Choosing accommodation in Rome.

What to look out for when booking an hotel.

Accommodation in Rome (Italy) is plentiful - so plentiful it can be very difficult to decide which is best for your fmaily. We know - we've been there!

So what do you need to look for when deciding where to stay in Rome?

Accommodation in Rome, Italy : general information.

Obviously, the hotels we recommend in our review section are by no means the only places the city has to offer. There are literally many hundreds of hotels, all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Those we review are those we have personal knowledge of and are happy to recommend, but before you begin to even think of booking, you need to consider exactly what you want to get from your hotel.

Here are some features you need to look out for :

Location : This is really the easiest way to narrow down your selection. Staying near the historical centre can be costly but Rome is a tiring city to see, and a central hotel is very convenient for having a rest when you need one.

Staying on the outskirts is cheaper but you need to remember to add on the cost of travelling into the city each day - not to mention the time it adds onto what will already be long days. Travelling from near the airport, for example, will take a good forty minutes by train, longer by bus - and taxis are very expensive. Some hotels do have a shuttle service for which they all charge - prices vary so check this with the hotel.

If you're visiting the city with elderly people or children, or it's your first visit, our advice would be to stay near the centre. It's less confusing and less tiring and there are more budget-conscious hotels if you know where to look.

On the other hand, if you know the city well and feel confident in getting around, you may want to consider staying a little further out. Our recommendation then would be to stay at one of the best places to visit in Italy - the Trastevere district.

Air conditioning : If you're visiting in the heat of Rome's summer climate it's absolutely imperative to find a hotel with air conditioning - which all our recommended hotels do have although some will charge for the privilege.

If you're visiting in the winter, make sure your hotel has heating. Rome can get very cold in December and January - it's unusual, but not unknown, for it to snow.

Swimming pools : Think about whether you will get the use from a pool. Rome is really a city for seeing and it seems a bit of a waste to spend time by a pool. On the other hand, the weather in the summer is incredibly hot and a pool can be a definite bonus if you have children.

Very few city centre hotels have pools, and those that do are inevitably the most expensive. Some of the larger and more costly hotels have spas and accommodation on the outskirts does tend to include a pool area.

The alternative is to spend some time on Rome's beach or at one of the public pools, details of which are all on our beach page.

Internet : Watch out for this one, particularly if you have children and young adults in your party for whom keeping in touch with friends back home is more important than more or less anything else.

Many of Rome's hotels charge a lot of money per day for internet access. Make sure you check the price before you book.

It's getting better as hotels are starting to realise they need to compete for custom, and ironically many of the budget hotels do include free wireless access - largely because they cater for younger people who expect it.

If your hotel has no internet access at all, and some of the smaller ones don't, you can find access elsewhere. Go to our page about internet activities in Rome for more information.

Above all, beware of using 'roaming' in Italy. There are horror stories of travellers clocking up thousands of dollars worth of internet time without realising it. You can buy a SIM card locally for a few Euros if necessary - your hotel should be able to tell you the address of the nearest supplier but all the main providers have outlets in the city. The Via del Corso is particularly good for this.