This post originally appeared on Best Western’s YouMustBeTrippin.com’s blog, where I regularly contribute stories. I was compensated for this post but the opinions are mine.
If Italy is a living museum, Rome is its grandest ballroom. You can scarcely walk anywhere in Rome without running into notable buildings, churches, water fountains or piazzas that often date back at least 500 to 2,000 years.
Even though Rome is saturated with more history per cubic foot then virtually any other city in the world, not all “central Rome” locations are created equal. During a recent five-day stay in Rome, my wife and I stayed at the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hotel Royal Santina, which is strategically located in the ultimate spot – across the street from the Termini train station that all visitors take to get from the airport to central Rome. Termini is to Rome what Grand Central is to New York City.
Location is definitely its most strategic feature. Literally everything you’ll want to see in Rome is just minutes away on foot or by cab. However, that’s not all the Santina offers. It also excels at all the points Best Western is known for: high comfort value for your buck, free WiFi and free breakfast. The Santina didn’t have the almost universal Best Western guarantee of a pool but, then again, few hotels in Rome have pools – even super luxurious ones.
I’m no travel snob, but having done my fair share of jaunts throughout Europe before, and during this 17-day trip to Italy, I can tell you that the Santina features standard hotel rooms that are amongst the most modern, updated rooms I’ve ever encountered. That says a lot, because on this recent trip we only stayed in four and five star hotels and the Santina was definitely at the top of that list.
Our room was very spacious, especially considering that many hotels in cities like Rome do not have large rooms. Our bed was very comfortable with a plasma TV set that featured English language and International programming, another feature that is not necessarily universal to hotel rooms in Europe. The bathroom included a top-of-the-line shower with updated fixtures, as well as a hot tub that made our room feel like the place to truly unwind after a long day of walking the streets of Rome.
When you’re traveling internationally, getting free WiFi is a premium value item as it’s not universally free and, if used correctly, can save a lot of money on cell phone data charges and roaming. Being starved for news from home and email access, we used our WiFi service a lot, but what was especially useful was the free international web conference and video calls through Google Hangout, my favorite platform.
The free breakfast buffet served at the Santina was as large as they come, with an everyday offering that included scrambled eggs, fruits, tomatoes, cheeses, waffles, cappuccino, milk, cereal and orange juice, among other items. On breakfast alone, my wife and I estimated that we saved about $25 daily. We were also surprised to see that the hotel had special seating, coloring books and snacks for the little ones, which we’ll be sure to keep in mind when we return with our kids.
The Santina has a multilingual staff that is responsive and proved helpful in guiding us through Rome so, if you go, be sure to utilize them as a resource. The hotel also includes free newspapers in the lobby and has a money exchange office inside the hotel itself, an amenity that is extremely convenient because, as tourists, we frequently needed to replenish our Euros.
All in all, we had a great stay at the Santina and look forward to returning with our kids someday! If you ever find yourself trekking across Rome, be sure to stop by this locale and see all it has to offer.