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Navona: Residenza in Farnese

Via del Mascherone, 59 (Piazza Farnese), Phone: 06.682109.80

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Reviewed by: sandrac from Canada, review #1643

When: September 2006

I've stayed in the four-star Residenza in Farnese three times; twice as a single and most recently in a superior double, and highly recommend it!

My mother and I stayed in a very lovely and large superior double at this four-star hotel for seven nights in early September 2006 and loved it. It was actually my third stay in this relatively small hotel, located in a converted 14th century monastery, and the service and rooms have been wonderful each time. Each room decor is slightly different and the overall mood is very charming and old-worldly.

Service is very friendly and efficient. Francesca, who seems to manage the day desk, is especially kind and very tactful. As we were checking out in September to return to Canada, my elderly mother felt a bit ill. Francesca quickly brought us the largest water bottle I have ever seen, perfectly chilled along with two drinking glasses, something to help get us through the airport and onto our flight home.

The rooms (Iíve stayed in two different singles and two different doubles) are bright with large windows, parquet flooring, stylish floor-length window drapes and as well as nice touches such as large armoires for clothing storage, flat-screen TVs and mini-bars that have been complimentary each time Iíve visited. The beds are firm, the bathrooms recently redone, bright and modern, and a good buffet breakfast is included, with fresh fruit, cheese and cold cuts as well as the usual pastries and cereal.

One of its greatest attractions is the location on a remarkably quiet side street that runs alongside the massive Palazzo Farnese, now home to the French Embassy. (Many of the rooms in the hotel overlook the Palazzo and some peek down onto its gardens.) This street, the Via del Mascherone, connects the delightful Piazza Farnese with the Renaissance-era Via Giulia, putting visitors within a 10-minute stroll of the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, a 20-minute walk to the Vatican along the tree-lined Tiber, or 10 minutes into the heart of Trastevere. There are a good number of great restaurants very close by as well.

Being so near to the often raucous Campo dei Fiori, I worried on my first visit that there would be a great deal of noise washing up and into the hotel. But once you leave the Campo and walk the short distance into the Piazza Farnese, the noise level drops dramatically. However, there can be some pedestrian noise in the evening, as people walk between Trastevere and the Campo dei Fiori, but the hotel windows and shutters easily silence that.

Prices arenít cheap, although I think they're competitive, given Rome hotel prices. Its website is curiously non-committal on rates but Iíve twice paid 150 euros per night for good-sized single in high season, Ä230 for a large, superior double with my mother in September 2006 and was quoted Ä200 for a standard double.

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

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