I booked this reservation only for one night, our last night in Rome, after coming back from traveling outside the city. The place had *very* high reviews on TripAdvisor (Like 98% 5-star), and it looked decent in the photos.
But my wife and I were overall very disappointed with our experience here, in spite of the high level of cleanliness, and the host, Stefano, seeming like a nice guy, and generally being responsive and eager to please. Our main issues were with (1) the location, which turned out to be in a dull residential neighborhood far from the action, and without much going on, (2) the property itself, which, though pretty from the outside (it's in an art deco-style building with a cool lobby), is chopped up and unappealing to spend time in, and (3) the breakfast, which was dismal - consisting of a variety of undesirable things: packaged cookies, packaged "toast", sad looking slices of carrot and bell pepper, a bowl of unripe fruit, corn flakes, and an old cake (aside from the corn flakes and the "toast, " the only things that constituted actual "breakfast" foods was coffee, which was machine made and fairly mediocre, and packaged yogurt, which wasn't anything special).
Only after arriving and looking over some of the promotional materials, did we realize that this place actually seems to market itself to Jewish clients (the breakfast, for example, while dismal, was at least kosher). Not being Jewish, my wife and I therefore did not feel the benefits that may exist uniquely for Jewish clients - so this is something to keep in mind. (I'm not sure how difficult it is to find kosher meals in Rome, and maybe this is a service that really appeals to certain clients). It also seems like there are synagogues in the neighborhood, which would also appeal uniquely to Jews, but not necessarily to gentiles looking for a cute place with some interesting restaurants and/or shops nearby.
Located in an upscale residential neighborhood with lots of large art-deco style apartment buildings, and traversed by large avenues. A perfectly pretty place to walk around, but very little going on in the way of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, etc., and inconveniently far from the action downtown (45 minute subway ride + walk to trastevere, for example). My wife and I generally like being in "alternative" non-touristy neighborhoods, so we were looking forward to seeing something off the beaten trail, but this was *really* not convenient, and offered very little in the way of accessible local culture.
The building is an old art-deco building with a lovely lobby, but the actual part you stay in is a weirdly chopped up apartment that has been completely stripped bare of what were surely a lot of lovely historical details in the original apartment - it feels a bit like a small daycare center. The room was large and very clean, but had awkward fluorescent (energy-saving) lighting and ugly furniture. The bed was pretty comfortable, but wasn't ideal because it was actually two single mattresses pushed together, and separate sets of single sheets and blankets for each side. There was a bunkbed in the room, which was of no use to my wife and I. The towels were very thin and weird. The bathroom was very clean but unremarkable. There was a "common area" which was a small room with a few small hard chairs, a table, and no charm at all.
As a sort of aside that isn't mean to target this place in particular, I noticed that Rome seems to be inundated with these "B&Bs" and I find them quite depressing. They take what was probably a really cool apartment, and turn it into an awkwardly renovated and chopped up space with very little charm. Like AirBnB I'm sure these places also end up driving up the rents for locals because it removes apartments from rental circulation. Next time I come to Rome, I think I'd rather stay in a traditional small hotel - at least there, you're staying in a place that was designed as a hotel and isn't some modified residential space, and that has an actual person cooking real food. Or just a regular AirBnB would be better (even though it still damages the local rental economy) because at least it is an actual apartment without the "bells and whistles. "
Stefano seems to be a very nice man - he was definitely eager to please us and offer us assistance and recommendations for places to go in the city center - and he was helpful in arranging a taxi for return to the airport. So I truly hope that he doesn't take any of my criticism personally. As I mentioned above, I suspect that his business may cater more to Jewish travelers looking for a budget option, and people in that category may find exactly what they are looking for. But I think he should also know that his space is not at all appealing for non-Jewish couples looking for a cute place to stay in a cool, alternative neighborhood, and that his breakfast, while kosher, is really really terrible. I think it would be better not to offer breakfast at all then to pretend this is a real service.
stayed from 02/23/2019 to 02/24/2019
The answer from the host:
Dear Mr. Burton,
First thank you for the words of appreciation for the beauty of the neighborhood and of our own art-deco building, the cleanliness of the place, the largeness of the room and the responsiveness of the staff in assisting you. It is a lot and I am truly thankful for this all. Your review raises important arguments and I am glad to begiven the opportunity to clarify that:
- The neighborhood: The area has much to offer in terms of “action” as well as attractions and shops. And not only to Jewish guests. Having spent one Sunday morning in the neighborhood, I believe you could spare us some harsh judgement and yes, Italian night owls may not be around early on a cold winter Sunday!
- Location: We are always ready and glad to provide information about the city, the area, how to best navigate the transportation system and much more. However we may be imposing when a guest on a tight schedule declines help. I am really sorry to hear it took so long to reach Trastevere. On a separate note, let me please equally specify to those that are not familiar with the city, that Trastevere is NOT downtown.
Property: A professional furniture conservator in my previous life, I am fully on board when it comes to preservation. At My Guest Roma I have maintained the building’s original 1930’s plasters, the wooden doors, parquet and Venetian marble ….but I have combined it with modern furniture and art. I am sorry to read that the result did not match your taste.
Single sheets: Beds are arranged with single sheets in an effort to provide flexibility where a reservation request for a double bed or 2twin beds is left blank.
Breakfast: We are well aware that the Italian style continental breakfast is not satisfying to many foreigners. We devote much effort to accommodate multiple breakfasts habits and cultural expectations while complying with the strict Italian regulation. To name one, we make use of a professional coffee bar machine and serve real juice as opposed to cheap fruit powders. But no, we cannot produce Yogurt on the premises.
Finally, we do indeed cater to Jewish guests …AND students AND faculty of the nearby University, AND Hospital patients, AND couples from all over the world AND businessmen AND gluten intolerants ..
Again thank you for your comments.
My Guest Roma’s management