My wife and I need 2 nights in Rome prior to a cruise. I've been checking frequently and finally found that the Hotel Grand Flora can be had for points in early August. 80K points seems pretty high, but it would cost me 350 Euro a night. That's almost 1000 USD.
Is this place worth that amount of points? Seems to me that most posts are favorable to this hotel. Any suggestions on where in the hotel I want to ask for a room? Views from higher floors?
Any other recommendations are welcome.
It's worth it!
Likewise, I would not be inclined to commit to a room upgrade up front. What I would do is ask for an upgrade on the reservation with the hot line. Subsequently, upon check in, look at the room they are going to give you, they may upgrade you for free, if you do not like the room they offer you, negotiate an upgrade at that point.
You will have a great time, use your $1000 for other things!
I stayed at the Grand Flora for 5 nights in October, 2009. Took a lot of effort to get in there... click on my handle to see the posts that I made.
Although the hotel is very nice and very clean, I found the furniture to be a bit worn and the rooms somewhat small (which is typical in Europe). I was upgraded to a Jr. Suite with a view of the Via Veneto looking directly onto Harry's Bar (the original is in Venice) and an ancient city wall. Didn't see the regular size rooms but heard that they are small, some folks reported of not even being able to open their suitcases. The staff was wonderful. The views from the breakfast room on the top floor were spectacular. Drinks in the bar were outrageously expensive. If you stay here, take the steps/escalator to the right of Harry's Bar down into the metro walkway and go to the grocery store down there to buy some wine!
The Borghese Gallery and Gardens are very close but the rest of what you would want to see isn't.
80k points may be worth it but $1000 USD is certainly not.
Many posters on Fodors.com like Albergo del Senato at the Pantheon. I'd look there and Tripadvisor.com for reviews if you decide against the Marriott.
Have a great trip!
If you haven't been to Rome before, the Grand Flora is absolutely worth 80,000 points for two nights. It is right at the top of the Via Veneto and walking distance to most points in the city. Moreover, the staff at the Flora are some of the best anywhere and the rooftop breakfasts are to die for. Depending on your rewards level I would not pay in advance for an upgrade as well -- you will probably get it automatically.
On the other hand if you've been to Rome many times, the Rome Central Park Marriott is lovely, with balconies overlooking the Vatican -- it's also very inexpensive with extremely modern rooms. However, it's definitely a ways from the center of the city, although transportation is good.
Enjoy one of my favorite cities!
My wife and I recently stayed at the Grand Flora on points. I feel the 80K is definitely worth it; especially with only 2 days to see Rome! This hotel is central to all the primary tourist sites making this a location a big plus. The money you will save on additional taxi fare will cover the difference.
I would recommend you buy Rick Steves Rome 2010 and pick your must see sites. Look at my listing on our First Trip to Rome for a few ideas.
You will be glad you selected the Grand Flora as your base for this wonderful trip.
I will be posting some comments shortly, but personally I think you would be better off at the other Marriott mid between the airport and the city. That is unless you are hard core set on seeing the city itself.
It is a tough stay for the money, even if you are using your points. 2 channels on the TV in English (BBC World & Euro Sport), no real facilities, the beds are not conducive to a good nights sleep. The place is beautiful to look at and it is a great location to get to the sights though. But there are other places that are 1/4 the cost if you look around.
Oh, did I mention the staff is not one I would hire for any Marriott in the US. All of the locals I dealt with on out of the front doors were fantastic and polite. Once you get in the lobby, not so much.
The hotel is lovely and walking distance to everything. However, no concierge floor and snooty desk staff that think tourists don't understand Italian (though the latter adds to the flavor). Out of the Marriaott brand hotels in Rome, this is where to stay to experience the city. I think the point value you state is a bit high for no concierge floor. Cheers
My experience at the Grand Flora has been nothing but glorious. I did teach myself some basic Italian, but I found the people at the desk, and especially the concierges, Sr. Dorpatti and Sr. Chea to be phenomenal. As pointed out by others, the doormen are super.
The Central Park has rooms that are more comfortable, with patios, most of them overlooking the Vatican, but if you are only in Rome for a short time and this is a first trip (or even a second one long removed), I say go for it with points. Being on the Via Veneto, minutes from the Borghese Garden and Spanish Steps is well worth it as are the sumptuous breakfasts.
Every time I have stayed there, I am greeted BY NAME by almost everyone in the hotel.