Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5448: Rome Sweet Home, Apartment Charming Sistina (#1110)
2beds/2bath apartment near Spanish Steps, Rome
September 30th - October 7th, 7 nights
The street was in an excellent location in most ways, five minutes away from the top of the Spanish Steps. It is very convenient for transport - underground at bottom of steps and taxi ranks in Piazza Barbarini just two minutes in the other direction. The shops expensive and touristy.
There was a supermarket a few streets away down the hill and across a very busy road, so if you stock up you need to take a taxi back to the flat. To sight see in Rome and come back to the flat often needs a long trek up the Spanish Steps - not for the elderly, although there's a lift in the underground off Piazza di Spagna. No nice bars for breakfast nearby. There was a restaurant next door, which I used once.
I wouldn't say the building was "historical" - but I think an old building in which flats have been remodelled. The flat was up one flight of stairs with no lift (stated on website). The overwhelming experience of the flat was that it was extremely dark, apart from front bedroom on to street. The living room was lit only by windows to the bedrooms. On top of this only very low voltage lamps in use! There was a long and claustrophobic passage to the kitchen and dining area and second shower bathroom, very badly lit. No air-conditioning in that part of the flat and no air-conditioning in the front bedroom. When we opened the window of the dining area for some air there was a strong smell of cooking from a neighboring restaurant.
No outside area, I was not expecting one.
The furniture was OK, and the apartment was clean. There were enough chairs for the two of us.
The beds were comfortable. The front bedroom had no wardrobe but my guest made do with a clothes hanger thingy, and a large chest of drawers. When I arrived there were no sheets on my guest's bed, just blankets, and the coverlet visible on the website was not there. My bedroom was dark, looking on to a service roof but had good clothes storage. There were enough bathrooms, as stated on the website.
The main bathroom was quite spacious, with washing machine (did not use) and boasted a tub, but I could not get the taps to work except for the shower, which was impossible to control if standing in the bath without flooding the bathroom, so had to have showers sitting down. The dirty water took ages to drain away. For three days of our stay there was no hot water in this bathroom. The lavatory brush was filthy. There was one roll of toilet paper for our whole stay and not even one bar of soap, no product to clean the bathroom. Have rented other flats in Rome but never one so completely bare of the basics.
We were planning to have eaten breakfast in the flat and we were eating out in restaurants or with friends the rest of the time, but there was no toaster (try toasting bread in a microwave!) and no kettle for a simple breakfast, and anyway it was too dark and gloomy. On the plus side there were two fridges. There were no tea towels to wash up with.
Problems or Bonuses
I looked again at the photos when I got back and they were very skilfully taken - certainly did not convey the darkness of the flat.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency, Rome Sweet Home, was very unsatisfactory to deal with. The onsite person, who met me with the keys was, curt and grumpy to the point of rudeness. When I rang from the airport, told me to ring again, then kept me waiting in the rain 15 minutes, arrived complaining about being too rushed with too many clients - not my problem(!) and was very perfunctory showing me the flat. In the next days, I had to ring two to three times to get sheets put on my guest's bed, the kettle and toaster requested were never supplied. I didn't bother to ring when the hot water went because they had already been so rude and unhelpful to deal with - barking and hanging up when I rang or just on answer-phone in office hours etc., too much hassle! So I just made the best of it.
The price was €1,400 which was not exorbitant, but it was not a pleasant flat to spend seven days.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
No, I would not stay here again, and I would not stay in any flat run by Rome Sweet Home.
Things to do in this area
We occasionally ate in the area - Otello in Via della Croce at bottom of the steps - avoid the fatty lamb which meant to be a specialty but it's a nice place, quite cheap and not too touristy - Gina in Piazza di Spagna is nice for lunch, Ciampini in Piazza Trinita dei Monti, wonderful view. Nowhere nice and reasonably near to have breakfast out, we had to walk for a good 20 minutes for that. I had some meetings in the area which was convenient, rest of the time we were sightseeing all over Rome.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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