We did not intend to stay at Rome Times. We had a booking at the Independent hotel near the Termini Station, but on arrival we were told that they had to close 2 floors entirely due to the water leakage, and our reservation was moved to a «wonderful new 4-star superior hotel» that belongs to the same hotel group and where we would surely have a great time. It was not a pleasant surprise, but we had an open mind and were determined to have the great time we were promised.
The major advantage of Rome Times is the location. Central but quiet, a walking distance to Colosseo, Santa Maria Maggiore, Pantheon, Piazza di Spagna and many other attractions.
The building looks nice, inside and outside. Both the lobby and the bar/breakfast area are beautifully decorated. I only think that a couple of chairs in the lobby would be useful. If you have to wait, you either stand or go to the bar where a waiter appears immediately and you have to explain that you are just waiting.
We had a room on the 3rd floor, a standard one apparently, no balcony (compared to the superior room we had booked at the Independent – with a pillow menu, SKY TV channels and possibly a balcony). It looked nice. I liked the brown decor and the heavy curtains that blocked all the light. The bed was too soft to my taste, but I slept well. Yet, I must say that the room was unfinished. The electric sockets had no covers, and at least one socket was not working. The ventilation in the bathroom did not work either. There was no wi-fi connection in the room, although they did try to fix it while we were there. All the 100+ TV channels were Italian (ok, one was French). So pretty much nothing to keep you busy while you are waiting for your turn to take a shower.
I assume that this situation will change and at some point there will be the in-room wi-fi, a couple of English TV channels, the socket covers, etc. But why must we pay EURO 250 a day NOW for something that this place may one day become?
The breakfast was basic, but ok. One of the reviewers commented on the good coffee, so here is some news – the coffee is no longer good. On the second morning of our stay the bartender turned on the Nescafe Alegria machine and that was it. Whenever you asked for an espresso or a cappuccino they would politely direct you to the machine. If you politely insisted on getting natural coffee from the bar, they would bring it, on no extra charge, but who knows if this lasts long?
The personnel were all extremely nice, but the service was not perfect. On the day before our departure, the housekeeper did not leave any soap in our bathroom. We left a note with the receptionist, but with no effect. I know, they did not mean it to look like «Oh, you are leaving tomorrow anyway, so why bother?», but it did.
Anyway, I would have given this hotel 4 points, but one of the receptionists managed to make a complete mess of our departure. At check-out, he asked if we needed a taxi, and we said yes – to the airport. Ok, he said, the taxi will be here in about 5 minutes. We waited for half an hour (I was about to run outside and wave for one), when a big and beautiful BMW arrived with a smartly dressed driver. What??? We had never mentioned words like «private transfer» or a «business sedan» to him, it had always been «taxi»! When I mentioned this incident to my friend who lives in Rome, she said she hoped we had not paid extra fee for the personal transfer (which we didn't), because that's what they sometimes do in Rome – cheat tourists like that, forcing them to use more expensive services. We hardly made it to the airport in time, thank god there is web check-in in this world.
The time we had in Rome was wonderful, but I cannot say the same about the hotel. I will not return to Rome Times, nor to the Independent.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Rome Times Hotel is located in the heart of the city, in the middle of Via Nazionale known for shopping, less than 10 minutes walk from Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna and the Coliseum. This boutique hotel offers its guests a contemporary design and all rooms are bright and spacious with wooden floors, air conditioning and every possible comfort. Everything, from furniture to ambient lighting, has been specifically designed for the Rome Times Hotel, creating an exclusive and modern hotel. ... more less
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