I would SO stay here again!
After a bit of a difficult start when we tried to book about 6-7 months ahead (in which I was told that if we wanted to reserve a specific standard room, #823 L’Angelica in this case, we would have to pay the price of a deluxe room, i.e., 50% more), they finally agreed to reserve L'Angelica for us at the standard price of €180, and they honored that.
If you like good design and appreciate details, you owe it to yourself to consider this hotel. It is gorgeous and so well executed! I fanaticize that it’s owned by a person of means, who wanted everything done as exquisitely as possible, no matter that corners could have been cut to save money (and almost no one would have noticed). But I can’t tell that any corners were cut. The result is something you have to see to fully appreciate.
In addition to interior design that is out-of-this-world romantic and almost “decadent” in terms of luxury – but in a fresh and unstuffy way – the hotel is also located in a lovely area of the city. Both our taxi drivers told us it is an expensive residential area. I guess so: the residence of the Egyptian Ambassador to the Vatican is practically next door. It was so nice to return to this quiet and peaceful area each evening, and to wake up there each morning. No horns, no sirens. No hustle and bustle.
Breakfast was extensive, of high quality, and beautifully presented. My husband wasn’t happy that they didn’t serve cooked eggs (other than cold, boiled eggs), and he said he was unimpressed with the cereal selection (assorted Kellogg’s options, none of the good granolas he usually enjoys getting in Europe). But there was a wide assortment of other offerings, including salmon. And the room itself! Wow! I would say the hallmark of this hotel is its attention to detail. Even the cappuccinos were made in such a way as to leave a white heart on the top.
Some of the other above-and-beyond details we noted: The toiletries weren’t just set out on a tray in the bathroom. Instead, waiting for us there were two small, monogrammed (silk?) bags holding toiletries. I liked the toiletries, but don’t know the brand because they came in attractive bottles with the hotel’s name and logo. It seemed that each of the two mornings we were there, if there was a partial bottle of body wash or shampoo, it was taken away and replaced with an unopened bottle. That was certainly unnecessary on our account, but was an example of the 5-star service they provided. As someone else said about the Sant’ Anselmo, it had 5-star quality for 3-star prices.
Our room was small (though the bathroom was fabulous!) but I think the standard rooms are a much better value for the money than the deluxe rooms, which are 50% more.
There is no restaurant on the premises, but they will make you a simple sandwich in the bar, which can be eaten in the lounge. Ours was very simple: two pieces of bread and cheese – no butter, no mayo, no mustard, no lettuce and tomato. I don’t remember the price, but it wasn’t cheap. However, it did fit the bill for that night, as we’d had a later lunch and weren’t very hungry.
The hill. It was absolutely worth it for us to climb the hill in order to stay in that lovely area, away from the noise of the city center, and yet in easy walking distance to most things we wanted to see (though for the Vatican we caught bus #23 – buy your ticket first at the tobacco shop). However, we stayed there in October. I would not – not even once – want to make that walk uphill in summer! Assuming the hotel is air conditioned, I would still want to stay there in the summer, but we would need to plan on a taxi ride for the return up the hill. We did that one night after dinner, and it was € 8 from the Pantheon.
An area for improvement:
In general, the staff could stand to be quite a bit friendlier and still present a professional image. Quite often their formality had an almost wooden stiffness to it. We’re on vacation. Lighten up. Make us feel welcome. (I would still go there again. If you want to know why, look at the photos. :)) We would like to commend the man behind the desk when we arrived, however. We refused to be cheated by the taxi driver, and the driver followed us into the hotel, saying we hadn’t paid what we owed. (See crime tips below.) The hotel employee handled it with grace and poise, I suppose telling the taxi driver (in Italian) that we were saying we didn’t owe it. He remained professional throughout, and when I asked him to call the police, he picked up the phone (which sent the taxi driver on his way).
Our cab fare from the RR station, where we dropped off the rental car, was just under € 29. My husband was low on Euros, so I pulled out a 20 (the only one I had) and a 10 and handed it to my husband, who handed it to the driver. As I was putting my wallet away and my husband was reaching into his pocket for some more coins for the tip, the driver switched the bills and said we’d only given him a 10 and a 5. But the 20 was gone from my wallet, and my husband said he had seen that it was a 20. Our plan from then on was to hold out the money before handing it over and saying, “Do you agree that this is a 20 and a 10 [or whatever]?”
How you carry your bag could get you killed. While we were in Rome, we saw pictures in the newspaper of a woman who’d been pulled into the street by a would-be pickpocket. He was on a motorbike, and when he tried to grab her purse, he couldn’t get it because she had the strap crisscrossed across her body (over one shoulder and under the opposite arm – the same way my husband was carrying his camera bag). His attempt pulled her into the street. Thankfully, she wasn’t killed – miracle enough on the streets in Rome! But it was a lesson not to walk too close to the streets. I wore my camera bag like a fanny pack, with an additional strap around the neck. Figured if they cut it one way there would be a back-up. It helps if it’s cool enough to wear a sweater or lightweight jacket over all that. We can never ensure that we’ll be 100% safe, but we can do things to discourage their picking us as a target in the first place.
The Sant' Anselmo isn't perfect, but it is an incredible, incredible place. Rome wasn't my choice (I wanted to go back to Croatia), but I have the most special memories of being there, and it's largely because we stayed at the Sant' Alselmo.
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- Also Known As:
- s Anselmo Hotel
- s Anselmo Rome
- San Anselmo Rome
- Hotel San Anselmo Rome