Continuing with my series of posts on the subject… Rome is a tough place for families of four, where parents happen to be miles and points junkies. I looked at SPG and Hyatt, and couldn’t find what I consider a good deal. Hilton and Club Carlson didn’t have any options either. Well, Hilton had a property by the airport, but it was 58,000 points per night. No thanks.
We’ve been to Rome, and IMO staying in (or near) historic center is important. It’s a chaotic city, so the less you’ll have to use taxi or public transportation, the better. Taxi drivers in Rome are borderline insane, no offense. Ahh, who am I kidding? They don’t read my blog. One of them drove over my foot, true story.
I did find several hotels, and here they are:
Unfortunately, there weren’t any good options near historic center. There is a Crowne Plaza Rome-St. Peter’s that could possibly make sense if you plan to visit Vatican museum (and you should). The rate in the summer is quite high at 315 euros per night, or you can have it for 30,000 points. It will fit four, though the room has 2 double beds, so it could feel a bit cramped.
The hotel is located near a subway station, only a few stops away from historic center. The value is certainly there if you look at the price, but I probably would find a more central option. However, if you are short on cash and have a ton of IHG points, it could make sense to burn them here.
Probably your best option on points. There are two hotels that can be a tremendous bargain. Both go for 10,000 points, so even if you buy Choice points at full cost, it will run you $110 per night for a family suite that goes for 300 euros in the summer months. Choice points transfer from Amex Membership Rewards 1:1, but you will probably do better if you save them for airline transfers. Still, it’s an option if you are cash-poor.
Unfortunately, you can only book 60 days ahead, which is a huge downside of this program. You can do it 75 days ahead if you have status with Choice, which you can obtain by faxing them your copy of IHG Platinum membership card or proof of status with another hotel chain.
The rate comes with free full hot breakfast, and the room has a/c, which is very important in Rome. Pollution is a huge problem, and if you have allergy issues (like I do) or asthma, you absolutely want a hotel with air conditioning.
Judging from the photos, I liked it better than the first Choice option. It also comes with free breakfast and a/c. The location can’t be beat. It’s near Colosseum and within walking distance of Trevi fountain and other famous sights.
The only property listed was Boscolo Exedra Roma. It required an upgrade certificate (80 euros per night) when redeeming points for 4 people, including 2 kids. However, my reader Eric told me that he was able to contact Marriott property in London and get it for a regular amount of points.
You may have success here as well, so always contact individual property to see if you can work out a compromise. The cost is 40,000 points per night, and paid rate in the summer was quoted at 400 euros.
If you don’t mind waiting till 60 days ahead to book your hotel, Choice is probably your best bet. Even if you buy points at full price, it’s a bargain, especially since the room includes breakfast. I wouldn’t do it speculatively, of course, since the award rate can go up overnight
If you have plans to visit Rome this summer, you may want to make a refundable reservation at another hotel and see if you can buy Choice points for 0.37 cents a piece via Daily Getaways promotion, assuming this program returns in May.
As always, you have many other options, including those not bookable on points. Don’t limit yourself to this hobby when visiting your dream destination. Always think outside the box and check sites like Rick Steves Europe, Frommers as well as VRBO and AirBnB.
Readers, what hotels did I miss?
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.