Rome has never been a cheap city. Till today, hotels are no exception. Yet we decided for a luxury retreat. As it was summer, we really wanted to have a pool. That’s why we stayed at the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese in the very end. There are many good things I can say about the hotel but at the same time I can’t deny that some things felt not perfect.
When it comes to searching a hotel in Rome, you usually have the choice between expensive and even more expensive ones. You usually won’t get a 5-star-retreat for less than 200 euros a night, in summer you may need to pay even more.
Anyway, we decided that visiting Rome would be a good choice, especially because we like the tropical nights you’ll have in Rome for sure when you visit the city in August.
The hotel our decision felt on was the Aldrovandi Villa in the end. The hotel is not located quite in the center of the city but (and that was very important for us) it offered a lovely outdoor pool and is some minutes away from the trouble of the inner-city.
After we arrived at the hotel after a two hour train trip (you may decide to take the Leonardo Express to Rome Termini and take a Taxi from there, it is the better choice for sure) we were welcomed pretty cold.
I’m used to this atmosphere at hotels in Italy, so I was not really surprised. Anyway, I had hoped for something like a more warm welcome but the woman at the reception did not really try to make us feel “home”. Yet, everything was professional and she showed us the room in the ground floor.
It was the first room in the large hallway which really disappointed me because I always opt for a room AWAY from the elevator and the reception (they had this information as well). The room had a decent size (around 30-35 square meters) and offered everything you need but was not really cozy due to two severe problems. First: We had a view on the parking lot. Second: A light bulb was flickering? (not what you expect in a hotel of this category).
In the end, I decided to ask for another room. The guy at the reception – not the same as at check-in – was very kind and tried his best to help us. Anyway, he had no “better” room available but did arrange something for us: He got us a better room for this night and said that he’ll do his best to get us an even better one for the next night. That motivation and aim to comply the request really made me happy. The new room was okay and had a better view but was nothing special anyway. Afterwards, we went to the city and got two spots in the shuttle which is offered by the hotel. It gets you to the Spanish Steps in just five minutes BUT and this was really awkward: You need to reserve the shuttle (only seven spots available). During our three-days-stay in Rome we had the chance to take the shuttle only once (we had all in all like six requests for it some hours before we wished to leave).
Even though I named some negative aspects so far, there were many good ones as well. For example, the pool and the spa. The latter one is pretty modern and very small but offers everything you need and has a lovely atmosphere. You’ll really come down in the whirlpool, one of the two saunas or the steam bath. Same for the swimming pool: The experience in the warm sun with well-trained pool boys who arrange everything for you is really special.
The pool was the reason why I chose the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese and it proved to be the right decision in the end. Also the breakfast was very solid for an Italian hotel (I never had really good breakfast in an hotel in Italy, so I expected nothing at all). Yet, I did not like that scrambled egg is only available at the buffet (it always tastes bad when it is not fresh). The service was good as well, freshly squeezed orange juice was served in a second (what a lovely touch for juice lovers!).
Meanwhile, we had a talk with the manager on duty, who was really, really kind and asked if everything was okay and if she could do anything for us. Also she promised us to get a brilliant room for us for the next night. And she was right: After we returned from our sightseeing tour, we were shown the best suite the hotel had to offer. I was extremely positively surprised (especially because it was the nice guy from the reception who guided us to the room) and I was almost about to deny the room because it was just too much.
Anyway, the guy told me that it was a pleasure for the hotel to offer us this room for the night due to our problems beforehand. I was like: “Wow, I love this place”. Sadly, they didn’t arrange to bring us our welcome bottle of wine and our fruits to the room, even though I asked several times.
Also we did not like the attitude of the one woman at the reception who checked us in. She was very cold on our last day again, so we decided to give her a “negative rating” in our comments to the hotel. Same goes for the staff at “The Grill”. Our experience having dinner there was horrible. Honestly, I’ve never been so unhappy about an experience in a restaurant at a Leading Hotel. The staff did not even notice when we liked to order. Food was served without any likely touch and looked like in a fast food restaurant (it tasted good though). The only positive experience were the drinks we had afterwards. Overall, we did like our stay at the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese due to the lovely guy at the reception as well as the kind manager on duty. The request compliance was really good, so was the amazing room upgrade. The SPA and the pool are worth a recommendation as well. Some stuff “disturbed” our positive experience though. Anyway, I am likely to recommend you to stay at the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese. For me, the hotel is the best one I’ve stayed at in Rome so far.