The first thing to say about the Hotel Rouge et Noir is that it is excellent value for money in a city where hotel rooms are extremely expensive.
The hotel has an official 4 start rating (and so attracts the 4&5 star rate of local tourist tax at EUR3 per person per night) and it is possible to see that it probably did once deserve such a rating. The only problem is that the hotel has seen it's best days some years ago. The rooms do look a bit worn now with some scuffs to the walls and other general cosmetic maintainence not being attended to as you would expect a 4 star hotel to do so. We did however have a comfortable bed, working air conditioning and a fridge in our room. The room was cleaned daily and adequately with fresh towels and bed linen. Interestingly we did not have a bin in the room and the only electric plug socket was behind the TV unit and so we had to pull out the furniture and unplug the TV to use it.
We did not have breakfast included in the package we booked and so had to pay EUR6 per person per day that we wanted to have breakfast at the hotel. On the first day we skipped breakfast at the hotel because the restaurant was swarming with a number of large Italian coach parties and we could not get a table and the noise level was dreadful. On the other 4 days this was not a problem and the food (both in terms of quality and variety) was very good. One slip up was that on our last day the restaurant opened at 7am but they didn't start to bring out food for anyone except a coach party staying there until 7.15 and we had to leave by 7.30 to make our flight, which made it even more rushed.
We did try the hotel A la carte restaurant for an evening meal. It was very expensive for what you get. The portions are tiny and leave you very hungry and it is not great quality (but perfectly edible). The prices of wine in the restaurant can be alarming but the local red wine (or Rosso Lazio) is perfectly good and drinkable and a lot cheaper than any of the other choices. Don't order the "fresh fruit" from the dessert menu as you will be disappointed! This is not a fruit salad or similiar. You actually just get a bowel containing 1 apple, 1 orange and 1 peach - nothing done to them at all. Nice enough if that's what you want but not for such a price!
The Hotel does provide a shuttle bus service to the city centre (near Termini metro station) which we used a couple of times but as it only runs in each direction 5 times daily it just never suited when we wanted to go back. We instead used the local metro and buses which are quick (sometimes there is a bit of a wait at Pietralata for bus 211) but if you are tired it might seem like a bit of a trek. The hotel says get off at the 7th stop from Pietralata but we found that it was better to get off at the 8th stop as there is a pavement all the way to the start of the hotel driveway (very steep) from this stop. From the 7th stop you have to walk at the edge of the road for part of the way which we did not like.
The area is a bit run down and certainly not the best of areas but also it's not that bad. It's better than many areas of London and we didn't feel in any way threatened or intimidated - it's just not a rich area and has some rather sorry looking ex industrial sites nearby.
The staff in the Hotel had very variable standards of English but the reception staff had a good knowledge of a number of languages and everyone did seem to want to help as much as they could even if there was sometimes a bit of a communication barrier.
Directions: From city centre take metro line B to Pietralata and leave the station via the exit to your right. Go to the bus stop by on the opposite side of road for bus 211 and get of at the 8th stop, you will have just past the hotel.
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Address: Via Cosimo De 'Giorgi 8, Via Di Pietralata 162, Rome, Lazio, 00158, Italy