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Navona: Residenza Canali ai Coronari

Via Dei Tre Archi, 13

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Reviewed by: buckthorn from WI, review #3291

When: May 2013

Very disappointing. Great location but indifferent, dour staff. A real dud. Not worth the money. One can do much better than this.

Our recent stay at the Canali was very disappointing, especially after reading all of the positive reviews about the service. Moreover, we had just spent three wonderful nights at the Hotel Flora in Venice, where the service was exceptional.

As for the Canali, yes, the location is about as good as you can get. But there must be a new crew there (note the age of the previous reviews), because, with one exception, they were an unwelcoming, grim group who showed little interest in their guests. Their behavior ranged from simple impoliteness to incompetence. Whenever you asked a question (and we asked for very little), you always felt as though you were interrupting their day. No smiles, no "how are you enjoying your stay?".

Asking for a cappuccino at breakfast was sometimes like asking for a special favor, and a second cup was never offered. The one request we made for a restaurant reservation, and they blew it by reserving for the wrong night because they weren't paying attention. And when they realized that they had mishandled it, they said nothing and did nothing (we took care of it ourselves). This is inexplicable for people who supposedly are in the *hospitality* business.

The quality of the rooms is mediocre. They're a bit worn, but well-sized and reasonably comfortable, but good luck figuring out the goofy lighting system. Our room happened to be very loud due to the late-night street noise. The quality of the breakfast is below average: low quality croissants and rolls, odd-tasting coffee, overly sweet cakes. The meat and cheese was good. The breakfast room itself is dark and dreary. We once opened a window, and it was promptly shut without comment by the "don't bother me" breakfast person, whose facial expressions strongly suggested that she wished that she were somewhere else.

Our question about grabbing an early taxi on our last (weekend) morning received a reply along the lines of "well, you can go to the taxi stand down the street, or we can call and reserve a taxi for you, if you want to pay the extra money. It really doesn't matter to us...."

Reviewed by: DZaran from MI, review #2294

When: July 2008

One of Rome's hidden "gems" for hotels.

My family and I just returned from a 3 week vacation in Italy this July. The final 2 nights were spent in Rome. This is a small hotel (10 rooms) basically at the entrance of the Piazza Navona. The hotel itself is kind of hard to locate since there are no signs advertising its location.

Now, there are many hotels with great locations, fair rates and close to great restaurants. What really stood out here at the Residenza Canali was the SERVICE. The small staff on hand here could not have done anymore to make our trip enjoyable.

One of the staff members in particular, Stefano, really hit it off with my family. He went out of his way to help me find my car rental return location (yes, he actually went with me) when there was no was way I would have found it. He secured all of our luggage, helped with sightseeing, reserved transportation to the airport when the mass transit vehicles were on strike, etc. He made it seem that he was a part of my family and we were there to visit him!

We actually invited him out to dinner on our last night there which he graciously accepted. We all laughed for a couple hours before we departed to the night. I can honestly say that he made our stay in Rome most enjoyable and entertaining. It's people like Stefano that you always remember and permanently burn into your vacation memories.

The hotel itself is a stone's throw from the Piazza Navona. The rate was about 240 euros per night which accommodated my family of 5 (wife and 3 children ages 20, 15, 10), for a 2 bedroom unit that was comfortable.

The breakfast was good with a variety of fruits, cereals, meats, cheese, and pastries.

If you're looking for a real gem in the heart of Rome that won't break your bank, I definitely recommend the hotel Residenza Canali. It's that extra mile that people such as Stefano gave that will bring us back in the future.

Reviewed by: doug s from FL, review #1884

When: May 2007

Nice hotel very near Piazza Navona on a quiet street.

This was a great little hotel recommended by some others on SlowTrav. The downside is that it is a walk up and we were on the 3rd level (US 4th floor) and the lobby is on the 1st floor (one flight up). The location is a quieter one than being near Piazza Navona - which is only about 1 block away.

The room was small but nicely appointed with an adequate bath, mini bar, hair dryer, TV (no English channels) and a safe in the room which was very, very handy. The rooms also do have air conditioning and they also serve a very nice breakfast. However, for cappuccino, you need to catch the nearby bars as they serve only American-style coffee.

The rooms were about E210 per night but they do offer a cash discount of E185 which we took advantage of as it saved us quite a bit over the 6 nights!

Nice helpful staff that do speak English.

We would stay here again as the location was great.

Reviewed by: Michael in Chicago from usa, review #1845

When: March 2007

Good "medium-budget" choice near Piazza Navona.

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We've been to Rome 5 times now, and we wanted to stay somewhere further north than our usual Testaccio neighborhood. Besides the usual things, we were looking for a quiet place to sleep. Some reviewers had mentioned that rooms could be noisy if there was a door to a connecting room. After a few rounds of emails confirming a room available with no connecting room, we made reservations.

As noted in earlier reviews, there are 4 floors, no elevator (which we loved - a good workout). There are 2 rooms on the top floor: ours was #2, which had its own balcony/patio filled with sun in the a.m., and room #1, a larger room with 2 windows and 2 balconies, a larger space. The rate was 185 E, or 170 cash, a discount we took advantage of.

It was a very quiet room, and a pleasant hotel. The bathroom was especially nice, though the shower was small (no tub). There was a large space between the bathroom and the bedroom with a closet, giving the whole thing the feel of a small suite, especially with the blinds open to the patio (a large one, about 4 meters square). It was very clean.

The breakfast room is very small, and felt crowded when full. It was a breakfast typical of this level hotel - adequate, but not fantastic. Breakfasts in hotels are just a place for us to have a little something while I write in the vacation journal before going out for the real breakfast, anyway.

The service was pleasant and friendly. I did ask once what the weather forecast was, and they responded that they didn't know. I had to gently point out the computer in front of them and the website, but they were nice about everything.

I think this is a great place that I'd recommend for a number of reasons: cleanliness, quietness (of rooms 1 and 2, at least - the hotel is off a side street with little to no noise, and I'm very sensitive to it) and a great location. The reason we might not recommend it would be for someone like us who realizes that they prefer to be a bit away from the usual tourist throng once they leave the smaller street the hotel is on.

Reviewed by: LisaD1 from USA, review #1392

When: March 2006

This place has it all: Great service, location and breakfasts. Very friendly staff who speaks English well.

We stayed four nights at this B&B. The location was perfect, about a 15-20 minute walk to the Vatican, 30-35 minutes to the Colisseum, 5 minutes to Piazza Navona, 10 minutes to the Pantheon, and about 15 to the Trevi Fountain. It was a little difficult to find but a shopkeeper gladly walked us over to the door.

The staff was very friendly. The room and bathroom were very clean; the towels and linens felt crisp. The breakfasts were great with meat, cheese, rolls, croissants, cake, juices, coffee and tea. Each table had fresh cut flowers.

There are four floors which you have to reach by a marble staircase, no elevator. Our room faced the tiny street so we did hear the street noise but it was mainly eliminated by closing the window. I would recommend earplugs if you have a front facing room. The cash rate per night was 175 euros for March 2006.

I would definitely stay in this hotel again.

Reviewed by: Mobeau from VA, review #1186

When: August 2005

We loved this hotel.

There was a large group of us staying at the hotel and all of the rooms had a different layout and all were lovely. They were beautiful, comfortable and spacious. My family was staying in a quad and a triple and we just loved it.

The staff was very friendly and helpful. There were so many of us checking in at one time and they were very patient with all of us.

You cannot beat the location. I had never been to Rome and picked this hotel hoping the location would be okay and I was thrilled with where it was.

If I ever went back to Rome, I would love to stay at this hotel again.

Reviewed by: tom thrasher from NE, review #1128

When: May 2005

My wife and I stayed here for 4 days. While the room was small, it was very nice, clean and comfortable. The staff was wonderful. Very convenient.

This is a small hotel located very close to the Piazza Navona. While our room was very small, they did have a couple of larger rooms with a view. Ours had no view but we didn't care because we spent very little time there anyway. The staff was very helpful with directions and suggestions for places to eat in the area.

We paid 207.00 per night and stayed for 4 nights. I would certainly recommend but would get the larger room.

Reviewed by: DanaD from U.K., review #845

When: January 2005

Perfect, or nearly so ...

We just returned from four nights at this charming hotel. We are a family with two children so we stayed in a two room suite. The rooms were well sized, very clean and beautifully remodelled. The beds were extremely comfortable. Be warned that you need to climb up the marble staircase, which could be important if mobility is a problem, but was no big deal for us. We were on the 2nd floor and I think there are at least four floors.

The location is incredible! The hotel is on a tiny alley just off Via ai Coronari, a beautiful medieval street with shops, artisans and restaurants. It is around the corner to Piazza Navona and walking distance to everything we were interested in doing, which is important with young children. We could hear the sounds of people on Coronari if we had the windows open but very little if they were closed. Plus they were the happy sounds of people enjoying a beautiful part of Rome.

The staff was all wonderful! Very friendly and all spoke good enough English to be extremely helpful. A few had much better English than that.

Breakfasts were out of this world! A gorgeous buffet with meats and delicious bread and pastries were the main focus but there was also yogurt, cereal, orange juice, coffee and tea. It was good to have a substantial breakfast because then we could do something in the morning and take lunch as a break, instead of having everyone be hungry within an hour of leaving the hotel.

One suggestion: Don't take for granted the prices on the website. I emailed them and discovered that (at least in the off season) they have a cash rate that saved a significant amount of money (145 vs. 185 euros per night).

Why did I say or nearly perfect in the subject line? This is a tiny complaint, but even with the heat set to off, it never went fully off, so the room was a bit hot. (If the air conditioner works as well as the heater, summers would be very pleasant here.) This was remedied by opening the window.

Reviewed by: checkers from CA, review #769

When: September 2004

Great hotel in a convenient location.

This was a great hotel in a very convenient location -although it was very hard to find upon arrival. It was a two minute walk to Piazza Navona. We were able to walk everywhere from Vatican City to the Ancient City.

The hotel staff was very helpful. When my flat iron shorted out the electricity and air conditioning, they did eveything to fix it.

Our room was on the 4th floor and there was no elevator. The stairs could be a little tiring at the end of the day, but the beautiful wrap-around balcony that overlooked rooftops and great sunsets totally made up for it.

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

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