Best for a romantic holiday: Hotel de Russie
On one side of the beautiful Borghese parklands, De Russie’s own courtyard gardens make it one of Rome’s most romantic hotels.
The lowdown: What could you say about the beloved De Russie that hasn’t already been said? There’s no feature of this luxury hotel that hasn’t already been gushed about online by reviewers – or written about by one of its famous guests (the poet Jean Cocteau called it ‘Paradise on Earth’). One of the reasons to rave is the hotel’s so-called ‘secret’ garden which, at 2,800 square metres, is large enough for a game of hide and seek. De Russie is a Rocco Forte Hotels and made Conde Nast’s list of the 20 best hotels in Europe in its Reader Travel Awards 2018 – no doubt for its brilliant concierge, the delight of breakfasting on its upper terrace, and its impressive range of afternoon aperitivo. The small spa on site, with its little saltwater pool, steam room and sauna, is widely acknowledged to be one of the best in Rome.
In the know… Couples will love the romance of this hotel – but De Russie is also very kid-friendly. If you want to take the little ones on your trip, they’ll get their own bathrobe – and even their own turndown service.
De Russie’s courtyard gardens make it one of Rome’s most romantic hotels.
Peace and quiet
Dine on the outdoor terrace at Jardin de Russie restaurant and look up into the mature gardens above: a splendid hidden world filled with citrus and pine trees.£687 ppBook a stay
Best for a convenient city break: Morgana
The Morgana is a popular pad in the city for those who like to spend their days sightseeing. Its convenient location, just five minutes from Roma Termini, makes it perfect for a two or three-night trip.
The lowdown: This four-star hotel is in a bustling area of Rome and is popular with visiting Brits. It makes a comfortable base for a Rome city break. Getting here from both the airport and Rome’s main train station couldn’t be easier, with the Leonardo Express shuttle from the airport dropping you very close to the hotel. Satellite television in the rooms, and English-speaking staff will help you feel at home. A small bar serves drinks with generous helpings of ‘aperitivo’ snacks on the side, and you can fill up on a morning breakfast – a plentiful buffet of hot and cold items. When you’re ready to sightsee, use the Metro; the red and blue lines will take you to many sights with ease. Covered Rome in a couple of days? You could always pop on a train to Naples for a day trip – it’s just over an hour away and trains depart from Termini to ‘Napoli Centrale’ every 20-30 minutes.
In the know… The rooms at The Morgana are various sizes. Some can be on the small side – and the rooms overlooking the courtyard are generally quieter, so make a request if you’re a particularly light sleeper.
Best for cultural experiences: Kolbe Hotel Rome
Normally, having elderly neighbours means you have to curb your fun. But at Kolbe Hotel the elderly neighbours in question are Palatine Hill, the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum.
The lowdown: At this intimate hotel, seeing ancient ruins the moment you open your curtains is a particular highlight; and if you book into a deluxe suite, you can also make like the ancient Romans and soak in your own Jacuzzi bath. It’s not the only historic element of Hotel Kolbe. This former monastery has a lovely courtyard garden with wizened old olive trees, and inside you’ll find original brickwork and stone arches from the 17th century, so you’ll feel very in touch with historic Rome – even whilst enjoying mod-cons in your guestroom. Continental breakfast is served on the patio, looking out over the garden, and you can also dine here in the evenings. Fancy a post-dinner stroll? You’re spoilt for choice – a short walk takes you to Isola Tiberina, the Tiber’s only island. Even closer is Bocca della Verità: the ‘mouth of truth’. Legend has it that you must tell the truth when you place your hand in the mouth of this imposing stone face, else it will get bitten off. Useful if you need to find out who’s been using all the shower gel.
In the know... If you like your hotel to come with its own history, then Kolbe Rome has a story for you. Its unusual name derives from a former resident of the monastery: Father Maximilian Kolbe, who was deported to Auschwitz, where he sacrificed his life to spare another prisoner. He was canonised in 1982 and the hotel has a small chapel and museum in his honour.
Best for the whole family: Crowne Plaza St Peter’s Hotel
A little distance makes all the difference. Being a little way out of the centre of Rome means there’s plenty of space at the Crowne Plaza St Peter’s Hotel – and it’s one of the rare Rome hotels with a pool.
The lowdown: Sit on your balcony and enjoy the gardens: the Crowne Plaza St Peter’s Hotel affords you a bit of peace and quiet in Italy’s busy capital. But the main draw at this four-star hotel is the outdoor pool, open in the summer, which saves you from becoming stifled by the city. In the winter, visitors aged 16 and over can use the spa pool instead. With an accompanying kiddie pool and spacious grounds and gardens – which even include a tennis court – this hotel is ideal for families. But exactly how far out of the centre is it? Well, since the hotel is just south-west of Vatican City, town isn’t walkable. However, the Metro is nearby, as are inexpensive local buses. There’s also a bargain shuttle bus straight to the Vatican. The centre of town is perhaps a 20-minute drive away, accounting for traffic. Directly outside the hotel you’ll also find a taxi rank, plus there’s secure parking on site. If your Rome holiday is part of a longer drive through Italy, this hotel could make a great pit-stop.
In the know… Don’t skip the most important meal of the day; the Crowne Plaza’s Italian and American-style breakfast dishes – a selection of cold cuts and hot food – will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
The frescoes in the Ritz ballroom are a beautiful hidden extra when you book into the St. Regis Rome. This hotel is one of the fanciest in Rome.Book a stay
Simple and central
British Airways customers who have booked this hotel in the past really like Hotel Morgana's great location, modern rooms, and extensive breakfast.£180 ppBook a stay
Best for a luxury Roman holiday: St. Regis Rome
An elegant confection of a building next to a 16th century fountain, St. Regis Rome has emerged triumphant from recent renovations. Its butler service is famously fabulous and it’s one of the best five-star hotels in Rome.
The lowdown: Italians are a stylish bunch, and when one of Rome’s most spectacular hotels announced a multi-million pound renovation, expectations were high. But the St. Regis Hotel didn’t fail to impress when it revealed its facelift at the end of 2018. Its transformed lobby is now all sweetness and light, highlighting the very best Italianate design. The chandelier is Murano; the fabrics, Venetian; the art installations, rotating. In the evenings, staff use these elegant surrounds as the setting for a ‘Champagne Sabering’ ceremony, where everyone gets a glass of sparkling wine. Elsewhere, the Lumen Lounge & Bar serves cocktails in specially-commissioned glassware, and an exquisite afternoon tea featuring perfectly-iced biscuit Vespas. The St. Regis Hotel is famed for its butler service, and discrete concierge is delivered by smartly-dressed staff, who can arrange for the hotel’s courtesy car – a custom-made Fiat 600 Multipla upholstered with brilliantly Baroque fabric inside – to take you on your date to the opera. If you’d rather walk, Rome’s main sights are a 15-minute walk away.
In the know… Before you swan off to your fancy room, have a peek in the hotel ballroom – specifically its amazing ceiling. The frescoes are by Roman artist Mario Spinetti and are a protected feature.
For good-value luxury: H’All Tailor Suite
H’All Tailor Suite is for gourmands, with a Michelin Star restaurant serving a breakfast that will make you abandon your alarm clock’s snooze button. It’s one of the best foodie boutique hotels Rome has to offer.
The lowdown: The classy H’All Tailor Suite is set in the fashionable Flaminio disrict of Rome, just north of the centre. You’re a warm-up jog from the Borghese Gardens and just a stroll from the Piazza de Populo – but before you go shooting off to see the sights, you need to dedicate some time to breakfast: here, it’s the event of the day. The kitchen is large for a hotel of this size – a 130 square metre dream-factory lead by Chef Riccardo Di Giacinto. It was awarded a Michelin star in 2010 and elicits kid-in-a-toyshop levels of wonder from its guests. Clever tasting menus – including vegan and vegetarian versions – are comprised of delicately arranged dishes, including the hotel’s signature carbonara reduction served in an eggshell and a unique savoury tiramisu. If you’d rather have a sweet tiramisu, the hotel’s famous breakfast serves coffee-soaked morsels as part of its tailor-made orders – and your morning can also start with champagne, if you so choose – enjoyed in the garden in summer.
In the know… The modern rooms are wittily designed, with minimalist four-poster beds, and they come with espresso machines and fruit platters. Book the suite and you’ll also get an enormous square whirlpool bath, complete with chromotherapy.
Best for solo travellers: Hotel Regno
This sweet three-and-a-half star hotel in Rome city centre is in the best location for sightseers. Sat right on the Via del Corso, it’s near both the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
The lowdown: When you’re travelling solo you can cover a lot of ground, and Hotel Regno’s excellent location makes it easy for you to tick off every sight in your guide book; you’ll be practically tripping up over the monuments on your doorstep. Energetic travellers could jump up early, run around the block and enjoy a view of the Trevi Fountain without the crowds and still pop back in time for the hotel’s continental breakfast. Walk five minutes the other way and you’ll stumble upon the Pantheon; and right on your doorstep is Rome’s famous Via del Corso, a shopping street that runs straight as an arrow through Rome’s higgledy-piggledy maze of alleyways. The hotel itself is great value for its location. Though there are no surprises with the interior décor – which is traditional and Italianate – you do get some lovely balconies on the rooms on the sixth floor.
In the know… Book a superior room with a balcony. These rooms are higher up, so you can peek out over the surrounding rooftops.
Best for budget travellers: Panama Garden
Panama Garden is a simple hotel with a charming situation on a quiet, leafy street. This good-value hotel is also opposite a large park.
The lowdown: Savour the peace, and save some euros: Panama Garden suits budget travellers who don’t mind popping onto public transport. Whilst you’re a bus ride from most of Rome’s main sights Villa Borghese park is just a 20-minute stroll away. The hotel is enveloped in greenery: bamboo and bougainvillea grow unchecked, and you can dine out on the outdoor patio and inhale the sweet smell of climbing jasmine. There’s a small gym, free WiFi in the lobby and a continental breakfast. All the rooms have personality, and some come with balconies. If you’re on a budget, you’ll know that a little local knowledge can go a long way – and Panama Garden has plenty of local treasures in the near vicinity. There are a number of charming local restaurants tucked in various side streets, and you could brighten your already bright room with a bloom or two from the nearby flower stand. The enormous park on your doorstep has live music in the summer.
In the know… A number of buses run into town from the road around the corner. Buy your ticket at the convenience store (hotel staff will explain how) and take the 63 or the 83 to hit Rome’s central sights.