3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

Via Delle Quattro Fontane 37, Rome, Lazio, 00184, Italy

1 Review

Hotel Zara
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Satisfaction Terrible
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Rated 27% lower than similarly priced 3 star hotels

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Good For Couples
  • Families30
  • Couples40
  • Solo21
  • Business0
  • diemblake's Profile Photo

    Rome could do without it...


    I arrived at the Hotel Zara - Rome on October 7, 2010 in the late afternoon/evening, and from the very beginning it presented a challenge. I am a very budget-minded traveller, and although I had read some rather negative reviews about this hotel, I decided to try it out because of its location (a step away from Via Nazionale, and close to the Spanish Steps, and just about everything else), and also because there were some positive reviews (regarding the location).

    This hotel does not present well, but if you do not care about aesthetics, then this is no problem. For me, I didn't care. I began to care, when I found out that the elevator (which could hold only one person at a time and his/her suitcase) only went to the third floor, and my room happened to be on the fourth. One elevator ride, and a trip up two flights of stairs, I ended up in front of the door to my room. I opened the door, eager with anticipation to throw my exhausted self unto the bed awaiting me, only to discover that I could not see because of the darkness of the room. After locating and turning on the light, I saw my room in its full glory. It was small, but I expected that. It was narrow, I expected that too. It was truly dark, even with the light on. This I did not expect. I saw there was a standing closet, which had one of its doors missing. I saw that there was a desk with a television on top of it, but no chair. I saw that there was a window (and thanked the gods.) I saw that there was a long horizontal mirror above the desk.

    I walked to the window, and opened it. I was pleasantly surprised by the view of the patio and an outline of the city of Rome. I turned around to face my room, and sighed. I was in Rome. I looked to my left and saw a smaller room, which I assumed to be the bathroom. Turning on the light, I saw that it too was very small. I expected this. I saw some exposed wires where there should have been a mirror above the sink. I did not expect this. I also did not expect the loud noise that was produced when I turned on the light. I sighed again, and thought to myself, "Well, at least, I am in Rome."

    I decided to refreshen my make-up, but as it was getting pretty dark, I decided to find the light source by the mirror, so that I could actually see what I was doing. How foolish I was to think that there would actually be light. I went downstairs to the desk attendant to ask if I could have a lamp of some sort to provide the light needed for me to see, and was told no. I sighed again, at least I was in Rome. I decided I didn't need light for a week and would just do my best at the start of the day. The days went on like this, and only got worse.

    I recognized from the first night that someone else had slept in the bed, but I expected this. What I did not expect was to find the many, many hairs left behind by the person who had last occupied the bed however. I did a lot of sighing. Over the course of the week, I received fresh towels, but the room was never swept. The dust accumalating in the room was only made worse by the staff's insistence on keeping my window open, even after I closed it.

    Also, I found out to my dismay that I was not allowed to have male visitors as a single woman, because of some belief that I may be prostituting myself (nevermind the fact that I am gay). I was told by an attendant that this was a law in Italy. I had never heard of this before. So, my poor friend (whom I had come to visit me during my visit was told to wait outside while I came downstairs, and was not allowed to help me bring some shopping bags upstairs after I returned. This was all very disappointing, but who was I to interfere with the law of Italy. I sighed again, and decided never return to this hotel.

    It also did not help that I was frequently talked about by staff, who referred to me as "la negra," to other people even when I was in their presence (the thought was that I didn't understand Italian at all).

    So, my advice: if you happen to be a Black woman travelling alone in Rome, who does not like dirty hotels, and ill-mannered staff, then do not stay at Hotel Zara. Regardless of location, the grief involved in staying there is not worth it.

    Unique Quality: It is close to Via Nazionale and the Piazza di Repubblica. It is a short walk to the Termini and to many other local sites. There are many non-Italian restaurants in the area, from Japanese to McDonalds. It is close to just about everything. There is a convenience/deli store next door, gelato (not very good) close by, and across the street, even more gelato (better), and many tourist gift shops and a camera shop as well. Many expensive brand name and boutique stores line the Via Nazionale., as well as many, many lingerie stores. Also, many fruit stands (I'm vegetarian) and a grocery store are in walking distance, and a bookstore/cafe as well, and also other vendors, selling inexpensive wares, such as pashmina scarves, hats, etc. Very close to the metro. The hotel offers luxury car rides to the airport for 50 Euros, or you can have a regular taxi pick you up for 40 Euros. Personally, it is my plan to take the train in to and from the airport when next I visit Rome.

    Directions: Head towards Piazza di Repubblica on Via Nazionale. Hotel on left-hand side on Via Delle Quattro Fontane (one-way street.)

More about Zara

When in Rome...

by diemblake

"From the Airport to the Hotel"

My first impression of Rome... "Wow, this reminds me so much of Orlando, Florida!" My poor taxi driver, who spoke about as much English as I spoke Italian was baffled by this exclamation. After a few choice words, including "Mickey Mouse," "Disney World," and "palm trees," we were finally able to come to an understanding of each other. Turns out, my wonderful taxi driver had been to the "Sunshine" state and was excited that I had been there too.

Another thing I discovered on my way from the airport was that no matter how much you study Italian by reading a book titled, "Italian in 30 Days" over the course of a couple of weeks, it does not prepare you (at all) for actually speaking or understanding spoken Italian. Thanks, Berlitz! I suppose I should have used the enclosed c.d. Between my inability to conjugate any useful verb on command and my readiness to lapse into German for the sake of speaking something other than English, my driver and I spent a lot of time laughing... mostly at me!

Approximately 35 minutes and 45 Euros later, I arrived at Hotel Zara. I do not wish to be disparaging, but I would not recommend this place at all to anyone. From the picture below, you can see my wonderful twin bed, which was certainly not the problem at all, and I actually had a decent view from my the only window in the room. The problem lay in the dirty, wire-exposed, poorly-lighted, limitedly furnished room and the hotel's ill-tempered employees. The location, however, could not be beaten as I was a step away from Via Nazionale and about a 10 minute walk to the Spanish Steps.

"Would You Like To See The Pantheon?"

Well, at 1:30 in the afternoon, so would everyone else... Not to mention that you and everyone else would like to see the Trevi Fountain, and just about most other sites.

The picture below is taken from the place I felt that it would be safest to stand. Before me is a sea of people waiting to get into or around the Pantheon. My advice - If you want to get even close to the Pantheon (although not in it), go later in the evening, or better yet, at night. You could also sneak there incredibly early in the morning. I went back late at night, and was fortunate to have great company with me to explain all that I was seeing.

"Something Special in Hidden Places"

What does the Spanish Steps + Local Artist + A Trip to the Villa Borghese Gardens & Museum =? Magic!

I had my most amazing day in Rome wandering around the Villa Borghese with Sergio Angilella, a local artist, who works at the top of the Spanish Steps. I had never thought to go there (or actually even knew about it!) Under the advice and guidance of Sergio, I was able to see a beautiful and also, mostly tourist-free, part of Rome. It's a great place for a picnic, to read, to take great pictures, and to see amazing free art (sculptures), and of course, there is also the museum.

The image below is of sculpture which is part of a larger installation titled "I Nostri Silenzi." There are several similar sculptures along the path, and they are there to symbolize all the things that people hold themselves back from saying because we deem it inappropriate. There is also a beautiful lake with ducks, and another museum on grounds.

If you want to get away from the crowds, find a little quiet time, and see some art, then this is the place to go.

Forum Posts

Via Rassella

by Fareham_Bee

We are staying in Rome in a week's time and I would like to visit the scene of the so called "Massare in Rome" where the nazis sought revenge for the attack on the Via Rassella. Does anyone know how far from the main attractions like the colloseum etc the Ardentine Caves are?

Re: Via Rassella

by Jenniflower

I am afraid I dont know, but your question is a very interesting one! I am going to Rome in a few months and would LOVE to know the answer to your question too.

Plse let me know when you find out!?


Re: Via Rassella

by Ciambella

Via Rasella (one s) is a few minute walk from Trevi Fountain.

Re: Re: Via Rassella

by Fareham_Bee

Thank you Ciambella, we are staying in the hotel Zara just a few minutes away, but I am after the Fosse Ardeantie where the reprisals were taken.

Re: Re: Via Rassella

by Ciambella

The Ardeatine Caves are off Via Ardeatina, 18 km on the outskirts of Rome. I don't know if there is any public transportation to the area. With a car, it would probably take 20 minutes since it's just right outside of the GRA.

I found a map of the caves if you are interested. This is the link:

Re: Re: Via Rassella

by puppis

To get to the Fosas Ardeatinas, I think the best way is to take the bus 218 which goes to the Catacombs. You can board it near the Piazza in front of the San Giovanni in Laterano church

Re: Re: Via Rassella

by puppis

Sorry. Then you stop by the Catacombs. As you can see in the map, the Fossas are very near the crossing between the Via delle sete chiese and the Via Ardeatina.

If you are interested in visiting other quite interesting places near or on the Via Appia, look for the Archeobus in this page

You can board it on Piazza Venezia and make as many stops as you like. One of them can be the catacombs. Each half an hour you have another of these buses making a stop where you descend.

Re: Re: Via Rassella

by Fareham_Bee

Many thanks for your replies, will have to miss the football I think and go to fosas instead. Thanks again.


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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Zara Hotel Rome

Address: Via Delle Quattro Fontane 37, Rome, Lazio, 00184, Italy