Seeing the hotel lobby photos online, I couldn’t but book my stay at The Westin. Being a fan of the brand and already experiencing it in Milan, Dublin, Cairo, and Florence, Rome was next on the list. Unfortunately, the Westin Excelsior Roma staff lacks the attention to details, the class and finesse of a brand like The Westin. I expected to be pampered.
A grandiose place from the minute you walk in. The reception, a concierge service, and a vaste lobby. At night, a one-man-show plays the violin and piano enchanting the premises with his soothing tunes.
The first impression: the building and brand’s luxury is not portrayed in its staff. Reception welcoming is basic, staff looks down when they see you instead of greeting high and loud, and this applies to the restaurant staff who spent their night mingling between each other instead of walking around the tables. No ashtray, no drink and no service for the olive oil and balsamic.
Picking up my bags, I walked to my room up on the 5th floor. It took me probably ten minutes to reach the room; the signage is very bad. An old room yet a new bathroom isn’t what I expected. At night, preparing the room, service staff puts off all lights instead of welcoming you in a warm and pleasant ambiance.
The missing details:
- International electricity plugs and USB plugs.
- Internet disconnects at midnight; why is that?
- A complementary water bottle.
- The television left on to welcome you.
- I had a room with two beds, when I checked in alone: why not a single king-size one.
- The restaurant’s ashtray is the cheapest I’ve seen: are we at an “Excelsior”?
The hotel lobby on another hand is a masterpiece; with its high ceiling, big windows and crystal chandeliers, it takes you on a journey, one century ago.
The room: Warm lights, a relaxing bed, a strong water pressure... enough to relax before taking the plane the next morning.
The restaurant: kids, yes, untrained staff that does not reflect the brand’s standard. I dined alone, didn’t see any waiter walk around, waited for my beer for long until I asked for it again with no apology given, no ashtray, and the bread is so hard, teeth can’t cut.
The food: grilled octopus served on a round black ardoise. Potato cubes, beans cream, and bottarga on a bed of shredded lettuce. Honestly the mountain of lettuce reminded me of the Big Mac. One octopus leg, lightly chewy and lightly lemony, enjoyed with the other ingredients of the plate. The pasta on another hand is top! Linguini cooked in a transparent sauce that’s creamy and full bodied mixed with clams and bottarga. It has a taste of the sea without smelling it. Cooked al dente, the linguini embrace all the flavors of the sauce and seafood. I loved my plate.
Breakfast is served every morning in the hotel’s restaurant. Cheeses, cold cuts, fruits, hot dishes, pastries and a live cooking station for your eggs the way you like them. I had a bowl of fruits with cereals and yogurt.
A quick stay, good for the price paid, but not the Westin experience I expected.