“ Address: Via Cairoli 31 / 00100 / Rome / Italy „
When it came to booking a hotel for Rome, I had no idea where to start. I didn't know where any of the best areas were to be or what would be the most decently priced. After looking at a large hotel just outside of the city which was really cheap, I stumbled across the Vacanze Romane 2. From looking at a map, this Bed and Breakfast looked to be pretty central and for Euro75 a night, I hadn't found anything similar.
The Vacanze Romane 2 is only a couple of blocks walk away from Roma Termini, the main train station although it did take some figuring out. The train station has 2 sides to it and street names aren't clear so it took a while to even be able to find where we were supposed to be. Once we did though, the walk was only about 10 minutes. If you are familiar with Rome's Metro system though it is only one stop away and then a 2 minute walk which would have been much easier.
Something that we didn't know about before booking this room was that you have to ring the owner when you get there. This we figured out from reading other reviews and the owner himself emailing me. I know how strange this sounds and we were extremely worried that no one would turn up when we got there. However, after a quick phone call to the owner, he was there in less than 5 minutes on his scooter to let us in and give us our keys. Although this is not a very normal way of staying somewhere, it worked well enough for us and as we didn't have to wait around, I didn't mind it at all.
The Vacanze Romane 2 is situated on the third floor of an Italian apartment building. While this may sound quite strange, I loved it. Rather than stay in a chain hotel, you get a better feeling for the city and the country and you can see how other people live. Once we got in the front door of the B&B, we were given a choice of rooms as the others weren't occupied yet which was nice as we got the room we wanted rather than being stuck in one of the smaller choices. The owner of the B&B showed us how each of the keys worked and what the features of our room were. We had a very cute dining table and a fridge, which the other rooms didn't have as well as a double bed and bathroom.
What I loved the most about this B&B was the décor. Although the walls were painted a plain colour, they were covered in old movie posters in Italian. I love films and knowing that this was how the rooms were decorated was one of the main reasons I chose to book here. The rooms had something a little extra about them in comparison to big hotel chains and ours definitely stood out to anywhere else I have ever stayed. All around the room were little knickknacks resembling film memorabilia or items from the period of the film posters. This decoration really gave the room character and it was just interesting to be in.
One thing that did let down our stay here was the bed. Our bed was actually a sofa bed pulled out and I really would have preferred to have had a real bed. However, the bed was much more comfortable than I imagined it would be. On each of the three nights here I slept really well which is more than I can say for some hotels I have stayed in before. The bed came with the two sofa cushions as well as extra pillows. Sheets included one coloured top sheet and a very thin sheet. We definitely didn't need anything more than this as it was so hot but it was nice to know that there were extra blankets in the wardrobe.
The wardrobe was quite large with two shelves above the hanging section. Hangers were supplied and the amount was fine for both me and my boyfriend. If we had been staying longer than three nights though I probably would have wanted more or made my boyfriend fold his clothes up so I could have the hangers! Also in the room was a TV although because the channels were in Italian we couldn't really use it. The room had massive windows which opened inwards, letting in a lot of light and air. The view was nothing special though as the room backed onto the courtyard of the apartment building. As well as the big windows, the room had air-conditioning which was a god send at night when it got too hot.
The bathroom here was quite basic and exactly what I expected from somewhere so cheap. Inside is a sink, toilet and shower along with a bidet. The shower was amazing and had a really powerful stream of water. However, you couldn't turn this on before getting in and closing the doors otherwise you would end up nearly flooding the bathroom like I did on the first night. Also in the bathroom is a hairdryer although I'm not quite sure it deserves the name. The hairdryer was actually some form of box on the wall and a handle which came off, resembling a hoover. The air coming out of this when turned on was lousy and not very warm at all. I have long hair and it took me ages to get it even nearly dry which was not something I wanted to spend ages doing while on holiday. Still, it was somewhat better than having to take my own.
As I have said, this is a B&B although not in the typical sense. As the rooms are in an apartment building, there is nowhere for breakfast to be served. Instead of breakfast what you get are tokens for breakfast at a bar down the street. Bar Trani (crazy name, I know) is on the way to the Metro stop and only 2 minutes' walk. Here you can have a choice of pastries and hot drinks although I don't drink anything like that so I was allowed a bottle of something instead. Staff here are very helpful and lovely to talk to. It was actually really nice to go in and sit there for breakfast before heading out for the day.
The Vacanze Romane 2 is not like anywhere else I have ever stayed but it is one of the most enjoyable. The building and rooms have character unlike big hotels and it was very unique. The price and location are fantastic and we couldn't have gotten any more central for the price we paid. The owner was extremely helpful and told us that if we needed to, we could call him again at any time. Things here could be improved but if I ever head back to Rome, I want to stay here again.