The location is wonderful - a short walk along the Villa Borghese to the top of the Spanish Steps. The hotel itself is mezzo mezzo. The property is beautiful, as are the public spaces. The rooms are (surprise!) a little small and somewhat dated. But everything is clean and the staff is very good. Be sure to ask for a room on the 4th floor or higher overlooking the Villa Borghese. The desk staff don't seem to recognize Platinums so you should hand them your card when checking in.
We only took advantage of the in-house restaurant for the complimentary breakfast which was very good if a bit crowded/hectic. It seemed geared to North American tastes. There were too many excellent dining options within a 10 minute walk to list.
I assume you mean the hotel in Rome. The hotel was magnificant and centrally located on Via Venito. If you walk down the street there are several casual restaurants, one in particular that has a brick oven is good for light fare. in addition, the subway station is only a coupl;e of blocks away and you can get to the historic districts, Colesseum, Forum, etc, very easily. excellent restaurant by the Spanish Steps, Ala Ramba.
First picture from the roof of the hotel.
Make sure to say hello to Stefania, Calabrese and Marco...all at the front desk. The BEST gelato in Rome is directly across from the Vatican Museum and is called the OLD BRIDGE. In addition, walk out of the hotel and make an immediate left. Walk to the corner, cross the street and make another left. Proceed half-way down the street to LA BRUSCETTA and enjoy yourself. It is insanely reasonable. The CAPRESE SALAD is wonderful, as is the margherita pizza. Take this picture with you and tell him I sent you. By the way, should you enjoy opera simply walk downstairs and listen to the amateur singers. Ask someone for directions to another restaurant called THE MEETING. It is near the AMERICAN EMBASSY. Have a safe trip.
As mentioned elsewhere the buffet breakfast is fantastic and the setting for it on the 7th floor is even better (front desk will tell you how to get to the right elevator). Attached are 2 photos from the roof of the Marriott where you have the breakfast. One towards St. Peters and the other towards the Villa Bourghese.
Restaurant downstairs is good but expensive compared to many others down the hill towards the subway. Front desk staff is outstanding. Great place to stay. Keep Smiling.
There isn't any hotel shuttle that I'm aware of but the hotel is located close to the subway (between the Spagna and Barberini stations). Also, the bus system is supposed to be good. Taxis will run a lot of money... and from what I understand the drivers will rip you off.
Here's a link to metro and bus info:
Still haven't had a chance to look up the restaurant info... think I've printed some places out for Rome and Venice. Will try to get to soon. Do your friends have any recommendations for Venice? That will be my first stop in Italy.