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Still trying to hopeful and optimistic about European cruise next summer.  I always say that planning is the best part of the journey and if we can’t go next year my plans will be done for 2022.  Only way to look at it!
With that said, we will be spending a few days in Rome pre cruise.  Thinking of using Rome in Limo for tours based on recommendations but hotels really baffle me.  Looked at Sina Bernini and Hotel Santa Maria (based on trip advisor reviews) but first timers to Rome and trying to research hotels.  Any recommendations?  Thanks

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Both of the hotels you list have far from ideal locations for being central to the sites in Rome. If you stay in the Centro Storico, there is no need to use a company like Rome in Limo (which is primarily a driver service) to take you around -- you can walk.

 

Sina is a very good Italian hotel chain but the location is near Via Veneto which is a somewhat quiet area and this area is not really central, e.g., a long walk to get to where you want to be.

 

I'm not familiar with Hotel Santa Maria, but it is in Trastevere. While lively at night, Trastevere is also not ideally located for seeing the major sites of Rome.

 

I would look for a hotel near the Pantheon, Piazza Navona or Campo dei Fiori area (these are relatively close to each other).  Nothing is better in Rome than being in the Centro -- it is lively in the evenings and safe to walk around, many restaurants and of course -- you are near everything except the Vatican.

 

Some hotels I've stayed in and recommended many times are Albergo del Senato and Albergo Santa Chiara -- both are extremely well situated next to the Pantheon. I have other suggestions if those are above budget.

 

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18 hours ago, Minniepnp said:

Looked at both Hotels. Would love to stay at Senato but right now they have a pay in full non refundable policy so we will wait and see.  Alberto Santa Chiara is not booking into next year yet.

Also looked at Hotel Locarno which seems lovely.  will have to do more research on that one My hope is to book something in next few months without penalty and then be able to move it to following year if cruise is cancelled. Would also love any other recommendations.  Thank you.

 

I just went to the del Senato website and there were other options than pay in full/nonrefundable available for a year from now. What dates are you looking at?

 

Most Italian hotels do not book all that far in advance. You could be doing yourself a disservice by trying to book if you are more than a year away from your trip....

 

Hotel Ponte Sisto is another good option nearer Campo dei Fiori

 

Hotel Smeraldo is near Piazza Navona and tends to be a bit more budget-friendly

 

 

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On 7/26/2020 at 10:05 PM, Minniepnp said:

Still trying to hopeful and optimistic about European cruise next summer.  I always say that planning is the best part of the journey and if we can’t go next year my plans will be done for 2022.  Only way to look at it!
With that said, we will be spending a few days in Rome pre cruise.  Thinking of using Rome in Limo for tours based on recommendations but hotels really baffle me.  Looked at Sina Bernini and Hotel Santa Maria (based on trip advisor reviews) but first timers to Rome and trying to research hotels.  Any recommendations?  Thanks

Four to consider at various price points -

All will give a great stay and are in excellent locations

Albergo del Senato

Albergo Santa Chiara

Hotel Navona,

Hotel Singer Palace

 

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We've stayed twice at the Albergo Santa Chiara. Loved our stays there.  Good location near the Pantheon. We walked almost everywhere from there.

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On 7/26/2020 at 5:05 PM, Minniepnp said:

Still trying to hopeful and optimistic about European cruise next summer.  I always say that planning is the best part of the journey and if we can’t go next year my plans will be done for 2022.  Only way to look at it!
With that said, we will be spending a few days in Rome pre cruise.  Thinking of using Rome in Limo for tours based on recommendations but hotels really baffle me.  Looked at Sina Bernini and Hotel Santa Maria (based on trip advisor reviews) but first timers to Rome and trying to research hotels.  Any recommendations?  Thanks

I suggest you also determine what you are doing in Rome-   Then,  look at hotel locations.    Are you going to be able to manage wandering around and using google maps  (data necessary in my opinion)  ?    Or do you have to have guiding?     Are you going to use public transportation?     A lot more goes into a hotel selection in my opinion.   

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On 8/6/2020 at 5:16 PM, Budget Queen said:

...using google maps  (data necessary in my opinion)

 

Google Maps allows downloading of map data before you leave home so cellular data does not need to be active.  Put the phone in Airplane Mode with GPS ON to use Google Maps.

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45 minutes ago, -Lew- said:

 

Google Maps allows downloading of map data before you leave home so cellular data does not need to be active.  Put the phone in Airplane Mode with GPS ON to use Google Maps.

Of course you can download maps.     BUT,  they are limited,   they won't have public transportation  or walking options,  and sometimes generalize "streets",  or  are not as detailed.    I spent 3 months in Europe last year,  and have been going every year for about the last 20+  and I still find myself depending on data accurate maps,  in my wandering.   

 

 In Italy it's cheap,  and an excellent resource.   It could be of significant benefit for less experienced.  

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We've stayed at the Albergo del Senato twice. The phrase location, location, location truly applies at that hotel. It is literally right across the street from the Pantheon. This is a place that you can walk just almost anywhere from... Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, lots of other places... not sure about the Vatican; we ended up taking a cab there.

 

We've booked a cruise for next August out of Civitavecchia on the Odyssey with our daughter & her family. It's been about 7 or 8 years since we've been there and we plan on booking there again for a few days pre-cruise.

 

Tim

 

 

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On 8/8/2020 at 11:37 AM, Budget Queen said:

Of course you can download maps.     BUT,  they are limited,   they won't have public transportation  or walking options,  and sometimes generalize "streets",  or  are not as detailed.    I spent 3 months in Europe last year,  and have been going every year for about the last 20+  and I still find myself depending on data accurate maps,  in my wandering.   

 

 In Italy it's cheap,  and an excellent resource.   It could be of significant benefit for less experienced.  

 

As someone who doesn't like to use a lot of data, I find a good low-tech solution is to just use the cheap paper giveaway maps available at the desk in most hotels. Because they usually only cover the central historic area, they do include almost all streets, even the tiny vicoli (alleys).  I'll take one the night before, look at my computer to figure out the best route to get to wherever I want to visit the following day, and mark my route on the map. End of day I toss it and start over the next day.

 

Yes, I occasionally use my phone -- mostly only when I've gone horribly astray and need to figure out exactly where I am. Once I'm back on track, I'll just use the hardcopy map again.

 

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

Yes, I occasionally use my phone -- mostly only when I've gone horribly astray and need to figure out exactly where I am. Once I'm back on track, I'll just use the hardcopy map again.

 

For those times when you need to refer to your phone for directions, you might want to checkout the free HERE WeGo app.  I've used it for walking directions all over Europe with excellent results.

 

With HERE WeGo you download the maps you need, set Use app offline, put the phone in Airplane Mode, and you're good to go.

 

To experiment...download a map of your current location and give it a try.  For Rome directions to work, you need to be there.

 

One nice feature...you can save sites of interest in the web app on a computer and they'll sync over to the app on your phone.  Very convenient not having to search for locations when you're using the app while traveling.

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I use an old Tom Tom with "Europe".  

And just update prior to leaving, not forgetting to take  the charger.  Does the job all over Europe for both driving and walking.  

Love it in Venice, as we can get there without having to try and read street signs, or maps at the same time while walking (pain).  And able to wander off wherever the view, or thoughts, may take us, and never get lost.

Edited by PORT ROYAL
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A finial comment about Data.      No downloading is going to give you any public transportation options.     My touring goes WAY beyond the completely walking "tourist map".    There is way more to see and do in Rome.    My mention of data-  is a 25/30 euro  investment for 35 g of data,    wide area of coverage with Sim cards I easily bought conveniently at Termini.     I spent 3 months in Europe last years,  and used 3 cards with excellent service.   

 

The enhanced information of Data is superior.      I also  used a purchased Walking tour APP  that I've found offers me, more than most,  free,  options,   off routes  etc.     I don't need an app to take me to the common tourist stuff.    I'm looking for more.  😉

 

 But an excellent free Audio Guide,  that I recommend is Rick Steves-   especially for those who've visited less frequently.       Using the App,   excellent clear concise directions are given,   also with the ability to do a 20 second rewind,   map available.    I used it myself, a couple times during my Vatican  "free day" last year,  (very thankful to my lodging front desk,   who mentioned it,  had never been inside)   

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3 hours ago, PORT ROYAL said:

I use an old Tom Tom with "Europe".  

And just update prior to leaving, not forgetting to take  the charger.  Does the job all over Europe for both driving and walking.  

Love it in Venice, as we can get there without having to try and read street signs, or maps at the same time while walking (pain).  And able to wander off wherever the view, or thoughts, may take us, and never get lost.

I've had download 'failures"  several times in Venice.     Updates are a requirement.  🙂   

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2 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

A finial comment about Data.      No downloading is going to give you any public transportation options.     My touring goes WAY beyond the completely walking "tourist map".    There is way more to see and do in Rome.    My mention of data-  is a 25/30 euro  investment for 35 g of data,    wide area of coverage with Sim cards I easily bought conveniently at Termini.     I spent 3 months in Europe last years,  and used 3 cards with excellent service.   

 

The enhanced information of Data is superior.      I also  used a purchased Walking tour APP  that I've found offers me, more than most,  free,  options,   off routes  etc.     I don't need an app to take me to the common tourist stuff.    I'm looking for more.  😉

 

 But an excellent free Audio Guide,  that I recommend is Rick Steves-   especially for those who've visited less frequently.       Using the App,   excellent clear concise directions are given,   also with the ability to do a 20 second rewind,   map available.    I used it myself, a couple times during my Vatican  "free day" last year,  (very thankful to my lodging front desk,   who mentioned it,  had never been inside)   

 

I also go well off the beaten path when in Rome, but worth remembering that most using this site do not.

 

There is no "one size fits all" for everyone. I work, and when I travel I am required to have my business cell phone. I am not going to carry two phones and I cannot, for example change the data package or get a local SIM card.

 

I have never had a problem getting the info I need re: local bus/transportation. But I am a planner, not really a wanderer.  (Unless I have built in some wandering time, lol.)

 

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No matter how well you think you plan-    Without data you will not have accurate public transportation information.    Along with departure times , accurate map , alternatives.    
 

the slant towards me just “wandering “ is the wrong assumption.    Of course I have excellent planning skills.  I  don’t even have to put in much effort.     

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21 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

No matter how well you think you plan-    Without data you will not have accurate public transportation information.    Along with departure times , accurate map , alternatives.    
 

the slant towards me just “wandering “ is the wrong assumption.    Of course I have excellent planning skills.  I  don’t even have to put in much effort.     

 

'Twas not meant as a "my way is better than your way" comment. 

 

I enjoy the planning. I'm the one who has compiled 70+ pages on notes on Pompeii. :classic_biggrin:

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  • 3 weeks later...

We were in Rome last year after a Venice cruise and stayed at Albergo del Senato for 5 days.  I can't say enough good things, including the rooftop bar only for guests.  And if the weather doesn't cooperate they open a small bar downstairs just for guests.  People speak perfect English too.  There is a restaurant to the very right of the hotel, Hostaria Pantheon, that has outside seating looking over the Pantheon.  Great food and friendly staff.  We had many afternoon cocktail hours there then did our final night in Rome dinner.

 

Loved the area so much we are planning a Rome to Rome May 2022 cruise and staying right around the corner at an AirBnB.  If we were going to stay at another hotel though, I'd pick the Senato.

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We stayed at Albergo del Senato for five nights in September 2015.  We were fortunate to have the room with the balcony on the front of the hotel overlooking Piazza della Rotonda.

 

I agree that for some the location is unbeatable, but beyond that the hotel is pretty average.  The room itself was nothing special...quite dated in fact.  The average breakfast was served in a windowless room and although the rooftop bar was nice, seating with a view was quite limited as was the menu.  We found the hotel staff to be very attentive and accommodating.

 

We initially thought it would be nice to be overlooking the piazza, but we were subjected to the same, mostly recorded, vendor music from morning to night.  Couple that with those hawking their wares and we were presented with a constant cacophony of noise.

 

P1020636.thumb.jpeg.2136f19e7f1c7682035675c987a89c29.jpeg

 

Taking the advice of @cruisemom42 we've stayed at Albergo Cesari three times...about a five minute walk from Piazza della Rotonda.  Great staff, excellent breakfast and bar on the roof.  Rooms were also a bit dated, but the hotel is now closed and undergoing a full renovation.  We're looking forward to staying there in October 2021.

 

In the other direction, we stayed at Navona 49 for a week last year.  The location and view were unbeatable.  We found our suite to be very modern.  There is a rooftop patio for breakfast, but the morning sun made it quite unbearable up there.  We enjoyed room service breakfast after the first morning.

 

IMG_2890.thumb.jpeg.47d77a3fcd2bbf1b11ed031245c48bd0.jpeg

 

 

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On 9/3/2020 at 10:08 AM, -Lew- said:

We stayed at Albergo del Senato for five nights in September 2015.  We were fortunate to have the room with the balcony on the front of the hotel overlooking Piazza della Rotonda.

 

I agree that for some the location is unbeatable, but beyond that the hotel is pretty average.  The room itself was nothing special...quite dated in fact.  The average breakfast was served in a windowless room and although the rooftop bar was nice, seating with a view was quite limited as was the menu.  We found the hotel staff to be very attentive and accommodating.

 

We initially thought it would be nice to be overlooking the piazza, but we were subjected to the same, mostly recorded, vendor music from morning to night.  Couple that with those hawking their wares and we were presented with a constant cacophony of noise.

 

 

Taking the advice of @cruisemom42 we've stayed at Albergo Cesari three times...about a five minute walk from Piazza della Rotonda.  Great staff, excellent breakfast and bar on the roof.  Rooms were also a bit dated, but the hotel is now closed and undergoing a full renovation.  We're looking forward to staying there in October 2021.

 

 

 

I just want to clarify the above a bit.

 

I don't think there is any comparison between the rooms and decor at Albergo del Senato and Albergo Cesari. Both are well-located hotels, but if you had stayed at del Senato and were expecting the same at Cesari, you'd be disappointed. 

 

The rooms a del Senato, while not "modern" in decor, are quite updated -- they just are decorated in a classic Italian style with, for example, heavy silk drapes, upholstered walls, and high-end fabrics and fittings. The bathrooms are very modern (and again, what I'd call classic Italian):

 

image.thumb.png.da39a817af46115693eb007728e42d11.png

 

image.png.9fe248f9e8522873b3b98b0bda31416d.png

 

The Cesari, on the other hand (and I understand it is being/has been refreshed), is not of the same level. The furniture is several decades old and scratched in places. The walls may be a bit scuffed. The bathrooms are not as large or luxurious:

 

image.png.2983a4ec2f714df4d33e282e1efb31ef.png

 

image.png.65be711b534a707de9ffcec9de9f5559.png

 

 

 

The Cesari does have a nice rooftop breakfast, but I also don't think it is QUITE fair to describe the room where the breakfast is laid on in del Senato by just saying "windowless", nor would I call the breakfast "average" by Italian standards:

 

image.thumb.png.982e1713fe182944eb1435c85ecfad5c.png

 

In short, I've stayed at Cesari three times, especially when I've been in Rome during the high reason when prices at del Senato can sometimes be outrageous.  But after the last time at Cesari I said I would not recommend it any longer until the promised renovations were done.  I hope the hotel will indeed get the massive update that's needed. But if I had to choose one or the other, all things being equal, it'd be the Albergo del Senato every time.

 

(As an alternative, until I hear better reports from Albergo Cesari, I would recommend looking at Albergo Santa Chiara, which is just behind the Pantheon...)

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On 9/7/2020 at 10:09 AM, cruisemom42 said:

I just want to clarify the above a bit.

 

I don't think there is any comparison between the rooms and decor at Albergo del Senato and Albergo Cesari. Both are well-located hotels, but if you had stayed at del Senato and were expecting the same at Cesari, you'd be disappointed. 

 

The rooms a del Senato, while not "modern" in decor, are quite updated -- they just are decorated in a classic Italian style with, for example, heavy silk drapes, upholstered walls, and high-end fabrics and fittings. The bathrooms are very modern (and again, what I'd call classic Italian):

 

As I mentioned, our only stay at Albergo del Senato was in 2015 and the appointments in our room, at least, did not compare favorably to the ones you posted.  After all, they are current, staged photos, from the Albergo del Senato website.  

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Question on the Albergo del Senato.

Do you need to book a junior suite to get the view of the Piazza Navona? Or are the regular double rooms also on the piazza?

 

Also, has anyone stayed at the Palazzo Navona?  Or the Eithch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilii?

Thanks

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52 minutes ago, marazul said:

Question on the Albergo del Senato.

Do you need to book a junior suite to get the view of the Piazza Navona? Or are the regular double rooms also on the piazza?

 

We booked a Superior Double Room for a room facing the Pantheon.   The hotel is on the Piazza della Rotonda...Piazza Navona is about a ten minutes walk to the west.

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12 hours ago, -Lew- said:

 

We booked a Superior Double Room for a room facing the Pantheon.   The hotel is on the Piazza della Rotonda...Piazza Navona is about a ten minutes walk to the west.

Ooops! Late night senior moment.  I was also looking at hotels near Piazza Navona and that's what I wrote.  Yes, I know the Albergo is by the Pantheon.

Thanks.

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