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Traveling independently and VERY cheaply

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I just spent a few days in Rome with Mrs Adamski... it cost three fifths of flip all and was amazing fun!
The only thing I would point out to prospective travelers on the cheap is that for some odd reason the Hotels in Rome become MASSIVE fibbers when it's time to advertise on the net!!
Also... it might be nice to know WHO exactly awards the stars which appear in the adverts!!
My recent escapade was at a "four star" hotel in the center of Rome... five minutes from the Trevi fountain... this may be true if you have your own jetpack... NOT if you are using legs.
The entrance was lovely..just what was on the web.. the smell of aged, wet plaster on the very edge of collapse was sadly missing though.
The Bell"boy" (he must have been 55) helped with the bags... he took us to the lift... now I want you to imagine one of those lovely sliding gate, iron framed lifts, imagine stepping into the polished brass and mirrored interior and watching the floors tick past.
Stop imagining that and hear about the reality of using an ancient lift like the one we had to some point it had been "modernised" with fancy push buttons. These would be great if they hadn't become so worn they popped under the panel and refused to come out again..this happened to the bellboy on our first journey, he shouted something in whatever language he spoke and lept into the lift with us as we started bouncing up a few floors... leaving our bags downstairs!
He repaired the panel, took us to our floor and mimed..."dont press the buttons too hard or you will be sleeping in the lift!"
The bouncing up and down as the lift settled at the end of each journey was not the most reassuring experience, but fitted with the feel of the moment!
The ceilings of the hallway were so high they could have been used to teach perspective!
The whole Hotel reeked of faded Grandeur... and damp... there was artwork on the walls, all original, much of it covered with sick, coffee or in the case of my personal favorite a sodding great hole in the middle of it! We turned the key in the door of our room, swinging the huge, heavy, paneled door open into our living area. The room had a double bed in it... there was no room to walk around the bed... or fall out which was good... the drink was superb.
Our suitcase had to be placed on the bed, stuff removed/put back then stored again on top of the tv!
The damp was superb in this room, we had Red AND Black mold!
not really a problem as we had a balcony... back down to reception to get a key to the shutters... when we finally managed to kick them open we discovered WHY they were not opened very often. Only the Romans would bother with a Balcony that has a view of... a brick wall! Seriously... lovely balcony and I could reach out and touch the wall opposite. This was quite useful as the stairs were somewhat tight, underlit and distant from our room in the event of fire. The last little downside was the bath... we had insisted on a bath AND shower. The "bath" was less than four feet long. "oh joy"!
SO the Hotel was "an experience" but it was very, very cheap I think we paid £70 for two nights.. including breakfast for both of us... in the center of Rome!
We were out of the room in minutes and off to throw coins in the Trevi fountain... we will be returning again!

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  1. go_slow's Avatar
    The star rating, what a bunch of rubbish that is. People think this refers to the quality of the hotel, it doesnt, it refers to the facilities they offer. The place can be only reasonably decorated (it can have damp, 30 year old beds and linen so thin it is transparent), smell of cabbage and wee, have no standard of service but as long as every room has an ensuite, they offer breakfast (which can be inedible) then they are guaranteed 3 stars and its not much more to get 4 stars.

    And once you have that you just pays your money each year to keep the stars. Or not like most places, they pay for the inspection, pay for 1 year with AA or whoever is giving away the stars, then just leave it at that but they still advertise everywhere they are 4 star.

    Its a bugbear of mine, everyone that stays here says what a great place it is, clean, friendly, good facilities. But we can only be 2 star - we have 1 ensuite room and 2 rooms share a bathroom. Fuck that, I aint advertising the place as 2 star given what people think it means.

    And breathe

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