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San Giovanni: Express by Holiday Inn Rome - San Giovanni


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Reviewed by: gary from WA, review #1838

When: March 2007

Satisfactory hotel, if hard to find.

Typical Holiday Inn Express except desk clerks speak very little English. No English TV stations available. Cost was 94 euros per night plus €7 if you wanted underground, secured parking.

Hotel is adjacent (1/4 mile) from the bus route that goes to the subway terminal. Extremely difficult to find if you follow the web site instructions. None of the street names match up with their directions as you leave the GRA system.

Hotel won an award for the quality of its meal, which I must agree with.

Reviewed by: gardkarlsen from Norway, review #1657

When: October 2006

This must be the best 1 star hotel I have stayed at. The problem is that it is located a bit outside the city center and next to the railway.

I was thrilled when I got the message that we would be going on a company trip to Rome. Since I had been there before I got the task of finding a hotel. Finding a hotel for 24 people in central Rome in October turned out to be quite a difficult task. Many of the centrally located hotels are smaller and many were fully booked. In the end we decided to stay at Express By Holiday Inn San Giovanni.

Arriving in Rome We landed in Rome at about 11 am in the morning of October 21st. We walked over to the train station at Leonardo da Vinci airport (also known as Fiumicino [FCO]). From here you can take the Leonardo Express to Termini but since the hotel is located on the way we decided to go for a local train [direction Orte-Fara Sabina] for €5. After about 30-40 minutes we reached the train station Rome Tuscolana. It was easy to find the hotel from there; we just followed the instructions from the hotel web site. It was only a 5-10 minute walk.

The room I got a room on the first floor. The room itself must be one of the nicest rooms that I have seen in a 1 star hotel. The room was standard size with a blue carpet and yellow/light walls. The double bed was comfortable enough but there was only a blanket as a cover so it got a bit cold at night. There was an air-con control on the wall but it didn’t seem like it was operational because nothing happened when I turned the knobs. There was also a desk and a chair in the room and a small color TV with some Italian, German and English channels. There was also quite a lot of hangers; that was useful since I had brought along a number of tops.

I got a room for "disabled" travelers, and the bathroom was a bit strange due to this. The bathroom was tiled with white tiles and had a shower corner with a curtain to avoid spilling the water all over the room. There were no little bottles with shampoo, etc., that you find at some hotels - only a big Dove shower soap container on the wall.

The drawbacks with the room in my opinion are the lack of a safe, lack of mini bar, the shower curtain and the view. From the ground floor I just looked right out on a concrete wall. Behind this wall or nearby was the railway and I was fearing that the noise would keep me up all night. But it was not as bad as I expected.

The breakfast buffet was good with a selection of the standard bread, cereal, fruits and sweet cakes. The best of it all was the coffee machine that was in the room. It was possible to get a fresh made espresso, cappuccino, etc., and the coffee was great.

The hotel has a nice inner courtyard that we used in connection with our meetings, for having a drink outside at night, etc. I hope that we didn’t make to much noise because some of the rooms do face the courtyard.

The reception area was small but there is a small bar there where you can get something to drink (beer, wine, coffee, etc.). There is also a PC to access the internet for a few euros. The hotel has wireless internet so if you bring your laptop you can get online for a fee.

Location The area around the hotel is not that exciting but it was pretty easy to get into town; we usually took the metro. The nearest metro station is Ponte Lungo which is a 10 minute walk from the hotel. On line A you can reach Termini (to switch to get to Collosseum), Spagna (the Spanish Steps), Barberini (Trevi fountain), etc. A taxi back to the hotel at night was not that expensive either - I think we paid about €10-15.

Conclusion We paid €125 for each room. For a 1 star hotel the standard was very good. The service from the staff was also great. The “problem” with this hotel is the location related to the city and the minor drawbacks that I have mentioned already in this review. If you can’t find a hotel in town this is absolutely a good alternative. Check out more info on the hotel website, and check out reviews from other travelers on sites such as TripAdvisor.

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

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