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“Location and service: Best location in Rome”

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Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux
Ranked #136 of 1,269 Hotels in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 February 2011

I stayed at the Hotel Raphael for 5 nights on business, with the hope of being close enough to the sights to enjoy the tourist attractions as a first-time visitor to Rome. For this goal, I could not have picked a more perfect hotel.

My top priorities when choosing a hotel: Location/convenience, good internet connection, cleanliness (including linens), comfy beds. Hotel Raphael delivered on all of these things and much more.

Service was impeccable, characteristic of the R&C line. The housekeeping service somehow knew when I had left and timed the cleanings (daily and turn down) perfectly. I did not get a single "knock knock housekeeping," nor did I return to a not-yet-clean room once during my 6-day/5-night stay. I honestly can't remember the last time that's happened. I wish all hotels would pay attention to details like this.

Reception was friendly and supremely competent. The phone didn't even ring when I pressed for the concierge -- he was already on the line and waiting to assist. When I requested an ethernet cable from reception, it arrived in less than 3 minutes. Wired internet was fast (14 min to download an episode of 30 Rock from iTunes) and free. Wireless (used the hotel lobby wifi log-in and signal) was slightly less fast, but more than adequate, and also free using the lobby's network.

The room itself was clean, spacious, modern and well-lit (booked one of the Richard Meier doubles on the 3rd floor). Not a great view (facing a stone building next door), but not bad and there were 2 large windows for plenty of light. The room smelled faintly of smoke, even though it was a non-smoking room. The hallways also smelled of smoke once in a while, but it's hard to find a true non-smoking hotel in Rome. Also, the doors to the hallway weren't well insulated so I could hear people coming to and fro.

Bed was two twins abutting each other to make a king -- each side was adjustable to elevate your head and legs. Insanely comfortable. One of the nicest hotel bathrooms I've seen in Europe. Toiletries were Bulgari, and the hotel presented me with a boxed Bulgari gift set upon departure.

Delicious free breakfast buffet every morning -- lots of great fresh fruit, in addition to gourmet pastries, hot foods and meat.

I haven't even gotten to the best part yet: Location. Hotel Raphael is adjacent to Piazza Navona, the most charming and picturesque of all Rome's piazzas, and nestled in the historic center, within a 5 minute walk to Pantheon, 10 minutes to Trevi Fountain, 15 minutes to Spanish Steps, 15 minutes to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, and less than 30 minutes to the Vatican across the bridge. I didn't realize what a huge city Rome is, so being able to walk to all the great monuments was hugely convenient.

There are also a number of good restaurants nearby -- best pasta of my life next door at the renowned Santa Lucia. Around the corner is authentic Italian pizza at Focaccia. It's a 10 minute walk to Piazza Lucenzo for some of the best gelato in Rome (San Crispino and Della Palma) and a great, reasonably priced homestyle meal at Matricianella.

Finally, the front desk and bellmen were a pleasure at every interaction. Very professional and helpful. I will definitely stay at Hotel Raphael again, and would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled on business
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4  Thank thejenniekim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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766 - 772 of 1,409 reviews

Reviewed 5 February 2011

The best hotel I've ever stayed in! The bed was one of the most comfortable we've ever had the pleasure to sleep on, the breakfast was actually very good for a buffet and the staff were so friendly and helpful

We stayed on New Years Eve and the rooftop was opened for midnight, accompanied by champagne and cocktails. It must have been one of the best vantage points in the city to see all the fireworks across the city.

The location is absolutely spot on to see everything the city has to offer. We didn't need to use public transport a single time. There are some fantastic little restaurants nearby (not least the restaurant Santa Lucia). The only thing I'd say is whilst there are some fantastic restaurants nearby, there are also some awful tourist traps. Ask the concierge for recommendations to avoid these!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank csf1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2011

I did extensive research before I stayed here and I writing to report that there could not have been a nicer hotel staff. Unlike some of the less flattering reviews that I read here I was not disappointed at all, and I wasn't even one of the high rollers.

From the front desk, to the breakfast room, to the people that were the room cleaning staff, everyone did their job at a high level of excellence. Granted this is a 5 star hotel, but they do not seem to take that for granted, they seem to want to maintain that high level of service.

My husband was a huge fan of the Breakfast buffet, and it was worth it (Blood Orange Juice was off the hook)

Location was awesome, as was the fact that January is Sale month at all the shops, tripadvisor readers take note: January is SALDE month in Rome, and there were lots and they were good!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank halfbakedtv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2011

The Hotel Raphael is located just a few steps from Piazza Navona on a beautiful and charming street. We stayed at the hotel for a week over New Years' and had a delightful dinner and enjoyed the beautiful fireworks over the city from their rooftop restaurant. The hotel and restaurant staff were very courteous, spoke fluent English and were extremely helpful with our needs. Overall the room and bathroom were adequate but extremely small. We ran low on bathroom toiletries a few times which was annoying (i.e., soap, toilet paper, shampoo and tissue) and upholstered headboard was very dusty, but these shortcomings were soon forgotten by us because of the outstanding service, restaurant and comfort offered by this terrific hotel and its staff. The breakfast buffet was fabulous, internet service and gym convenient. I would highy recommend this hotel and would stay there again on my next visit to Rome.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kmdinny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2011

I give Hotel Raphael three and a half out of five for the hotel itself, not including the restaurant. It is in an excellent location, very central indeed for the historic centre of Rome. The rooms are very good, although we did have some problems with getting the air-conditioning at a temperature we liked. It took several phone calls to reception, and we spent one night having difficulty sleeping as it was so hot. Otherwise the rooms are very clean, with good facilities as one would expect. The staff are helpful, although there isn't the same personal touch we've experienced in other Relais & Chateaux hotels.

However, I would warn any visitor away from the hotel restaurant. We visited in winter, so the roof restaurant was not open. The ground floor restaurant was empty when we arrived for dinner on a Friday evening at 8.30pm. Generally speaking, the food was overpriced. We did not receive what we would expect for €150 for two courses (including a €48 bottle of wine, which did not seem worth the money) for two people. When we ordered my wife explained she was vegetarian, and the waiter confirmed that her choices were vegetarian. An additional starter was brought, which was fish. When my wife queried this, no substitute was offered. Then the ordered starter arrived, which was supposed to be goat's cheese and mango salad. There was no obvious sign of mango, very little goat's cheese, but there were large strips of bacon. Not vegetarian. Having removed the bacon herself, my wife was faced with what amounted to a €26 pile of lettuce with a tiny amount of goat's cheese. My food was fine, but nothing special. We were simply left flabbergasted by the way in which the staff didn't seem to care about my wife's dietary requirements.

The breakfast was a good buffet with lots of variety, but again the service left something to be desired. The waitress showing guests to their tables repeatedly answered the phone while doing so, and seemed extremely impersonal. Despite being one of only two couples in the restaurant all evening, we felt completely neglected by the three waiting staff who seemed completely uninterested. We left without pudding.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank exonx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2011

Last august we´ve stayed at The Raphael. Upon arrival we were upgraded to a suit. So we had a little private balcony at the back of the hotel. We were a bit tired (don´t take the train form the airport, arrange the private transfer instead). But that was soon to be forgotten when we discovered the fresh fruits and a bottle of Champaign. Since we weren’t able to empty that bottle at once, the staff filled the ice bucket with fresh ice and closed the bottle with a cork. Something we did not expect.
The location is great. Everything is within walking distance. Busses are nearby. Staff is very friendly and helpful. The made some reservations for us.
The hotel itself is tastefully decorated. Lots of classic furniture. The Richard Meier rooms are totally different, but despite the modern architecture still cozy and warm. We didn´t have dinner at the rooftop restaurant. But it´s certainly worthwhile to have a drink (or more) at night. The view is lovely and they even have a small bench to put your bag on.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wereldreiziger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

This was our first try at a Relais and Chateau hotel, so maybe we had our hopes up too high. We chose the Richard Meier suite because we were told it was part of the newly renovated section. The room was an average size with a very large (and absolutely heavenly) comfort by number bed, the bathroom was also very large and clean, however, the shower door uncontrollably leaks water, which is a small annoyance if you've forgotten your flip flops. The location is very nice, close to the lovely Piazza Navona, Pantheon and nearby to the Colliseum. Conceirge was standard, they reccommended a nearby restaurant, Grana, where the service was excellent and most dishes were spot on. Another night, we asked for late night dining & were told that most options were closed (11pm), however, after a short walk, we found many trattorias and eateries still welcoming and serving delicious traditional Roman cuisine. The outside of the hotel is very, very pretty and nearly impossible to miss because of the ivy and twinkling lights above and there's a nearby taxi stand, which is helpful when you are ready to go out and about the city. The breakfast was thankfully included in the price of our suite, otherwise, we might've been disappointed (to be fair, we are not breakfast people, so we don't have much to compare). The conceirge was pleasant, although it's a larger hotel, so they won't spend much of their time building your itinerary or setting up budget friendly options. The restaurant seemed to be very popular and the menu looked wonderful, we just found ourselves enjoying the city too much to come back early enough to eat there. One of the bellhops was so wonderful and accomodating that I wished I remembered his name to include it here, such a lovely disposition and always willing to be helpful. The only negative complaint I have (which is quite a big one), is that on the last night of our stay, I found that on the inside comforter of the very lovely and comfortable bed, there was a droplet of red blood (ew, so gross!)...had it been even just a washed stain, I might've been able to erase it from my mind...other than that, housekeeping did an excellent job of keeping the room in order and clean. The area was pleasant and very safe with almost zero noise from the street level seeping in. There were great restaurant options nearby (da Baffetto, Gino's, Grana) and the rooftop terrace had wonderful views of the sun rising and setting over Rome. If you get the hotel at a better deal than we did, you will be quite pleased.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank InternationalAhole
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

Address: Piazza Navona Largo Febo 2 | 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:
#78 Family Hotel in Rome
#82 Luxury Hotel in Rome
#84 Romantic Hotel in Rome
#108 Business Hotel in Rome
Price Range: £202 - £475 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux 5*
Number of rooms: 50
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Raphael Hotel Rome

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