I am currently at the Grand Flora and am enjoying all the wonderful benefits I have in the past. I paid for a twin room and was upgraded as a Platinum member to a lovely and large queen room. The Flora has upgraded the bedding from the old bedspreads to typical Marriott duvets and pillows, a nice change!
Unlike most Platinum gift vs. points offers, at the Flora I always take the gift -- in my case a bottle of excellent Chianti and a large fruit plate, just the thing after arriving tired!
I want to put in a special plug for the Cabiria ristorante. When my gift package was delivered I was also given a 10% discount for the restaurant. I have eaten there multiple times on previous trips to Rome and always found the food amazing and the service beyond exceptional. You will get as offertà more wine and dessert drinks than you have ordered. They are incredibly lovely, interested in you, and will either engage in conversation or leave you alone depending on what you like. It's a great chance to practice your Italian or even learn a few words. And above all, the food is spectacular. When I left my 10% discount card, the waiter told me to keep it for another time -- that they had already applied it.
I would also add a warning about other restaurants on the Via Veneto, especially above the halfway point from Barberini. By Italian law there is not supposed to be a tip required, though normally one either can up the amount on the credit card or leave extra bills in appreciation of special service. At two restaurants on the VIa Veneto (Cafe Veneto and Cafe de Paris) they presented me with a special slip asking what tip I'd like to leave. I did, but knew I didn't have to and especially at the Cafe de Paris the food was not worth it.
So as always I recommend the Flora, especially for a short stay, and do try the Cabiria while you're there.
Thanks, Jerry! I am indeed enjoying Rome, if only for a few days. Long ago when I was a grad student I didn't much like Rome (especially since I spent much of my time in France) but mostly because in those days I stayed at fleabag hotels near Stazione Termini, usually in the heat of summer.
But for all who have experienced Rome in all its grandeur, I can say it has been well worth waiting for when I rediscovered it a little over a year ago.
The thing about tipping is true. No matter where I am and whatever the rules, I always leave at least a few euros and sometimes even 10% extra (even when it's inclusive), though I am least likely to do so when I know they are breaking the rules by specifically asking for a tip before they ring a credit card through. Since in Italy I have only had this happen on the Via Veneto (and certainly not at Ristorante Cabiria), I think it's because they know a lot of Americans are staying in the area.
Outstanding report. Even though the Grand Flora does not officially participate in No Blackout Dates, it's great to hear positive reviews about the excellent service this property delivers and the distinction given to Platinum Elite guests.
Thanks too for the insights on dining and gratuities. Have an unforgettable trip and be sure to share a picture postcard!
Rome is one of my favorite cities! The last time there we stayed at the Manfredi and as I recall it was at Via Margutta, 61 [I think] Anyway it was nice at the time it is near the Spanish Steps down a quite little street. I sent you a message a day or so ago through Insiders messages reference Amsterdam...Bill
Thanks, Theolejudge and TJC,
I forgot to add that after arriving at FCO at 6am I got into my room at the Flora before 8am -- Gabriella at the front desk was wonderful. I had written a short note in Italian asking for early check-in, but this has to be the earliest it's ever happened to me anywhere.
I'll be sure to post some pictures. Even though I'm here for research I got to spend Sunday at Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port, often called Rome's Pompeii.
You are a popular lady!
Do you have any pictures you could share with us?
My experience in Rome/France is similar to yours. Having little desire to "Suffer" in Rome, this report is encouraging.
I am following the insiders report on the train from Paris/Rome. No desire on my part to again get behind the wheel in either town.
Depending on time of day, there is a lot to be said for that 15-hour train ride from Paris to Rome -- if it's mainly during the day. When you travel through the Alps and the Lakes region of northwestern Italy, you will see some of the most glorious scenery imaginable, often places that can't even be seen by car. I've never once taken a plane flight within Europe since I love the trains -- and the things you see.
Prof. and New Hilton,
You ladies always help a lot!
Just reviewing ( and sent an inquiry to you) about Northern France.
If you have any plans to go to Colmer or anything in that area (Basel/Zurich), let me know. I have some great places to share with you!
Oh, I'm sure that the scenery is gorgeous! Unfortunately, I don't get enough time in Europe to spend that amount of time going from one destination to the next. Maybe, someday... wouldn't it be nice!
Also, I don't plan those types of trips where the destinations are that far apart. I prefer to drive or take the train if it works for me.