I had chosen the iQ Hotel primarily because it offered free WiFi - something that I now see as essential when travelling.
It turned out to be a great choice and a place that I would definitely recommend to anyone staying in Rome.
First of all, the hotel is very easy to find and within walking distance of the Termini railway station. That means no anxiety about the notorious Rome taxi drivers (something that even my local Roman friends seemed to dread). Upon arrival we were given a map and the necessary information, as well as our password for the WiFi (get a different password for each device if you have more than one).
The hotel is geared towards the type of traveller who is quite happy to be left to their own devices - i.e. you won’t have a member of staff popping up at every corner offering to do things for you. If you are looking for a hotel with room service, this is NOT the place for you. Equally, if you want a glamourous bar to hang out and be seen, go elsewhere. There is a tiny little corner ‘bar’ in the main reception hall but we never drank there.
The room was spacious enough and impeccably clean; indeed, the hotel is spotless throughout. Everything looks new and designed to high specification. The vending machines available on every floor are an excellent facility; we used them for sandwiches, drinks, snacks and coffee. A bottle of water at the vending machine costs 50 cents; elsewhere in Rome you can easily pay €2 for the same size. Even the coffee was very good for being machine coffee. The bathroom was certainly big enough for European standards.
We decided to have breakfast at the hotel for convenience and the choice was pretty good, with a continental spread as well as some cooked choices, like scrambled eggs. Yes €10 might not be the cheapest breakfast you can get but on the other hand you can help yourself as much as you like with fresh fruit, yoghurt etc.
One facility that we used a lot was the roof terrace; hardly anyone was using it (it was the end of March) and there are, again, vending machines just outside stocked with wines, beers, spirits, Bacardi Breezers and of course, soft drinks. That made a very good place to bring friends back for a quiet drink and a chat (we asked at Reception if it was ok to bring guests). The patio is heated and partly sheltered by a gazebo and awning, so even when it rained heavily one afternoon, it was perfectly pleasant to be out there. It’s also heated by outdoors heaters.
The strangest thing about the iQ is that it clearly appeals mainly to travellers from the US and the U.K.; I’m Italian but my other half is English, and when I spoke Italian to members of staff, they always looked surprised. I think I saw only a couple of Italian tourists in 3 days. Having stayed in several hotels in North America, I can see that the iQ has really modelled itself to appeal to the demanding US tourists. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing, as hotel standards in Italy can be really hit-and-miss.
The location is perfect to explore Rome and there are plenty of shops and even small supermarkets in nearby Via Nazionale. We only used the Metro once when we visited the Protestant Cemetery; everything else is pretty much within easy walking distance.
My only slight criticism was that the air condition was turned off centrally - we heard a guest complaining at front desk and being told that it was too early in the season to have it on. I’m afraid that my fellow Italian folk tend to be permanently cold and fearing ‘catching a chill’ so maybe that’s why! The mattresses were, as others reported, on the ‘firm’ side; once again, I think that’s very common in Italy. However the bed was still very comfortable - I think the mattress was a memory foam one, albeit of a harder type.
All in all, I would definitely stay at the iQ again. I would choose modern comfort over a ‘charming’, older style property anytime.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The iQ Hotel Roma is a brand-new hotel in Rome downtown originating from an absolutely revolutionary concept. A fully customizable service, designed for modern travelers, who want the opportunity to choose all the conveniences offered by a modern four-star hotel, all options at a low cost.Whatever you require, you will find just outside your door; there are reasonably priced vendor machines throughout the Hotel. ... more less
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