Review: St. Regis San Francisco
Review: British Airways Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: British Airways Club World 777 San Francisco To London
Review: St. Regis Rome
Review: Hotel Cala Di Volpe Porto Cervo
Review: Dining At Hotel Cala Di Volpe
Review: Hotel Romazzino Porto Cervo
Review: Dining At Hotel Romazzino
Review: Hilton Rome Airport
Review: British Airways Lounge Rome Airport
Review: British Airways Club World A380 London To San Francisco
On our way back to the US we had a one night layover in Rome. Our flight from Sardinia arrived in Rome just before 6PM, while our flight the next morning was just after 8AM. As a result, we figured it made sense to just stay close to the airport, especially since we had visited Rome on the outbound portion of our trip.
The most practical option seemed to be the Hilton Rome Airport, which is connected to the terminal (sort of). This is a Category 7 Hilton HHonors hotel, and for our night an HHonors redemption would have cost 50,000 points. The paid rate, on the other hand, was about 150EUR. So in this case paying cash was the better option, given that I value HHonors points at ~0.4 cents each.
The Hilton is connected by pedestrian walkway to Terminals 1, 2, and 3. This required going to the upper level and following the signage in the same direction as trains, rental cars, etc.
On the plus side, there are moving walkways almost the entire way to the hotel. Even so, it’s not a short walk, as the hotel is a good distance from the terminals. Our walk from Terminal 3 to the hotel took about 10 minutes, and that was with us walking at a very fast pace.
Once at the end of the pedestrian walkway we took the elevator down a level, walked along the exterior pedestrian walkway, and then found ourselves at the hotel’s sliding main doors.
The hotel’s driveway was under construction and closed off. Fair enough. However, there were two sets of sliding glass doors, with two doors on each side. For the first set of sliding doors the right door was out of service, while for the second set of sliding doors the left door was out of service, which made entering the hotel unnecessarily complicated. It wasn’t bad for us since we didn’t have much luggage, but if you do…
The lobby of the hotel was contemporary but bland, though it had plenty of seating at least.
Check-in was a bit chaotic, thanks to the massive jerk who tried to cut everyone in line at reception, and didn’t take no for an answer. I wrote a separate post about that experience, so won’t mention it further here.
Soon enough we were helped, and the friendly associate informed us that we had been upgraded to an executive room thanks to my Hilton HHonors Diamond status. He explained the hours of the club lounge, that we’d receive free “premium” wifi, etc.
Once check-in formalities were complete, we turned right and walked down the hall towards the elevator.
A bit further in the lobby on the left were two computers with printers.
Past that was a cool-looking globe, and then on the left of that were the elevators leading to guest rooms.
We took the elevator up to the executive (fifth) floor, where our room was located. The hotel has wings in four different directions, so it took us a minute to figure out which way we needed to go, since the signage isn’t prominent.
We were assigned room 5092, which was a ways down the hall and on the left.
The room itself was… fine. It featured a king size bed, a chair with an ottoman, a desk with a great office chair, and a flat screen TV.
I’m not at all a fan of Hilton’s beds. Their mattresses are flimsy and not well padded, and the pillows are generally thin.
On the plus side, Hilton does desks well in theory, thanks to their great desk chairs. Unfortunately the hotel’s wifi was almost unusably slow, and we were connected to the “premium” version. So that’s disappointing…
The flat screen TV was on a separate console with a built in luggage rack.
This is also where two bottles of complimentary water and the coffee setup (a kettle and instant coffee) were located.
The bathroom was a bit nicer than the rest of the room, and featured a sink, toilet, bidet, and shower/tub combo.
As usual, toiletries were Peter Thomas Roth branded, which are decent as far as mid-range hotels go, in my opinion.
The room had a pretty quiet view of one of the airport’s outside roadways. While I like a good airport view, I also appreciated that we had no noise from our room.
Since we got to our room at around 6:30PM, we decided to head to the executive lounge, which was just down the hall from us. We grabbed a table, and I went to take a picture of the buffet (and only the buffet). After I took my first picture the lounge attendant came up to me and said “no foto.”
Okay, so I recently had a situation at the Hyatt Regency Toronto where a bored/rogue restaurant host told me I couldn’t take pictures of the buffet (there were no people in the pictures). Of course that was total crap, and the hotel later followed up with me to say they spoke to the employee in question.
So when he said “no foto” I decided to push back a little bit. After all, photographing stuff in hotels is part of my job, and virtually all major chain hotels have no rules against photography. Heck, in the age of TripAdvisor they usually want guests to be taking pictures.
“Oh sorry, is that a rule?”
“Yes, you can’t take photo.”
“In the entire hotel?”
“Not here, to protect the privacy of guests.”
“I’m not taking pictures of people, I’ve taken one picture of the food.”
“You can’t take because privacy.”
“The privacy of… the food? That’s fine, I’m sorry.”
So I went back to the table, and moments later he came by my table and asked me to please keep taking pictures of the food and that it wasn’t a problem. He then returned a couple more times to explain the “rule.” I decided just not to take further pictures because it was awkward at that point, and as he walked away he said “ay paparazzi.”
So below is my one picture of the food spread, which otherwise looked quite decent. Too bad I wasn’t able to fully showcase it. 😉
We were quite hungry at this point, so after sitting in the lounge for a couple of minutes we decided to go to the hotel’s restaurant for dinner.
The restaurant was located off the lobby, right across from the elevators. There were three distinct areas — Artists Bar, Caffe Tevere Bistro, and Le Colonne Restaurant. We decided to do the caffe, which we were told had sandwiches, salads, and pizza, which is what we wanted most anyway.
The restaurant was rather bland in terms of decor.
I ordered a caesar salad, while Ford had a greek salad.
Then we shared a pizza margherita, which was excellent.
When we returned to the room after dinner there was a small dessert plate with three mini-brownies. While we weren’t hungry at that point, I thought that was a nice touch, especially for an airport hotel.
We left the hotel early the following morning, at around 6AM, given that our flight was at 8AM.
Hilton Rome Airport bottom line
Ultimately we chose the Hilton Rome Airport because it’s connected to the terminal, so in that regard I have no complaints. That being said, otherwise I wasn’t a huge fan of this property. The wifi was painfully slow and I thought the club lounge attendant was rude with how he approached me.
Still, it’s a perfectly serviceable hotel. Maybe next time I’d try the Hilton Garden Inn, which is also located at the airport.