So you’re on your way to Rome, Italy, for a business trip. You aren’t sure what to expect. Perhaps you’ve never been overseas for business and you’d like the trip to go as seamlessly as possible.
First item on your agenda: research cheap hotels in Rome to make sure you don’t break the bank. Your employer is more than likely footing the bill for this trip, so it’s best to avoid suggesting a $450-per-night hotel.
When it comes to the affordable hotels, you want to make sure they have what you need for a stress-free trip. While Happy Village & Camping fits right into your ideal price range, you may find yourself distracted by honeymooners, gorgeous outdoor pools and a full-service bar. It does, however, have a business center, so it could be a good choice for you after all, depending on what your boss is looking for you to get out of the trip.
Wild Card Amenities
When you’re booking your hotel, make sure you’re paying attention to the amenities. You probably check amenities every time you book a hotel, but you’re really going to want to pay attention when you’re traveling overseas.
If you’re a fitness buff, make sure your hotel has a fitness center. Hotels with fitness centers have become increasingly common throughout the United States, but are far from a given while looking at cheaper hotels in Rome. Even if you are someone who needs to stay active on the road, however, a lack of a fitness center actually may not be a deal breaker. You could always find ways to exercise in your hotel room using common items such as an iron and the side of your bathtub.
Another amenity you’re not going to want to overlook is a business center. Does the hotel even have a business center? How is the Internet connection? Since everyone is so connected these days—especially in business—poor WiFi will more than likely be a deal breaker. This is where reading reviews is an absolute must. While a hotel may advertise “Free WiFi,” that WiFi may not actually function. One of the greatest things about reviews is the ability to read firsthand what others have experienced.
One hotel that should make the cut for its Internet access is River Palace Hotel. It is on the pricier end of “cheap” at about $150 for a classic double room, but the reviews are outstanding. In the “Internet” classification, the hotel received 100-percent satisfaction after more than 1,200 reviews. The River Palace Hotel also has a business center but, alas, there is no fitness center. You will have to manage with an in-room workout for this hotel.
The Get-In, Get-Out Traveler
There are two kinds of business travelers: those who get in and get out, and those who want to see all of what a city has to offer. Which kind of traveler are you?
If you are of the first variety, you may want to consider a hotel that is near the airport. Hotel Capannelle is just five miles from the Ciampino Airport and is set away from the city, offering a quieter atmosphere. They also offer an airport shuttle for a quick back-and-forth when arriving and departing.
The problems with hotels like these, however, is that their away-from-everything location can also result in being an away-from-Internet-connectivity location as well. This really becomes the bane of every business traveler’s existence, doesn’t it? You could bring your own WiFi card, but you run the risk of not getting service on the card, and you’ll also deal with added cost.
The All Ways Garden & Leisure Hotel boasts many of these same ammenities while also receiving good reviews for quality Internet service. The downside for All Ways Garden & Leisure is a lack of business and fitness center, though, so you’ll have to cut your losses.
The Take-It-All-In Traveler
Some may want nothing more to do with a destination business meeting than free coffee and bagels, but not you. As a take-it-all-in traveler, you are looking for the end-all, be-all in terms of experience.
Scouring the web for both fun an outrageous activities, the most intriguing of the Roman experiences by far is the “Gladiator Training” offered at the Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria hotel. You learn how to engage in ancient combat, learn about the life and times of the gladiators, and even get a “gladiator kit” with a tunic, sandals, belt, etc.
The only problem with this option is that it costs upwards of $450 per night, so the room-on-a-budget thing would have to be thrown completely out the window. Perhaps you could pitch the activity to your boss as a team building exercise. A better option? Stay at one of the cheap hotels in Rome and go on the Ancient Rome Segway Tour. Then you simply Segway by the “Gladiator Training” and wave. Almost the same thing, right?
The tour is three hours long and consists of orientation (so you don’t hurt yourself or others while on your Segway), education in Roman history, and a stop at the Colosseum. If you are on a business trip with colleagues or a group you’ve just met, this is a great way to get to know each other better as you fly around Rome—helmeted and on your Segway—making all sorts of business-trip memories.
Regardless of whether you’re a no-nonsense traveler looking to work and leave, or you’re a take-it-all-in traveler looking to experience all Rome has to offer, taking the time to research your options will make for a more seamless overall experience.