My husband and I spent 5 nights of our honeymoon at Hotel Raphael. Rome was expected to be the "busy-sightseeing" portion of our holiday and so after reading the mixed reviews on TA we decided to book Hotel Raphael on the understanding that we weren't expecting much from the room, but the location would be convenient for us... plus the rooftop seemed like a rather romantic feature. Our taxi from the airport cost the standard rate of 43Euros (...our cab-driver even gave us a pleasant tour of the city-sites as we drove by!)
- The service we received from the staff was very good throughout, particularly at breakfast (which had an adequate range of produce available). We received a wonderful welcome. Prosecco & mini-sandwiches were offered to us and the concierge spent quality time with us to recommend different areas to visit during our stay. He also kindly secured us an entry-ticket for our visit to the Vatican (a must-do if you plan to visit Vatican City, as this allowed us to happily walk straight past the most horrific queue on the day). We were also greeted with a letter and a bottle of Prosecco in our room, congratulating us on our recent marriage.
- The location is just perfect! No matter where we went sightseeing in Rome, we were always able to return to the hotel on foot if we wanted a short siesta or a quick change for the evening. The Piazza Navona is right on your doorstep, and so we enjoyed not only seeing this square completely empty, bathed in early-morning sunlight on our morning walk to the Colosseum, but it also provided some wonderful evening memories as we walked through the square in the evening enjoying the various entertainers.
- There were no tea or coffee making facilities in the room! Seriously! What sort of “5 star” hotel doesn’t even provide a kettle for guests??
- 253Euros per night for the Classic Double room is a bit of a joke. We were already anticipating something "cosy", but here we couldn't even walk around the bed! What was particularly disconcerting was that our Booking.com reservation stated "1 Large Double", which is baffling since there is nothing remotely "Large" about the entire room. This also wasn't helped by the equally tiny bathroom, and we were only provided 1 bathrobe and 1 pair of slippers. There wasn't enough space to hang our towels, and so instead they had been squashed in a folded-pile on a stool under the sink. There wasn’t even room to open both our suitcases in the room. Our room overlooked part of the street, which was ok, except it was noisy at times from a (rather untalented) street singer one evening, and a traffic-related altercation one morning.
- The hotel would not provide an iron for guests, which was a complete ploy to upsell their Laundry service. I did use the Laundry service in the end for a pair of trousers and a top (30Euros), and so can confirm the service was quick and reliable, however I was incredibly disappointed that half of my suitcase was unwearable due to their lack of standard facilities which left me feeling bitterly duped.
- The female receptionists weren’t as approachable as the rest of the staff. They rarely looked up, and even avoided eye-contact when we tried to greet them at their empty desk when we returned from our day/evening out, which seemed borderline-rude.
- The rooftop restaurant was nice, but not as romantic as we had imagined, plus there were hardly any city lights on in the evening, which meant the view was pretty much just darkness at night. Service in the restaurant was lacking (no smile, personality or attentiveness). We weren’t particularly opposed to the Vegetarian-only menu, however even when finding a dish that sounded alright, we couldn’t then understand why such a dish would cost the same as a quality meat dish elsewhere. There was only one table on the entire rooftop dining, and they didn’t seem overly pleased with their meal, so in the end we passed on the opportunity. We had one glass of wine each however we didn't bother re-visiting since there were nicer places elsewhere, which is a shame as we would have quite happily enjoyed dining at the hotel if it had been more enjoyable.
All in all, we did enjoy our stay in Rome, however this was largely down to the convenient location of Hotel Raphael and how much we enjoyed ourselves beyond our hotel. If I was ever re-visiting Rome in the future though, I would have reservations about staying here again as I don’t feel we received the best value.
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- Also Known As:
- Raphael Hotel Rome