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Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

by Sunray-310 Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 1:50 PM

We are visiting Rome either on 4-7 or 11-14 April. (We'll know tomorrow). We want to stay in a 'central' area because of limited time (Pantheon, Spanish steps, Campo del Fiori). But the hotels I checked are not to our taste to be honest and the prices are CRAZY! It's just for 3 nights but it would be nice to return to a cosy place without mould/smells/noise/dirt! So we are considering the apartment option but I'm worried about the reliability of the companies (deposit issues, area safety, if it's really where it's advertised, etc). Can you suggest any rental companies? Looots of stress! Please help!

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16 Answers
  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by Donna_in_India Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Hi - during our last trip to Europe we used homeaway.com and vrbo.com for apartments. Be sure to check the reviews and you should be okay. Enjoy!

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  • virtualtanielle's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by virtualtanielle Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Have you come across "The Key To Italy"? They seem to have a good selection of apartments in the the areas you have mentioned. I have would also recommend this company - Apartments Apart: apartmentsapart.com/rome_hot... I have dealt with them in London and it seems they too have a good range of apartments in Rome. Like Donna_in_India says, its always good to check the reviews before you go. Good Luck and hope you have a great trip.

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by rexvaughan Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Another option would be staying in one of the many convents that offer lodging. My wife and I did that a number of years ago and found it wonderful. The amenities may be a little spartan but many have en suite facilities. Here is a website that lists many: romefile.com/accommodation/c...

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Hi there - i'm surprised that all you are seeing in your search are dirty, noisy hotels as during shoulder season you should be able to find some centrally located hotels for a reasonable price. Many should even include breakfast. Are there just two of you? Just curious: what price range are you looking at, and have you tried www.booking.com or venere.com? Both are very good search/booking sites with reputable reviews.

    If this is is your first time to Italy, and you're coming from the U.S. (not sure what country you're from?) yes, hotel rooms may be smaller than you're used to but there are perfectly clean and quiet properties out there.

    We've successfully used VRBO and Homeaway to book apts. in the states but I'd caution to read the fine print to see what's included or not: by the time you add cleaning fees and taxes, you could exceed the price of a hotel room. They're all a bit different where extras are or are not covered. You are also not working with a service but with the property owner themselves so you'll want to look for those with lots of reviews and photos, NEVER send cash for your downpayment, and double-check the locations to make sure you know they're indeed "central."

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by Maryimelda Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Check this out and don't dismiss it until you read all about it. This is a "guest house" by description which is in actual fact, a very beautiful hotel. It is called Domus Australia and was originally opened to cater for travelling Australian Catholics, but in a very short space of time, by popular demand, it was opened to all travellers regardless of religion or nationality.

    tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review...

    For further information go to the Domus Australia website.

    I have friends who have stayed there and recommended it so highly that I have booked my family and myself there in October and I can't wait.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Ooh - looks really nice, Kate. And that's a good location: we stayed not terribly far from there last spring and it was an easy walk to all sorts of attractions. Nice to be walking distance from Termini as well!

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by mccalpin Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    The primary reason you get an apartment is for the kitchen. If you don't plan on doing local grocery shopping and your own cooking, you'll be paying for amenities that you're not using.

    I don't know of any reason why apartments would be cleaner or dirtier than hotels. Besides, 3 days for an apartment is very short...you may have trouble getting one for such a short time...

    Bill

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  • Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by JackVee Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    We have stayed in a convent and will be again in September. The rooms etc are a little rudementary but they are clean, safe and you get brekfast. The one we stayed at was a 7 min. walk from the Roma terminii and a 10 min. walk from the Colosuem. It is easy to walk to all the sights you mentioned. try it.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by lynnehamman Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I can recommend Hotel del Corso, which is on Via del Corso- a few minutes walk from Spanish Steps. Roman Forum is nearby, and many other highlights. The hotel was spotless. We had a street facing room (LARGE) with balcony- so plenty of fresh air. The breakfast (included in price) was delicious- served on rooftop terrace. Everything (for us) was perfect. Large clean bright bathroom and shiny wooden floors/ I really should write a proper review for this hotel with some photos. Will get around to it. It was around 100euros per night. Some rooms are cheaper.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by leics Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Like Goodfish, I'm surprised that you are finding only noisy, dirty hotels...none of my Rome hotels have been like that. And, as Mccalpin says, there are no guarantees that an apartment won't be noisy or dirty.

    For a short trip, and especially if you do not intend to do your own cooking (and don't want to do your own cleaning, unless you have a serviced apartment) then a hotel seems to me the better option.

    You are finding especially high prices, especially 4-7, because you are visiting during the Easter period (Easter Sunday is 31st March). This is a sort of mini high season in Europe, with school and public holidays, so higher rates extend into the following week as well. And, of course, there will be a new Pope in place by then....

    www.booking.com is now my preferred site, not least because its reviews can only be posted by people who have booked through the site and completed their stay. I've not yet been surprised by the hotels I have chosen: they have all been as I expected from the info and reviews. www.venere.com is also very reliable.

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  • QuigleyM's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by QuigleyM Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    The apartment option is a good one, but there are so many centrally-located Rome hotels that you should be able to find one that fits your needs and budget. The city is so well-connected by bus, metro, and tram, so try looking outside of the immediate vicinity of the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, etc. I'd recommend looking by San Giovanni, Prati, or Trastevere--they're all beautiful neighborhoods that are close to the city's big attractions but are where the locals live. I always find good deals with ProntoHotel.com: http://www.prontohotel.com/ita/rome/. Good luck!

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  • annahill's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by annahill Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    I just looked up the price for Domus Australia for 5 days in October, I just wanted to see how much it would cost for my own trip. I came to about $275 a night! For me that is way too much! I used Homelidays and Homeaway.com for my trip to Italy and found apartments for a lot less than Hotels, and you can make your own coffee and more than likely have separate sleeping areas, which I love.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by lynnehamman Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    annahill wrote:

    I just looked up the price for Domus Australia for 5 days in October, I just wanted to see how much it would cost for my own trip. I came to about $275 a night! For me that is way too much! I used Homelidays and Homeaway.com for my trip to Italy and found apartments for a lot less than Hotels, and you can make your own coffee and more than likely have separate sleeping areas, which I love.

     Anna......if you are wanting accommodation in Australia, I am sorry to have to say that hotels and accommodation in general is notoriously expensive in this country. Your very best option is to stay in a hostel. There are very many good ones, in Sydney and other cities. You can usually cook in the communal kitchen, hence saving money. If you are interested- let me know and I will send more info.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by Maryimelda Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    lynnehamman wrote:

     Anna......if you are wanting accommodation in Australia, I am sorry to have to say that hotels and accommodation in general is notoriously expensive in this country. Your very best option is to stay in a hostel. There are very many good ones, in Sydney and other cities. You can usually cook in the communal kitchen, hence saving money. If you are interested- let me know and I will send more info.

     Hi Lynne, Just to clarify for you - Domus Australia is the name of a new hotel (described as a guest house for some reason) which is located in Rome.  It is owned by the Catholic Church in Australia and was originally targeted at Australian Catholics travelling to Italy.  It has now become available to all and sundry regardless of nationality or creed.  It is a topnotch facility and there are deals to be had from time to time which significantly reduce the price.  There are many excellent reviews on TA or you can go to the Domus Australia website for a good look at the property. You may like to check it out if you'reheading back to Italy in the future.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    by lynnehamman Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Oh dear (blushing) please pardon my ignorance. But it IS misleading if one does not know (what u have kindly explined to me!) Thanks

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Re: Considering the apt option instead of hotel. Bad idea?

    by Maryimelda Online Now Feb 26, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    lynnehamman wrote:

    Oh dear (blushing) please pardon my ignorance. But it IS misleading if one does not know (what u have kindly explined to me!) Thanks

     You're welcome, Lynne.  Very confusing when you think of it.  Who would expect an Italian Hotel to have "Australia" in the name?

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