Ciak Hostel is right up there with Jacobs Inn of Dublin for being one of the best hostels to stay at when you are in Europe. I highly recommend this place if you are ever in Rome……
Here is my review of Ciak Hostel. We took the airport shuttle bus from Fiumicino airport to Termini station. You would think it would be difficult to navigate your way around Termini station but it is pretty easy to get around. The above ground area of the station is where you would catch the trains that would take you to other parts of Italy or other countries if you weren’t flying there. The below ground area of Termini is where you would get the metro to get to other parts of Rome. After taking the bus to Termini, we followed everyone else who was heading into the station and then headed down towards the metro which is by far the easiest metro system I have ever used. Rome only has two lines to get you to any part of the city that you want to see. You will either be using Line A or B and need to figure out which direction you are headed so you will be on the right line. We took the metro to Manzoni which is the closest metro to Ciak Hostel. You need to remember when leaving the metro area that there are different directions you can take to get to the street. You will need to take the Manzoni/San Quintino exit and when you are street level; you follow the street all the way down until you get to Ciak Hostel which is right next to the Chicken Hut. When we left the metro, we had gone in the opposite direction but it was easy to get back on track because we knew Ciak was at 55. We turned back around and headed in the right direction to the hostel. It helped that we ran into two girls who had been staying there and they told us where Ciak Hostel was so we ended up following them towards the hostel.
Upon arriving at the hostel, we had to climb a couple flights of stairs to get to where the hostel is located. We rang the doorbell when we arrived on the floor where the hostel is located and were let into the place. You will need to ring the bell every time you want to enter the hostel when you leave for the day. Reception is open 24 hours a day so you don’t have to worry about how you will get into the building. Check-in went smoothly. We were given keys to the room and allowed to go directly to the room. One thing to know is that someone in your party will need to give some form of identification to use the locker in the room. I gave them my driver’s license which I received back upon check-out. We ended up with a huge locker which was located on the top bunk and I had a lock and key I brought with me from home to lock our things up in it. The beds were comfortable to sleep in and the bathroom was spotless. The only concern with the room is that if you leave the window open at night to get some air into the room then you will get bit by mosquitoes. I didn’t have that problem but my nieces who were sleeping by the window were bitten by mosquitoes and there were new bites on them every morning they would wake up. My suggestion would be to come armed with bug spray and to use the air conditioner that is in the room and keep the window closed at night. Problem solved…..
Breakfast was included in the price of the beds booked for our stay in Rome. Breakfast consisted of cereal, milk, orange juice and bread which you could toast in the toasted that is provided. One thing to note is that the milk is left out on each table in the kitchen area in the morning when breakfast is served. If you are used to cold milk on your cereal then you might want to go around the corner to the market and buy some milk that you can leave in the refrigerator. Remember to put your name on the container of milk and then you will have cold milk when you eat your cereal. Some people might not mind lukewarm milk but I am used to it being cold. Problem solved……
We spent a lot of time in the kitchen area, whether it was cooking pasta for dinner, drinking wine offered to us by Dawn from reception, free pasta nights. Yes, they have free pasta nights which they had on Tuesday and Thursday while we were there. Pretty sure those were the days. And of course, a great place to meet your fellow travelers. We met a lot of people while we were there and had some great conversations around the kitchen table.
I loved how close Ciak Hostel was to metro Manzoni. All we had to do was walk down to the metro, take Line A or B depending where we wanted to go in the city, and then take it back to Manzoni when we wanted to head back to the hostel. Another thing is that across the street from the Manzoni/San Quintino exit is a place to get the best gelato in Rome. I wish I could remember the name of it but it is on the same side of the street as Caffe Miani. Actually it is a couple of shops down from the Caffe. Speaking of Caffe Miani, they had the best pastry so of course I had to stop there almost daily to get my pastry fix while in Rome. Around the corner from them is a shop that has the best cheeses and bread. Of course, another place I can’t remember the name of but I will never forget the bread that had bits of meat in it or the goat cheese. Yummy!! It makes my mouth water just thinking of all these places. I am such a foodie at heart!
There are many reasons why I would suggest staying at Ciak Hostel if you ever have the chance to visit Rome. Cleanliness of the rooms, security (you have to be buzzed in to get to the hostel and reception is right there when you open the door), keys given out to your room so that the only people who have access to your room are the people sharing the room with you, access to the kitchen 24/7 (you can store the food you bought in the refrigerator/freezer, cook meals and meet people from all over the world) and great people who work at reception who make you feel like you’ve known them for years. But one of the best reasons would be LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. In mentioning location, how could I forget that they are extremely close to the Coliseum? You literally walk less than a mile down from them and bam, the Coliseum is right in front of you. An added bonus is that there is a park almost across from the Coliseum where I went to almost every day to walk/jog in while we were staying in Rome. I could see the Coliseum from almost every angle of where I was walking. On top of finding a hostel that will work for you, you need to find one that has the best location!
Even with a few minor glitches i.e. mosquitoes in the room and lukewarm milk for breakfast; I highly recommend this place to anyone going to Rome. I would give it the same rating I gave Jacobs Inn in Dublin and that is 5 stars and 100% rating!
Check it out and tell me what you think of Ciak Hostel if you decide to stay here on your visit to Rome. You won’t be sorry for staying at what I consider the best hostel that Rome has to offer.
Disclaimer – I was not compensated by Ciak Hostel for this review. This is solely my own opinion/experience staying at this hostel while in Rome.