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“very disappointing”

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Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux
Ranked #120 of 1,256 Hotels in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
san francisco
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“very disappointing”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

Our 2 day stay at this hotel was to be the highlight of our 3 1/2 week trip in Italy. The Hotel Raphael was to be a 75th birthday present for my sweetheart. Why did we choose it? It is a member of the famed Relais and Chateau chain, architecturally significant, very near the Piazza Navona, and my sweetheart stayed there some years ago.

But it was a distasteful and unpleasant experience. The concierges were unhelpful and inexperienced. When we arrived at 2pm, a concierge met us and asked if she could help us with any questions. We asked her to get us a reservation at the Borghese Gallery for the following day, where we could find a restaurant that served wild boar (chingali), and if she could find us a hotel for our 3rd night in Rome. She replied that she was new to Rome and would
need to look things up; but she would get us answers to our questions promptly.

After 24 hours, at 2pm the next day, we asked this concierge for the answers. To which she replied: "I haven't had time to work on your requests". I then asked a different concierge if he
could help us. He informed me he too had been in Rome only a short time and didn't know the answers either.

I then asked in they had any experienced concierges available. He went in the back and brought out Cinzia ... a breath of fresh air ... a real jewel ... who went out of our way to help and provided the service we expected of this hotel. If it hadn't been for Cinzia, I would have given
this hotel one star "terrible".

It was a huge waste of money ($485 per night) and a great disappointment. While travelling in
Italy we never payed more than 100 euros per night for wonderful accommodations including the 4 star Hotel Laconda die Ciocca in Grottaferrata just outside of Rome, most of the deluxe B&B's we stayed at charge 50 - 60 euros.

Hotel Raphael charged for every little thing. I went to the bar and asked for some hot water because I had a sore throat ... they charged me 8 euros for it. After my morning run, I stopped
by reception and asked for some water .. they charged me 10 euros. I asked if they had any newspapers in English (they had one the day before) and they said they could send someone out buy one for me. After paying nearly $500 a night this was an insult.

I would never stay there again.

Room Tip: Avoid this hotel at all costs!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank p967052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2013

Stayed 3 nights in September. Location is superb and central to what you want to see in Rome. This hotel has effective management, great staff, interesting decor and a great rooftop restaurant/bar. Congrats to the owner/manager. Our stay was a pleasure.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank BlackstoneBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 October 2013

This was one of the top hotel experiences of our collective travels. A sitting room overlooking the roofs of Rome, a private deck looking into what appeared to be a music school and airy lilting lovely musical notes dancing through the Rome sunset...a private living room...a bedroom fit for a king and queen and two perfect bathrooms. A staff that could not be more helpful or more pleasant and a morning breakfast where everything you could want, whether you eat only fruit, or a hearty American breakfast of meat and eggs. Have you ever seen a automatic orange juicer? Every fruit drink was fresh squeezed just minutes before you drank it, not the night before.

Even this does not do the hotel justice because my writing is not poetic, as the hotel is........just go and enjoy yourself in Rome. You cannot get a better location to walk the streets of Rome and breath in the history.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, the two named suites with decks are exquisite. 5th floor.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MetLightner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

We did enjoy the glass of Prosecco each to open our three night stay. It set the tone for the rest of the stay. Standards are high at Hotel Raphael as one should expect. The staff are efficient if you tip early on in your stay and enough. We don't tip and had to wait often to be attended. Some of the front desk staff don't know where decent local restaurants are located - first night we were offered one which was downright poor, the second night despite three attempts at directions we could not find it and the third night we found our own five mins away they had never heard of, which was vastly better than the other two nights.

We chose this hotel because of its location, a judgement that proved remarkably correct if one is a tourist and a shopper. Everyone in Rome knows Piazza Navona, and if lost, one merely asks for its location and you were home! We had one of the old rooms - deluxe with terrace. Small in size as everywhere in Europe, but the terrace, because the weather was perfect, was utterly special. The bed was more than merely comfortable as were the pillows. Everything worked. However I am still coming to terms with a five star hotels and showers in the bath - its just not right, but thats just me and Europe!

Room Tip: Splurge and get a room with a terrace!
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank timothy4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Queensland
Level Contributor
78 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

We stayed at the Raphael for 5 nights at the beginning of October. The hotel is just off the Piazza Navona, quietly positioned, and very convenient for walking to the major sights. In fact we walked everywhere, and didn't resort to any public transport or taxi. The Colosseum was the furthest, and about 35 minutes walk.

Our suite was a deluxe on the 5th floor, set over two levels. It has a very modern fit-out, and whilst on the small side, was well laid out. The bathroom was well appointed, but very cramped, with a standing only gap between the vanity and toilet/bidet. There was a sitting area with desk, and then a marble flight of stairs up to the sleeping area. This space just accommodated the bed, with barely enough room to move down the sides - watch out for banging your shins on the wooden bed-frame! The stairs are steep, so caution is needed. I did fall, myself, and only just managed to hang on to the hand-rail - serious injury would have occurred otherwise.

The suite is under their terrace, where evening drinks and some limited dining is served. At the end of the evening, and also early morning, the staff dragged the metal chairs and tables around, which consequently sent a considerable amount of noise through the ceiling of our suite, making sleep impossible. The remedy is to head to bed after 11:00pm and rise by 6:15am.

Breakfast is very good, with a broad selection of cold and hot foods, including cake. Great coffee is made promptly for you as soon as you sit down.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, and our room was supplied with a beautiful fruit platter with a bottle of wine on arrival.

I would visit again, but would want a better room on a lower floor to avoid all noise.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank 23425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Great location - you really can't get better than this - right off Piazza Navona. Suprisingly quiet inside - which was great - close to the Pantheon, we walked to Spanish steps, Vatican - we even walked to the Collaseum - it's easily doable.
Room was beautiful - rooftop restaurant serves great food, great place for sunset drinks. We left early for the airport - there were hampers waiting for us with breakfast.
If you are looking for a beautiful small elegant place - this one is awesome.
Wouldn't hesitate to stay here again

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank methusala123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenock
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2013 via mobile

Stayed at the Raphael for 4 nights in a room at the front on the 4th floor.
You can't ask for a better location: seconds from Piazza Navona and 10 minutes to St. Peter's on one side and the Pantheon / Spanish Steps on the other. You can cover a lot of ground and have a multitude of dining/drinking options in a short time frame from Largo Febo.
The service at the hotel was exemplary, from Robert (concierge), the housekeeping team and the breakfast staff; nothing was too much trouble. We had an issue with a leaking shower screen in our room, which they tried to deal with. I'm not convinced that it was completely fixed (housekeeping seemed relaxed about us using towels to mop up the water!) but it didn't spoil our enjoyment. The room was fine. A little on the small side but very comfortable and it had lots of storage and nice toiletries. A lack of English-speaking channels on the tv wasn't brilliant, to be honest, but not a huge issue.
The bathroom, again, was very small but had everything we needed. I didn't care much for the decor (it seemed a little garish and not particularly in keeping with the rest of the room) but everything worked well - other than the issue with the shower screen.
We had breakfast on a few occasions. I would comment on the staff: they were very helpful and very accommodating (we were a little late getting down on time!). I probably wouldn't have paid for the breakfast if it wasn't included in the price but it was a very nice way to start the day.
In terms of cost, we looked at a number of options in and around town. The Raphael was at the top end relative to the Inn at the Spanish Steps/Sofitel and others but I do think the location is worth paying for. I'd be interested in checking some of these others out the next time we're in town. However, the fact that I'd be interested in checking out other 5star hotels says to me that I'm not convinced, given the price and room size/ bathroom decor that it's a 5 star rating from this visit. That said, the overall feel of the Raphael is very relaxed, very comfortable and not at all fussy so it's a really solid 4 star review from me. I really enjoyed the stay and wouldn't have any hesitation in recommending it.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Mickah_Wallace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux

Property: Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux
Address: Largo Febo 2, Piazza Navona | Piazza Navona, 00186 Rome, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Lazio > Rome > Navona / Pantheon / Campo de’ Fiori , Ponte
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#71 Luxury Hotel in Rome
#78 Family Hotel in Rome
#84 Romantic Hotel in Rome
#108 Business Hotel in Rome
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux 5*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Raphael Hotel Rome

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