Vatican View Hotel
"My definition of a good hotel is a place I'd stay at."
- Robert De Niro
We took the train down to Rome for a couple of days and stayed in a hotel called Relais Vatican View. It is a small boutique hotel within two blocks of Saint Peter's Square and the Vatican.
The staff at this hotel were wonderful. Every single employee was genuinely friendly, professional, and happy to help in any way they could. They have an unusually late checkout time of 11:30am, which is wonderful, and they gladly held our luggage after we checked out until our late train departure time of 6:45pm. The housekeeping staff was amazing and every inch of our room was spotless every day. One thing about the hotel that is a bit odd is that the hotel lobby is next door to the hotel rooms and entered through a separate door. The entry door to the hotel rooms opens immediately to a spiral staircase and you go up half a flight to the lift or take the stairs to your room if you choose. The advantage of the arrangement is that you have a key to the building and don't have to go through the lobby as you come and go.
The location is great if you're interested in visiting the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter's Basilica or Saint Peter's Square while in Rome. All of these things are right outside your door, just a block or two away.
The immediate neighborhood is mostly restaurants and souvenir shops which is not surprising considering its close proximity to the Vatican. I would advise checking the reviews on the restaurants in the area since it is definitely a tourist destination and that often means high prices for low quality food. I'm glad my son loves to look up these reviews for he found that a few nearby restaurants had very low ratings of 1.2. There was one fantastic little family-owned restaurant with great ratings only half a block from our hotel, called Ristorante Arlu. The food was excellent and they brought in fresh ingredients daily. The service was also great in spite of the fact that they often had a full house. It was the best food in our neighborhood and we wish we would have had time to go back to it again.
Another fun thing about being close to the Vatican is seeing all the priests and nuns walking through the neighborhood in their beautiful robes throughout the day.
We had a good time and some wonderful experiences during our short, but worthwhile, trip.