Hotel Mascagni Rome - BEWARE



I feel I have a responsibility to my readers to tell them of my experience and WARN them about booking a stay at the Hotel Mascagni in Rome. I wrote about my trip to Rome and my anticipation in staying in this hotel (see the post here) This Hotel came recommended to me by a client and, although I was satisfied with my stay, I am extremely unsatisfied with the way they handled my booking and their discounting of room rates via the Internet . I booked this Hotel online 3 weeks prior to my arrival In Rome and two nights before I was set to arrive I went online to send an email to the Hotel to confirm my reservation, and to my surprise I found that the room rate had been discounted ENORMOUSLY!!! In my email to the Hotel I brought this to their attention and requested the new "lowest available price". This request was ignored by the Hotel in their email reservation confirmation back to me. When I checked into the Hotel, I again enquired about the lower rate posted on the Internet, and I was told to talk to the Manager the next morning. Well for the next three mornings the Manager was not available and finally upon check-out I again requested to speak to Mr. or Ms. Manager, but this time I clarified it by saying that I would not finalize my bill WITHOUT speaking to Mr. or Ms. Manager. Miraculously Mr. Manager appeared. When I requested the lower Internet pricing that was available before the time of my check-in, I was told it was not available..... It seems that they have RULES (that are curiously not posted on their web-site), and as I apparently did not know "THE RULES", I was out of luck and out of pocket. I was told that THE RULES are:- "I should have canceled my reservation for the higher rate on-line and re-booked at the lower rate on-line"! This would have put me,the customer, in a precarious position of traveling to a foreign country and not knowing for sure if I would indeed be able to re-book my room. I expressed my dissatisfaction with this Unwritten and therefore Secret RULE, but was met with a blank stare and silence!! It was like I was being dismissed by Meryl Streep in the movie: The Devil Wears Prada" with a curt "That's All"!

So I would like to duly warn all of you readers of my Blog:


In North America I am used to booking rooms online and being guaranteed the "best available rate". But dear reader, please beware that this does not Apply for the Hotel Mascagni in Rome.


Patricia Gray writes about Interior Design inspirations, emerging trends, and the world of Design. 
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  1. I know the experience. I had something similar to this in Rome and had the same blank "take it or leave it look". It is very frustrating and can affect your whole stay no matter how good the hotel is. Thanks for the tip.

  2. albarosa simonetti12/8/08

    I really think it is better to use Travel Agents and their knowledge. Booking online seems easier or less expensive but then you are on your own (airline companies going under, terrorist attacks, unpredictable circumstances...if you have a Travel Agent they will deal with refunds, complains, bring you home, re-book your cancelled flight, etc.)
    Many times I know exactly where to stay or what flights I need and the best rates online but I still have my Agent deal with the booking and compete. If am not satisfied at my return I know she has a better chance to be heard than me.
    Having said that I went recently to San Francisco with the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver (CASV) to visit private and public collections and the hotel was booked at a group rate, I believe online.
    I noticed, while there, that the rate online went down and I talked to the manager...no way he would honour the lowest rate!
    Different continent, same hidden rules.

  3. Hi Albarosa
    You're absolutely right about using a travel agent, but sometimes the convenience of booking on-line is what works at the time. I usually stay at the Sheraton or Westin Hotels in North America for business and they always give the lowest rate. You need to be a savvy traveler now a days.

  4. Mary Jo12/8/08

    I love your blog and followed in your footsteps, “enviously”, as you shared your Italian journey. What happened in Rome was heinous and the typical shell game of prey on tourists. Thanks for sharing the experience and I assure you I will not put Hotel Mascagni on my travel agenda!!

    Thanks for a remarkable blog that is enjoyed by many!!!!

  5. Hi Mary Jo
    I thought I owed it to my readers to make them aware of the pitfalls of travel to a foreign country.
    I have a few more I will share in due time.
    Thanks for your kind words!

  6. Hi Qerat
    You're right sometimes things like this can affect your stay and the sad things is that it is not the fault of the staff at the Hotel as they were all very charming.

  7. Thank you for informing us about the strange hidden rules. I can only guess it may be more common in Italy, to where I am off at the end of October to celebrate "half a century". So I will definately be cautious while making my bookings, on line etc...thanks Ingela

  8. OMG, that's too bad Patricia! Thanks for sharing your story. I make out okay when I booked a hotel in Rome on my Italy trip, but was completely dissatisfied with my hotel in Venice (my hairdresser whose from Italy told me don't worry, any hotel in Venice is clean and safe), well that is not true, and that's all I'll say!

    Sorry you had to go through that, but hope you still had a great trip!


  9. Diane13/8/08

    First of all, thank you for your wonderful blog. I loved your "camera eye" as you shared your photos of your trip - very inspiring, and as always your sense of design comes through loud and clear in your pictures. Glad I am not the only one who would rather take a picture of a doorway than another tourist spot!
    To comment on your hotel experience in Italy, I wonder if this case was a last minute rate reduction to get rid of empty rooms? I can only surmise, but it is common practice to discount last minute bookings, much like the old practice of flying at the last minute. If you want the security of a reservation a month out, then the rate is likely to be higher than a last-minute booking, but then you know you have a room. I honestly don't think it is out of the norm here either. However, I agree that the "manager" should have handled your situation in a smarter way than what happened. You know what they say about one unhappy customer - in your case, you have told a lot of people about the bad customer service you received!

  10. I hope you have complained to the owner of the hotel. Often they are unaware of what is really going on in their hotels. I'm not saying it was a scam...but..

  11. just wanted to let you know that you are the blog of the week on elizabeth anne designs this week!

  12. is it the european thing... when i was in london it was very similar.

  13. That is absolutely awful! I can only imagagine your frustration! We all travel and know how to handle our bookings onlinequite well, so for them to be so pompous needs to be noted. The way they behaved was atrocious! They should either refund your stay or at the very least the difference between the lowest available when you booked and the lowest when you checked out! I am apalled!

  14. What a mess. I just don't understand this lack of customer service. Would it have killed them to have given you the lower rate. And now look......every time someone googles this hotel, they will find this blog post. How very silly, SILLY, of the hotel. They should know better. I am afraid they deserve the consequences.

  15. Hi Ingela (love your homes)
    Have a wonderful October in Italy celebrating your "half a century".

  16. Hi Kate
    There's nothing worse than a bad Hotel experience when travelling! All in all this experience was a tiny blip, but I hope I can help illuminate the pitfalls to other travellers.

    Hi Diane
    Thanks for your comment and I am like you that I don't like to take pictures of the typical tourist sites. As for the Hotel, yes it was probably last minute discounting of the rooms, which I don't object to. What I objected to was that I was not told the rules until way too late in the game and I did not receive good service in the Hotel until I told them I wasn't going to pay my bill without talking to the Manager. I don't think having to threaten is a good way to get a response.

  17. Hi H of B&C
    I wish I could find out who the owner of this Hotel chain is to talk to them...but unfortunately it is a large and convoluted machine. Maybe the google rating on this post will cause someone at the top get in touch with me about it.

  18. Hi Elizabeth Ann Designs

    Hi Savvy Mode
    Well it maybe the "european thing", but it is not the "correct thing". It is setting a very bad standard for Internet Bookings

  19. Hi Charlie
    I am apalled too. That is why I wrote this post. Which I have never done before. My Blog is about design not problems. All I wanted was to be listened to and something to be done to rectify the situation to my satisfaction.

  20. Hi Maryam
    Exactly....you have said it very well.

  21. Barbara19/8/08

    Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful experiences,takes out the sting for those who were "homeward bound".How heavenly your trip sounds, despite the internet booking. I love all things Italian!

  22. Hi Barbara
    Thanks for reminding me, and I am so thankful for ALL my experiences in Italy. It is a very beautiful country and the Italians are so friendly.

  23. Anonymous27/8/08

    Thanks for your wonderful series on your Italian trip. I know how irritating something like this hotel scam is, but I know you won't let it ruin your memories. In the meantime, if you feel like it, go to Tripadvisor.com and review the hotel there. Might as well let a wider audience know that there are secret rules.......
    best, Gretchen

  24. Hi Gretchen
    That's good advice. I'll head over to Tripadvisor rigth now.

  25. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  26. I appreciate the labour you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.


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