How this hotel has garnered a 4-star rating is questionable indeed, as the only thing we could see contributing to that accolade were the décor and the professionalism of the reception, however professional as they may be, failing to resolve a customer issue is still failing to resolve a customer issue.
To give context, we arrived in Rome in the first week of June, having visited Ravello and Amalfi for a friend’s wedding. Yes, we knew Rome would be scorching and humid when we got there, which was why we chose a hotel that offered air conditioning, such as the Best Western Hotel Rivoli. We had prepared for long days of trudging around grandiose landmarks, piazzas and riversides, safe in the knowledge we could come home to our hotel and kick the air-con up to an arctic climate that we would be most happy with.
Unfortunately the Best Western does not offer air-con. Yes, the websites say they do, and yes, they have a big white unit with a wall-control box, but this is not air-con. Air-con regulates the atmosphere and temperature of a room. This great big white excuse blew out a puff of cool air so weakly that it got about 3 inches from the vent and dissipated. Meaning we had no escape from Rome’s heat for entire stay, save for jumping into Bulgari or Hugo Boss for a blatant 10 minute window shop, red-faced and damp-backed and obviously not about to buy anything!
We immediately raised the issue of the AC unit upon arrival, knowing full well we couldn’t handle three sweaty, sleepless nights. Not to mention trying to get ready for evenings out. The reception promptly sent up some fella to tinker with the dials and the unit. The result? No change. We gave it a day then asked the morning receptionist, as we were leaving for the day, to look at it as it appeared to be broken. 6 hours later when we returned we asked how they’d gotten on. The receptionist replied “It’s fixed.” They’re idea of fixing? Opening the balcony doors….! To add context, on this day it was over 35 degrees outside.
At this point we gave up on trying to resolve the situation. I ducked into a couple of other rooms I saw being changed by the maid to see if their air-con was any better but all the units were the same and all the room temperatures the same too. We weren’t going to get anywhere so we ended up grinning and bearing it. Which, for my girlfriend was difficult as she has medical reasons for needing to regulate her temperature, not over-heat, etc. The best we can do is advise other folk who have similar susceptibilities to the heat to avoid Hotel Rivoli. Otherwise it’ll be a loooong trip!
- Grandiose décor in the communal areas. Very much looks the part.
- Staff conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
- Room had a nice balcony, albeit not one we wanted to use given the room was nothing we could use to cool down in after.
- Comfy bed.
- The pitiful excuse for air-con, as stated above.
- The bathroom stank of sewage and worse. Constantly.
- Shower wouldn’t pick a temperature, often shifting from cold to piping hot. When you’re trying to cool down after a long day’s walking the last thing you want is a hot shower!
- The breakfast consisted of mostly stale bread, croissants, etc. and sweaty meats. Only thing we ate was the boxed cereals and the scrambled eggs. If we’d had to pay for it we would’ve complained.
- The concierge called us a cab one night, who turned out to be your standard crooked cabbie who takes you the ultra-long way round (we’d been in Rome two days and knew the routes, as we had walked them, well) for what could have been a quick journey. Not sure if this is the hotel’s preferred taxi company but worth noting here I think.
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Rivoli
- Best Western Rome
- Rome Best Western