Review: Hilton Rome Airport

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotel Reviews

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On our way back to the US we had a one night layover in Rome. Our flight from Sardinia arrived in Rome just before 6PM, while our flight the next morning was just after 8AM. As a result, we figured it made sense to just stay close to the airport, especially since we had visited Rome on the outbound portion of our trip.

The most practical option seemed to be the Hilton Rome Airport, which is connected to the terminal (sort of). This is a Category 7 Hilton HHonors hotel, and for our night an HHonors redemption would have cost 50,000 points. The paid rate, on the other hand, was about 150EUR. So in this case paying cash was the better option, given that I value HHonors points at ~0.4 cents each.

The Hilton is connected by pedestrian walkway to Terminals 1, 2, and 3. This required going to the upper level and following the signage in the same direction as trains, rental cars, etc.

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Rome Airport terminal

On the plus side, there are moving walkways almost the entire way to the hotel. Even so, it’s not a short walk, as the hotel is a good distance from the terminals. Our walk from Terminal 3 to the hotel took about 10 minutes, and that was with us walking at a very fast pace.

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Walkway to Hilton Rome Airport

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Walkway to Hilton Rome Airport

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Walkway to Hilton Rome Airport

Once at the end of the pedestrian walkway we took the elevator down a level, walked along the exterior pedestrian walkway, and then found ourselves at the hotel’s sliding main doors.

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Hilton Rome Airport exterior

The hotel’s driveway was under construction and closed off. Fair enough. However, there were two sets of sliding glass doors, with two doors on each side. For the first set of sliding doors the right door was out of service, while for the second set of sliding doors the left door was out of service, which made entering the hotel unnecessarily complicated. It wasn’t bad for us since we didn’t have much luggage, but if you do…

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Hilton Rome Airport entrance

The lobby of the hotel was contemporary but bland, though it had plenty of seating at least.

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Hilton Rome Airport lobby

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Hilton Rome Airport lobby

Check-in was a bit chaotic, thanks to the massive jerk who tried to cut everyone in line at reception, and didn’t take no for an answer. I wrote a separate post about that experience, so won’t mention it further here.

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Hilton Rome Airport lobby

Soon enough we were helped, and the friendly associate informed us that we had been upgraded to an executive room thanks to my Hilton HHonors Diamond status. He explained the hours of the club lounge, that we’d receive free “premium” wifi, etc.

Once check-in formalities were complete, we turned right and walked down the hall towards the elevator.

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Hilton Rome Airport lobby

A bit further in the lobby on the left were two computers with printers.

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Hilton Rome Airport lobby business center

Past that was a cool-looking globe, and then on the left of that were the elevators leading to guest rooms.

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Hilton Rome Airport elevators

We took the elevator up to the executive (fifth) floor, where our room was located. The hotel has wings in four different directions, so it took us a minute to figure out which way we needed to go, since the signage isn’t prominent.

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Hilton Rome Airport club floor

We were assigned room 5092, which was a ways down the hall and on the left.

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Hilton Rome Airport executive floor hallway

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room exterior

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Hilton Rome Airport floorplan

The room itself was… fine. It featured a king size bed, a chair with an ottoman, a desk with a great office chair, and a flat screen TV.

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room

I’m not at all a fan of Hilton’s beds. Their mattresses are flimsy and not well padded, and the pillows are generally thin.

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room

On the plus side, Hilton does desks well in theory, thanks to their great desk chairs. Unfortunately the hotel’s wifi was almost unusably slow, and we were connected to the “premium” version. So that’s disappointing…

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room desk

The flat screen TV was on a separate console with a built in luggage rack.

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room TV & coffee maker

This is also where two bottles of complimentary water and the coffee setup (a kettle and instant coffee) were located.

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room coffee maker & water

The bathroom was a bit nicer than the rest of the room, and featured a sink, toilet, bidet, and shower/tub combo.

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room bathroom

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room toilet & bidet

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room shower/tub

As usual, toiletries were Peter Thomas Roth branded, which are decent as far as mid-range hotels go, in my opinion.

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room toiletries

The room had a pretty quiet view of one of the airport’s outside roadways. While I like a good airport view, I also appreciated that we had no noise from our room.

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room view

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Hilton Rome Airport executive room view

Since we got to our room at around 6:30PM, we decided to head to the executive lounge, which was just down the hall from us. We grabbed a table, and I went to take a picture of the buffet (and only the buffet). After I took my first picture the lounge attendant came up to me and said “no foto.”

Okay, so I recently had a situation at the Hyatt Regency Toronto where a bored/rogue restaurant host told me I couldn’t take pictures of the buffet (there were no people in the pictures). Of course that was total crap, and the hotel later followed up with me to say they spoke to the employee in question.

So when he said “no foto” I decided to push back a little bit. After all, photographing stuff in hotels is part of my job, and virtually all major chain hotels have no rules against photography. Heck, in the age of TripAdvisor they usually want guests to be taking pictures.

“Oh sorry, is that a rule?”
“Yes, you can’t take photo.”
“In the entire hotel?”
“Not here, to protect the privacy of guests.”
“I’m not taking pictures of people, I’ve taken one picture of the food.”
“You can’t take because privacy.”
“The privacy of… the food? That’s fine, I’m sorry.”

So I went back to the table, and moments later he came by my table and asked me to please keep taking pictures of the food and that it wasn’t a problem. He then returned a couple more times to explain the “rule.” I decided just not to take further pictures because it was awkward at that point, and as he walked away he said “ay paparazzi.”

So below is my one picture of the food spread, which otherwise looked quite decent. Too bad I wasn’t able to fully showcase it. 😉

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Hilton Rome Airport executive lounge

We were quite hungry at this point, so after sitting in the lounge for a couple of minutes we decided to go to the hotel’s restaurant for dinner.

The restaurant was located off the lobby, right across from the elevators. There were three distinct areas — Artists Bar, Caffe Tevere Bistro, and Le Colonne Restaurant. We decided to do the caffe, which we were told had sandwiches, salads, and pizza, which is what we wanted most anyway.

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Hilton Rome Airport restaurant area

The restaurant was rather bland in terms of decor.

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Hilton Rome Airport restaurant

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Hilton Rome Airport restaurant

I ordered a caesar salad, while Ford had a greek salad.

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Hilton Rome Airport dinner — caesar salad

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Hilton Rome Airport dinner — greek salad

Then we shared a pizza margherita, which was excellent.

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Hilton Rome Airport dinner — pizza

When we returned to the room after dinner there was a small dessert plate with three mini-brownies. While we weren’t hungry at that point, I thought that was a nice touch, especially for an airport hotel.

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Hilton Rome Airport dessert room brought to room

We left the hotel early the following morning, at around 6AM, given that our flight was at 8AM.

Hilton Rome Airport bottom line

Ultimately we chose the Hilton Rome Airport because it’s connected to the terminal, so in that regard I have no complaints. That being said, otherwise I wasn’t a huge fan of this property. The wifi was painfully slow and I thought the club lounge attendant was rude with how he approached me.

Still, it’s a perfectly serviceable hotel. Maybe next time I’d try the Hilton Garden Inn, which is also located at the airport.

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  1. Next time you have a layover at FCO you should visit the QC Terme Roma Spa which is only about a 5 – 10 minute cab ride away. It’s a complete sanctuary and the grounds are pretty stunning. They also offer apertivo hour with drinks and food included in the entrance.

  2. Slow wifi is really an Italy problem, rather than a problem unique to this hotel. Italy has the slowest wifi in Europe; meanwhile, Romania has nationwide wifi that puts the U.S. and Germany to shame. Go figure…

  3. Enjoyed the review, per usual. I am wondering why you left some of your flights off the review, though. I thought that part of the reason for the whole trip was to try Meridiana and others? It says here that you guys had a layover in Rome, so I assume that there was some content between Sardinia and this that you aren’t going to post about? Not intended to be critical – Im so appreciative of the service you provide on this blog and am just craving more content!

  4. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn at FCO. While not connected to the airport it had family room that allowed my family of 4 to stay all together. You then get a shuttle to the airport. Also, if you decide to stay at FCO and have time go to the town of Fiumicino which is only 20 minutes away. It is a little town and it has amazing restaurants.

  5. @James: If you will stay in Italy for more than just couple days just grab a TIM Italia SIM card (if your phone is unlocked) and you will never need wifi anywhere in the country. They have amazing packages for international visitors that are very cheap. Last June I got a 30GB 4G data package which included local calls for 20Euros and it was valid for 30 days. I had 4G on my phone almost everywhere I was in Italy. I never even signed for wifi on the hotels while I was there.

  6. I stayed there in 2009 and ate at the restaurant and it was terrible. They couldn’t cook a hamburger. I asked for it to be medium well and the first try it looked cooked on the outside but when I bit into it it was almost raw on the inside. I complained and they took it away and after about another 20 minutes they brought another one out and it was the same- uncooked on the inside. I then gave up and just ate the fries. I don’t think they charged me though. The room they gave me smelled musty and I noticed the hallways were dingy and smelled musty also. Maybe they’ve done a renovation since then but I wouldn’t want to stay there again unless I had no alternatives. We paid with points because they were charging over $300 a night for rooms the night we stayed.

  7. Many years ago I volunteered to be bumped from an AA flight out of FCO, as Chicago was limiting incoming due to a snowstorm, and AA was struggling to rebook passengers on other flights.. They offered to upgrade me from economy to J, and give me a free room here, in exchange for delaying my return for a day. I was happy to have an extra free night in Rome, not to mention the flight upgrade, and really liked my room at the Airport Hilton.

    Lately, though, I’ve seen that Trip Advisor is running about 20% poor/terrible on this property, so I was looking forward to your take on it. Unfortunately, you have the Diamond status that both you and Gary tell us is nearly useless, and apparently got upgraded to one of their few decent rooms.

    Recent Trip Advisor reviews, all but the last one being from this week:: “Look for alternatives”, “Only if absolutely have to !!!!”, “Convenient location, understaffed and poor service”, “Terrible! Old, outdated, small rooms, a rip off.”, “Hardwood floors make for a noisy night!”, “Not up to par”, “A shocker”, “Horrible check in…”, “What A Let Down”, “Mayday Mayday staff Training needed urgently ”.

    Apparently this is a tolerable place to stay if one is Hilton Diamond though…. 😉

  8. I stayed here with my sister and her husband a couple of years ago. When we ate dinner at the restaurant, they delivered a basket of bread that contained a half eaten roll. It was totally disgusting, as it implies they are recycling bread baskets. I would never stay there again.

  9. I cannot believe that hotels and airlines do not monitor this site. Those pillows are a joke, you made the point all the other amenities. SMH.

  10. Stayed here a year ago chiefly because we had a very early departure the next morning and I didn’t want to have to worry about getting a taxi or taking a shuttle. The hotel is a bit of a haul but being able to just walk to the airport was worth it.

    Although I am an Honors member, I don’t have any level of status. Having said that, the pictures of the room assigned to Lucky look exactly like ours. Basic and certainly didn’t appear to be an upgrade. Ultimately it was fine for an airport hotel, clean and convenient which I are my priorities in that situation.

  11. @Robert Hanson the extensive breakfast buffet at the restaurant (complimentary for Diamonds) is one place where this hotel really shines. That plus the fact I’ve never heard any noise from other rooms, Diamonds have a dedicated check-in desk to the left rather than at the main counter, and the convenience of being connected to the airport makes this airport property a winner for me (though it is true the beds leave something to be desired).

  12. We stayed here before and unless something changed, they have a serviceable shuttle running to the city that we took advantage of – it’s important to note that this is a positive feature of the hotel. We had just gotten off a cruise so were just passing through after having stayed in the city prior to the boat portion.

  13. I spend 12 weeks a year in Italy and I keep hearing here on OMMAT about the slow WiFi. The last time I recall slow WiFi in Italy was around ten years ago or longer. On the other hand, I stayed at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott last week and I thought their WiFi was a bit sluggish.

    I haven’t stayed at the FCO Hilton lately but it looks (thoroughly renovated) great.

  14. Stayed there last weekend. The check-in line at 8:30 pm had 12 people in it and only 2 desk clerks working. I saw a Hilton Hhonors (I’m also Diamond) sign and went to him but had someone rush past with a “parking problem” that took forever! I was livid by the time I was able to check in but the clerk could not have cared less… When I mentioned it to him, he told it didn’t really take THAT long – okaaaay…

    I’m checking into the HGI Rome Airport tomorrow….we’ll see if it’s better?

  15. No unlimited suite upgrades for diamonds? Perhaps you should bring a laminated copy of the T&C to assault the front desk staff.

  16. What a missed opportunity by the hotel to showcase their evening cocktails collection. Might have been a real highlight. 😛

    I echo Henry’s view: why Meridiana was left out, even though it is a short flight. We could also have some understanding of the domestic lounge situation in Italy, and if priority pass is useful in such situations.

    I find Hilton’s Diamond upgrades a hit and miss. DCS might have something to say about your non-suite, but my latest experience at Helsinki’s Hilton Airport, I can once again say, suites are not easy to come by, even as a Hilton Diamond.

    (@DCS – any tips on Hilton Airports’ Suite upgrades? I even have to pay for early check-ins in the morning, even though I am only there for 24 hours – leaving the next morning!)

  17. @Lucky, I stayed at the HGI Rome Airport a few years ago on arriving in Italy. So we were pretty jetlagged and my most vivid memory is of our EARLY trip to the gym. I remember the hotel being just fine and no lines at the desk. No Diamond upgrade but we were on a points + miles rate that I remember being something ridiculously cheap like 30 euros and 5K miles.

    The only hassle was the shuttle which took forever to arrive at the designated pickup location. We drove right past the Hilton and I thought “should have stayed there.” I feel better about my choice now!

  18. With 40 + years of travelling for business and pleasure…FCO Hilton has the best executive lounge.
    We were in EU for three weeks and stayed at Hilton night before our flight home. We stopped by the club for a glass of wine before dinner.
    We left three hours later after coffee and a sweet.
    Great service.
    Fine amenities.

  19. “Our flight from Sardinia arrived in Rome”

    It would have been interesting to see that trip report, as well as one about whichever airport you used while in Sardinia. I mean, I know the flight itself must have been extremely short, but still. It would be nice to see a review of a short domestic flight in Italy and another airport that doesn’t usually show up in many TRs.

    So I guess this was an average airport hotel.

    It would be interesting to see a list from you Lucky about which were some of the better airport hotels you have stayed, and which were some of the worst.

  20. I’ve stay here a number of times with no problems. Decent hotel with pretty de sent do in options for airport hotel. We what I did there? IT’S AN AIRPORT HOTEL

  21. I’ve stay here a number of times with no problems. Decent hotel with pretty decent dining options for airport hotel. We what I did there? IT’S AN AIRPORT HOTEL

  22. I had a great stay at this hotel during hurricane sandy. When I checked in as a gold I was upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite, that night when I got the word my flights had been canceled to IAD, and I would need to spend at least 1 extra night there the manager let me keep my room but only charged me for the going rate for a regular room.

  23. Wow. Your room looks like a hospital or college dorm with some cheap art and nice furnishings. As for eating at the hotel restaurant … come on! You’re in Italy!

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