There really isn’t much to write home about after staying at the Radisson Blu Rome. It quite honestly is the worst Club Carlson hotel I’ve stayed at, and I don’t think I shall ever return. The two saving graces for the property might be that it is located next to Rome’s main train station (Rome Termini) and is available on Club Carlson points. And I’m not even sure the second can be considered a saving grace because there are way better places to stay on 50,000 Club Carlson points.
Introduction: A Week in Italy
United Club Terminal E – Houston
United Airlines BusinessFirst MAF-IAH-PIT(DIVERSION)-EWR-FRA
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt Airport
Villa La Perla Di Sonenga Panoramica, Menaggio, Italy
The Park Hyatt Milan
Focal Point: The Towns of Lake Como
Radisson Blu Rome
Crowne Plaza Milan City Centre
United Airlines BusinessFirst Milan (MXP) – Newark (EWR)
Arrival and Check In
We arrived at Rome Termini in the mid-afternoon and quickly made our way to the Radisson Blu Rome, which is a 10 minute walk from the station’s main entrance. There really wasn’t anyone at the front of the hotel to help us with our bags so we hurried dragged them along to the front desk where we were checked in fairly fast and given our benefits for being Club Carlson Gold members (via credit card), and booking one club room, which included breakfast
My parents and my sister made their way up to their rooms, while I lugged the luggage along to our rooms. I was doing fine until the elevator got stuck in between two floors. Thinking it was no big deal, I waited for a few moments for it to resume operation. As you can guess it didn’t, and I called the maintenance desk using the elevator telephone. A man (who only spoke Italian), pieced together some English words, which included “soon”, so I waited. About a half hour in, the elevator started moving, only to stop again between another two floors. The drama continued for no less than 20 more minutes before the maintenance guy finally pulled me out of there. Let me note here that this was a very hot day in Rome (32+ degrees Celsius) and I was ‘sweating like a pig’. This coupled with the lack of communication from the hotel, really got me a bit annoyed. I later found out that there were a couple of other hotel guests stuck in the elevator at various points in the week. Not good!
I made my way upstairs finally to find a decently modern and cramped room, featuring a queen bed. However don’t let the pictures fool you, there was quite a bit of water damage on much of the hardwood panels, and there was some mold in the corners of the room, which clearly hadn’t been dealt with. There was also this considerable creaking of the floorboards every time you took a step, ensuring that you wake everyone else up in the room. The bathroom is fine in terms of functionality, but there really wasn’t much of a way to reduce visibility once you got out of the shower. Not a pleasant set of features when sharing a room with your sister.
After seeing the state of the rooms and my elevator experience, I went to the front desk to give them a piece of my mind 🙂 The manager immediately came out profusely apologizing for the problem and offered up complimentary breakfasts for all rooms (my aunt and uncle were also staying at the hotel). Since this was only a two night stay, I gave in despite gaining ground on receiving more for my trouble. I didn’t think it was worth the fight because we had already missed our chance to take a tour of the Colosseum, and would soon end up seeing nothing if we continued on arguing. As for the room, they were completely booked so there was no chance of getting a new one.
Breakfast is served every morning at Zest Restaurant and Bar from 6:30am – 10:30am. Breakfast was complimentary for me because I booked a club room, but ended up being free for everyone because of my hour in the elevator. The restaurant itself has some decent panoramic views of Rome from the patio/terrace area and some nice floor to ceiling windows to enjoy whatever views the hotel could offer at its height.
As you can see the spread was fairly decent, but it was quite crowded on most mornings. There were all the usual items: cereal, french bread, pastries, yogurt, and made to order omelettes, but everything was altogether average (as hotel breakfast buffets tend to be).
Servers were polite and courteous but the experience wasn’t very memorable because refills happened infrequently if not rarely.
The location of the hotel is ideal for getting to and from the train station, but it is definitely located in a rather shady part of town. I wouldn’t suggest walking in the areas around the hotel at odd hours or too late after dark because I’m sure there are quite a few robberies that occur around here. There are also a higher than average amount of people trying to sell you tours or trinkets on the streets, which is quite annoying.
One night, I was walking by the park nearby and saw a duo of photographers getting robbed at knife point. Being a photographer myself, and having expensive equipment around my neck, I just ran for it. Someone must have thought I was a swindler myself, but who cares?
The Radisson Blu Rome is the only Club Carlson hotel in the city of Rome. The location is a convenient for access to Rome Termini, but everything else would pretty much detract anyone from staying here. The hotel is in need of some serious refurbishment despite the outward look of a modern office building. Maintenance both in the general facilities (eg. elevators), and rooms needs to be drastically improved. It’s simply inexcusable for a hotel guest to be stuck in an elevator for an entire hour or find mold in his room especially at an international brand name. It completely tarnishes the reputation of a brand like Radisson Blu. This was my parents’ first stay at a Radisson Blu, and it will probably be their last considering what they saw here. I was thinking they would have fixed the problems by now (given that it has been a while since my stay) but Tripadvisor seems to indicate that things haven’t gotten any better.