- A Roman Holiday – Introduction
- Review: Emirates EK99 Dubai to Rome, Economy (Boeing 777-300ER)
- Hotel Review: The Westin Excelsior Rome, Italy
After an amazing five days in Calabria, we headed back to Rome for a couple of nights, before our flight to Dubai. When it came down to choosing the hotel to stay at, we were torn between staying at the Westin Excelsior Rome or at Marriott Grand Hotel Flora.
The Westin Excelsior was at 20,000 SPG points/night while the Marriott Grand Hotel Flora was 100,000 Marriott Rewards points/night. Sadly neither of them had an executive lounge, so it came down to the quality of the rooms. Without an executive lounge in any central hotel in Rome, it was a coin flip to decide which hotel to stay at. We ended up staying at the Westin Excelsior Rome in the picturesque Via Vittorio Veneto, which is a short walk to the Spanish steps and the Trevi Fountain.
The hotel is situated around 32 km from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport and 500m from the closest metro station – Barberini. Arriving at the hotel from the airport wasn’t too much of a hassle with the Leonardo Express train. A short 32-minute ride and €14 fare per person later, we arrived in Roma Termini central station. We took the metro to Barberini, two stops away, and walked 10 minutes to the hotel.
It took us a little longer than usual to walk the short distance because not only did we have a big suitcase, but also the route to the hotel is a slight uphill. Consequently, if I were to make the trip again, I would’ve chosen to take a taxi from Roma Termini rather than arrive at the hotel reception drenched in sweat.
Finding the Westin is relatively easy. Even though there isn’t a big sign, there’s no way you can miss it. Entering the hotel, the lobby is quite small but expected of a hotel in central Rome. The desks are wooden and give an old school vibe to the place. To the right lies the reception desk and to the left the concierge desk backed by a display wall of tasselled keys. Walking straight through, you enter a decadent lounge area that serves as a waiting area as well.
Since we had Platinum status with SPG, we were upgraded to the 807 sq. ft. Grandluxe suite on the first floor. The suite was tastefully decorated with vintage photos of the hotel and Rome on the walls, floor to ceiling curtains and muted upholstery.
The living room of the suite had sofa seating for four, a breakfast nook, a T.V. and a small fireplace. The minibar was stocked with the essentials, but the strange thing was that there was only one wine glass and one water glass. It’s not a big deal, but would’ve expected more wine glasses since we were two guests and were in the suite!
The bedroom was large, featuring the aptly hyped Westin Heavenly Bed, a small vanity and another balcony overlooking the front of the hotel.
Since we had barely stayed in the suite for the first one and a half day, we decided to spend our last night in the hotel and have an apéro of our own. Starting in the living room, we soon moved to the balcony under a full moon. The balcony overlooked the front of the hotel and the American Embassy on the left of the hotel. Even sitting out on the balcony, the noise at street level didn’t reach us on the first floor.
The bathroom lay to the right of the entrance to the suite and was very spacious. It held a bathtub, a shower cubicle with a marble seat and a double sink with plenty of counter space. Do keep in mind that the hotel does not provide an ironing board or an iron in the room. I didn’t get a clear answer why but was offered the use of the laundry service.
The bathroom amenities offered were Westin’s signature White Tea & Aloe product range.
At the time of check-in, we were offered the choice between the Platinum benefit of 500 points or breakfast for two. Breakfast at the Westin Excelsior, like most European hotels, is a paid privilege at €39 per person. So naturally, we went for breakfast for two as our amenity.
The breakfast variety was quality over quantity. There were two themes – American/English and European. The European section had the usual light options of muesli, fruits, croissants and bread and charcuterie. In the corner was a small ‘local food’ selection of prosecco, prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella, fruit tart and panettone. The American/English section had an egg station, waffles, pancakes, roast potatoes and both English and American bacon.
Bars & Restaurants
The hotel has one all-day dining option of the Dorsey Restaurant which serves seasonal and local Mediterranean cuisine. This is also where breakfast for the guests is hosted. The bar, situated on the ground floor, is ORVM where SPG members get a 20% discount on lunch and dinner, not including beverages. We didn’t have the time to visit the bar, but it looked like a nice place to spend the evening.
Gym & Swimming Pool
The gym and the swimming pool are housed in the basement of the hotel. The gym is quite well equipped with an abundance of machines for both cardio and strength training. Westin hotels also have an interesting New Balance workout clothes and sneakers rental service in many hotels. I usually travel with my workout clothes but would use the service next time my clothes are dirty, or I’ve forgotten them. For $5 or the local currency equivalent, you’ll receive freshly laundered New Balance exercise clothes, sneakers and socks. Bonus, the socks are always new, and you get to keep them once you’re done with them.
The indoor swimming pool is well maintained, heated and looked like it borrowed from the Roman bath décor. There is no lifeguard on duty, but the swimming pool isn’t very deep, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
The Westin Excelsior Rome is a category six hotel. A Deluxe room will set you back around €342 ($402) per night. We had been given a complimentary upgrade to the Grand Deluxe Suite which generally is around €1000 ($1178) per night.
At the time of writing, the SPG-Marriott merger had taken place so now the new redemption rate for the Deluxe room starts from 50,000 points a night. However, when we had stayed there, we had spent 20,000 SPG points (60,000 MR points now) per night for the room.
The hotel is well situated in one of the upscale parts of Rome at Via Vittorio Veneto. It doesn’t fail to deliver on the opulence once inside the hotel either. The service was impeccable, and the suite itself transported me to the Renaissance era.
If I were to redeem our rewards points, I would not hesitate to book The Westin Excelsior again. However, without the rewards points, I wouldn’t feel comfortable dropping €300+ for a night in the hotel, unless it was for a special occasion.
Have you stayed at The Westin Excelsior Rome? What has been your experience at this hotel?