This is meant as a test for what's happening with my browsers when I get to the three step process, but has anyone actually stayed at the Rome Autograph Hotel? Arkwright checked it out and reported back and combined with Tripadvisor comments about funky colors and modern styling, it doesn't sound like my kind of place. But I'd be interested in hearing any reports while I also try what Andy suggested. If it doesn't work, none of you will even know I asked!
I haven't stayed at this property, but my sis and brother-in-law did on our last trip. Here's what I can recall about their stay. They were booked in to the Rome Central Park Courtyard on points, and when they arrived there (after 9pm and too late to do anything about it that first night), my brother found it not to his liking, according to his preferences and what his expectations were for this particular Roman vacation (looking for an experience with a bit more luxury/refinement and closer to the heart of the city). On short notice and during the peak travel season, the front desk/concierge team in concert with Marriott reservations managed to get them a room for 3 nights on points with virtually no notice. Additionally, it appears that the majority of the rooms are rather small, yet they were assigned a corner room that was very spacious. In looking at a floor plan layout, it was indeed one of the largest rooms in the hotel, and most are small, so I can't say how easy it would be to get one of the bigger ones. The decor was modern, really nothing like the Grand Flora, but when I walked through it and visited their room, I thought it was very nice. Again, different, but nice. I believe I would've been fine staying there. The Concierge was fabulous, and they received all kinds of really great info in terms of where to dine. My brother-in-law was however, very unimpressed with the breakfast, and told them such (he's a former restauranteur, having owned and started a number of restaurants in Australia, and currently the CEO of a worldwide coffee company.) He knows food (and coffee). Other than the breakfast, they were quite happy with their stay. Here are some photos that I took. Hope this helps a little.
Well, on second thought, I'll create a photo album, and will post a link to it here shortly.
Here you go. Hope it helps.
Thanks so much, Pluto! I currently have overlapping reservations at the Grand Flora (I liked the Central Park but if I do stay in Rome again, it has to be somewhere different from the last time, and the GF has always treated me royally) and the Naples Renaissance Mediterraneo. I have to decide before August 20, but based on what you say and since the Autograph Boscolo wrong is 1 euro per night higher than the GF, I'd probably choose the latter. But thanks for giving me such a good picture of what is good and less good about it. One of the great joys of the GF are every day a week sumptuous breakfasts on the hotel roof.
It's true. Nothing like the GF in all of Italy, really. And the rooftop breakfast is indeed a lovely way to spend some morning time. But if I ever couldn't get into the GF, I would definitely consider the Boscolo as a 2nd choice. And though my bro poo-pooed the breakfast at the Boscolo, I have to be honest and say that the eggs at the GF were sorely lacking. But then I love a good egg breakfast. GF breakfast was good, not great. But you can't beat the rooftop experience or the impeccable service and the wonderful coffee (or bottled Diet Coke - yes, it's an offering).
I have been positively ruined by the C-E breakfasts, and so can't help myself from putting all other breakfasts to that standard.
I keep wavering back and forth between where I really want to go (Naples) or where I know the place like the back of my hand (Rome). It's so odd for someone who had no hesitation going to Egypt, Israel or the West Bank. But reading about the youth unemployment rate in Naples and the apparent omnipresence of mugging set me thinking. Obviously, from what I wrote, I know how to fit in, so I shouldn't be that worried. Still, I've always found being a woman in southern Italy more challenging than in the Middle East by far.
My guess? I will probably go to Naples. When I make my decision on the 20th (GF's cutoff date for cancellation), that's my best guess. Besides wanting a new experience where I can do research, the Mediterraneo is less than half the price of the GF (122 euros vs. 269). And I don't get paid again till Sept. 30. So money may make my choice for me.
I loved the Naples area and always wanted to return as I was always just passing through.
Matter of fact, I would love to stay someplace like Sorrento in the off season when the tourist towns close down, but Sorrento has a year around population and business. From there you can get around quite nice. Another place I would like to spend more time is Capri. My cousins go every year and I am constantly seeing their pictures on facebook of look at where we are staying and what we are eating with pictures.
Loved Sorrento and had never really considered going there.
Did the Amalfi coast drive in November with my sister and her kids, and had to grit my teeth at being in the car so long, but decided it was something we should all see. Booked a car and driver through the office, and they asked me where I wanted to go. When I started naming off the well-known towns, my driver told me that most of the towns shutdown after the tourists leave, and only Sorrento is really fully operational. So we did go to Positano, which was shutdown as he said, to go to this wonderful restaurant at the top of a mountain overlook the ocean. Food was served family style, all grown on the property, wine and olive oil made by the neighbors, and the whole family joins in playing instruments and singing. Lovely experience. But afterwards he took us to Sorrento for our shopping, A couple blocks off the main drag from the tourist areas where all the locals shop, and prices were about the same as Malta which was really reasonable....leather handbags, belts, shoes, at incredible prices. Really the highlight of our trip. My sister and niece had a blast, and did most of their shopping there cause they could actually afford it.
To clarify what our guide was saying, is that alot of Italians live in Sorrento and work in and around Naples as they are only 16 miles apart.
Because Sorrento is a transporation hub there are frequent trains and buses going everywhere.
the only problem is that the only Marriott is located in Naples as I guess they figure more folks will stay here and travel south to the Amalfi Coast, take the ferries to Capri, Palermo, etc.
Prof, You're a seasoned, proven and savvy traveler. You know you will be fine in Naples. I abandoned the suggestion to head south to Sorrento, as I know this is a "business" trip, but since GP brought it up again... consider me the little devil on your left shoulder whispering in your ear, "Forget Naples (and Rome). Go to Sorrento and take a bus down to Amalfi and then a jet ferry over to Capri (and see the Blue Grotto!). Relax and have a good time."
I just loved this little girl and her dog.
Looking back across the sea at the mainland.
Shot of Anacapri.
We really had a wonderful, relaxing time.
Alas, besides my miles and points, I rely on research funding for at least a portion of my travels (the rest I pay), so Joanna of Naples has to be paramount. I am about 80% convinced now that Naples it is and the weekend I will use for further south. I actually have been to Pompeii and briefly to Sorrento, but it was a tour when everything else in Italy was on strike. Pompeii was great despite 100 degree heat, but we really only stopped in Sorrento for a brief view then a stop at a cameo store. We didn't stop in Naples at all (just a kind of drive over from the Autostrade above).
I still have not found a good online Naples map (though I've ordered another tour guide for Naples, but on a map it looks like the Mediterraneo is very next the maritime port (and ferries to Capri) as well as the Castel Nuovo, which dates from before Joanna was born. So the location is good as long as it is not in the middle of a warren of little streets. Tripadvisor people mostly give the hotel a 4.
Is the last photo of you with your daughter? How wonderful! And I love the shot of Vesuvius from the island! Now what I need to see is someone walking their cat on a leash . Until my apartment made it forbidden, I always walked Leelee's predecessor, Kitikat on a leash, and she loved it. I am hopeless when it comes to cats. I see one anywhere I am in the world and get happy. One of my favorite photos of my first trip to Greece (which included a trip to the cat island of Hydra) was of three cats lounging in the shade under a sign that said "Hot Dogs!" (and other assorted menu items.
So keep on, all of you, get up my percentages for going to Napoli (with side trips)! I will also be near Herculaneum, which I didn't get to see on my Pompeii trip.
Maybe we should do a new contest (assuming no key Italian strikes from Aug 22-29) to see who can get ProfC from 80% Naples to closer to 100%? I'm seeing some great photos, so keep them coming!
Awe, now you've done it, haven't you? Thrown down the gauntlet. GemP and I have you tag teamed. Actually, between Joanna and Pompeii and the southern resort towns, I'm surprised you're not there already!
Not great photos, but let's see if these can't seal the deal.
Actually, that's my mom and I. But over 5 years ago. Long hair now, and more wrinkles (me, not my mom. she's ageless.)
I get it about the cats. I feel the same way when I see dogs abroad. At the Vacation Club outside Paris this year, we left our door open one early evening while we were sitting and chatting at the dining room table, and a black and white cat poked his head in and actually started to come in, but when I got up to get my camera, he/she scurried out.