfy and there was little to no noise from the street even thought it is on a pretty busy road.
The breakfast was perfectly adequate for what we required. They had chocolate croissants, cereals, toast and jam, yoghurt, fruit juice and even jam tart!

The only fault i found with this accomodation is the fact that from the outside it is not obvious that it is there! There is a small sign next to the buzzer but other than that it just looks like all the other buildings on the street. We walked straight past when we first arrived!

But stay here and you are guaranteed a comfortable hassle free stay in a truly lovely hotel that is quite good value for money for a capital city.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Holidaygirly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2009

After having booked myself into what can only be described as a horrendous hotel a few years ago in Rome I was rather concerned about the quality of hotels there. Since I was in charge of booking the accomodation in Rome and it was a birthday present for my partner I had my fingers firmly crossed that Merulana was not going to let me down. I had done my research online and the pics looked good, but then again don't they always?!

I was absolutely gobsmacked that Merulana did not disappoint, in fact was above and beyond what I could of hoped for. It was absolutely delightful and so very homely. It was also extremely clean with the unusual but comforting aroma of peaches - strange I know!

It is well situated about a 5 minute walk from Termini station, just down the road from the awe inspiring St Mary's Basilica and right near stop number 4 for the Blue Line of the Hop on Hop off red double decker City sight seeing Bus - a must for your first day. Merulana is also about a 15/20 min walk from most of the attractions, the Colloseum, The Forum and Palatine, the Trevi Fountain and well pretty much most of the places you want to go.

The Hotel itself is great, I really liked the fact that there was no check in desk and once you are given your entry card you come and go as you please and it is really like coming home every time you return, not a hotel. The rooms are exactly as they look in the photos and are spotlessly clean and have been decorated in a beautiful yet very way. My partner and I were so very impressed.

The breakfast was lovely, not a big spread but plenty of variety and I thought really sweet. The milk however tasted a little strange tasting, perhaps it was goats milk? We suggest you buy your own little bottle to keep in your fridge. There is a supermarket just around the corner near the Basilica.

There are plenty of restaurants nearby although most of our eating out experiences were a little strange, and while the food was mostly okay the service disappointingly was really very bad.

I will however recommend you visit 'La Cuccuma' a tiny little place just down the road on the opposite side at Via Merulana 221, they were really lovely and the food although simple was great. You have to get there early as it fills up fast. The sign of a great place clearly! There is also a great coffee shop on the corner near the Basilicca - the newest looking one near the market stalls.

You also have access to the internet and wireless if you so desire so you can research your day trips etc. My only criticism is our bathroom was a little small and our shower was leaking all over the floor but once we worked out how to fix it with a towel it was fine, I suspect it was just ours though not all of them. Still we were there to see the sights you not spend all our time in the bathroom so it was fine!

I cannot reccomend the Merulana Inn enough, my only hope is with this glowing review that next time I want to go there it is not fully booked. I only wish there were Merulana's everywhere, not just Rome!!! Fabulous value for money and a real home from home.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Molly30London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2009

I stayed here for two nights and absolutely loved it!

The hotel itself is only one floor of the entire building, so it's very small but this adds to its charm,as does the modern decor. Rooms aren't amazingly big, but they definitely aren't too small either, and they are equipped with everything you need (tea/coffee making facilities, good sized flat-screen tv) as well as being modern, very comfortable and clean. And the bathrooms, although fairly small, are absolutely spotless!! Breakfast, as has been said before, is basic, but there is still plenty to fill up on and the continental buffet is constantly being refilled before items run out.

The hotel is run from another building, but is looked after during the morning/early afternoon by an attendant. Although she speaks very little English, she is very friendly and made a big effort with us.

As the hotel is not manned all the time it means if you arrive late there may not be anyone in the building to let you in, however this isn't a problem. We arrived in the evening, but just called the phone number on hotel sign outside the main door and were promptly let into the building remotely.

The hotel is in a fantastic location, very close to Termini station, walking distance from the main attractions (eg. Colosseum, Trevi Fountain) and the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore at the end of the street.

Will definitely be staying here on my next trip to Rome!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank pippaloou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2009

After searching for quite some time I found the Merulana Inn. Taking into consideration that Rome accommodation is on the pricey side the Merulana seemed to be good value.

The hotel is easy to find from the station and only a few minutes walk (just look out for the purple wall plaque). The entry is not conventional as the door is activated remotely at a sister hotel. After a quick call to the sister hotel we were let in. At this point I think my boyfriend thought 'where the hell has she brought me' as the hall way and staircase is a little drab and office bocky. Then the door opened to the hotel. I then got the thumbs up from an impressed boyfriend who described the hotel as 'the best hotel we have stayed in so far'! This hotel is clean, modern and value for money. Its serviced by a lovely woman in the morning who serves breakfast and cleans. This hotel is a steal only because it is not manned otherwise i think it would be in the higher price bracket, if you are more of an independent traveller looking for top quality accommodation then this is the hotel for you.

Pros: Clean, Modern decor, good value for Rome prices and breakfast included

Cons: On arrival the water was off, called sister hotel to report and got a man who really didn't care, no apology or compensation. After a bit of a disgruntled 1st night this was all forgotten when spoke to house keeper in morning just because she was so nice!

Tips: ask for a cappuccino at breakfast, much better than the bog standard coffee served. Don't use the cake shop on the square unless you want to pay £7 a slice! Visit the Vatican on a Wednesday the Pope makes a personal apperance for his weekly service.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lilyloo07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2008

As agreed with the previous reviews, the hotel is a very small hotel which is really run from its parent hotel - and so everything is monitored and run via the cameras planted in every corner of the hotel. The rooms are very clean and modern with the television being equipped with great channels. The lady who watches the place (Faye (sp?)) makes the breakfast in the morning and cleans every room in the hotel; and she does a wonderful job. However after 3pm she is gone from the hotel and back to the parent hotel to take care of those rooms. The hotel is very well located near Roma termini and we did all of rome by foot i.e. Colosseum, spanish steps, vatican city. A few bad points about the hotel is the ancient elevator which seems to struggle going up and down particularly if you have heavy luggage. Although breakfast is provided alot of the food that is made has come from preserved packages (particularly the fruit), the oj is just orange syrup. Apart from those minor things, the hotel was very good and very conveniently located in Rome.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Judy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2008

We just returned from the Merulana. As noted by others, it is an odd little hotel/B+B. There is an attendant on duty every day from about 7:30 am to 3 pm. She sets the breakfast in the morning and then proceeds to clean all the rooms herself.

We had the inn book a car for us from and to the airport. It was 60 euros each direction. Expensive perhaps, but probably not much more than a taxi - with the added benefit of the driver knowing exactly where to take us and the inn knowing exactly when we were arriving. I highly recommend emailing them after booking your room and arranging a pick-up. Just to illustrate how helpful that service was, my luggage didn't arrive in Rome when we did. I had to wait in a baggage office line for 90 minutes, with no way of informing the driver that we actually had arrived. We fully expected him to be gone by the time we exited the baggage area, but he was still there waiting for us. (My bag arrived at the inn the next morning.)

The hotel belongs to another hotel nearby, which is listed in the folder that will be waiting outside your room when you arrive. Some other travelers have stated that the phones don't work - they do, you just have to know how to dial. Keep at it - you'll get it (dial two 0's before the 6, even though you might think you have to dial just one).

There is no reception, just a cold marble entrance behind a big wood door. The building contains businesses - it's an office building, not an apartment block. Only the 3rd floor is a hotel. You'll likely not see anyone else there.

The elevator is ridiculously small and ancient. Please remember to shut all doors when you exit the elevator, otherwise no one will be able to call it from other floors.

Breakfast is terrible. The juices are all made from powder (the red liquid is NOT tomato juice, but rather a powdered berry juice). There are cold cuts and cheese, a syrupy fruit cocktail and a couple of types of cereal. You can also make toast in the world's slowest toaster. The coffee is horrible, so ask the attendant for a cappuccino instead. She's very helpful and happy to make it. Ten times better than the instant coffee in the Thermos jug. There are only 5 tables (seating 2 each) in the extremely small and narrow breakfast room. It really wasn't terribly busy, so we had no problem finding space (family of 4).

Now on to the good stuff. The rooms are clean and modern. They have great HDTVs, but there aren't any English channels. Thankfully, the Beijing Olympics were on when we stayed there, so not much English translation was needed. There isn't a lounge, or a bar or anything. If you're a night owl like myself, you'll have to go elsewhere or give in and just go to bed early.

The aforementioned attendant (a very nice young lady at the time of our stay) could not have been more helpful, but, as stated above, she was gone by 3 pm. At that point, big brother in the mothership hotel a few blocks away was watching on all the carefully placed cameras. No matter when you arrive, you'll be let in remotely - either by the attendant from the 3rd floor, or a clerk in the hotel a few blocks away. You just have to use the intercom and all should work out. If the attendant is gone when you check in, your room keycard will be posted outside your door. After that, you'll have your keycard and will be able to let yourself in downstairs and on the 3rd floor whenever you like.

In the area - stay away from the restaurant directly across from the big church (Santa Maria Maggiore - read about it on Wikipedia - it's remarkably important) just around the corner from the Merulana on Via Carlo Alberto. The menu is great, the food was really good, but the prices are stupid. Instead, there is a great little unheralded restaurant the other direction down Via Merulana. It's called Tempio di Mecenate and it's located at Lago Leopardi 14-18 (close to about #60 Via Merulana or so - on a small side plaza next to Panne d 'Arte - a fabulous bakery). Tel. 06 4872653 - although you won't need reservations. They have an extensive Sardinian menu. The service is excellent and the prices are great. We found it completely by chance and ate there three times during our six day stay.

(Note - the stupidly expensive restaurant is open from 5 am until 2 am, so it has that going for it, whereas Tempio di Mecenate may only be open for lunch and dinner.)

There is another good restaurant almost right across the street from the Merulana (half a block away facing away from the church). It's called Scoglio Di Frisio (256 Via Merulana) and serves mainly seafood and pasta. It's an ancient, family run restaurant that's kind of cheesy (grotto theme, guy strolling around the restaurant singing cliched Italian songs like O Sole Mio and Volare - but he has a great voice and brought my wife to tears). The sole is about the best I've ever had anywhere, anytime.

The lowdown - would I stay there again? Probably, but I'd keep my expectations realistic. We paid 160 euros a night for the family "suite" (basically two adjoining rooms). That's a pretty extraordinary price in Rome for two rooms. To get the same in a more traditional, fully-featured hotel would have cost twice as much. If you don't expect more than a simple, clean room and a simple, unappetizing breakfast, at an extremely reasonable price, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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2  Thank KingLear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Merulana Inn

Address: Via Merulana 19, 00185 Rome, Italy
Location: Italy > Lazio > Rome > Esquilino
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
#178 Romantic Hotel in Rome
#184 Family Hotel in Rome
Price Range: $74 - $153 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Merulana Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
Merulana Hotel Rome

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