Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4680: Rome Sweet Home, Cancellaria Elegant Apartment (#1636)
2bed/2bath near Piazza Navona, Rome
June 2010, 6 nights
The apartment was very centrally located, less than two blocks from Piazza Navona, and about three blocks from Campo dei Fiori. We really couldn't have asked for a better location. The apartment is in a very narrow building, and it is up two flights of straight stairs (no elevator). The street is tiny, too small for cars, accessible only for pedestrians and scooters. But it is wedged between a major thoroughfare and a charming street with numerous restaurants, gelato shops, etc. (There is also a small pizza place below the building, and another restaurant three doors down.) It was amazingly convenient to be able to be in either Campo dei Fiori or Piazza Navona within minutes. But what was also terrific is that the street itself was reasonably quiet, and the bedrooms were facing the rear, so they were very quiet. It was therefore a pretty fabulous blend -- it was steps from lots of action, but the bedrooms were very quiet and had virtually no street noise.
It's the center of Rome -- yes, of course there were a zillion restaurants nearby, as well as pizzerias, cafes, gelato shops, and so forth. There was a small but adequate grocery store about five minutes away by foot. We had several good meals within a five minute radius of the apartment.
The pictures on the website were very accurate in depicting the apartment. The apartment was a nice mix of modern and old. The kitchen was reasonably contemporary, as were the bathrooms, but the whole place has lovely old beamed ceilings and some kind of stone on the floors. There was a living room/dining room/kitchen, a large combined room, with a sofa, chairs, a table, a kitchen bar with stools, a kitchen (with dishwasher). The kitchen wasn't amazingly well stocked, just a couple of pots and pans, so not good for doing serious cooking, but fine for reheating leftover pizza & pasta and for preparing breakfast.
There were two bathrooms, one with a tub (and hand shower) and the other with a standing shower. Water pressure was good and we had plenty of hot water. There were air conditioning units (the sort built into the wall) in the living room and both bedrooms. One bedroom had a queen sized bed; the other had two twins. The mattresses were above average, perhaps a bit firmer than my husband would have liked, but I thought they were good. There was some closet space for putting away our clothes, though a bit more would have been nice. There was also a washing machine.
From the living room, we'd hear the sounds of the street a bit, though not too much; the bedrooms were nice and quiet.
You can view the property directly Cancellaria Elegant Apartment.
There wasn't any outdoor space.
The apartment was clean and well kept. The furniture was totally adequate; not fancy, but quiet nice. Though it's not mentioned on the website, there was a wired Internet connection which we appreciated. There was a TV (not flat screen) with a DVD player. The TV got a variety of stations, including a couple in English; we didn't use the DVD player so I can't comment on that.
We all found the beds comfortable, and generally thought the apartment was very nice. The bathrooms were fine -- clean, modern, plenty of hot water. The towels were surprisingly nice -- large bath sheets, and even washcloths.
As I mentioned, the kitchen was a bit sparsely equipped. It was entirely adequate for us, but we didn't intend to do any real cooking besides occasionally heating up pasta, slicing fruit, etc. If someone was going to have a dinner party here, I think they'd be disappointed.
Problems or Bonuses
Overall, the place was, if anything, nicer than I expected. I was nervous about it, because I couldn't find a single review of this property anywhere on the web (and that's part of why I wanted to make sure to write one). One negative is that the apartment is a little bit dark, especially in the bedrooms, each of which have windows only facing onto the rear. I didn't actually mind this -- I thought that the living room/dining room kitchen was bright enough, and had a nice vibe to it -- and the dark bedrooms helped us all to sleep. But if I were pressed to criticize something, I'd say that the place isn't bathed in light.
It was plenty of room for four of us (two kids, 7 & 10) and two adults. Though the sofa is a pull-out, I think it would feel pretty cramped for more than four, given that the kitchen/living room is just one room.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I'd read some negative reviews of Rome Sweet Home, so I was a bit nervous. But our experience was entirely positive. The information they provided was completely accurate. We called from the airport, and we didn't wait outside the apartment for more than 5-10 minutes for the representative (who warned us that we might have to wait as she was coming from another drop-off). She was friendly and efficient.
We didn't have any problems or issues during the week, so I can't speak to how well they would have handled problems. But based on our experience, I would gladly use this agency again.
As for price, I thought we got pretty decent value. I found that by writing directly and inquiring, we were able to get a discount over the posted rates. We paid €1300 for six nights, with no additional 'arrival' or 'cleaning' fee. For the quality of the apartment, and the location, I thought this was quite good.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would absolutely stay here again (apart from my vague wanderlust instincts that would make me curious about other options/other neighborhoods). More to the point, I would definitely recommend this apartment to a friend. Rome Sweet Home categorizes the place as 'luxury' -- I'd say it's more accurate to say it's 'luxury-minus' but it really was quite nice overall. (Roman relatives who stopped by were quite impressed with what a good rental we'd found.) It's more spare than opulent, but it was pretty ideal for our family. It's nicely appointed, combines modern convenience with a significant dose of charm, and worked very well for our family.
Things to do in this area
We loved the orange/chocolate gelato at Frigidarium around the corner. We had some great cheese and wine at Cul de Sac (though i didn't love the pates there). Our favorite pizzeria (and with a seven year-old with us, we ate a lot of pizza) was Dar Poeta in Trastevere (perhaps a 20 minute walk away).
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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