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Trevi: Grand Hotel Plaza

Via del Corso, 126, Phone: 06.67495

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Reviewed by: Chiaro di Luna from Canada, review #3078

When: May 2011

A historic hotel close to the Spanish Steps in Rome. {4 stars}

Classic Twin Room at Grand Hotel Plaza Rome, Italy, photo by chiaro di luna

The Grand Hotel Plaza was everything we expected. The location on Via del Corso made it central for walking to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza del Popolo & the upscale shopping area of the Via Condotti. There were several cafes and good restaurants close by, as well.

The hotel room we booked was a classic twin, with a view of the inner courtyard. It was very quiet on this side of the hotel. The large window opened up providing a bit of a scenic view of plants, a sitting area and some of the rooftops.

Our room also had a small sofa and a couple of armchairs in the bedroom. There was a desk equipped for internet set up (at a charge) and also a tv in the room with a couple of channels in English.

There was a large walk-in closet area with plenty of room for suitcases. It also had a minibar you could put your own drinks in and room safety box that was securely bolted down.

Across the hallway from the closet was a large bathroom with separate shower stall, bidet and toilet. Our room did not have a bathtub. There was a hairdryer and shower amenities, along with several fluffy towels & washcloths. We asked for a double/queen bed, but had 2 twins pushed together. They were very comfortable. The room had adequate air conditioning, but we had to ask the maid how to work it. She called down to reception and had them activate it for us. Since this was mid May, it probably wasn't in use before our arrival.

When I booked the room on the hotel's website, it said "room only," however, the receptionist insisted we had a buffet breakfast included for each morning. This included cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, breads, pastries, meats, cheese,& yogurt. If we wanted eggs we would have to pay extra for them.

The hotel had computers in the lobby that guests could use for a price. My iphone worked in the room so I did not try to use my laptop at the hotel.

The public areas of the hotel were well maintained and very beautiful with chandeliers, lots of seating and a bar at the back. The breakfast room was just off to the side of the lobby area.

The only unpleasant thing I noticed was a bit of a wet carpet smell in one of the 2 elevators.

The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful with any inquiries we had.

This hotel is rated as a 4 star property in the historic center of Rome.

I liked the location and the fact that I got exactly what I was expecting from viewing the hotel's website.

There is a rooftop sun area with nice views over the rooftops looking towards the Spanish Steps.

I would definately stay here again if I was able to get the reasonable rate I did this year.

Reviewed by: Exeter from NY, review #1568

When: August 2006

"Fawlty Towers" a Roma. {5 star Luxury}

I have had the immense good fortune of staying at some of Europe's finest hotels: the Ritz in Madrid, the Villa San Michele in Fiesole, the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul (to name but three). I mention these hotels only to suggest that I have some experience of what a 5-star hotel should be. Unfortunately, the Grand Hotel Plaza (GHP) meets none of the criteria.

Understaffed--what staff there is clearly resigned to a fate of fielding constant complaints from guests--dirty, in disrepair, this hotel offers nothing beyond its central location. That, and the possible amusement to be had by listening to the concierge field complaints from other guests--"no signora, we cannot make the water work in your room"--both face-to-face and via telephone, while you are waiting to voice your own.

Imagine, if you will, the absence of functioning airconditioning on a hot August night and you will get the picture of the fresh hell this hotel is. In what other ways does the GHP fall short of 5-star status? Ask that of the guests humping their own bags into the hotel. Eat (if you dare) in the hotel's bar. Do you prefer eight-way hand-tied coil springing in your mattress? To be frank, until I saw the beds in this hotel, I had never really thought about what “inner spring” meant; to envision the beds here, think Camp Runamuck.

Do you wish a tissue in your bathroom? If so, be frugal, since the airplane-amenity-kit-sized container goes quickly. Do you expect Annick Goutal soap, Penhaligon shampoo? This would not be the place to find it (think Portico and then go down-market). How about a bar of soap for the sink and one for the bath? Don’t be silly. Have you ever been in a hotel and needed housekeeping after, say, 10 p.m.? Better not need it here. (Another reason to avoid eating in the hotel bar.) Separate bath and shower (and, in the latter case, a shower head that can be adjusted above 4 feet)? Better forget it.

There is not world enough and time to catalogue the myriad defects in the upkeep of the hotel.

It would appear that the owners have decided that it is not financially attractive to bring this hotel up to true 5-star code. I suspect that the location, the "Grand Hotel" appellation, and the relatively modest pricing are, in combination, enough to keep occupancy rates high and them in Sardinian villas. Were this hotel outside Italy, I suspect it would be unable to retain its 5-star status.

At face value, the room rates are attractive. But as my wife pointed out, from the perspective of price to quality, this is the most expensive hotel in which we've ever stayed.

The GHP is a 3-star hotel. You’ve been warned.

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

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