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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!
Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Planning & Introduction
- Part 2 – Park Hyatt, Chicago
- Part 3 – One Day in Chicago
- Part 4 – Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
- Part 5 – Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge, London
- Part 6 – Under the Channel to Strasbourg
- Part 7 – Hotel Cathedrale, Strasbourg
- Part 8 – What did we do in Strasbourg
- Part 9 – Eating in Strasbourg
- Part 10 – Park Hyatt, Zurich
- Part 11 – 10 Hours in Zurich
- Part 12 – Hotel Eremo Gaudio in Varenna, Italy
- Part 13 – What to do in Varenna, Italy
- Part 14 – Eating in Varenna, Italy
- Part 15 – Park Hyatt, Milan
- Part 16 – What Did We Do in Milan
- Part 17 – Eating in Milan
- Part 18 – Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice
- Part 19 – Around the Hilton Molino Stucky & Free Shuttle Boat Details
- Part 20 – What we did in Venice
- Part 21 – Eating in Venice
- Part 22 – Waldorf-Astoria, Rome Cavalieri
- Part 23 – Eating in Rome, Part 1
- Part 24 – Emily’s Best Meal Was in Italy!
- Part 25 – Rome Cavalieri Imperial Floor
- Part 26 – Activities in Rome
- Part 27 – Activities in Rome – Where to Go, What to See, How to Save Time
- Part 28 – Virgin Atlantic Flight from Europe to US
- Part 29 – Conclusion & Blog Giveaway
Rome Cavalieri Imperial Floor
Daraius: On our last day at the hotel, we decided to upgrade to the Imperial Floor. Rooms on the Imperial Floor get access to the Imperial Club lounge, which serves breakfast & light snacks throughout the day, and has fantastic views of Rome. The folks on FlyerTalk rave about the Imperial Lounge!
I wouldn’t ordinarily have paid the ~200 euro (~$275) to upgrade to the Imperial Floor because I didn’t think it was worth it. But I paid the ~200 euro to do some blog research, just in case other readers were thinking of upgrading to the Imperial Floor. The short answer is that you’re better off saving your money In fact, we preferred our regular room to the room on the Imperial Floor!
Emily Jablon: At the front desk, we were told that we would have access to the lounge, and that the room had a nicer view and more amenities. Because of this, I was expecting other amenities in the room, such as perhaps a coffee maker or an iPhone charger. It had neither and the room was exactly the same as the last one.
It also had fewer outlets to charge our electronics and did not have the automatic plug converters installed, which our previous room did (which was very convenient). Also, the air conditioner did not function very well even at its coolest setting.
We had to call the front desk to send someone to look at it. 30 minutes later a team of 2 men arrived, and after some poking around they managed to fix the a/c.
Our room smelled of smoke despite being a non-smoking room.
The room had a much better view of Rome that was unobstructed by trees (compared to the previous view).
The higher floor meant we could see more of Rome. We could see the Parliament building.
The room layout was exactly the same as our earlier cheaper room.
The only difference was the size of the TV. The Imperial Room had a bigger TV that was attached to the wall. But we didn’t go to Rome to watch TV!
The king bed looked exactly the same.
There was the same satin yellow chair seating arrangement…
the same writing desk (but without built-in electric converters).
The balcony was also the same…
and the outdoor mirrors needed replacing.
The bathroom seemed smaller because it did not have a walk-in shower (just the partially enclosed bathtub shower).
Instead of the second shower, there was a vanity with a stool.
There was a one basin sink, just like our previous bathroom.
The amenities were also the same.
The view aside, we were disappointed with the rest of the room because of its smaller bathroom, smoky smell, and faulty air conditioning. But at least now you know what to expect on the Imperial Floor if you’re offered an upgrade.
We also received access to the Imperial Lounge with the upgrade. It was nice to have access to the lounge, but still wasn’t worth the upgrade cost.
Breakfast in the Imperial Lounge
The lounge provides breakfast, a light lunch, a light dinner, and after dinner snacks. There was a plaque listing the lounge hours.
The lounge was very impressive and much bigger than I thought it was going to be. There were many places to sit and relax in the lounge. There were couches…
and they overlooked the buffet.
There was also a formal dining area.
There was a selection of yogurt, jam, cold meats, and cheese.
Fruit and yogurt was also available.
There was hot food which included pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage.
In addition, there were vegetables for breakfast.
We could choose from many cereals.
There was fresh juice…
as well as canned beverages, soda, beer, and wine.
There were also lots of adult beverages.
Daraius tried the scrambled eggs, ham, sausage, cheese, and braided roll.
I wasn’t too hungry so I just had strawberries and a roll with butter.
The Lounge also served different spreads for lunch and dinner. We checked out the lunch spread.
There weren’t many people in the lounge at lunch.
No one was sitting in the formal dining area.
There wasn’t anyone sitting at the small tables and leather chairs.
There was some nice outdoor seating that had gorgeous views.
It was so beautiful and relaxing.
You could see almost all of Rome!
Lunch was more of a snack or light lunch. There were salad, vegetables, and shrimp..
and sandwiches and soups.
Salami, canapes, and a gazpacho soup were part of the buffet.
Dessert consisted of small cakes and puddings…
and cookies and candy.
The view at night was just as gorgeous. Seeing Rome at night was very impressive!
Seeing St. Peter’s Basilica lit up was so pretty.
How You Can Do It Too!
It costs 80,000 Hilton points for 1 night at the Rome Cavalieri hotel. The regular price for a room varies from ~$350 to ~$700, so this is a great way to use your Hilton points! If you want an upgrade to the Imperial Floor, you have to pay an extra ~$275 per night which is NOT worth it in our opinion. Stick to the regular rooms instead and save your money.
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!
You can achieve Hilton Diamond status by spending $40,000 on this card within 1 year. With Diamond status you will get a 50% point bonus on paid rooms and a better chance of free upgrades.
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 for any night at the Hilton Rome Cavalieri.
See this post on all of the other ways you can earn Hilton points.
We loved the views from the Imperial floor and the food in the lounge was fairly substantial. But this was definitely NOT worth the ~$275 upgrade cost. You’re better off saving the money and skipping the “upgrade” to the Imperial Lounge.