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How I found an affordable Rome hotel during peak season

When I needed to find an affordable hotel in Rome for an early-June stay with only a few weeks’ notice, the major travel sites really let me down. I was amazed to come across two-star hotels listed as four-star properties, sky-high prices, and vague neighborhood descriptions. I was worried I’d end up paying $400 a night for an average room.

Then I found, a hotel booking website with properties throughout Europe. From the Rome hotel page, I could narrow the results based on accommodations type, star rating, price, and neighborhood. Once I had a more manageable list of properties, I could sort them based on guest rating, star rating, and price.

Each description included information on the hotel’s rooms and amenities, a map showing the hotel’s location, photos, and traveler reviews. Better yet, several properties still had affordable rates (under $250 a night), and I could quickly determine whether past guests thought a particular property was a great find or not worth the money.

How did I find my affordable hotel? I avoided properties in popular neighborhoods, opting to stay near the Vatican instead. As long as I could walk to a metro stop, I knew I could get everywhere I wanted to go. I agreed to consider hotels without elevators, air-conditioning, or free breakfast. I also adjusted my expectations of what I believed was affordable to a more realistic price range for the peak season.

The end result? My friend and I had a lovely stay at the Hotel Silla in a decent-sized twin room with an en-suite bathroom, just a few blocks from the Ottaviano metro. We paid €135 per night (about $187, see for the latest exchange rates)—not a bad deal for a high-season visit.

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