This won‘t be a traditional review and I won’t make the slightest claim to be unbiased…
Rome hosts the global HQ for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). As a child in the late 70's I spent weeks in Rome while my father was at meetings at FAO regarding new postings or reporting on completed tasks. We would always stay at Hotel Lancelot and the hotel would normally have its fair share of FAO expats on their way home or on their way to new assignments all over the world. My brother and I explored Rome from the age of 6 to 16 and always considered Hotel Lancelot to be our Roman home more than a “hotel”. Didn’t do that image any damage that the staff more or less remained the same, we would meet old friends and everything was on an extremely friendly first-name basis.
About 25 years after my last stay in Rome I decided to take my wife on an anniversary trip to Rome and the Lancelot. I was a bit worried when we arrived. After all my recollections were through the eyes of a child and it had been nearly a quarter of a century from my last visit. Since that time I have done a lot of traveling and am used to all levels and grades of hotels so I wondered how Hotel Lancelot would compare. Let me assure you it completely met my expectations.
The rooms aren’t huge but they are above average. Certainly bigger than typical London or Paris business class rooms. Certainly smaller than rooms tend to be in the USA. Beds were comfortable, extra pillows and blankets available. The bathrooms are clean and have everything required but nothing luxurious or big. I had no issues with cleanliness, noise, heat or any other item regarding the room. They beat hands down rooms in comparable hotels in London and Paris in regards to furnishing, cleanliness and comfort.
The lobby area was very clean and pleasant. There is a small bar to one side that proved an excellent place for a pre-dinner drink or a post-dinner chat. The staff was extremely helpful and informative. We got directions, suggestions, maps, information and even an umbrella for a rainy day.
The elevator is special… Possibly the smallest one I’ve ever been in. We put our bags in it, pressed the third floor and took the steps. Wouldn’t be surprised if the elevator is hindering the hotel from the extra star they deserve.
I doubt you will ever get a hotel that is central to everything in Rome. To me the key issue in Rome is having a hotel that’s conveniently located regarding transportation. If all roads lead to Rome then all roads and busses in Rome lead to the Coliseum. With the Hotel Lancelot situated so close by and armed with the info and maps from the lobby we started and ended our excursions with a bus-trip. Quick, cheap, convenient and offered a bonus sight-seeing tour.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area around the Coliseum so going out to dine isn’t hard. However I strongly encourage you to experience the Round Tables and the full board at the Lancelot. You go to Rome to see all the historic sites. So you are up and about early in the morning and out walking and looking all day. Back at the hotel around six and personally I didn’t really look forwards to going out again to find a restaurant. So for us the full-board option was great. Just go to the dining area, sit down at one of the large round tables and see what table partners you get. We always met interesting people and we would share tips and ideas for the next day of sight-seeing. Got the address of the best ice-cream shop in Rome (owned by a former Swedish pro-football player), a tip to save time in the queue at St. Peters, heard a new story about one site and a warning about another being closed for repairs.
The food was quite good and typical Italian. Sometimes great, sometimes just OK. Never bad. The wine offered won’t get any prizes but it was appropriate and plentiful.
If I didn’t have the past connection with Hotel Lancelot then would I recommend it?
No doubt. In fact I have already told several friends that have gone to Rome to stay there. None of them have complained. I for one am definately coming back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Lancelot is a peaceful haven at a short stroll from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. The friendly english speaking staff are always willing to help you with suggestions and tips on discovering Rome's treasure's. A distinctive feature of the Hotel are the " round tables" at which people from every corner of the earth meet and converse over breakfast or the generous evening meal. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lancelot Hotel Rome
- Hotel Lancelot Rome