Has anyone stayed at the Rome Central Park within the past few months? I just booked a week after the New Year and when I went on their site and looked under transportation it made no mention of the shuttle service to Ottaviano. While Gemelli FR3 is easily accessible, I found the combination to be what made it work best for me.
I had to cancel my recent trip because of a Nor'easter but I stayed there for two weeks in June. I loved it -- even though it wasn't yet branded a Courtyard. The rooms are spacious and very modern with balconies, most overlooking the Vatican. I found the restaurant to be excellent. There is an hourly shuttle except at lunchtime to and from the Ottaviano stop and the FR3 Gemelli train stop (same price as metro) is literally around the corner.
The only negative is that it is not central. But considering the difference in price between the Central Park and the Grand Flora, I would only stay at the latter in the future for truly special occasions. The difference in night stays is often more than 200 Euros a night.
They also offer long term stay prices, one of which is great for business travelers -- it amounts to board, with full breakfast and dinner every day for 50 euros more than the room price. That may sound like a lot, but a breakfast alone in Rome can cost a fortune.
Another plus if you need amenities for a long term stay or an ATM machine -- right across from FR3 Gemelli is a bank and a supermarket.
Thanks for the reply. I am fully aware that the hotel is not central based on good - and not so good - reviews that I've read on Tripadvisor. Since I'm using points, I'm willing to live with the inconvenience in order to save 160k points during my stay over the Gran Flora.
I'm glad to hear that the rooms are modern and spacious, some of the reviews of the Gran Flora aren't so kind.
Once you learn the lay of the land and the public transportation system, you will be fine. On our recent trip, we were in our room only to sleep. I am not saying that the Grand Flora is not a nice place, only that I would probably spend the extra points on more nights in Rome.
You will need 5 days to feel comfortable getting around, at least 7days to really see all of Rome.
I just returned after staying a week at the Rome Central Park I was pleased overall with the property.
The hotel and staff itself were great, I could not have possibly asked for more. The room was very large and the A/C worked fantastically (just remember to put the key in the slot when entering the room). We were also placed on the side with a view of St. Peters.
I did find taking the FR3 a royal pain. Several times we just missed the train into Rome by seconds and had to wait up to 35 minutes (at night). I also thought the transfer at Valle Aurallia to the Red line was a long walk since the FR3 runs on an elevated section and the subway is below ground. As is the case in most of Rome, the escalator was out of service (which, by the way, is the rule - not the exception in that town). I was also put off by the incredible - no, make that phenomenal - amount of graffiti on the trains. What an absolute disgrace for a city of that caliber. Every single inch of the trains were sprayed over, including the windows.
The hotel is now charging 2 Euros per person for the shuttle to Ottaviano station. In light of the hotels close proximity to the FR3 station, I did not pay it since the train is only 1 Euro and covers free transfers to the subway and buses.
The lack of restaurants in the area was also a let down, but I expected that based upon what others have written. One thing that I did stumble upon which nobody else had mentioned was a large supermarket located across via Sachetti, down a long hidden driveway next to the bank. We stocked up on drinks, wine and cheese and didn't have to pay a "tourist" premium, just regular market prices.
But like I said, we really liked the hotel itself and the bed was extremely comfy. For those that are adventurous and don't mind waiting for a train, this place should suit them well. For those that like to go back to the room in the middle of the day and freshen up, I would recommend the Grand Flora.
My husband and I just stayed there from June 9 to the 13th. To the best of my memory, the hotel runs a shuttle to the Piazza Risorgimento near the Vatican on the hour in the morning til 12, and then again from 4 to 9. It returns on the half-hour, the last shuttle back being 9:30. It costs 3 euro each way.