First impressions of the OP Hotel on Viale Oceano Pacifico in Rome were good. Clean open entrance. Polite efficient reception staff. The bathroom was clean and modern with a bidet, a stylish square wash basin, fantastically large shower head and tiny soap bars in tiny plastic wrappers which are all but impossible to remove without a bit of stabbing from the nearest metal object which, in this case, was my front door key.
The floor in the main room impressed me too as it was made from some kind of matting material which was both solid underfoot without the feet slapping, suction capabilities of polished tiles.
In German and British hotels I have noted that the windows never open more than an inch and I expect that this is because at some date in the remote past someone either jumped or fell. Since that day the health and safety medleocrats have insisted that we live behind glass, protected from ourselves like butterflies nailed to a display case. One may as well outlaw balconies and, for all I know, they have.
By contrast the Italians couldn’t give a stuff if you want to jump out a window and so I swung the window wide and let in the warm September air.
There was, of course, the usual palaver with finding a light switch. Unlike all other buildings, hotels the world over have wall lights activated by switches placed at random throughout the room. The OP Hotel is no exceptions; on either side of the bed were a row of six switches which I slid and pushed in vain because most of them were mere blanks where the rocker switch should be. When I did discover a switch which moved it appeared to do nothing or perhaps a light illuminated on the other side of the room. Annoying as this was, one can’t mark them down for this as it is common to every hotel in the world.
Switching on the TV I played around with the remote control for a while. In the UK we are given the impression that the BBC is something special, renown throughout the world yet more and more I see TV channels from far and wide in foreign hotels. CNN of course but now Russian English language TV with their blatant and repetitive propaganda. Indeed their only program seemed to be about the ill treatment of Russians who’s families had emigrated to Estonia in the days of the Soviet Union.
Unable to find any switch to extinguish the remaining light I pulled the plug out of the wall and went to bed.
The next day I had lunch at a Trattoria named Girasole on Via dei Minatori. My colleagues informed me that a Trattoria is an inexpensive causal restaurant. An excellent idea. The Girasole provides a limited menu of good Italian food at a fair price. It reminded me of The Trevi on Highbury Corner where I used to eat when contracting up in London and if I recall rightly that is run by Italians.
In the evening I discovered the hotel restaurant. Small and functional but more to feed the occasional business traveller than to entertain. The area around the hotel offers very little and the area is obviously still under development. However, a short walk brings one to a large shopping mall. The décor of Euroma 2 may be somewhat gaudy to the Anglo Saxon eye but it has numerous shops and restaurants and free wifi at Re Basilico restaurant. Euroma 2 is listed as being on Via Cristoforo Colombo but there is no need to walk all the way around as a new road cuts directly through to the main entrance.
In twenty minutes to half an hour it is possible to walk to the EUR Palasport metro station which is only a few stops and one Euro from the Coliseum. I took a taxi to EUR Palasport and had dinner in town then got the metro back and walked from the station. It was extremely warm and as I wondered through a small unlit park I noticed people lounging around. Being English I expected these were reprobates but as I approached one greeted me with “Buonasera” and further on I realised that these were mainly couples enjoying the evening. Not just youngsters; a more seasoned gentlemen approaching my own age sat with his legs up chatting with his senorita.
Approaching the OP Hotel I was interested to see various young ladies standing by the roadside on their own or in couples. Enjoying the night air I expect.
Viale Oceano Pacifico, 165
00144 – Rome
Ristorante Pizzeria Girasole
Via dei Minatori, 23 (EUR)
16-18 Highbury Corner,