Read that Hotel Napoleon was good and affordable, but read some reviews from 2009 and stated that neighborhood "seedy" has anyone stayed there? Give me your input or alternate hotel for few days prior to 9-17-2010 Med sailing for RCI.
We stay at the Rome AIrport Hilton. Has a free shuttle (actually a Greyhound Type Bus) back and forth into town several times per day. We find that ultra convenient. This avoids having to take train into City from Airport, or cabs. The hotel is moderately priced $200 Euros per night and is definitely not "seedy" (no bed bugs there!!!).
Regarding Pink's previous post we also like the Rome Airport Hilton...but only when we have a following day morning flight. The nice thing about that Hilton is that it is connected to the airport terminal buildings via a covered overpass. However, there is no way we would ever consider staying in that Hilton if we to be in Rome for more then 1 night. It is just too darn inconvenient to get into Rome (we are talking about more then 30 min each way) and becomes even more inconvenient if one wants to enjoy a late dinner in Rome. As to Rome hotels, we have no favorite but do like to find hotels convenient to the metro. Keep in mind that getting from Rome to the airport (FCO) is very easy if you can get to the main Termini train station where the Leonardo Express (runs every 30 min) will take you directly inside the terminal building. One warning about FCO. Most US bound flights now require a check-inn at Terminal 5...which is not connected to the other terminal buildings. This means you have to take a free shuttle bus from outside the other main terminals over to Terminal 5 to check-in for your flight and then you are later shuttled back to one of the main terminals so you can get to the proper gate. The intent of FCO was to reduce the congestion at the check-in counters in the main terminals and better enforce US security requirements , but this back and forth to Terminal 5 is a royal pain and adds to the time necessary to check-in for your flight.
The cost of the train from FCO to Termini is 9 Euros one way if I recall. And there are usually four of us travelling so that certainly adds up. We still prefer taking the free Hilton Rome Bus into town ( I believe the last bus from Rome back to the hotel is 8 pm.) so that works fine for us. 30 minutes is no issue for us and it lets us see what the town at the same time. The Rome Airport Hilton also has a car rental location right at the hotel which is CHEAPER than the car rental locations at the aiport. We use it as a base. We then drive out to Florence or Pisa and it is right off the highway and it works out perfect for our purposes.
We stayed in the Hotel Centro near Termini Station when we were in Rome for 10 days prior to a cruise last November. It is within walking distance of the bus and rail station and was very handy for restaurants and for picking up the #64 bus around the main tourist sites. They will pick you up at the airport if you wish. It is about $40-45 for pickup and delivery to the airport. Going rate now for rail from Termini to FCO is about 12 euros. The website is here . We actually booked it through here . We had no problem with the reservation at the hotel when we arrived. They serve a very substantial continental breakfast. It doesn't change from day to day so it got a bit boring but it was overall a very good buffet. Our room was clean and quiet.
Going back and forth between Rome and the FCO Hilton (we have done this quite a few times) is not without issues. As Pink mentions, there is the Hotel shuttle bus which is essentially worthless for those that want to enjoy dinner and an evening in Rome (most folks in this city do not even sit down to dinner until after 8 pm). The train service is fine but can get quite expensive (round trip on the Leonardo Express is more then $25 per person) and means you still have to get over to the Termini Station and then either walk or get a shuttle from the FCO Terminal over to the hotel. With trains or shuttles you still will spend around 1 1/2 hours round trip. Another major problem with the airport Hilton (besides its distance from Rome) is the food situation (Ok, we do like to eat well in Italy). The Hilton does have a real good buffet dinner, but as I recall, the cost of this "buffet" is over $50 per person not including drinks. For us, having dinner in Rome after dark and enjoying the city is a real treat. Rome is full of eating places in all price ranges. At times we just enjoy an evening sitting in the Piazza Navona, people watching, sipping wine, and loving the atmosphere. Many of our friends prefer an elegant dinner at one of Rome's high-end restaurants. You have to ask yourself do you enjoy staying in Hotels that are 40 min outside of cities or would you prefer to be in a the city where you can walk to restaurants, shops, boutiques, wonderful piazzas, etc. We think airport hotels are very useful for times when you have an early flight, but in the end they are still airport hotels. One other thing not discussed is the cost the Airport Hilton where the cheapest rooms are generally over 250 Euros (which does not even include breakfast). On our last visit to the FCO Hilton we did finally solve the food problem by keeping our rental car until very late at night (we would usually drop our car in the afternoon after we check-in) and driving ourselves to the nearby sea resort of Fiumcino where we had a fantastic Italian seafood dinner right on the coast. But most cruisers do not have a rental car to take advantage of the dining options in Fiumcino. Put simply, staying at the FCO Hilton would be similar to staying in New York City but using a hotel at JFK or Newark.
I see that you are not getting very much response in terms of hotel suggestions. I really cannot add much more other than for my family, we prefer the American style hotels that have at least two double beds, or ones with rooms that are a little larger than a closet and that leads us to the Sheraton and Hiltons. I am also really big on service and putting my head down in a place without rodents and bed bugs. A lot of hotels in Rome are very very old and dingy. So we simply stay away from them. We have stayed at Westin Excelsior and Hilton Cavalieri in the past, however, it is not even worth mentioning them because they are just too pricy for the average traveller and I would only recomment them if you are going to be traveling on points. We are not foof conoisseurs and have no real interest in eating in Rome other than a quick bite and hence we are very happy with the Airport Hilton. When we come to Rome, it is because we will be cruising and exposed to loads of food in the coming days and many times my kids will say that we are on the Roman Diet (less pricy food and we will wait for the cruise) or we will venture outside of Rome with our car and savour foods there). But if it is your intent to stay in Rome, you should check with a good travel agent and get their opinion on some mid range priced hotels that are comfortable.
We tend to choose our Rome hotel based, to a great degree, on which neighborhood we would prefer for a certain visit. This is a city with hundreds of hotels and B&Bs in all categories and price ranges. We would suggest you explore two web sites. For recommendations take a look at Tripadvisor.com and bring up a list of Rome's hotels which will give your their rating plus lots of good personal reviews (we put more stock in the reviews then in the rating). For booking we have always liked Venere.com which is kind of the Expedia of Europe. Venere usually has good prices and has a nice map feature. We love to experience the European style hotels and guest houses (these can be lots of fun). Its the same with restaurants in that much of European culture is defined by their cuisine. When most folks talk about Italy or France they talk about the food. In Italy, we just love the food, wine and of course the wonderful gelato.