I recently spent two days with my family at the Eden Hotel in Rome. I booked the Presidential Suite and yet left with the feeling that I'd had my pocket picked. Below is what I hope is a comprehensive report of my visit so that other readers can weigh up what they are paying for when they consider this hotel.
1. Airport pick up.
Perfectably acceptable, Mercedes Viano and cheerful driver. Nothing more or less than expected.
2. Arrival and Lobby
A pleasant lobby, what you would expect from a small 5 star hotel. The De rigeur marble etc. Was surprised though that our check in documents were not ready. Some of the better 5 Star hotels have everything ready and you merely do the formalities with the credit card and you are on your way.
This was slower but not a hardship.
I booked the hotel's Presidential Suite which is heavily promoted on its website and its in room brochure. Never been so underwhelmed.
The main door is next to what I can assume is the Housekeeping / Room Service storage room. This room has no door and is simply cordoned off by a grubby looking yellow/blue blanket. Hardly the setting when you enter your EUR 3000 a night room.
The suite consists of a master suite and two small bedrooms which are in line and then sealed off by the main door next to storage room. Essentially once you close the main door, these three rooms are yours.
The two normal rooms were pretty small in that it the bed dominated the room, two small side tables, a chair and a TV. This and they were packed. The bathrooms were adequate but only with tub showers. The rooms did look dated and I just got the impression that they had not been deep cleaned in a while.
The Presidential Suite, consisted of a bedroom with a table (internet connection and charging point) but no chair - just a stool. One armchair and a TV. The bathroom was white marble with yellowing grey veins, two sinks a tub and a shower.
The tub was filthy. My daughter went to fill the bath and first flow of water showed a stead stram of debris. Suffice to say this put us off for the rest of the trip. The shower was the least powerful of any 5-star hotel that I have ever experienced and even some of the 4-star chain hotels deliver a better experience.
Much touted in the brochure is a the library that comes with suite. All it is is a narrow corridor - the same as you would find in any one bedroom flat leading from the bedroom to the sitting room, with a table wedged in on one side and a roll away mini chesterfield chair. This being the main table for work - guess what - no charging point. Hence charge your laptop in the bedroom overnight and do your work in the corridor during the day.
At the end of the corridor was a small but cozy sitting room. yet strangely for a Presidential Suite - no dining table. Perhaps the expectation is that guests will dine on the terrace. During my stay it was cool on the first evening and rained the next day so that terrace is not the obvious choice that the hotel may think it is.
The terrace itself, another much headlined feature of the Suite. Yes its a terrace. No particularly stunning view, or flowers or lighting and nobody ever swept or made up the chairs with cushions on the days we were probably there.
In short the junior suite I had at the Beau Rivage in Lausanne a month ago was miles superior to this, as were the suites at the Cipriani, Four Seasons Florence, One bedroom suite at the Beverly Wilshire or the The Plaza and we're not even on the same planet when compared to The Oriental in Bangkok or Peninsula Hong Kong.
One final grating issue. This hotel never provided a single bottle of water during the day or night. A simple question to the lobby - simply elicited the answer "not our policy". By this time I was beyond caring.
4. La Terrace restaurant.
When you walk into the restaurant for breakfast at the Cipriani, the staff know you are in residence, have a table ready for you and on the second day they know your likes and dislikes. The menu is modest but delicious.
Repeat the same at the Beau Rivage and Emiliem remembers your name, guides you to an available table and the food preparation is sumptuous.
Should I go on listing hotels......
Suffice to say that at the Eden, the staff are all at sea, speak little or no English, forget to put cups and cutlery on the table. The cereals and fruit are adequate, bread selection limited to 1 type (oh and they had run out of brown bread on both days), and the scrambled eggs was an abomination that even a roadside diner would not care to serve.
For us it was quick in quick out in this airless room.
Views were good though.
Concierge was knowledgable and recommended two good restaurants to us. Other staff were polite but not engaging.
When I got home, I went for a proper hose down in my shower. It was a privilege to have seen the Sistine Chapel and to have walked in the same places as Ceaser and Augustus. I shall certainly return to Rome and its wealth of history in the future - but most definitely not to the Eden.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Eden Rome
- Eden Hotel Rome
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- More that 120 years old but the Eden does not "look its age". The Eden true soul resides in its rooms and suites, planned so as to create just the right balance between interior architecture and decor. Individual, elegant and refined, our rooms offer the ultimate in comfort and luxury, and provide breathtaking views of Rome. ... more less
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