I'll be upfront in stating that this hotel was selected for me by a travel agency. I had asked for a 4-Star hotel near the Roman Coliseum and this is the hotel they gave me.
That being said, I have to say that the service desk manager, Daniel, was a huge help in resolving a major issue caused by our travel agent, Tui. The travel agency failed to provide the ages of all our family members and then we would have been on the hook for an additional bed. Daniel called up the agency on his end as we were getting nowhere with the agent and he managed to get them to adhere to the contractual agreement.
Here are some of the things that I liked about the hotel.. The rooms were very clean and you could tell that they kept them in check.
The room where we slept was very peaceful and quiet. I think having a room in the back corner made a huge difference. It was really a good layout.
The hotel provides free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel. Although the children did complain about the connection, it was good enough for me to surf the web. I'm guessing that they wanted to watch videos and perhaps the internet speeds weren't quite fast enough for this. I should also mention that the hotel provides a PC and printer free of charge. This is very handy as I was able to print out my return flight boarding passes for the family.
Although the hotel doesn't seem to have any rooms with a living room suite, getting the deluxe room with a king size bed made for a room that didn't feel too cramped. You definitely wouldn't want to live out of the room but if you are going downtown to see the sites, this shouldn't be an issue.
Here are the issues that I found with the hotel...The mattress on the bed was very firm. It's probably one of the firmest mattresses that I have slept on. Since I have a bad hip, I would wake up in pain every now in then due to the pressure spot caused by the firm mattress.
Most 4-Star hotels would offer one bottle of water complementary for each of the guests. This hotel does have water but they will charge you 3 Euros for each bottle. If you plan to stay here, stock up on water at a grocery store or when in town.
The hotel (during the summer months at least), has air conditioning. The only bad thing is that the AC doesn't run while your out of the room. The room has to be activated with your hotel key in order for the AC to stay on. This means that you'll probably want to get back to your hotel a bit early if you don't want the room to be a bit on the warm side. Management informed me that the AC does turn on when you are out but it's set at something like 25C. I felt the room was a bit warm but after about 90 minutes of running the AC, the room would get comfortable.
This hotel is not the best hotel if you are wanting to avoid using a taxi or public transportation to reach the main sites in Rome. It's about a 10-15 minute walk to the main subway station. If you are booking this hotel to save money at the expense of convenience, you may not mind at all.
The breakfast is a bit sub-par for a 4-Star hotel- The only hot foods (not counting toast) they serve for breakfast is scrambled eggs (not bad) and bacon/hot dogs. If you get to breakfast right when they open, they will have bacon. While I stayed there, they would always refill the bacon container with hot dogs. I wouldn't mind this if this was lunch, but hot dogs are a bit cheap for a 4 star establishment.
Overall, I was waffling between rating the hotel between 2-3. The excellent customer service provide by Daniel really made the difference here. I can only give the hotel a 3 at best because it does not meet my expectations as a 4-Star establishment. This hotel would probably rate a 4-5 if it were advertised as a 3 star hotel as it is clean and well maintained. With them charging for water in the room, a lackluster breakfast selection, uncomfortable bedding, and being quite a distance from the main sites in Rome, I can only rate this hotel as a 3.
If you are looking for a 4-Star hotel but are on a budget, this may be the hotel for you. Just keep in mind that you definitely get what you pay for. less
adele maria p, Guest Relations Manager at Best Western Blu Hotel Roma, responded to this review
Dear Captachab45, thank you for your long detailed review that I will surely share with our professional desk manager Daniel.I am just adding that you can have a bottle of fresh water at 1.50 from the vending machine in the hall. Thank you for appreciating the cleanness and the helping staff. I hope you will consider staying with us again. Sincerely