I want to preface this review with saying that we are very agreeable people. We don't complain unless things are really horrible. I am trusting and feel that generally people in customer service want to be pleasant and accommodating. I worked in a customer facing jobs for years so I know it can be difficult. I try not to be a difficult customer.
We had booked 3 nights at Hotel Best Roma as the final nights in Italy. This was our first time to Italy so I used a travel agent, thankfully.
After travelling several hours by train and walking to the hotel in the heat, all I wanted was a nice shower, fresh clothes and to start my sightseeing of Rome. We arrived at the hotel and were told that our room was unavailable due to maintenance and that they were sending us to a different hotel, owned by the same company. We were assured that the accomodations were comparable. The other hotel seemed further away from things but being agreeable people we said ok. They paid for a taxi, though not enough so the driver was crazily trying to make it there for the 10 euro they gave him.
The place they sent us reminded me of a flop house in New York. Being a reasonable person, I went upstairs anyway because who knows, maybe it would be ok. It was confusing at first that the hotel was actually on the second floor. It's located in a building which houses businesses and apartments. The lobby was teeny tiny and it felt like a Youth Hostel. The musty old smell permeated everywhere, I could even smell it on my clothes afterwards. The so-called breakfast room was 4 small tables. Our room was on the fifth floor. We were informed they lock up at 7pm and we would only be able to get back to our room by buzzing for someone.
I took a shower then went to ask for a better room, or if they could put me back in the hotel I had actually reserved. The man at the desk said they had no other rooms. I went back to my room and waited until I could call my travel agent. Luckily they have customer support on Sundays. I was very upset about the whole situation. My dream vacation had taken a nose dive.
After explaining the situation to her, she was able to resolve it within 2 hours, but they said they would not have a room until the next day. We were so distraught and felt so unsafe there, all we did was stay in our room. The next morning at breakfast, which was the worst breakfast I have ever been served at a hotel, the desk clerk informed us he would move our bags while we went out sightseeing. Yeah right! We insisted, we would stay with our bags and they would move us both as quickly as possible.
At around noon, the room was ready and we went back to Best Roma. The desk clerk was polite and apologetic. The room was wonderful, everything we had expected, but we had already lost an entire day of our vacation. We went out for a late lunch and walked around a little then came back to relax. Later that afternoon I went down to ask for 2 more pillows and some ice. I was informed I could not have extra pillows and when I challenged him he asked for my room number. The ice he said I needed to have a container for, I pointed to the plastic cups and he reluctantly brought me two small cups with ice in them.
We waited for our pillows... and waited... then finally called reception where we were informed that they did not have any extra pillows until the next day. This is the most absurd thing I had ever heard. I almost asked him if I needed to call my travel agent to get him to give me extra pillows!! So day 2 in Rome was over and I was looking forward to a bad night's sleep. I have sleep issues and need two pillows.
The next morning I asked again, different clerk...the nicer one, if I could have 2 extra pillows. He said yes of course right away. I told him of the evening's exchange with the other clerk and he was also a bit shocked. He said of course they have extra pillows. So here we were, not having slept well, only day to sight see in Rome and now I have this feeling the other clerk doesn't like me or something. I decided to have the nice clerk take care of the airport shuttle for us before we headed out, who knows what the night clerk would have done? Probably would have told me they couldn't arrange a shuttle.
Oh yes the evening before, we had wanted a bottle of wine from the bar. Apparently they didn't have all the bottles in stock, only a few, and of course not the less expensive ones. He brought us the bottle. I asked if he was going to open it and could we have glasses. He seemed very put out by this. Then we said we were going to the "garden" to drink it. More exasperation from him but he did finally show up with the opened bottle and some snacks.
The next night, we also ordered a bottle of wine. He was a little more agreeable but not much. The day clerk had offered to pay for our bottle of wine earlier. The night clerk informed us of that after we were all done and leaving. He said his manager had just called to say we didn't have to pay for that evening bottle. Really? at 10pm your manager called you about my bottle of wine?
Overall I would have rated this hotel with a 4 or 5. It was everything I expected when I was finally settled in. Unfortunately, the night clerk's crappy service combined with them causing me to waste much of my time in Rome dealing with my hotel situation made me rate it so low. I paid for a 4 star hotel, specifically choosing that one out of the list offered by my agent. They tried to send me to a 3 star "budget" hotel which was half the price. I tried to find a way to contact their management directly but alas, no email address other than the info one which I cannot be guaranteed would ever get to a manager, so I am using a more public forum to voice my concerns and disappointment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The HOTEL BEST ROMA is located in the heart of Rome, between the Colosseum and the cathedrals of San Giovanni in Laterano and Santa Maria Maggiore, at a short distance from the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain and the stunning Piazza di Spagna. Completed in September 2008, this fully renewed four-star hotel combines beauty, quality, and style in such a way as to complement the glorious city around it. The HOTEL BEST ROMA is the perfect place to stay in Rome, thanks to its welcoming atmosphere, the elegance of its premises, its lovely terrace and inner courtyard. Our staff will provide you with flawless service, and will be very happy to meet your requests. Fully refurbished and made with attention to the smallest details, the HOTEL BEST ROMA offers its guests antique-style rooms with air conditioning. Amenities include satellite LCD televisions, DVD players (on request), writing tables, Wi-Fi connection, minibars, and direct-dial phones. In our marble bathrooms you can find bathrobes, slippers, phones and hair dryers. The HOTEL BEST ROMA also offers you peace of mind in terms of security and privacy for you and your family, with modern anti-intruder systems, 24-hour staff, safety deposit boxes, soundproofing and fire alarms. The HOTEL BEST ROMA provides its guests with Wireless Internet connection in every room and in all common areas. Guests can enjoy a complimentary continental buffet breakfast each morning. The hotel is located within a set of very charming gardens, offering its guests a place to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Guests can also access a magnificent outdoor terrace to enjoy the tranquility of a warm Roman evening. ... more less
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