Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 22 – Waldorf-Astoria, Rome Cavalieri

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Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I went to Europe in September to celebrate our 2nd anniversary for ~2 weeks.  It was my first time in Italy so I was very excited!  In Italy, we visited Varenna on Lake Como, Milan, Venice, and Rome.

Since we were in Europe, we visited a friend in Strasbourg, France and also spent a night in Zurich.  We started our trip with a one day layover in Chicago to see friends!

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Our Final Stop in Italy: We Used Points to Stay at the Hilton Rome Cavalieri Hotel – Gorgeous Views But Very Far From the Sites

Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:

How You Can Do It Too!

It costs 70,000 Hilton points for 1 night in December, January & February & 80,000 Hilton points in the other months for 1 night at the Rome Cavalieri hotel.  The regular price for a room varies from ~$350+, so this is a good way to use your Hilton points.

1.  Citi Hilton Reserve card

You get 2 free weekend nights (weekend is defined as Friday, Saturday, or Sunday nights) and free Hilton Gold status with the Hilton Reserve card (our link).

Hilton Gold status will get you free internet and free breakfast.  It costs 25 euros or ~$34 for 1 day of internet in your room (internet is free in the lobby) and ~45 euros (~$61) per person for breakfast at the Rome Cavalieri hotel.

So we didn’t have to pay ~$156 a day for the convenience of free internet and breakfast with the free Hilton Gold status from the Citi Hilton Reserve!

2.  Virgin Atlantic card

A less obvious way to get Hilton points is to get the 50,000 mile Virgin Atlantic card and to then transfer 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles to 75,000 Hilton points for free.  That way, you get 75,000 Hilton points which you can use towards any night at the Hilton Rome Cavalieri.

See this post on all of the other ways you can earn Hilton points.

Getting to the Hotel

Emily Jablon:  Our final stop in Italy was in Rome.  We purchased train tickets in Venice at the automatic ticket machine.  We thought our seats were together, but were surprised to find that our seat assignments were in different train cars!

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

We Snapped a Photo in Front of the Frecciargento Train to Rome…But Maybe Daraius Should Have Helped That Man With His Suitcase!

Sowe had to play musical chairs when new passengers got on and we vacated their seats.  We were able to stay in the same train compartment, even after the conductors stamped our tickets and probably realized that one of us was in the wrong compartment.

In the Rome station, we went to an Italian chain restaurant called Ciao for lunch.  We were quite hungry from the four hour ride and didn’t want to spend lots of money to eat at the hotel.

Daraius got chicken & a fruit tart and I got a caprese sandwich.  The food was okay, but my favorite part was the fruit tart!

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Daraius’ Favorite Part of Lunch at Ciao Ristorante Was the Fruit Tart…But Then Again Dessert Is ALWAYS His Favorite Part!

We went outside to the taxi stand and got a taxi.  There were lots of them and it only took a few minutes to get one.  It was about 20 euros (~$27) for the cab ride from the Rome station to the hotel.

It was a very picturesque drive to the hotel.  We went up curvy roads up to a hill that overlooks the city.

Hilton Rome Cavalieri

First things first.  The Hilton Rome Cavalieri is F-A-R from most tourist sites in Rome!  It is about 9 kilometers or ~5.5 miles to the colosseum from the hotel.  It costs ~17 euro or ~$23 for the 20 minute cab ride if you miss the free shuttle from the hotel.  The free shuttle is often full, so you may have to take a cab to the sites!

We arrived at the Hilton Rome Cavalieriand the landscape of the hotel looked very inviting.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

We Booked Our Stay at the Rome Cavalieri (~$350+ Per Night) Completely With Hilton Hotel Points

There was a circular drive with a fountain outside the hotel.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Some Ancient Romans Believed Dolphins Carried Souls to the Islands of the Blessed

The hotel is on a hill high above the city, so there were some nice views.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Hotel Offers a Gladiator Training Course.  We Preferred to Hang Out by the Pool.

The hotel was pretty, but seemed a bit dated.  There were beautiful pictures above the check-in desk.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Venetian Landscape Paintings From the 18th Century Hang Over the Reception Desk

The rest of the lobby had gorgeous lights…

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Emily Waiting in the Hotel Lobby to Check-In

and beautiful furniture.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Furniture in the Lobby Gave the Hotel an Old World Feel

It also had a very nice collection of art.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Emily Admiring the Rome Cavalieri Collection

There was a large beautiful painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, a famous Venetian painter, in the lobby by the bar.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavaliere

This Painting Depicts Achilles, Disguised As A Woman, Being Discovered By Ulysses

After we checked in, we got a free drink at the Tiepolo Lounge bar for being Hilton Diamond members.  Hilton Gold elite members (which you get from the Hilton Reserve card) also get a free drink!

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Tiepolo Lounge Looked Like A Nice Place to Relax With a Cocktail

Daraius had a glass of wine.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Daraius Enjoying His Glass of Wine in the Lounge

I had a peach iced tea.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Emily Is Impressed With the Decor of the Tiepolo Lounge

We went to the spa to dip in the jacuzzi, but it was difficult finding where everything was.  Note that hotel guests have to pay 31 euro per day (~$42) to access the spa area and outdoor pools.  I really don’t like it when expensive hotels charge extra to access the spa!

However, Gold (which you get from the Hilton Reserve card) and Diamond elite members get free entrance to the spa area and outdoor pools, but have to pay for a lounge chair!

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

While the Spa Looked Beautiful, We Couldn’t Find Our Way Around

There seemed to be several different changing rooms but only one small main sauna or bath area.  Even then, there was one cold plunge and one hot lukewarm plunge.  Daraius and I were looking for a hot Jacuzzi to relax in but never found it!

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Daraius Wandering Around in His Robe Because He Can’t Find the Jacuzzi

There were reclining chairs for relaxing before or after your spa treatment.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

There Is Plenty of Comfortable Seating in the Spa

To go to the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, we had to walk back past the spa reception desk, and through a hallway past the gym.

The indoor pool had an art deco theme.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Indoor Pool Is Covered By a Glass Dome and Features a Fireplace for the Winter

It was a hike to get to the pool.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Emily Found a Place to Rest After the Long Walk To the Pool

There were actually 3 outdoor pools: a large one along with 2 smaller ones (1 of which was for kids).

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

View Looking Down on the Large Outdoor Pool From the Hotel

There were a lot of people enjoying the pool.

Their pool restaurant, L’Uliveto, is open during the summer for outdoor dining.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Restaurant by the Pool Was a Great Place for an Afternoon Snack

On the other side of the pool area was a garden with statues of lions.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

There Are Lion Statues Scattered Across the Hotel Garden

The biggest drawback of the hotel was its location.  Every 15 minute trip into town was ~10 to ~17 euros (~$14 to ~$23),which can easily add up.  The hotel has a free shuttle bus, but they only run every hour or so and the service ends at 9:00 pm.  Dinner usually starts at 9:00 pm in Italy, so you either have to have an early dinner or take a cab back to the hotel.

We stood in line for the shuttle bus about 10 minutes before it departed at 11:30 amand were the last two to get seats.  An older couple behind us was upset they could not get on, so we gave our seats to them.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Space Was Limited, So We Gave Our Seats to an Elderly Couple

We asked the hotel front desk if there were taxi vouchers they could give us, because the shuttle was full.  They explained that they were unable to offer guests taxi vouchers if the bus was full, but called a taxi for us.

We talked with other guests who stood in line for up to 30 minutes before the shuttle departure time to get seats on the free shuttle!

So I wouldn’t recommend staying at the Waldorf-Astoria, Rome Cavalieri hotel unless you had lots of time to stand in line for the shuttle and didn’t mind taking an occasional taxi to and from the sites in Rome!

Rome Cavalieri King Deluxe Room

We were upgraded to a king deluxe room that faced the city for free because we are Hilton Diamond members.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Emily Taking in the View From Our Balcony

To the left, we could see the pool.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Our Room Featured a View of the Pool and the City

The views are much better than on the other side of the hotel, which only face apartments.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Rooms on the Other Side of the Hotel Had a Street View

However, I wouldn’t mind a room without a view because we are usually out all day sightseeingand just come back to the hotel to sleep.

Our views were nice, but the city was partially hidden because of the trees.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Greenery Made Our View Better

The room was fairly big with a sleeping area and sitting area.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

A Peek Inside Our Room

The room had a flat screen TV.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

There Was a Lot to See, So We Didn’t Spend Much Time Watching TV

The room itself had fancy Baroque style furnishings that looked like they would belong in a palace.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Room Was Decorated With Antique Style Furniture

The bed was very comfortable.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

I was Ready for a Nap on the Bed

There were armchairs covered in yellow silk cloth.  They gave the room a cozy, elegant character.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Chairs Were Comfortable

There was a writing desk…

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

I Had to Pull Daraius Away From Writing Another Blog Post, So We Could See More of the City

and an outdoor balcony.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Perfect Spot for Us to Enjoy the View

We received a bottle of champagne for our anniversary.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

A Courtesy Bottle of Champagne Was A Nice Touch!

The bathroom was small and had one sink…

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Bathroom Sink Felt a Little Cramped for Two

with a small walk-in shower…

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

The Small Shower Didn’t Leave Much Space to Move Around

and another shower in a bathtub that was partially enclosed.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

It Saves Time When There Are 2 Showers in the Room!

There were Salvatore Ferragamo amenities.

Rome Hotel, Roma Cavalieri

Emily Liked the Scent of the Italian Amenities

How You Can Do It Too!

It costs 70,000 Hilton points for 1 night in December, January & February & 80,000 Hilton points in the other months for 1 night at the Rome Cavalieri hotel.  The regular price for a room varies from ~$350+, so this is a good way to use your Hilton points.

1.  Citi Hilton Reserve card

You get 2 free weekend nights (weekend is defined as Friday, Saturday, or Sunday nights) and free Hilton Gold status with the Hilton Reserve card.

Hilton Gold status will get you free internet and free breakfast.  It costs 25 euros or ~$34 for 1 day of internet in your room (internet is free in the lobby) and ~45 euros (~$61) per person for breakfast at the Rome Cavalieri hotel.

So we didn’t have to pay ~$156 a day for the convienence of free internet and breakfast with the free Hilton Gold status from the Citi Hilton Reserve!

2.  Virgin Atlantic card

A less obvious way to get Hilton points is to get the 50,000 mile Virgin Atlantic card and to then transfer 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles to 75,000 Hilton points for free.  That way, you get 75,000 Hilton points which you can use towards any night at the Hilton Rome Cavalieri.

See this post on all of the other ways you can earn Hilton points.

Bottom Line

We enjoyed the good views & unique decor at the Waldorf-Astoria Rome Cavalieri hotel.  That said, it didn’t feel as luxurious as I’d imagined Waldorf-Astoria hotels.

The big drawback of the hotel is that you’re far from the main sites in Rome.  So you’ll either have to spend some time to wait in line for the hotel shuttle (to avoid missing it) or spend some money for a cab to and from Rome (which can add up).  We’re glad we checked-out the hotel, but will likely stay in a hotel closer to the sites the next time!

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41 Responses to Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 22 – Waldorf-Astoria, Rome Cavalieri

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  14. You guys are so funny! Really loved the pics. Very informative.

  15. I was under the impression that the Waldorf Astoria hotels do not give free breakfast to Hilton gold members. Has that changed?

  16. I am really enjoying your trip report – thanks for sharing all of the details. We stayed at the Rome Cavalieri in July 2013 (2 rooms for 2 adults and 2 teens, all on points). We never had a problem with the shuttle – there were always seats available – however we were usually on the earliest shuttle to maximize our sightseeing time.

    While I typically like to stay in a more central location in Rome, we did ok with the remote Cavalieri. We had a car since we were in the middle of our trip so we had access to the neighborhood surrounding the Cavalieri and found a few wonderful restaurants for dinner. But I agree that the location is a drawback unless you want to escape the Rome congestion in the evening.

    The spa – our teens explored and quickly made friends with the spa attendants so we had no problems with finding all the spa amenities.

    Wasn’t the alfresco breakfast by the pool wonderful? A fabulous way to start the day.

  17. I used my Reserve nights and points at the Hilton Garden Inn and feel very pleased with my stay. It’s a short/cheap tram ride directly into the center of Rome and much fewer Hilton pts. Also the room I got there as a Gold member came with its own, very large balcony. Spent a wonderful night out there drinking a bottle of wine with my girlfriend. Not as fancy as the Waldorf, but I think a much better use of Hilton pts if your plan is to actually see Rome.

  18. We used the Choice Hotel within walking distance of all the major sites for 8k/night during Oct. 2014. The normal price is $240-$340/night. They are older, traditional hotels. I transferred Membership Rewards, as needed, for mor nights. We were a 5 minute walk from Trevi Fountain. Plus, the buses are easy to navigate to places like the Vatican.

    Our room wasn’t as deluxe and there were NO grounds or pool, but the internet and breakfast was free. And, 8k vs 70k/night means I can still fly to Cambodia this fall. ;-)

    J R

  19. Hilton hotels are horrible values since the deval. This one is 0.5c per point value if you get one of the $350 rooms for 70k points. Might be worth it if you’re trying to burn them though.

  20. We seriously had the the same trip!!!! Great review. I too have mixed feelings about the hotel. I booked a room for 3 adults (3, explicitly, no trying to game the system) using a cash + points reservation. Upon arriving, we were told that I had pay an additional 30 Euro for the additional adult (even though the reserving page made no note of the extra charge).

    We went in November and had absolutely no trouble getting seats, but agree about the odd hours of the shuttle. Also, no one mentioned a spa charge to us (we are Gold) and the pools were basically closed (too cool, although I saw one fool take a dip on a freezing morning).
    Breakfast was spectacular and on our second morning of four, we discovered that champagne was included at NO COST! That sold the hotel for me lol. I was pissed that we missed the first day’s bubbly.

    I would return to this hotel (I want to get rich and get married here using the Million Dollar Wedding Package), but would likely do so again only in shoulder season, only when the hotel is bookable at 50,000 points, and only if I wanted a resort experience in Rome. It is date luxury, but luxury nonetheless. I think this comment sums up my forthcoming blog review lol.

  21. Daraius, thanks for awesome trip report, we really enjoy reading it! Please shed some light to us:
    I’m also planning a trip to Europe for me and my family, total of 3 people. We live in San Francisco and plan to go to Rome, Florence, Venice , Milan then Paris. Then will fly back to SFO from Paris. We want to avoid London if possible since we scared of high fuel surcharges and tax that they charge there.
    So far I have accumulated Southwest, US Airways, and AA miles. Questions:
    1. If US Air and AA are offering one free stopover in the US gateway city, it would be awesome as an added bonus into our trip! We would like to go to Caribbean, which one you think is good city in Caribbean to visit, Aruba or St. Martin? And is it counted as US gateway city by US Air or AA?
    And From SF, is it better to go to Carribean first then Europe, or better to go there on our return flight back from Europe to SF?

    2. Which one you think is more wiser and save on more miles? Going there by US Air miles (30,000 miles roundtrip per person on offpeak) and use AA miles for flight within Europe. Or use AA miles (40,000 round trip per person off peak) from SFO- Europe and use US Air miles for….? (no idea if US Air miles can be used and has more value then AA miles for flight within Europe cities.

  22. I think your trip report cements the fact that in Rome you have to go with Starwood or IHG.

  23. Stayed here in November and apparently appreciated it a little more than you since we didn’t mind the location. We never even saw the shuttle but didn’t mind the cab rides as the cost didn’t seem that bad and we liked seeing the places along the way (1st time to Europe). We did book just before the deval so was only 50k /night and got the same room as you even though I’m just gold. Breakfast is free for gold members and we had free champagne in the room as I had emailed the concierge and manager to ask for an upgrade and to let them know it was my wife’s bday (tips learned from folks like you).

  24. After looking at many different hotel redemption options for an upcoming trip to Rome, the Rome Cavalieri was our first choice. But because of the concerns Daraius outlined, we ultimately decided to book an apartment. The selling point of the apartment was that it was central – Campo de Fiori is just blocks away – inexpensive at 85 Euros a night, and has a large private rooftop terrace.

  25. Daraius, thanks for all the info you provided! I don’t see anywhere that you recomend serve card, any thoughts on that?

  26. I’ve been told Waldorf Astoria hotels do NOT provide free breakfast to Gold members. Please let me know as we are headed to the Puerto Rico WA El Conquistador in a couple of weeks and would love to know breakfast is included!

  27. @Lively – Glad you enjoyed it!

    @Denise L – The breakfast was very good!

    @Ben L – I’d prefer a hotel closer to the city than a nicer hotel further away.

    @John Stewart – That’s a nice use of Choice hotel points!

    @Ann Zeller @MichaelB – There are mixed reports of this at the Rome Cavalieri. Some folks report being offered a “discounted” breakfast for 20 euros. While others still get the free breakfast. I’d call or email the hotel to check.

    @ Ken – Don’t forget that it is very easy to earn Hilton points!

    Heather @ pass the dressing – That’s a very accurate review!

    @ David – You can train within Europe and save your air miles. I like the 40K AA option if it works during your stay. You can book a free 1-way in a North American city only if AA has a published fare for that routing.

    @ Carsten – Starwood hotels may be a bit expensive, but IHG is a good option.

    @RaiderHoosier – We certainly appreciated staying in the hotel. But with limited vacation etc., we’d rather stay closer to the city next time.

    @ Sylvia – I prefer the American Express Bluebird card to the Serve card.

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  37. Great write-up as always. We stayed at the Rome Cavalieri this past July by cashing in some Hilton free night certificates, and points. Fantastic hotel and trip. I’m dying to go back after reading your reports!

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  41. Just checked into the Rome Cavalieri. No breakfast, and no Executive Lounge for Hilton Diamond members. Our room is very nice, but not worth the points we had to shell out. Disappointed!

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