How to find a perfect hotel in Italy using online reviews

When planning an Italy itinerary for a client traveling with three teenage boys recently, I sent hotel recommendations for Rome: the three hotels I recommended were all available for his dates, all within his budget, and all in excellent locations. We were planning his trip six months in advance and there were lots of fantastic options. He went to a popular hotel review site and read reviews about all the hotels and then came back to me with concerns about each hotel, so I gave him some guidance on how to use hotel review sites, which he found very helpful and suggested I share. So here it is. Below my tips, I’ve also shared the lists of pros and cons of each hotel – find out which one my client chose!



My client’s Rome Hotel choice The pros and cons that I listed for each hotel below were only included if the review was recent, if the hotel had many reviews, and if the pro or con was consistent across review sites and across languages. If an issue was listed only once or twice I didn’t include it. All these hotels by the way, were rated in the ~4.8 out of 5 range, so are all excellent hotels.

Rome Hotel #1 Cons: Small rooms; wi fi doesn’t work well; noise can be an issue; very slow elevators; hallway smells like smoke; some people aren’t impressed w the breakfast; breakfast room small; some people think it’s overpriced; upgrade to rooms on higher floors is worth it. Pros: Very clean; location amazing; incredible views; friendly staff; great rooftop bar; spacious family room; great breakfast; comfy beds; ice cream next door.

Rome Hotel #2 Cons decor lacking; rooms can be hot with no way to change temperature; overpriced; not impressed w breakfast buffet; doesn’t live up to reputation; no dedicated concierge; some rooms don’t have great views.  Pros: Excellent breakfast; rooftop terrace fab; good restaurant for dinner; higher end rooms are the best; great location; comfortable bed; quiet area; in a fantastic area for restaurants, cafes etc; front desk staff very helpful.

Rome Hotel #3 Cons:  wi-fi not reliable; can be noisy – need to ask for a quiet room; front desk staff can be stuffy; breakfast is fine but nothing special; some rooms are small; some rooms have no view. Pros: rooms very clean; fantastic location; family suite very spacious; fantastic terrace; good air conditioning.

My client chose Hotel #1, though he did spend time thinking about how important wi-fi was. Since he is traveling with 3 kids he decided he wouldn’t have much time to be online anyway. What would you have chosen?

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