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Pantheon: Albergo del Senato

Piazza della Rotunda

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Reviewed by: Chiaro di Luna from canada, review #2905

When: August 2010

Hotel is in an awesome location, but all superior doubles are not equal. {3 stars}

I booked the Superior Double room with a view of the Pantheon back in September 2009, for the rate of 220 euro per night for 3 nights with the understanding that this was the regular rate for the room and not a discounted rate on the hotel's website.

I also chose this hotel because it was advertised as having free wireless internet and safety boxes in each room. The photo on the hotel's website at the time of my booking showed a superior double with a full door to a walkout balcony/terrace.

During my stay from July 31 to August 3, 2010 I stayed in Rooms 302 (for one night) & 605 (for 2 nights).

Here is what we received in Room 605 for the same money that we DID NOT RECEIVE in Room 302:

Room 605 had: *a balcony you could walk out on for a better view of the Pantheon & piazza *a comfortable double bed with nicer coverings (obviously newly renovated) *a safety box BOLTED DOWN to a secure cupboard *internet connection on the wall and wireless internet worked in this room *a coffee maker and supplies *a clock radio *a safety mat for the tub *his and her amenity kits in the bathroom

We were very happy with Room 605 and this is what we expected for our full 3 nights at this hotel.

A lot of our time was wasted on trying to get the internet to work & hooking up the unplugged TV in room 302. Also, when we went to lock our valuables in the safety box we noticed you could pick up the whole safety box and walk out the door with it. It was not bolted down.

We spent a lot of our long travel day dealing with these issues in Room 302, with no help from the front desk staff. I even asked if we could change rooms and was told "no" - there was nothing in our category. We would have to wait at least a couple of days to get the safety box bolted down, so we put our passports in the small safety box at reception and carried our laptop and other valuables around Rome with us.

Our second morning we went back to the reception desk to make sure our concerns regarding the safety box and no internet in the room would be dealt with. The male desk clerk suggested we change rooms and he would call up to our room in half an hour. He called and said nothing would be available in our category and I told him I was disappointed that I was not getting what the hotel advertised.

He then called back in 15 minutes and offered us a move to room 605.

I believe the hotel staff would have known that room 605 would become vacant by noon that day and could have assured us of a move when I talked to them earlier.

We had a few other issues as well: In room 605: - the key card to the room did not work (another trip to front desk) - the internet code had expired after one day (another call down to get new code) - the plug was stuck in the tub almost causing a flood (maintenance man came 3 times during our 3rd day to fix the plug)

As you can see, one Superior Double in this hotel is not equal to another. The management has some work to do.

Having traveled extensively and having stayed in all types of hotels and categories we did not let this spoil our time in Rome; it was just aggravating and time consuming dealing with these issues that shouldn't have existed in such a highly rated hotel.

The location was excellent & the included breakfast was good. The car service that picked us up at FCO for 55 euro arranged by the hotel was excellent.

I know this experience is rather unique for this hotel, but I always report back with the way it was.

Reviewed by: Marian from NJ, review #2584

When: May 2009

An elegant and comfortable hotel, well located next to the Pantheon, with good service. {3 stars}

I stayed at this hotel for nine nights, sharing a superior twin with my 11 year old granddaughter. This is a three-star hotel, on the verge of being a four-star in terms of room furnishings, etc. We really enjoyed our stay.

What we liked: Central location, nice housekeeping service, nice breakfasts with a range of foods, helpful staff, view from superior room (top floor of hotel), pleasant public areas, nice whirlpool bathtub. My granddaughter enjoyed the two Disney channels (and I didn't mind them), free wi-fi in superior room.

As this was a special trip for grandma and granddaughter, I went overboard in terms of what I spent for this superior room. Had I been in my right mind, I would have reined in the costs with a cheaper hotel or an apartment. Given that, I must say that she LOVED the hotel. Be aware that when you get a superior room, you are paying for the balcony (amazing!), the view, the amenities the free wifi, NOT the size; our room was not particularly big.

Would I stay there again? Probably not, but it was a lovely splurge.

Reviewed by: poet123 from UK, review #1562

When: August 2006

Fabulous location, charming staff, nice rooms.

We stayed at the Albergo Del Senato as a party of 7 taking 3 rooms. Ours was a superior double which turned out to be the room with the balcony on the front of the hotel directly overlooking the square and the Pantheon.

Our sons had a triple rooom which on arrival was upgraded to a junior suite (although quite how 3 beds would have fitted into a smaller room escapes me!) This too overlooked the Pantheon. The other two members of the party had a standard double again with Pantheon view. The rooms were all well equipped and very clean.

From booking we had been impressed with the friendly attitude of the desk staff and they were just as helpful and friendly on arrival, in particular the young lady (her name escapes me) and Mauro and Lucca were most helpful.

We went up to the terrace roof bar after dinner and here the service fell down a litttle. We were the only ones up there and the bartender kept leaving the terrace for long stretches and we were kept waiting to refill our drinks for a considerable period. As this was August we did expect the terrace to be busier but maybe the lack of service had encouraged other guests to go elsewhere as indeed we did eventually.

Breakfast was served up until 10am and as a party we arrived at 9am to find no tables available to seat 7 and the couple of smaller tables that were empty still had dishes on from previous occupants. There seemed to be a shortage of staff to clear tables/get coffee, etc. After a wait we were seated on separate tables. The array of food was typical of a european hotel and was adequate if nothing overly special. Being from the UK we are used to a more substanstial breakfast offering but of course "when in Rome" although our teens did need a top up later in the morning!!

Overall the best features of this hotel are its stunning location, friendly staff and clean comfortable rooms. We paid 190 euros for our superior double and 160 for the standard double and triple rooms. This was a special rate which took account of the Agust lull in Rome and the fact that we had booked en bloc.

The hotel also arranged for a minibus to take us to the airport which for 7 persons and considerable luggage cost 95 euros, which we were very happy with. We felt we had got value for money from the hotel if only for the location. I would stay at his hotel again.

Reviewed by: Josh Saxton from TX, review #1529

When: April 2005 and March 2006

Beautiful hotel facing the Pantheon.

My wife and I stayed at the Albergo del Senato for our April 2005 Honeymoon and for a week this past March 2006.

The hotel is located in the Piazza della Rotunda facing the Pantheon, in the Centro Storico (Historic Center). It is within walking distance from Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiori, and many other wonderful sights. The hotel boasts a rooftop bar with beautiful views of Roman rooftops (open Spring and Summer).

The rooms are great and some have views of the Pantheon and the Piazza della Rotunda. Great hotel, great location. Breakfast was included.

Reviewed by: dave2189 from UK, review #559

When: 2004

The hotel we chose after reading your reviews was the Albergo del Senato, and what a good move that was.

We found Slow Travelers web site by accident after we had booked a budget flight to Rome (0.59 each way with Ryan Air). The hotel we chose after reading your traveller's recommendations was the Albergo del Senato, and what a good move that was.

We had room 304 (double) which was smallish but comfortable and overlooked the Piazza della Rotunda and the Pantheon.

Michele, the bartender is still producing beautiful cocktails and nibbles. The hotel staff were all very helpful and made our short,and first, stay very memorable. We even had a musical serenade beneath our window on Saturday night, very romantic, we will definitely return. I must congratulate you on such a useful and well produced web site.

Reviewed by: Pauline from NM (moderator), review #464

When: December 2003, 1 night

Very good 3 star hotel in a perfect location. Smallish rooms; biggish views.

I booked this hotel based on the reviews from Liz and Kim and I agree with them. This is a lovely, well priced hotel in a perfect location. I booked thru Venere.

Because Kim and another SlowTalk member had both mentioned arriving at the Del Senato this summer after an overnight flight and not being able to check in until the afternoon, a couple of days before we left I contacted the hotel to ask about early check in. They suggested that I book an extra night (the night before we arrived) and gave me a 50% discount for that night. This worked very well for us - we arrived at the hotel at 10:30 in the morning and went straight to our room.

I had asked for a "room with a view" and they gave us a great room - #603 - a double room with a small balcony that looks right out to the Pantheon. You feel like you could reach out and touch it. A few of the rooms on the 6th floor have balconies and extra tall windows. I think most rooms have lovely views, but they said some of their rooms do not look out to the Pantheon - so be sure to request one with the view.

There was some noise from the Piazza della Rotunda. Some scruffy characters seem to hang out there and were partying late at night. Seagulls cluster over the downtown area and from up high you can hear flocks of them screaming and flying about (but this was just interesting - not annoying).

We have stayed in several hotels in Rome - we like to try a new one every time. This room was on the smallish side, but it made up for that with lovely wood floors, a comfortable bed and a good bathroom. The walls were covered in fabric. I think you could say this is a 3 star price, 3 star room size, but a 4 star quality, service and location.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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