Radisson Blu Rome
For the second part of our honeymoon Beth and I headed to Rome, Italy to stay at the Radisson Blu Rome! Our first part of honeymoon we relaxed in Punta Cana where we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Westin Punta Cana. From Punta Cana I was even able to secure business class seats to Italy thanks to airline miles making it nearly free. Our plan for Italy was to visit Rome, Cinque Terre, and Venice. Thankfully in Rome we were able to stay at the Radisson Blu for free! All four nights cost us only a total of 200,000 Club Carlson points (50k per night). In fact the majority of our honeymoon accommodations and flights were free thanks to airline miles and hotel points.
Regarding Rome the city I will dive into the details in a follow up post but overall we really enjoyed our time in Rome! As for the Radisson Blu, overall we liked the hotel but probably would not stay here again for a couple of reasons. The main reason being the awkward room arrange which is not as bad as many reviews make it out to be but it still made for difficulties.
Getting To The Radisson Blu
We arrived at the Rome (FCO) airport and headed straight for the express train to downtown. The train leads to the central station which is super convenient to the Radisson Blu. No need for an additional taxi or a long walk from the station. One issue however is the huge mass of people which can make it difficult to navigate. Also some characters appear sketchy. We didn’t have any issues but I would avoid the area just outside the train station at night and the Radisson Blu is just far enough from the station to avoid these issues.
To avoid the mass of people outside of the train station follow my suggestions. If coming or leaving by train (not metro) you can walk inside almost the entire length inside to the hotel. If arriving do not leave the train track area but go to the furthest east edge and then head south and take the furthest entrance / exit. When going to the train go back to that entrance same entrance. Entrance is near a small grocery connected to the station. Note that you will need a valid ticket to walk the entire length inside but can do most of it if not by going through some of the stores. Follow the red line on my rudimentary map.
We asked for a room away from the train side which mean’t it was facing towards the courtyard, not a bad view actually. We did not have any issues hearing the trains despite the hotel being so close to the station.
Our biggest complaint was just the odd arrangement in the room and furniture. Not that it was a bad room but basic things were inconvenient. To start the shower was smack dab in the middle of the room. While the shower did work fine and did not get anything wet, it was just unnecessarily the center piece of the entire room. The toilet is thankfully in it’s room but the light would magically turn on at night which took some fiddling with the touch light switch and resetting the lights in the room with the card key. The sink had zero counter space and was just a bowl next to the shower.
As for the sleeping arrangements, the bed was on the hard side but we liked it. It was extremely low to the floor and had no where to put your things while sleeping except on the floor. The air conditioning worked to perfection which is always great. However, The “desk” was really just a sliver and not functional. Next to the desk is a mini fridge which did actually prove useful! They restocked the fridge everyday with complimentary water bottle, sparkling water bottle, two juices, and a couple of snacks. Not exactly enough for breakfast but better than nothing. Speaking of breakfast we only had the buffet once which has different payment tiers depending on what you want. We did one of the lighter options and it was just okay and instead opted to pickup things nearby.
Our favorite part of our stay was the roof top pool. It provided great views of Rome and the train station. Everyday we went out exploring and would come back to relax at the pool in the late afternoon. It kept us sane as all tourist attractions can be overwhelming at times, so many tourists! The pool area has a nice wooden deck with plenty of chairs to layout on. Jumping in the water was a little brisk at a solid 70 degrees Fahrenheit but it felt amazing after walking all day in the sun.
The Radisson Blu is extremely convenient to the train station and metro making day trips to really anywhere not a problem. We used the metro to get to the Vatican and to Ostia Antica. On the other hand the neighborhood leaves something to be desired. It is essentially in a small China town making for a cheap area to eat but not super appealing. We never felt unsafe in the area by the way. There are plenty of cheap grocery and convenience stores to pickup food which we did everyday to get breakfast supplies.
Walking 20 minutes east or north gets you to more typical Italian neighborhoods that are not overrun by tourists and are pretty nice. Most of the main attractions are under a 30 minute walk like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Panetheon. We love to walk so it was a non issue for us but there are no close attractions near the hotel.
It was a good stay at the Radisson Blu Rome but not somewhere I need to stay at again. The location, while not next to really anything of importance is not far from public transit and is walk-able to most of the tourist hot spots. Once again the pool was nice after a long day of sightseeing and sealed the deal but the awkwardness of the room still annoys us. If you have Club Carlson points to burn it is not a bad option just know it’s shortcomings.