We stayed at Hotel Joli for 2 nights in October 2012 prior to a cruise. We booked our stay through www.ebookers.com and paid £115 per double room for 2 nights. The breakdown of the price was £50 for the Friday night and £65 for the Saturday night. We paid in advance by credit card and were charged a further 2 Euros per person per night city tax which we paid in cash when we checked out at the end of our stay. The room rate didn't include breakfast; this was a further 5 Euros per person per day.
We were looking for a cheap, but centrally located hotel. We didn't intend to spend much time in our room (we literally just wanted somewhere to shower and sleep), so we weren't looking for anything luxurious.
At the time of our visit, Hotel Joli was ranked 618th out of 1269 Rome hotels on Tripadvisor. The majority of the 40 reviewers had given it a score of 3 or 4 out of 5 and we noticed a number of common themes amongst the reviews. The consensus of opinion was that Hotel Joli is a basic hotel with clean and comfortable rooms, tiny bathrooms, a minimal breakfast and a fantastic location just a few minutes walk from Vatican City. Most of the reviewers agreed that it was very good value for money. On the basis of these reviews, we decided that Hotel Joli was exactly what we were looking for.
Hotel Joli is located on the busy shopping street of Via Cola di Rienzo, just a short walk to the north-east of Vatican City and a short walk to the north-west of the Tiber river. We were able to walk to St Peter's Square in around 10 minutes. Castel Sant' Angelo is also a short walk from the hotel.
The nearest metro stations to the hotel are Ottaviano San Pietro and Lepanto, both of which are on Metro Line A (the red line). We could walk to either of these stations in under 10 minutes.
We arrived in Rome on a shuttle bus from Fiumicino airport. The bus made two drop offs in the centre of Rome; one in the "Vatican area" and the other at Termini train station. We didn't know exactly where the "Vatican area" stop would be, but we knew that it would be closer to Hotel Joli than Termini station would be. It turned out that the "Vatican area" stop was on Via Crescenzio, close to Piazza Cavour, and just a few minutes walk from the hotel (even with heavy luggage in tow). The hotel is therefore conveniently located if you plan to arrive in the city by airport bus.
At the end of our stay, we needed to make our way to the port at Civitavecchia. We decided to catch a train to Civitavecchia and the closest train station to Hotel Joli is San Pietro (just to the south of Vatican City), which is much nearer than Termini station. We had planned to walk to San Pietro train station, but with lots of heavy luggage decided instead to take a taxi. You will find a row of taxis parked up on Piazza del Risorgimento, just a 4 minute walk along Via Cola di Rienzo from the hotel.
Hotel Joli is located on the 6th floor of the building in which it resides. The 4th floor of the building houses Hotel Florida, while the shared reception area and breakfast room are on the 1st floor of the building.
There are hundreds of shops, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants within a few minutes walk of the hotel, both on Via Cola di Rienzo itself and the many streets that branch off from it.
In summary, Hotel Joli enjoys a very good location and is particularly convenient for visiting Vatican City. There are excellent bus and metro links within easy walking distance of the hotel.
Our double room was spacious and clean and contained everything that we required for a 2 night stay. The decor was a little aged and the room was in need of a few touch ups (peeling wallpaper in the bedroom, cracked plaster in the bathroom, broken shutters on the window...), but nothing that caused us any concern.
The room contained a comfortable double bed, a decent sized wardrobe, a small TV set, a ceiling fan, a desk and chair and bedside cabinets and lamps. It did, however, have a lack of plug sockets. There were none next to my side of the bed, and we had to unplug the TV to recharge batteries and phones overnight.
Wi-fi was free, but it was a secured network and I never bothered to ask for the password. The signal was weak on the 6th floor and I didn't have cause to log on during our brief stay.
Probably the worst thing about the room was the fact that the walls were very thin. We could clearly hear people talking in the neighbouring room and, as our room was near the lift, we suffered from noise and vibrations every time the lift arrived. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the room seemed to shake every time the lift opened! We slept well, regardless, but had we not been so tired this might have disturbed our sleep.
The bathroom was very small, but it was adequate for our limited needs. There was no shower cubicle, just a shower at the end of the bathroom which was curtained off from the rest of the room. It was absolutely fine for us, but I should note that our bathroom was the most spacious of the 3 rooms that our party occupied. The showers in the other rooms were practically over the toilet. The shower was powerful and, despite the lack of a separate cubicle, the room sloped in such a way as to prevent the whole bathroom floor becoming wet.
There was always plenty of hot water when we needed it and bars of soap, a shower gel dispenser, a hairdryer and fresh towels were all provided.
The reviews that I read prior to our stay suggested that breakfast was served in a nearby cafe and consisted of a hot drink and a croissant. This was no longer the case when we visisted.
Breakfast now consists of a small buffet selection and is served in the 1st floor breakfast room adjacent to the reception desk. It costs 5 Euros per person and we were advised that, as we were a party of 6, we should let them know the evening before if we required a large table where we could all sit together. We weren't sure whether we'd want breakfast, so we just turned up on the morning and were able to push a table for two and a table for four together.
The buffet consists of two types of cereals (cornflakes and a fruit and fibre combination), yoghurts, large bread rolls, cold cuts of ham and chorizo, croissants, sweet pastries (filled with chocolate chips and custard), jams and Nutella spread. There were a couple of fruit juices on offer and a coffee and tea making machine that could produce several varieties of either drink.
The selection wasn't extensive, but I don't think we'd have found a better breakfast for 5 Euros in any cafe in Rome, so we certainly had no complaints!
As the hotel is on the 6th floor, you might need to make use of the lift, especially if you have heavy luggage with you. There is one lift in the building; an old fashioned lift shaft that runs up the centre of the stairwell. The doors on the lift have to be manually opened and closed, and if the last person that used the lift hasn't closed the doors after exiting then the lift won't go anywhere.
Hotel Joli is an excellent value hotel and is particularly well located if you are planning a visit to the nearby Vatican City. It is also conveniently located close to transport links for making the short journey into the heart of Rome to visit the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps etc. Our room was spacious, clean and comfortable and the only downside was the noise from neighbouring rooms and the nearby lift. Breakfast was good value at 5 Euros per person per day. We would happily stay at Hotel Joli again if we visited Rome in the future.
Directions: Located on Via Cola di Rienzo, a short walk to the north east of St Peter's Square and the Vatican.