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Navona: Hotel Teatro Pace

Via del Teatro Pace, 33

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Reviewed by: Wendyash from UK, review #1044

When: June 2005

Problems with room allocation mean that this hotel's good and very comfortable accommodation cannot be recommended by us.

I booked a top floor room with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms as that was just perfect for us as we were three adults. It is room 402 described as a triple on the web site and is the only one of its kind. (This is the same room that EJ Benri stayed in, by the way, so we knew a lot about it. See their review for details.)

Upon arrival we were not given that room and quite literally had to argue to be given it. We were told it was already occupied but in fact it was not as were shown up to it after about 10 minutes of argument and protestations! This left me very upset and quite spoilt our arrival in Rome.

The room was all we hoped for, a nicely appointed double with ample storage, a good bathroom although the shower cubicle was a little small, good lighting and nice fabrics with lovely bed linens and ample towels in the bathroom. The room had French windows to a shared terrace with good views over the roof tops to the back of the church of Saint Agnes in Agone.

We had air conditioning but the small room in the attic did not. This is worth noting as it will get very hot up there in the height of summer. This room is tiny but comfortable with an excellent wet room with a good shower.

Breakfast was small, good cappuccino but not so the espresso, a croissant each and some french toast with jams. The mood of the reception staff was not always pleasant and a review of the order form for breakfast would help simplify the process of all breakfasts being served in your room -- if a mistake is made then it's 81 steps down to reception!!

The situation is not for the faint-hearted as you can indeed hear music from the nearby nightclub at weekends and you have to face the crowds of the Piazza Navona and the narrow streets of the Centro Storico to get to the hotel.

We enjoyed this location and found the steps up to the top floor to be perfectly manageable. I would like to give this accommodation a positive recommendation but there are a couple of things beside the incorrect room that trouble me.

- Firstly this is not a hotel but a B&B. There are no facilities whatsoever, not even a public room, and reception closes at 9:30 pm. We were woken up one night by people who wanted their room at 11 pm but, of course could not get in. - Secondly there is no tariff posted anywhere and as I believe this to be Italian law I am uncertain as to why this is so.

It is graded as three stars and we paid 225 euros a night. This is far more than previous ST reviewers but we still felt it to be good value for money, 3 adults with 2 beds and 2 baths ... don't forget in a very central location.

The top floor definitely benefits from not having any near neighbours as you can indeed hear people walking up and down the stairs and footfalls above from the cotto floors but then you would have to be certain that you could manage the stairs before you booked! It is a particularly private room.

I have yet to receive an explanation from Fabrizio the manager as to what went wrong with our reservation but if a satisfactory answer is forthcoming then I will let you know and reconsider my decision about a recommendation. It may be worth noting that Roberto (mentioned in EJ Benri's review) has left.

Reviewed by: Kim from NJ, review #847

When: January 2005

Small 3* hotel excellently located one block from Piazza Navona.

First some facts about the hotel (hopefully, without any bias):

1. The hotel is located one block (two minute walk) from Piazza Navona. It sits on a small side street that runs parallel to the Piazza and intersects with another street, lined with bars, restaurants, cafes and stores that runs right into the Piazza.

2. The hotel does not have an elevator; instead it has a winding staircase travelling up its floors. We stayed on the 3rd floor (US 2nd floor) and I think if we stayed higher, I may not have made it to our room.

3. The hotel does not have a breakfast room. You can choose to have your breakfast (a warm drink, a glass of juice, and a cornetto/doughnut) brought to your room each morning (at a time you specify from 7:30 - 10:30) by completing the sign-up sheet on the reception counter the previous day/evening. Optionally, you can walk to a bar just around the corner, provide them your room number, and order there. We did the latter and enjoyed that, though we did see the hotel staff hustling from the bar, up and down the stairs each morning.

4. The reception desk is unmanned from 10:30 at night until 7:30 in the morning. To enter the hotel, you must have your card key with you (the key also opens your room and turns on the lights).

5. Currently, there is no sign above the hotel door and from the outside it looks like no more than someone's home. I meant to take a picture and forgot, but it's located right next door to Lo Zozzone (a pizza place).

6. For our room we paid 110 a night.

7. The room had a safe, mini-bar, television (but we couldn't find an English language station), king size bed, large armoire to hang our clothes, decent size bathroom but with only a small shower (maybe 24" or 30" square tops).

8. They made our room up everyday but appeared to change the towels only every other day (fine with us).

Opinions: For the price we felt we couldn't beat the location or the service. The staff was attentive, friendly, answered all our questions and handled all our museum/tour reservations.

The room was clean and comfortable, sheets were nice and crisp. Our room was quite warm every day (we didn't seem to have control over the heat) but at night we could run the a/c (via remote control - pretty nifty), which cooled the room down nicely; I wouldn't be concerned about a/c in the summer. BTW - our room is pictured on the website; bottom left corner of the gallery page. It's the one with the high ceilings and beautiful beams (room 301).

I found that while the windows did a decent job keeping the outside noise out, the walls were a bit thin - we could hear a toddler crying on our floor one morning. One evening, some Brits having a good time woke me as they returned home (I think the voices echo off the stairway). Which reminds me, I expected the stairs to be brighter lit and marble covered but they're not - currently mostly cement with some remnants of marble. I'm not sure if they intend to finish them off but I do think they could do a better job of lighting them in the evening.

The next building over appears to be under some construction but we found the noise to be rarely intrusive.

As I said, at the price, you can't beat the location/service. However, if the rumor holds that they're going to be raising their prices in the spring, then I'd have to consider other locations, amenities and prices first. As is, though, we're hoping to return in May.

Reviewed by: ejbenri from USA, review #705

When: 2004

The price may be low, but the value is tremendous!! Fantastic location, beautiful rooms and great staff. The perfect start to our trip! {3 stars}

easy stairs at Teatro Pace, photo by ejbenri

We arrived at 9am at the Hotel Teatro Pace - not exactly check-in time - but Roberto sent us to a small room where we could "freshen up", change out of our travel clothes, and hit the town running.

When we got back at about 4pm, our bags had been sent up to our room (good thing, as hauling them up the 4-flight spiral staircase was an experience I was prepared for, but not excited about), and we found ourselves in a very spacious, bright room with a great view of the back of the church of the Piazza Navona!

The room actually had another single room and bath attached via a separate staircase-great for a travelling family! Also, the bathroom was large and modern, even by American standards. The hotel has just opened this year (2004), but the rooms, while having modern amenities, still reflect old Italy - not a Holiday Inn.

The location is, in my opinion, unbeatable. It is two short blocks off the Piazza Navona, a 10 minute walk from the Vatican, 8 minutes from the Pantheon, and about 15 minute walk to Trevi fountain.

There are numerous outdoor cafes and gelato shops within a block of the hotel. We took a cab to the train station, and it took about 8 minutes in Rome traffic.

The price was amazing... 110 per night! While Teatro Pace may be considered a "budget" hotel, I would go back again and again because of the tremendous location, great rooms, and friendly English-speaking staff...did I mention they bring your breakfast (included in price) up to your room?

If you want more information, their website has probably the best FAQ page ever - make sure you read all the way through it!

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

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