Convenient location right next to Rome's main train station
Modern guest rooms with flat-screen TVs, free minibars, and kettles
In-room amenities include luxury toiletries and bathrobes
Seasonal rooftop deck with swimming pool and separate kids' pool
Spa with whirlpool tub, sauna, and a modern fitness room
Two on-site restaurants, both offering views over the city
Free and fast Wi-Fi throughout
Surrounding area seedy and unattractive
Guest rooms show some signs of age
Many units have awkward setups with limited-privacy bathrooms
Breakfast not included as standard (and pricey)
Fee for entry to spa and gym
The Radisson Blu Es is an upscale, 21st-century hotel located right next to Rome's main Termini train station -- convenient for travel connections though one of the capital's seedier neighborhoods. The hotel does, however, offer a lot more than most of the city's hotels in terms of features. There's a superb rooftop terrace and a seasonal outdoor pool, two dining options with good food and city views, plus a spa with a small gym, but entry costs extra. Its 232 sleek, contemporary guest rooms are starting to age, and some are prone to noise from the nearby station. But the biggest drawback is that Standard units have awkward setups and limited-privacy bathrooms. It's a solid pick for business travelers but not for sightseers looking for a central location, who also may want to opt for a more traditionally styled stay, like Britannia Hotel.
Modern business-oriented hotel with swish 21st-century interiors built on Roman ruins
With its partly graffiti-adorned facade and anonymous modern architecture, you'd be forgiven for initially mistaking the Radisson Blue Es for a multilevel parking garage. Stepping through its ceiling-height revolving entrance, however, the lobby is bright and airy, with an uncluttered feel that combines swish minimalist touches with playfully oversize seating and a futuristic front desk. The property, which opened in 2002, is built around a central courtyard with potted palms and tidy shrubbery. During construction, ruins of a Roman road were discovered, so the architects modified the original plans to integrate these archaeological elements into the design. You can see remnants in the uber-contemporary reception area, creating a striking contrast of old and new. A cobblestone motif alluding to this ancient thoroughfare can also be found throughout. Renovations completed in 2013 have put some polish on interiors that were already starting to show signs of age, but some areas of the property still look a bit tired. The vibe can lack a little in atmosphere, with Italian business travelers making up a bulk of the clientele. Vacationing couples are also well represented, attracted by the convenient location and rooftop swimming pool.
Set in gritty neighborhood next to Termini Station, far from many attractions
The Radisson Blu Es is located next to Termini Station in the Esquilino district, a multiethnic neighborhood that's experiencing a degree of regeneration, but surroundings are generally run down and seedy, especially at night. There are a few trattorias within a short stroll, plus Chinese and Indian restaurants, and a few local bars. Some of Rome's main attractions are within walking distance -- Parco Del Colle Oppio, featuring Trajan's baths and the ruins of Nero's house, is a 15-minute stroll, and reaching the Colosseum is five minutes farther. But accessing Rome's historic center is four metro stops away (10 minutes). Proximity to Termini Station means easy access to Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport, about a 30-minute train ride.
Modern, minimalist styling with free minibars, but awkward layouts and signs of age
The hotel's 232 guest rooms are done in sleek, contemporary decor that incorporates a sharp monochrome palette, minimalist IKEA-esqe furniture, and a few quirky design touches, but units show some signs of wear and scuffing. Entry-level rooms can be on the small side with no outdoor space, though some pricier rooms have small balconies, and units from Junior Suites on up are roomy and many open to furnished terraces overlooking the courtyard. Views tend to be limited except from units on the very top floors, which can feature cityscape vistas. While courtyard-facing rooms do tend to be quieter, many rooms pick up the sound of announcements from the nearby station. But the biggest issue is the bathrooms. Standard-level rooms have awkward layouts, with circular showers that are so basic, they resemble what you might find at a campsite facility -- and they're behind beds. Other units have semi-open-plan layouts, which lack privacy and are far from ideal for non-couples.
All rooms include flat-screen TVs, minibars (with free snacks and soft drinks), and coffee- and tea-making facilities; Business-level rooms and suites add Nespresso coffee machines. Wi-Fi is free of charge in rooms, and the connection is fast and reliable. Bathrooms amenities include high-end branded toiletries, full-strength hairdryers, and bathrobes. Some guests have complained about very limited storage space in the guest rooms, and even lack of bedside tables.
Rooftop swimming pool and two restaurants, all with views over the city
The standout feature at the Radisson Blue Es is its fabulous seasonal rooftop swimming pool -- uncommonly found in Rome hotels -- with separate kids' pool and terrace with city views, though its wooden deck could use a polish. The rooftop is often open in the evenings, with guest DJs and a mellow party vibe. Both of the hotel's restaurants are located on the seventh floor, which offer decent-enough food and also have great city views. Most guests agree that breakfast is above average, though it isn't included in the standard rate and is certainly at the pricier end. Grab and go express breakfasts are also available. Another highlight is the swish contemporary spa, which offers a Finnish sauna, large whirlpool tub, small gym, and massage treatments, though entry costs extra. Wi-Fi is fast, reliable, and free throughout.
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