Situated just a couple of minutes walk from Manzoni metro station (itself only two stops on from Termini), San Jouan Guest House is well located for anyone keen to be close to the Colosseum – easily reachable for guests on foot.
After making an advance internet booking for a double room (at the price of 50 euros per night), I was sent clear directions to the Guest House, along with my confirmation e-mail. These were useful as it is tucked away on a fairly quiet side-street. However, it’s not hard to find once you know where you’re going, and the area felt safe and serene compared to the hustle and bustle that some of Rome’s other tourist destinations present.
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Polite Peruvian owner Nestor made me most welcome upon my late-afternoon arrival at San Jouan, showing me around his modestly sized, but modern and stylishly decorated accommodation. At my instigation, he spoke to me in Spanish, although, of course, he’s also fluent in Italian and English. The dark wooden fittings, cream coloured walls, and array of curious carvings, sculptures, and paintings give a definite nod to his Andean homeland, yet lend the rooms and communal areas a tasteful and calming feel. A cobbled courtyard with potted plants and outdoor tables is a nice touch, as is the reception area where Nestor has set out comfy sofas around a large glass table spread with various magazines and guides to Rome. There is a computer here, from which guests are able to gain free high-speed internet access. However, those with laptops will find that wi-fi access is available throughout the premises. Guests can help themselves to tea, coffee and chilled bottled water from the reception area, too, although plentiful water is supplied in the mini-fridges in each room.
My room itself was certainly spacious and comfortable (all rooms are air-conditioned) and, although small, I was very happy with the en-suite bathroom and its contemporary fittings and power shower. Had I wanted to, I could have watched Sky or cable TV from my room (again, all the rooms have this). However, after switching it on briefly to catch the news, I forsook it to focus on Rome’s many attractions. With all the same facilities, I am aware that San Jouan also has a larger suite available with a private garden area for those seeking more space.
Breakfast (included in the price of your stay at San Jouan) is offered in a bar just around the corner, and it is provided on receipt of a ticket handed out upon check-in. It is available between 7am and midday. Orange juice and coffee, plus a pastry or sandwich, make it simple fare but adequate and authentic. It was nice to start the day, as most Romans do, in a typical local setting like this.
Nestor was perfectly happy to safeguard my luggage the next day when I went sight-seeing prior to my evening flight (check-out is at midday). He was also very helpful with regards to offering information about local transport and amenities (for example, suggesting a good local restaurant, and informing me that, as a guest, I could use a nearby leisure centre’s pool and gym for 10 euros a day). I left contentedly assuring him that I would rate San Jouan highly in terms of comfort, cleanliness, location and warmth of welcome. I would certainly consider staying again were I to return to Rome and was pleased to find an e-mail in my inbox from Nestor and Stefany (San Jouan’s other member of staff) a couple of days later offering me a 10% discount on my next booking. I would definitely recommend San Jouan as great value to anyone seeking good quality accommodation in Rome in this kind of price bracket.
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Many thanks to F.R. for this B&B review and photographs