Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Collection Hotel – Review of My Stay

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This is probably one of the most aspirational properties for Hilton HHonors members to spend their points. The hotel used to be under the Hilton brand before switching to Waldorf Astoria collection.

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Under the Waldorf Astoria flag the property requires whopping 60K Hilton HHonors points per night during the high season and 50K points per night on shoulder months. I did, however, use two free night certificates from a promo that Hilton had last year. I had some trouble making the reservation as the inventory was constantly changing and wrote a piece about it.

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Although the hotel is very expensive points wise, the paid rates aren’t always that bad. For some dates this coming summer, the rates can be as low as 187 euros per night, that is really competitive and not worth spending the points. Of course, the prices can vary a lot based on the season and promotions that the Hilton is running. The Points & Money rewards are sometimes available as well.

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Location

The location on a rather steep hill overlooking the Vatican was perfect for my stay as I had been to Rome before and seen the usual sights. If you want an easy location to act as your base when you do sightseeing, the hotel may not work as well for you.

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The hotel does provide a scheduled bus schedule from/to hotel to the Piazza Barberini. I didn’t take advantage of this bus, but saw some in the lobby who did.

The location on the hill does provide its advantages as well. You are somewhat secluded from the hustle and bustle of the city self and can spend some relaxing time by the pool.

Transportation to/from Airport

As I was arriving on a relatively late flight from Shanghai, I decided to take an airport bus from the airport to a place close to the Vatican. The price was 8 euros. If you have more than one person, you probably won’t save a lot over just taking a regular metered taxi. Their rates to the Cavalieri are around 50 euros. From the stop close to the Vatican, I then took a taxi to the hotel. There might be other public transportation options as well, but I was quite tired at that point and wasn’t willing to spend any more time getting to the hotel.

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When I was leaving from the hotel, the lady at the Imperial lounge printed me a time schedule of the bus service to the airport from the same spot I was originally dropped off. The taxi during the day time was bit more than 10 euros + the bus fare of 8 euros.

Check In

This was probably the least good part of my stay. I was getting tired and bit cranky. There was some confusion about the credit card guarantee and identification requirement. As Italy is (still) part of the European Union, I can use my identity card that is issued by a European Union country for identification purposes instead of a passport.

As a matter of fact, I later called the front desk and spoke with a supervisor and apologized for being bit cranky that night.

Room 435

The room overall was very nice, although bit on the traditional side. You can get the best idea to have a look at the video above.

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Although this was not a suite, it was very spacious room for Europe. I had a view of the Vatican instead of the TV tower that would have been my view, if I had had the room on the other side of the building.

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It had a nice sitting area and a work desk. The first room had two beds, but I switched to a king one the following day.

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Pool

The April days that I was at the hotel were somewhat chilly and there were occasionally only a handful of people by the pool. I did have my breakfast by the pool on both mornings.

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Probably not the wisest idea to position yourself close to the restaurant, if you want to just relax by the pool, and not to have too many eyes watching at you.

Fitness Center

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I was actually really surprised that the fitness center had the latest equipment that is available. The fitness center was on a lower level by the SPA and you could use the sauna and the steam room as well.

Imperial Club

This hotel has two lounges for hotel guests. Hilton Gold and Diamond members used to have access to the Imperial Club by the default, but now the hotel has a second lounge that is used for Hilton HHonors members, and it is called Colosseo Lounge. I have never been to this Colosseo lounge, but it is described not to be nothing close to what the Imperial Club has to offer.

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I was given the Imperial Club access for the two days that I spent at the Cavalieri, because the other lounge was closed. The Colosseo lounge is closed during the lower occupancy or when fewer number of Hilton Gold/Diamond members are at the property.

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This Imperial Club is one of the best, if not the best, lounge on the Hilton system. They had continuous food presentations throughout the day as well as wine/prosecco. The view of the Rome and the Vatican is fantastic from the balcony.

The staff at the lounge was fantastic. I spent quite a bit of time just working with my laptop and they were continuously asking if I need something else when cleaning the nearby tables. I don’t think that I have even seen a Hilton hotel lounge that has had as many people working at any given time from morning to the night.

If you can choose between a breakfast at the lounge or at the L’Uliveto Restaurant, I would most certainly choose the latter, however.

Breakfast at L’Uliveto Restaurant

The breakfast spread was at the two restaurant rooms. It is buffet style, but I did find the hot items to be fresh. Sometimes these buffets turn very stale, if the food items are not replaced often enough. The variety of pastries, breads, and some cakes was very good.

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Overall, the quality and the variety of the breakfast items were very good, but not as great as you can often find at similar hotel restaurants in Asia.

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My suggestion would be to have the breakfast outside by the pool, if the weather allows.

Hilton HHonors Benefits

Back in January Hilton first quietly changed some terms and conditions of the program when it came to the Diamond benefits at various Hilton family of hotels. Then in February Hilton sent out emails regarding the enhanced Diamond benefits.

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Rome Cavalieri has a handy chart up on their website what benefits you can expect based on your Hilton HHonors status at their property:

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These are the minimum benefits that you should expect and to be positively surprised if you receive something extra like the Imperial Club access and the Rome view that I had.

Conclusion

Rome Cavalieri is a wonderful hotel. The location may or may not work for you, however, as I have pointed above. Also, I don’t like the fact that they opened a “special” Colosseo lounge just to be able to deny Imperial Club access from Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members,

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The best time to visit would be the slower months when the paid rates are rather reasonable. This hotel is also a very good place to burn any promotion free night certificates that you might have from Hilton promotions. Instead of burning 120K Hilton HHonors points, I just used two free night certificates.

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