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Hotel Sonya or Aberdeen

My wife and I will be staying in Rome for 4 nights in late April after a Sicily and southern Italy tour (not RS). We may have heavier luggage because the tour company handles all luggage during the tour. Both Hotel Sonya and Aberdeen are close to Termini rail station. I have seen both of these hotels discussed on this forum. Does anyone have a reason to recommend one over the other?

Oh, we are familiar with Rome as we were there 5 years ago.

Posted by
3444 posts

Bob, we've stayed at both, and I think you can't go wrong. Our personal favorite is the Aberdeen; we like the ambiance (such as it is) a bit better. But as I've posted elsewhere, when we stayed at the Sonya in 2018 while on the 21 Day Best of Europe tour, the breakfast at Sonya included the best mortadella I have ever eaten. Ever. Anywhere.

So when we were making plans to go to Rome again next year, I was torn - briefly. I opted for the Aberdeen. The street is quieter, for one thing, and the hotel seems just a bit more homey to me.

I will add (just to confuse the issue) that we found several very good inexpensive restaurants just up the street from the Sonya - in the direction of Termini.

The only other hotel we've stayed at in Rome is the Nardizzi Americana, and we were less satisfied with it than will either the Aberdeen or the Sonya.

Posted by
20223 posts

We have stayed in both several times over the years. Wife prefers Sonya because they had better lattes -- if they do, the margin is small as I think both are good. We also like Sonya's location slightly better. Across from the Opera House, around the corner from a street market, and a little closer by a couple of blocks to Termini. These days, we opt for Sonya if space is available.

Posted by
3112 posts

I've stayed at both but prefer the Aberdeen. I think it's partially due to the layout of the hotels. Rooms at the Aberdeen are all connected (and only on two floors) whereas at Hotel Sonya you have to go back out to the building entry lobby and take the stairs or the elevator up to your room. Hotel Sonya is about a 10 minute walk from the train station, so I just walk. For the Aberdeen, I usually take either the #40 bus (1 stop) or the #64 bus (2 stops) from in front of the train station to the first stop on Via Nazionale and then have only a short flat walk to the hotel. With luggage, I find it easier than the 20 minute walk (also not difficult). To return to the train station, I just catch a bus (#40, #64, #170 or #H) on the opposite side of Via Nazionale.

Posted by
20223 posts

......Hotel Sonya you have to go back out to the building entry lobby and take the stairs or the elevator up to your room......
Personally don't think that is an accurate description. You don't go out of the building entry lobby. It is an old apartment building convert to a hotel. The elevator is in the center of the building with the former apartments, now rooms, arranged around the elevator -- somewhat "U" shaped. Granted you step out of the reception/check-in area to access the elevator but not much different than any hotel with an elevator set up. The exterior door to the elevator, reception area is controlled with a night lock and I think the desk is open 24 hours. Personally think it is all very convenient.

Posted by
244 posts

According to Google maps, from Rome Termini traion station to Sonya is 8 minutes and to the Aberdeen it's 11 minutes, NOT 20 minutes.

Posted by
959 posts

If safety is a concern, I don’t think you can be in a safer location than the Hotel Aberdeen. It is located next to Ministry of Defense. We had so many police around our hotel. It was also only two blocks from a Metro Station. The only recommendation I have is to stay on one of the upper floors. The people on our tour that stayed on the lower levels of the Hotel felt a little vibration from the Metro trains more than those on a higher level. The hotel is in a very quiet location so you shouldn’t hear any traffic or pedestrians noise.

Posted by
30646 posts

Bob,

I've stayed at both Hotels Sonya and Aberdeen, and enjoyed my stays at both. If I was planning to book a hotel in Rome, those are the first two that I'd check. Which one to choose would depend on price and availability.

Posted by
3444 posts

Bob, when you contact the hotels, be sure to ask if there's a Rick Steves discount. Sometimes you can get one just by asking, even if you're not on a tour.

And I think Dan is correct about how long it takes to get to either hotel. We usually walk to the Aberdeen from Termini, and I don't recall it taking 20 minutes. I think it might take longer doing public transportation than walking. Of course, one's choice would depend on how much luggage, how tired one is, etc.

Posted by
971 posts

Thank you everyone. No clear cut choice so I guess it will be availability and price.

Posted by
3112 posts

I'm not sure how Google maps measures walking time, but I've walked it several times and it always takes me around 20 minutes between the train coach and the Aberdeen. The bus might not be much (if any) faster, but imo it beats crossing multiple busy streets with luggage. That's why I've come to prefer it, especially when I have a 24-hour or multiple-day bus pass that covers the short ride.

Posted by
5512 posts

I just looked at google and it shows a 12 minute walk from Termini to Hotel Aberdeen, which fits my recollection. I think I would find getting luggage on/off a bus more bother than just rolling it.

Not been to Sonya, but have used Aberdeen and would have no reservations about using it again

Posted by
1981 posts

We don't care for the area and hotels near the Termini. We prefer being near Navona and Pantheon. Stayed in the Aberdeen once and had a very noisy room and our view was a derelict vacant lot. The buffet breakfast was nice but that was the only positive thing about our stay. Don't remember any good restaurants in that area.

Posted by
20 posts

We stayed twice at Hotel Sonya and the rooms were each different, so not a "cookie cutter" hotel. The staff seems to be very helpful and eager to please. There are a couple of very good restaurants just up the street toward Termini station, plus the opera house and the museum at the corner across from the train station. I haven't stayed at the Aberdeen, so Sonya gets my recommendation.