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Trastevere: Domus Tiberina

Via in Piscinula, 37

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Reviewed by: katecoleman from USA, review #621

When: October 2003

VERY disappointing stay. Many mistakes in (confirmed) reservations; owner not helpful; room beyond small. Not the standard we have come to expect from worldby.net. {2 stars}

This was the most disappointing stay we have had in Italy.

We have relied on the worldby.net properties for 6 trips and this was certainly not of the quality we have experienced at all the others! The rooms were {the equivalent of} $152 a night.

We made reservations for TWO rooms - for ourselves for 3 nights and for friends joining us for the following 2 nights. All were confirmed with our credit card. I also called the hotel from home several days before we left the US, and confirmed this was all set. I was assured it was. The hotel also offered to arrange for a cab for us at the airport. We decided to splurge and said sure.

The cab was not there when we got to the airport. I called, they said, oh it will be just one minute, just wait there. ok. Waited 45 minutes (!!) called AGAIN, and now there was a story about the cab having car trouble and another was on the way, please wait a few more moments. At this point I mentioned that there were PLENTY of cabs available, but she was quite insistent that we wait and I didn't want to get our stay off to a bad start.

Another half hour, another call, and this time the desk clerk admits she has been unable to find another cab "willing" to go the airport and we should find one there!!! She had my cell phone number during all this and never called me.

Okay, we finally arrive. The hotel is not anywhere as nice as the photos; very run down looking. We have to wait to register because the clerk is solving a booking problem for another guest. She had reservations for several nights and they found out on the second day that they didn't have room after all and were moving her to a "sister" hotel!!!

Okay we check in, and ask about the other room for our friends and get a blank look. You can imagine the sinking feeling. These are Italian friends, and we were determined to have them be OUR guests for once, and no room!!! It is seven PM and they arrive at 11 the next morning. We ask about the "sister" hotel, nope - all full. In fact they said, there are no rooms in Trastevere.

At that point, I got upset, and the clerk called the owner, who was manning the front desk at the sister hotel a few blocks away. He was quite rude, claiming I never made the reservations, that I must have called another hotel, etc. Then he says we should walk over to the other hotel and talk it over. We do, and he now claims that this is "his problem, not our problem" and that by the morning he will have a 3 star room for our friends. Whew.

Back to the hotel, see our (double!) room for the first time. It is unbelievably small (and somewhat shabby). Not small as in "this is not the US," small as in we could not both actually stand in the room at the same time. We are normal size people. We worked out a system that involved one of us scooting across the bed to allow the other one to get in and dress, etc. The bathroom was very clean, but again so tiny that it was literally difficult to shower. Okay, we don't spend much time in the room, we can deal.

Next morning, breakfast was brought to our room (there is no dining room). It was fine, basic coffee and croissant, but eating in that room was a gymnastic challenge.

Then we go to check on our friend's room...big surprise!!! The owner cannot be reached. The desk clerk knows nothing. The sister hotel desk clerk knows nothing. At that point we have one hour on a Saturday morning to find a room for our friends.

We ended up at the tourist help desk at Termini, and finally found something near the station (a very funny story for another day). The owner never got back to us at all.

In conclusion, I have to warn others away from this place. I just wish I remembered the name of the sister hotel so I could add that to the warning!

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

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