The Aurelia Residence in Rome is an example of what you can enjoy if you stay in an apartment rather than a hotel. You get a one or two bedroom apartment about 200 meters from St. Peter's. Each apartment has not only a complete kitchen, but also extra beds in the TV room and the hall, so Mom, Dad, and the kids can stay here.
There is off-street parking for an additional fee (well worth it if you have to have a car). There are vegetables stands and grocery stores nearly, as well as plenty of restaurants if you want to eat out. However, take advantage of the fact that you can eat in your own kitchen and breakfast nook!
I returned to the Aurelia Residence in March 2011, and find it exactly as good as it was before. I continue to be amazed at how spacious even the one bedroom apartments are (large bedroom with door, separate sitting room with TV and fold out sofa-bed, separate kitchen and breakfast area, bathroom, and even a large balcony on the upper stories.
Note that the #46 bus has a stop less than 100 meters down the Via Aurelia (goes to the city center at Piazza Venezia), and there are a number of other lines with stops 200-300 meters away, including the #64 bus that goes to Termini.
Pricewise, off season, there was a 20% discount, and an additional 10% discount for non-refundable payment - but because I was a repeat customer, they gave me the 30% anyway with no restrictions, so only 100 euro per night. THIS WILL VARY through the year. When you consider that you can sleep Mom & Dad in one room and two kids in another even in the one bedroom apartments AND cook a number of meals in your own kitchen, this starts to be very cost effective.
Any, again, no complaints about the staff at all. They also have a "barman" (he works the morning shift running the coffee machine and policing the free breakfast (did I mention the free albeit continental breakfast?) who has a sideline of taking people around in his Mercedes van...this means that for the same price as a taxi, he'll pick you up or take you to the airport...he took me out to Fiumicino at 5:30 a.m. for 50 euro...it would have been only 40 euro if it had been at a more decent hour. He also will take people around town as well as on day trips outside of Rome, and speaks English.
Unique Quality: It's a great location, just a couple of hundred yards from St. Peter's on a side street. And if you have a car, it's not too difficult to get out to the Raccordo Annulare (the ring around the city) on the west side.
This place is great for people who are going to stay in Rome for a week or more, and know how to take advantage of an apartment over a hotel.
The staff speaks a moderate amount of English (they probably service a number of visitors to the Vatican).
Directions: It's just west of the Vatican. See http://www.aureliaresidence.it/ for directions.
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Address: Via Aurelia 145, Rome, Lazio, 00165, Italy