Normally I stick with hotels but I've heard really great things about apartment rentals and so maybe a year or so ago decided to try them too. Obviously there is no reception desk, concierge you can pester with your every query, and though apartments come stocked with all one needs, you do need to buy your own supplies (hand soap, shampoo, toilet paper - at least if you need more than three rolls for a week).
Still, apartments are often just as central, lovely, and as well managed and stocked as hotels with the added benefit of complete privacy which I find extremely attractive.
Besides that, I find (now that I frequent rentals more), apartment keyholders are usually bi- or trilingual and very helpful at explaining all in the area/apartment, which is definitely a higher degree of service than one gets checking into the average B&B/hotel.
Anyway, Bellotto was the right place at the right time, enhanced by the fact the agency responded quickly (normally these things take like 2-3 days if you're not using a major agency like Venere, but I like the personal attention to be honest), and in English, since my Italian is functional but very sad when written.
For two people this studio was absolutely perfect. It's a 10 minute walk from St. Peter's and a 10 minute bus ride from Piazza Navona, and buses come every 10 minutes or so. Walking is only half an hour anyway. The kitchenette is perfect for simple things because I don't really need an oven on holiday and everything important is there, and we were on the top floor, with an elevator, which I know is quite difficult to find on a budget in the absolute historic centre. I actually liked this neighbourhood better since it's more the way real locals live, the prices they pay, bus service is frequent, and the peace and quiet simply can't be beat. Nor can the lovely little balcony, which is totally secluded and private, so it's a wonderfully peaceful place. I also like the bright colours in the studio, uniqueness is always welcome!
The agency who booked us was fabulous and helpful, and I was glad to see they work with such wonderfully responsible owners who are soooooo very helpful. They live across the hall and the top floor is private, just their apartment and ours, and the floor itself is only accessed by a key, so it's very very secure and no worries about thieving maids or people in general. Perfect, lovely, and convenient, this apartment is amazing for any single person or couple that wants some unforgettable time in the Eternal City.
The site I booked through: www.leisureinrome.com/_apartments_in_rome-in-san_pietro/vatican_apartment,S,435.html
The owners deal directly with them and so the service is 5 star at a normal price!
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