Antico Hotel Roma 1880
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hostal El Arco Conil de la Frontera
The Roma was just right for us
After staying in Palermo and Agrigento, it was a great relief to arrive at the Roma hotel in Siracusa. We had been advised NOT to stay in Ortigia because of traffic problems, but we found the hotel without too much difficulty, turned the car over to them and then just walked or used taxis until we left Siracusa.
The hotel staff were all friendly and efficient. Our room was comfortable and modern and my husband was delighted to have a modern bathroom again and computer access downstairs. Good drinks at the bar, too!
What we really liked about the Roma was the location - right near the main piazza on Ortigia. We enjoyed strolling around this section of Siracusa and would not have wanted to stay anywhere else. There are great views and lots of restaurants nearby. True, it's not walking distance from the Greek ruins but it was easy to get a taxi to take us over there.
No swimming pool, but we found that all the hotels had closed their pools on Oct 1st anyway.
We would definitely recommend this hotel.
Nice but lots of noise
I stayed at the Roma for three nights in October in a corner room overlooking the Cafe Minerva on the 1st floor. I agree with other comments that the front rooms are very loud but the views of Syracusa nightlife almost made up for the noise. I thought the location was worth the price as the hotel is very well located. (but then Syracusa was my favorite part of a two week trip through Sicily so maybe I was just easy to please) Front desk staff were fine although had difficulty delivering phone messages (I got one message 8 hours after it was left) I ate dinner at the hotel one night and was very pleased - the food was very good, service charming and relatively well priced.
A great choice in Siracusa.
This contemporary hotel is superbly located in the middle of the Baroque old town of Siracusa. Lots of restaurants nearby, and the Duomo is down the block. The rooms are contemporary, perhaps a bit spartan. The breakfast buffet is good.
I'd say it feels a bit pricey, but as I haven't stayed anywhere else in this town I can't compare the Roma's relative value. I do know that the hotel was sold out on the weekend I was there.
Sleepless in Syracuse?
After a whirlwind trip through the Aeolian islands and Taormina, we arrived at Syracuse, slightly worse for wear due to congestion (prob accident related) on the single-laned S115 from Catania southwards. Apart from the Grand Hotel & Jolly, this is supposedly the only other 4* hotel in Ortegia. Having heard fabulous reviews from other reviewers, I booked a month in advance for a night even though I did balk at the price of 190 euros a night (directly through hotel) for what is generally considered low season.
First impressions are good. There is evidence of extensive refurbishment with nice touches and even free internet access (abeit only 1 terminal in the reception area). Whilst waiting to check in, I managed to peer over the guest list and noticed that the room rates for other guests were in the region of 135-155 euros per room. So either I had overpaid or perhaps the suite was beckoning.
What I didn't expect was to be put in one of the smaller double rooms on the 1st floor directly overlooking Via Roma. With the ubiquitous Vespas & Fiat Unos bouncing over the cobbled streets below, and locals chit-chatting by the shops opposite, it certainly had "atmosphere" but certainly not something you would expect to tolerate through the night. The flimsy wooden balcony doors and shutters didn't offer much noise reduction. We consoled ourselves that traffic should abate by nightfall and went about to tour the town. We inquired about a change of room but the hotel was full (not sure whether it applied to the suites on the 4th floor).
After dinner, we asked about the non-functional air-conditioning in the room. Even though the weather had cooled to about 23 C (74 F), the room would be stuffy with the doors shut. The night receptionist mumbled that it was autumn, so the heating mains had been turned off and we could leave our balcony door ajar even though we had specifically raised the noise issue.
It was just about manageable from 12am till 5am. Having tossed and turned in frustration, we trundled down for breakfast which was quite a decent spread. We left the car at the hotel garage and the valet required an hour's notice to deliver it back to the hotel. Not sure why an hour but we duly told them at 9am to have the car in the front by 10am.
Having checked out, we waited till about 10.15am before the car turned up (I saw the valet scurrying to collect the car as I was checking out). In the meantime, whilst chatting to the manager, ostensibly, the reason for the air-conditioning not functioning was due to the change-over to heating in preparation for winter which seemed a little lame. Even lamer when the manager said I was unlucky enough to have chosen the only day that the air con would not be working. I know for a fact that many hotels deliberately close down their cooling system to conserve on electricity. But surely one wouldn't expect that from a 4* top hotel in Syracuse. To add insult to injury, they further suggested that I should specify a "quiet" room when I book, which leads me to wonder what sort of individual actually requests for a noisy room.
Despite my experience, the comments book by the reception had glowing remarks from other guests so I must have been unfortunate. The moral of the story is to avoid any of the low floor rooms facing Via Roma (rooms ending with 01, 02, 03, 04, 05), put in to collect your car 5-10 mins before you intend to and perhaps book through an agency rather than through the hotel who will quote you rack rate.
Nevertheless, we ended our trip on a high note when we moved to the La Rosa Sul Mare, a hotel-apartment perched on the cliffy beaches near Arenella, a 15 minute drive from Syracuse town. For half the price, we had a 1-bedroom apartment with splendid views of the sea & some peace and quiet. Breakfast & parking are optional extras; neither of which was worth taking up.
The hotel is extremely well located and we were able to explore the city on foot for all 3 days we were in Siracusa (not a bad thing given the way the Italians drive !). The hotel is modern and very clean with all the staff offering a friendly and efficient service.
Our room was spacious and had a small balcony overlooking the front of the hotel. I would also echo previous comments that the rooms didn't offer a great deal of natural light but there was plenty of lighting.
The breakfast service was again very good but the food limited to pastries, bread with cold meat & cheese.
The hotel will garage your car for you and for a reasonable charge of EUR 6 per day. We very much enjoyed our stay and felt that the price was very reasonable - we would go back.
If you do stay here, or close by, I would thoroughly recommend a small restaurant close by called Trattoria La Foglia which offered excellent pasta and fish.
Great location for exploring Ortigia
This hotel is great. It is centrally located near the Duomo so you can walk everywhere. It is also a 10min walk to the main bus station where you can get bus number 1 to the archaeological museum and park.
The rooms was large and clean with a balcony which had a table and chairs. We were on the fourth floor. It was a little dark but there were plenty of lights - just not too much natural light. It is all fairly modern and nice. The staff are great - very helpful and attentive, we asked for two extra pillows and got them within minutes. The walls are a bit thin - we could hear showers etc, so you may want to bring your ear plugs.
I got the impression this was one of the best hotels on Ortigia and well worth the money. It was actually quite reasonable - we booked on Expedia.
The breakfast was fine - mainly lots of cakes and pastries. We were full most of the time from all the great restaurants anyway.
I recommend a day trip to Noto - an hour by bus. It is beautiful and more well maintained than Syracuse. We happened upon the most wonderful restaurant in the street where Palazzo Nicolaci is - it is called Caffe Agora and I cannot recommend it highly enough if you want a real traditional Sicilian experience. There are no menus - just the freshest produce served up to you from the Sicilian man who stands behind the bar where the kitchen is and cookes it up before your very eyes. It was the highlight of a one week trip to Sicily.
Sweet place to stay
Definitely above average for Siracuse , Sicily, Italy.
The staff was very attentive, internet access always available in the lobby, and also access to a fun beach club ( Lido) just a short walk from the hotel where you can sun and swim in the Mediterrean. Breakfast was very nice , included . I would go again and recommend this as a wonderful place in Ortegia Island in Siracusa. Just around the corner from the Duormo.
We stayed at the Roma for three nights and cannot praise highly enough the quality of service we received from the hotel staff there - all were exceedingly helpful, and nothing was too much trouble for them.
The room was airy and very clean, and the hotel's central location on Ortigia is fantastic for sightseeing - the Duomo is literally next-door. My fellow 'big-boned' tourists may also struggle with the corner shower units as I did - they're certainly not made for us taller/wider individuals!
One word of caution - if driving to this hotel make sure you get explicit driving directions - the narrow streets of Ortigia are not for the faint-hearted, and reversing can be difficult or practically impossible with the presence of 'enthusiastic' local drivers! Once you arrive at the Roma, you can abandon your vehicle and allow a member of staff to park it in the garage or on their on-street parking places for you.
Sophisticated and chic
We have just stayed at Hotel Roma for 4 nights. Driving in Ortygia is not for the feint hearted but the hotel is not difficult to find and there are several empty spaces reserved for hotel guests where your car can be left easily. It is then garaged by the helpful porters and they ask you give them 30 minutes notice before you need it. We were taken to our lovely room by our porter and he then went and emptied our car and promptly delivered all our bags to us. The hotel has been very tastefully decorated, it's not chinzy and floral, nor is it empty and minimalist.. it's just the right mix of style and comfort. Aircon was great and quiet, large TV with some sattelite channels, a well stocked minibar and good bathroom/shower. The breakfast which was included was typically continental however all cakes/pastries were made in house or fresh. The same room becomes the Restaurant though we didn't eat there. Staff were very kind and helpful and went to the trouble of purchasing me a gorgeous Italian cake complete with my name on it and birthday candles and delivered it to our room along with a bottle of prosecco and champagne flutes.. it was totally unexpected and very nice. If you travel to Syracuse I'd highly recommend this hotel, it's fabulous location right next to the main piazza is perfect for exploring the island, and then use your car to go and explore the surrounding region.
Central and quiet
We were very pleased with this hotel in November, 2003. It is in the heart of the old city. Once you drive there; a little bit of a challenge, park in front. Let the hotel take it to a garage, you won't need it in town. Excellent price-value ratio. The rooms are well appointed and fully sound proofed. The staff were welcoming, and you are perfectly situated to explore the old city.
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Travel Blogs from Syracuse
... some southern hemisphere country. But today we want some fruit. The peaches look pretty good. Pick one up and squeeze it. Hard as a rock? Try another one. And another. All of them hard as rocks? Buy one anyway, because that three bucks is burning a hole in your pocket and because they look so good and maybe it will ripen on the kitchen counter. Then you can enjoy picking around all the bruised parts caused ...
... supplies and then finding a scenic little spot to enjoy our lunch.
We arrived in Noto late afternoon, checked onto our B&B, and wandered through the town. Like most of the towns and cities in southeastern Sicily, Noto was destroyed by the huge earthquake of 1693. It was rebuilt in the baroque architectural style popular at the time, using the ...
Finally out of the rain and on the train headed for Siracusa, we feasted on the picnic put together from the Catania fish market and a little bakery on our rainy route to the station. By the time we arrived in Syracusa the rain had stopped and the skies started to clear.
From the station we walked the kilometer or two to our B&B, over the bridge into the island of Ortigia, the oldest part of Siracusa. Winding cobbled streets ...
... hall and conference spaces. We enjoyed a fascinating private tour by a former student.
The fish market in Catania is also fascinating. Who eats all this fish? So much quantity and so much variety, from salmon to swordfish, candle-fish to cuttlefish, octopus to ostriche (this last one had me a bit confused until I realized it was not the big bird, but the little bivalve - oysters). Fascinating to watch the many vendors ...
... evening, making it nice for long walks.
I have enjoyed taking part in the Sicilian way of life. I cannot believe at how lucky the Italians are when it comes to fresh produce, and how cheap it is. The peaches, nectarines and apricots are amazing and for under $2 a kilo. I even saw peaches the other day, freshly picked for 80 cents a kilo. And you dont have to look far for a fruit stall as they are on nearly every street corner. I have loved being able to eat so much fresh fruit.