I visited Ciao Roma with a friend when we were in Rome as part of a larger tour of Italy. We booked the hostel purely because it was so cheap, so we didn't exactly have high expectations, and for our needs it was fine. We had a room with a double bed and an en suite (but tiny) bathroom.
The standard of cleanliness was extremely disappointing - the shower drain was backed up so every time we had a shower the bathroom flooded and brought up the considerable amount of dirt on the floor. Plus I didn't trust the sheets which had some odd stains, but after a long day trekking around Rome that didn't really seem to matter.
The other disappointing thing was the lack of any decent air conditioning, which is a big problem if you're visiting Rome in August! There was a switch for the air conditioning but it had a big "Out of Order" sign on it, and when we asked the staff we were told that there were no plans to fix it, but we could use the fan provided in the wardrobe. The fan was filthy, like everything else in the room, but we were so hot we were grateful for anything we could get!
We had no problem sleeping because we were always so tired after our long days out, but we had to leave the windows open to tempt in some non-existing breeze, and the noise from the bars and pubs in the area was very loud. Plus there was a homeless guy who hung around in the street outside the hostel, collecting bottles, and one night he decided to smash all his bottles on the surrounding cars. When he ran out of bottles he started just kicking the cars instead. I guess he was bored, but it made an almighty racket!
Anyway, for backpacking gap year students like me and my friend, this hostel is all right, but definitely not the best we stayed in during our Italy trip. For anyone else, it would be awful. So I would not recommend it!
We booked a room for 4 persons in Sept 07. The room is actually quite small. Hardly any walking space in the room. There's actually ensuite toilet/shower room. However, it is on the ground floor and we can hear people walking by. There's airconditioning in the room, so good for Rome summer when it can be so hot. For the amount we paid €40, it is actually quite worth it! It is near Termini Station (about 5-10mins) walk. In the morning, there is a market on the adjacent road. For budget travellers, it is recommended.
I don't know how to start this review... Well, I can say that the staff is really confused. Starting with my telephone calls to confirm my reservation. The tel number was from something like "backpackers", wich seems to be the hostel's office (not only ciao roma, but others also). They weren't able to give me a secure answer...
Getting there, no one could say what my room was, and they put me in a bedroom that was not the one I had made reservations. It was better, that's true, because it had private bathroom (and of course we payed the same price). The fact is that we (me and a friend) should stay in a 3 bed mixed room, so we knew that we could have someone else in the room, but in this other room, there were 4 beds, and i told the staff that I was worried that they would decide to put 2 more people there, because we have payed more too have more silence in the room, so we would only accept one more person there, etc.... They said "don't worry, you are right", but what wasn't our surprise when we found 2 guys in the other 2 beds? And what could we do at that time? They didn't even tell us about our new room mates...
Well ok, let me talk about the hostel now: it's a nice small place, good localization, in terms of catching buses and subways or go walking to some main atractions. The staff is nice, but, as I said, not well organized. Another problem some of the guys speak a terrible english, really hard to understand (and, people should know that in Italia they love to speak english, even if you speak italian...). Another thing that --- me off was that in the morning they would knok severall times at our door to wake us up (but we had never asked them to do so). And they also have a lock out that we didn't know about.
Well, maybe these are normal problems, and I cannot say that I would never get back there. You just have to be prepared for the unconveniences...
So we get there after taking a long train in and they tell us we are being upgraded to another place because they were overbooked. So, after trekking to the hostel, they send us back to the train station (where we origionally came into) and did not reimburse our fare. Thanks for the email letting us know of the change in plans...no ahead notice. Then we get to this terrible place called Ciao Roma...we learn we dont get included breakfast and dinner as was stated through Happy Days and that they stick us in a room that does not even lock. we had to shut the door with a chair...so when we left during the day, our room was wide open. We didnt get what we payed for and didnt stay where we booked it. The hostel was crap, the room smelled, and they were highly unprofessional. They also screwed over another couple who arrived with us at Happy Days and sent them with us to Cia Roma. They requested a private room private bath and they booked the room that they requested 3 weeks prior to somebody else without even telling them. And, the people who run Ciao Roma are never there and when we needed to pay they said they would get their in the morning...the failed to show. As a result of waiting for them, I missed seeing the Vatican. No Food. No service. No Professionalism. No Honesty...some freaking upgrade. Stay here if you like being cheated out of your money. If your sensible, go elsewhere.