We're signed up for the RS Southern Italy tour in September 2020, and will be spending 4 nights in Rome prior to the start of the tour. I wasn't thrilled with the online reviews of the first hotel on our itinerary, especially as there were several mentions of ant infestations (which I suspect are limited to a specific room or rooms, but still....). This will be our third RS tour, so I'm familiar with the No Grumps policy, but thought we might be happier if we limited our stay at the tour hotel to the 2 nights on the tour, and stayed somewhere else the first four nights. I'm trying to decide whether to stay at another hotel very near the tour hotel in Trastevere, or to stay in a different neighborhood and get a different feel for the city. Trastevere sounds quite tempting because of the restaurant scene there, and because we could probably move from one hotel to the other on foot. On the other hand, when we did the Eastern Europe tour in 2018, we stayed in the Little Quarter in Prague and then moved to Old Town for the start of the tour, and really appreciated getting a sense of both neighborhoods.
If you've been on this tour, or if you're familiar with Rome, what do you think? Has anyone stayed at the Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere? I've read some very good on line reviews, but always appreciate the input of the folks on this forum, as well. Any suggestions (and your reason for them) are most appreciated!