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Colosseo: Hotel Giardino

Via 24 Maggio, 51, Phone: 06.6794997

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Reviewed by: Patrick, Arkansas from AR, review #2612

When: June 2009

Giardino is not a plush, beautiful place, but it's clean and friendly, an easy walk to Trevi Fountain, Forum, Colosseum, and other downtown points of interest.

Our group of 4 friends took 3 rooms at the 2-star Hotel Giardino for three nights, one in late May and two more in early June 2009. We found the hotel through the Rick Steves Rome book. Our single rooms were 100 euros/night; the double room was 150.

When you arrive at Giardino, you locate the hotel name on the list of building occupants outside the building and press the doorbell button. They then buzz you in. When you open the door you'll see a flight of stairs (there's no elevator). Climb up one floor and turn right to get to the hotel desk.

The hotel's main attraction is its location, making it an easy walk to Trevi Fountain, Forum, Colosseum, and other downtown points of interest.

When we arrived, the desk clerk was a friendly college-aged guy who spoke good English. He got us checked in and brought us cold Cokes without being asked. They were a welcome treat after our long trip from America. He also gave great help in locating a good place to eat and the locations of nearby historic Rome attractions.

Giardino is not a fancy place, but it has a few nice features, like the little porch overlooking a bland but quiet inner courtyard. We always had our breakfast on the porch, among the pigeons.

They hadn't yet activated the room air conditioners when we arrived in late May, so we had a hot first day and night. When we returned in early June after a couple of weeks of touring, the AC was working and most welcome!

The rooms are tiny. My room, #30, had a couch that was also my bed. It was OK, just tiny. The shower in the bathroom is barely large enough to hold a standard-sized (meaning overweight) American, and the towels are the standard Italian linen dish towels. Drying off after a shower is about like using a couple of paper towels to dry off, but it works OK.

My room windows opened onto the noisy street in front of the hotel, but they were heavy-duty Swedish-style windows and when I closed and locked them, 95% of the street noise was eliminated, so I had no trouble sleeping.

My room TV worked, but there were no English language channels. The TV in the lounge did have BBC World News on most of the time, which I appreciated. As far as I could tell, there was no guest Internet service available, but I'm sure they would let you use the hotel connection if you really needed to. The staff sure used it enough.

Breakfast was fine. The lady who served it spoke little English, but she was happy to bring one of the guys in our group three cappuccinos every morning, no questions asked!

They had a sign up by the reception desk saying something like "our credit card machine is not working today" but when we pulled out our credit cards to pay, they accepted them with no problem.

The desk appears to be manned 24 hours a day, and they were always happy to call us a taxi or meet any other need we had. Hotel Giardino is not beautiful or plush, but it's a nice, friendly, clean place in the heart of Rome.

Reviewed by: Monica Pileggi from MD, review #2127

When: October 2007

Charming Hotel in the Center of Rome

Roome #32 at Hotel Giardino, photo by Monica J. Pileggi

I stayed at this hotel October 9-13th. Katie, the owner of Hotel Giardino, was so very helpful while I stayed at the hotel.

The hotel is small, probably about 10 rooms, and is rated as a 2-star hotel. There is no elevator, so you must go up 2 flights of stairs. No big deal for me, as I needed the exercise.

My room, #32, was at the end of the hall down from the reception desk. It faced an inner courtyard: not much to see but it was very quiet at night. My room had a king bed (twins placed together), a small table and chair, armoire and tv on the wall. The bathroom was tiny but manageable (with hair dryer). The bed was very comfortable! The room had air conditioning, which I used a couple of nights.

Breakfast (orange juice, tea, coffee, breads, cereal, cheese, jam, etc) is served in a small room. There are also three tables (two chairs each) on a very small terrace, which is nice to sit at in good weather.

The location of the hotel is excellent: Near the Piazza Venezia, the Quirinale and Trajan's market. On the main corner is a bus stop. The Trevi fountain is about an 8-10 minute walk and the colosseum/forum is about a 15-minute walk south.

Katie was kind to make my dinner reservations (a must in Rome for any popular place) during my stay, as well as reservations for the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel tour.

I had booked the hotel last year and since I paid in cash, she honored the 2006 prices (125 euros per night); however, I believe her average price is about 145 euros - still very good for the room quality, service, and location. Breakfast is included with the price.

I would gladly stay at Hotel Giardino on my next trip to Rome!

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

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