We booked the Rome Vatican Suite after seeing that it had free parking, apparently good Wifi and a good location. The location, admittedly, is pretty good. A five minute walk to the metro station and about 15 minutes to The Vatican. That's where the good stuff ends. On arrival, parking was a nightmare. It's all on-street, you have to pay as all the free parking spaces are never available, despite what the hotel management say, they are very narrow and every other car is full of dents. Also, you need to re-new the ticket every eight hours. So if you go into Rome at, say 10 in the morning, you would have to return at 6 to re-new the ticket which is then free from 8pm to 8am. A bit of a nuisance when it says there is free on-street parking. Don't believe it. The manager took us to a parking garage but it was shut and then that was that!
When we finally got to the "Suites" we were welcomed warmly, but told to go away and come back again as the room was not ready. It was 38 degrees outside and midday so not the best thing to have to do. We finally checked in and were then told that the credit card machine was not working and that we'd have to pay cash. This was not a problem as there was a cash machine around the corner. Stupidly, we did not get a receipt. The Wifi was non-existent, by the way. It simply did not connect. When we mentioned this we were just told "Oh, it normally does" and, again, that was that.
Breakfast is almost comical. There were a few ham sandwiches a few different yoghurts and some cereal to choose from. We had no cups for coffee so had to use the ones from the rooms. The "breakfast room" is actually the end of a corridor and right outside the door of the room we stayed in. We could hear the manager clanking about from very early on and it was just a bit annoying. However, the strangest thing was that if you are a party of four, you cannot sit together as tables are just for two. You can, I suppose, perch another chair on the end of a table. When some other guests arrived to eat, it was really quite uncomfortable. It was like eating breakfast in a stranger's hallway! The coffee was only lukewarm and no-one showed us how to use the other coffee machine either. This may have been, however, because the manager was absent dealing with our "key" situation.
My partner had gone downstairs at 8am to put more money in the parking meter and, on returning into the building, the key snapped in the lock. This was no-one's fault - just something that happens. However, after reporting it to the manager, she then came to our room saying she had some "bad news". The owner wanted 50 euros to fix the lock. We, of course, refused to pay. It's not as if we had done anything malicious and, after a brief conversation on the phone we said we would not be paying again. We checked out shortly after with the whole thing leaving a bitter taste in our mouths. It got worse, though. We discovered a few days later that, lo and behold, the credit card machine must have been working as they had managed to charge us for the stay again - remember, though, we had no receipt for the cash transaction we had made. Luckily, we managed to sort this out with booking.com and the money was returned but only after the owner of the "Suites" had contacted us via email, telling us we had "behaved badly". When we asked what this was meant to mean, she simply screenshotted a review we had left on booking.com claiming we were lying.
All the above happened. It's all true! It's a real shame as the place has the potential to be superb, but it just isn't yet.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "Rome Vatican Caius Marius Suite" is located in the heart of Rome, in the beautiful area between San Pietro and Via Cola di Rienzo. From this ideal location is within walking distance of every place and central monument of Rome.In addition, the Metro line A Ottaviano Lepanto provides convenient access to every area of Rome. You will have the opportunity to stay in single, double, triple and double, all with private bathroom and equipped with every comfort. ... more less
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