Staying in hotels in Rome can be expensive, particularly if you are traveling as a family or in a group. A great alternative is to book an apartment rental instead. In an apartment you can get enough beds to accommodate your whole family at a price that won’t break the bank. Plus, you will have your own kitchen so can do your own cooking, saving even more on restaurant and dining out expenses. You will have your own privacy and space to relax as well, which is also something that many travelers value.
A wide range of apartment rentals are available across Rome, including one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. You can also get larger options if you have a bigger family.This guide will give you tips on the types of property you can book, how to find them, what to expect, and how to get the most from your Rome apartment rental experience.
Live Like The Romans
Most of the apartments in Rome are owned by individual Italians rather than large travel companies. They are also often managed by their owners as well. A typical apartment is located in what was traditionally a much larger living accommodation before being split up into smaller units. They are still comfortable, though, and are completely self-sufficient.
Where To Book
You have a few options when it comes to finding and booking an apartment rental in Rome. This includes booking through classified listings, booking through a service like AirBnB, and booking through an established agency.
The riskiest approach is to book direct through a classified listing, as you will have little protection. That does not mean that you are always going to get ripped off, and it doesn’t mean that the other options you have available are 100 percent safe. The fact is that you can find great apartments at affordable prices with honest and reliable owners through classified listings. If you are booking this way, it is best to do thorough research before making any commitment, though – look for reviews on TripAdvisor and do extensive searches for the property on Google.
Websites like AirBnB offer a greater level of protection for two reasons:
- They have policies that the property owner must adhere to. This includes cancellation penalties, and policies around when payments are received that offer the traveler a greater level of protection against fraud than is available by booking direct.
- They have robust traveler review systems whereby only previous guests can leave reviews on individual properties. This prevents property owners from burying bad reviews with fake positive reviews, giving you a much better picture of what the apartment is really like.
Your final option is to book through an established apartment rental agency. Examples include RomanReference.com and RentalInRome.com. When you book through an agency like this you can have greater confidence in the quality of the property, although you should still check reviews from previous travelers to make sure you are getting a full and unbiased opinion.
Where letting agencies offer the greatest benefits is in the customer service that you receive around things like key pickups, and if there are problems with the property. You are usually offered better support if things don’t go according to plan, and problems are typically sorted out much quicker.
You can check reviews of Rome apartment rentals on TripAdvisor.
What You Can Expect
This is not an easy question to answer as apartments in Rome can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Even if an apartment is in the same general area and is in the same price range, it can be very different from others that are on offer. Generally speaking, you should expect your apartment to be comfortable but not overly big. They will almost always have a lived-in feeling. Some apartments, including those in the Vatican, will be quite sparse in terms of decor, but they will still be comfortable and will provide an excellent base for your trip to Rome.
Taking all of that into consideration, there are still many things that you can do to ensure you get a good quality apartment that looks like you expect, and that has all the amenities and features that you were promised. Here are our top tips for making sure you get a good deal on your Rome apartment rental:
- If in doubt, ask – if you are not sure about something, ask before you book. It is much better to know upfront that you have to walk up four flights of stairs to get to your apartment, for example, rather than turning up with three children and a pram to face the daunting climb unprepared.
- Lifts and air conditioning are not common – do not expect lifts or air conditioning as standard. Most of the apartments in Rome are located in old buildings that do not have lifts, and most properties in Rome do not have air conditioning. If you want or need these things, make sure you check before booking.
- Photos can be deceptive – this applies to any type of accommodation that you are booking, and Rome apartments are no exception. The best advice is to look for photos of the property from as many locations as possible, e.g. check the photos on TripAdvisor as well as the photos on the property listing.
- Check reviews – speaking of TripAdvisor, it is always worthwhile to check it and similar review sites to see what previous travelers have said about the property. Remember that great reviews don’t always mean a great property, and bad reviews don’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t book, but they are an indication.
- Negotiate – don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.
- It is not a hotel – finally, don’t expect hotel service or hotel standards from your apartment in Rome. You will have to bring your own toiletries and other basic essentials. Linens and towels are usually provided, but the service is not usually as frequent as it is in a hotel.
Follow these tips and you will have a better chance of a great stay in a Rome apartment.