if only I had listened to the reviews...
I booked the Hotel Ripa, Rome via a 'design hotel' website as I felt this could be trusted. I like to stay in modern, design orientated hotels. I'm a designer so these things mean a lot to me. Old world and traditional is not on my wish list. So I stupidly ignored the bad reviews on the web. What an idiot!
I arrived (after paying 60 euros for a cab from the airport) and was genuinely shocked by the decrepid hotel exterior and surrounding carpark. Trastevere is not 'quaint' or full of 'old world charm', its dirty, run-down and full of grafitti. When the sun goes down the alcoholics and undesirables come out. I live in London so I have an immunity to some of these things. However the volume of bad grafitti and beggars was shocking.
The staff were polite and helpful, they cannot be faulted – unlike the rooms. I imagine when this hotel was new it was fine. The interior design is great but it has not been maintained. I paid 155 euros per night for a deluxe room on the 8th floor. My room had cracks in the walls. The bathroom was clean but the paint and skirting board was flaking off in the shower area. The curved wall in the bedroom had a large hole in it. My tiny balcony had zero view, badly needed painting and was full of cigarette butts. Breakfast was a very average buffet. They also charged me 3 euros for an espresso in the bar. That's more expensive than London!
I would definately recommend a more central location. Don't try to do a design hotel in Rome. Eat at Gusto and avoid the main tourist streets. You don't get a lot for your euro in Italy (accommodation wise)...but at least the food is good quality and cheap!
RiPA is FANTASTIC! awesome! and I will be back
I lived in Rome for many years, so coming as a tourist I was pleasantly surprised with my experience at the Ripa Hotel. Top 10 reasons why to stay there:
1) rooms are enormous, the beds are super comfortable,and the room itself has great energy
2) the staff is very attentive and warm
3) the restaurant and bar is great - the food is delicious, and Doriana makes the best cappucino!
4)the breakfast is included in the room rate, and it is a full on buffet - it is delicious!
5) the neighborhood is great - old Trastevere, great restaurants and bars
6) in 5 minutes walking you are at Campo dei Fiori, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon - best area of Rome!
7) the price! very reasonable!
8) small hotel, homey, personal feeling
9) very "zen" like atmosphere - the staff wears shirts which say "you are the treasure you have been seeking".
10)I had the best night sleep I've had in months!
Not as bad as the reviews indicate
Hello, my husband and I spent a night at the Ripa hotel in Rome. We were a bit concerned about the reviews we had read. We had chosen the hotel because we wanted a modern hotel and there aren't that many around in Rome. The service wasn't bad. They made a mistake on our reservation but corrected it that same day. The rooms are very nice. We had booked it on a lastminute website and we thought this hotel was really good value. It is a bit of distance to the town center, it takes about 20 mins to walk. But the center of Trastavere is very close. If you want a hotel that is in the middle of everything, then this is not a good choice. But if you want a modern hotel and don't mind being slightly on the fringe, this is a really good option. The hotel is quite quiet. The bar and restaurant areas are also really nice and modern.
I would go back there again.
Handsome Design with Some Drawbacks
Since I'm very interested in contemporary design, what better place is there to explore it than in Italy? The Ripa Hotel is featured in Herbert Ypma's Hip Hotels Italy, and based on his article, I reserved a room for my partner and me.
I'll address the liabilities first. Since the entrance is located obscurely at the side of the building, we entered through the cafe, giving us a less-than-impeccable initial impression. Somehow, the upholstery hasn't aged well, the tables are no longer covered in tablecloths, as illustrated on Expedia, and we felt as if we were walking through the kitchen, which in a sense we were. The lobby smells a bit moldy, which is not only unfortunate, but presumably unnecessary, given that the floor is marble. The other problems included a powerful sewer smell from the bathroom one of the nights, which I reported despite admirably low expectations that anything could be done about it. (The prevailing theory was that the smell of the Tiber invades the hotel from time to time; I'm not convinced.) There was very little hot water in the shower that day as well, and as someone else observed, the bathroom floor floods because of the position of the shower head within the bathtub. And finally, we stayed there on New Year's Eve, and the hotel had a prix fixe party, which lasted until 3:30 a.m. The pounding of the bass from the sound system kept me awake until then.
The assets, however, are considerable. The sizeable room was very quiet the other nights, although I suspect only because we were fortunate to have had quiet neighbors. The design details of the room are handsome (beautifully tailored curtains, a stone pattern in the carpet, original fixtures providing good quality light), and the bed is by far the most comfortable I have ever slept on. The linens, as is often the case, even in budget hotels in Italy, offered a feeling of luxury. The staff members were consistently polite and helpful. And with much more of a selection than I expected in a European setting, the breakfasts were ample and delicious.
Although the location is not really central, tram 8—-and for this I thank the sages of Slow Travel Talk—-is remarkable and connects the hotel quickly and efficiently to central Rome. It runs to Largo Argentina, just south of the Pantheon, every two or three minutes. From Fiumicino airport we took the FM1 to Stazione Trastevere and then took tram 8 to the hotel, thus avoiding the crowds and pickpockets of Stazione Termini.
We paid $200 per night for the room, considerably more than we would have at another time of the month. At $100 per night, which some report having paid, I'd compare the experience to the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles and recommend the Ripa Hotel, with minor reservations, as a very interesting and in many ways beautiful environment. At more than $135 per night, I do not recommend it.
Rudest and most unhelpful staff Ever
This hotel looks quite good - the rooms are spacious and comfortable, thought lacking in the extra's that you expect in a 4 star. Its very functional rather than luxurious. However any feelings you have about the building are over-ridden by the incredible rudeness and obnoxiousness of the staff. Two days in a row the person at the front desk in the morning claimed not to speak english, though we later heard him speak english on the phone. When we enquired about where a particular bus departed from they told us they didn't know, but did not offer to try to find out. They then gave us incorrect (or maybe confusing, anyway we didn't find it) directions to an internet cafe so that we could find out for ourselves.
When we asked to order an early morning taxi the night before they said this was not necessary and to do it in the morning. When we did, the taxi never appeared, then we were told that they only normally order taxi's for the airport and so could not be responsible for taxi's going elsewhere. This was not even 1 star service.
They Might Be Giants
Two people enjoy a rainy day at Villa Pamphili
Ponte Vittorio Emanuele, Roma, 05/07
The Temple of Vesta, Roman Forum, May 2007
Cultural Week In Rome
Because of bad weather we had to postpone our February trip to Rome so we booked some tickets in April, on the 19th until 23rd. I know the city will be crowded because of Easter, but we will try to survive.
I have heard about Rome Culture week and I am interested when it is exactly this year, because I could not find the right date for 2011 and where are the free admissions?In all locations?I suppose Vatican places are not on the list but what others?Can you help me please with the exact information?
Re: Cultural Week In Rome
According to this site:
and Lonely Planet:
this year's dates are 9th - 17th April.
When I visited it was the week leading up to Easter, which was excellent for free entrances! I did not find that week especially crowded, by the way, but I left Rome on Good Friday.
You are right that the Vatican is not involved (it is a separate country)
Re: Cultural Week In Rome
Hmmmn, the City of Rome tourism portal says "Programma da definire"...see http://www.060608.it/it/eventi-e-spettacoli/manifestazioni/xiii-settimana-della-cultura-2011.html
Well, that's not very helpful, is it? ;-)
I am trying to look at the link on that page - http://www.beniculturali.it/ - but the website is not opening at the moment...maybe you can check it later...
Re: Cultural Week In Rome
Thank you both very much.
I would be happy if it were not so crowded that week. We leave Saturday night, around 11, before Easter Midnight Mass.At least in Romania, it starts around 11pm and finishes around 2am. A long mass. This year we will miss it, but we will be In Vatican on the Good Friday. Is there any special celebration, Papal Mass in the Square?
Re: Cultural Week In Rome
You'll find information about special masses/celebrations here:
There is a Papal mass in St Peter's at 1700 on Good Friday, and another service in the Colosseum at 2115.
There are also masses on Holy Thursday, with a Papal mass in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano (the Pope's church before St Peter's and the Vatican City was built).
Re: Cultural Week In Rome
Finalmente, il sito di Web risponde!
look at http://www.beniculturali.it/mibac/export/MiBAC/sito-MiBAC/Contenuti/MibacUnif/Eventi/visualizza_asset.html_53962581.html
Note that the Bene Culturali site is being extremely slow right now, but if you have patience, it will eventually list all the things going on for Culture Week all over Italy, including Rome...