All roads may or may not lead to Rome, but chances are your vacation to Italy will begin or end there. To make the most of your stay in the Eternal City, be it for a couple of days or for a week or more, location is everything. Basing yourself close to the attractions and neighborhoods that interest you most just makes sense, particularly when virtually every part of central Rome offers luxury accommodations.
We stayed in three hotels in three of Rome’s most fascinating areas. Each neighborhood has its own personality and appeal, just as each of the accommodations does as well. Whether you want modern 5-star indulgence, boutique intimacy or Old World charm, in Rome, there’s a luxury hotel for every taste. And wherever you choose to stay in Rome, have no fear. It’s a highly walkable, compact capital, so you’re never really too far away from any of its top sights.
Hotel Mediterraneo: For ancient Rome & Old World comforts
This 4-star art deco hotel is just steps from Rome’s bustling Termini Station, but you’ll leave that chaotic scene far behind when you glide through these doors. Part of the Bettoja Hotels group, with sister properties next door and across the street, Hotel Mediterraneo imparts all the warmth and comfort of a family-run hotel. Most employees have been there for decades, and they know its rooms and corridors like their own homes. In fact, there’s something beguilingly Wes Anderson-y about Mediterraneo. Its common areas are plush and grand, and retain their original art deco splendor. That’s particularly felt in the bar off the lobby, which looks like it could just as easily host a group of celebrating American GIs, circa 1945, as a group of modern travelers.
Guestrooms and bathrooms are quite large by Rome standards, and fitted with gleaming parquet floors, solid wood furnishings and tall windows that let in plenty of natural light. Minibars, flat-screens, free Wi-Fi and a welcome tray of tea and biscuits are standard amenities, as is a buffet breakfast. Upgraded rooms feature separate sitting areas and ampler bathrooms.
The biggest surprise at Hotel Mediterraneo are the seven palatial suites on the 10th and top floor—taller than most nearby buildings—each with a whirlpool bathtub and roomy, furnished terraces with views over the rooftops of Rome. Some even have views of the distant dome of St. Peter’s Basilica…a dreamy sight no matter how many times you’ve gazed upon it. These ginormous suites are a bargain even in high season, and they are a great value for families.
Besides its convenience to Termini, Hotel Mediterraneo is just a few blocks from Monti, one of the city’s most ancient residential areas, now a slightly bohemian enclave of one-of-a-kind designer boutiques, vintage stores, enotecas, and restaurants ranging from homey to haught cuisine. It’s a great neighborhood for getting a feel for how real Romans live, work and play. Monti also borders the archaeological area of ancient Rome, so from the hotel it’s an easy 20-minute walk to the Colosseum and Roman Forums. – By Elizabeth Heath for LuxeGetaways
Hotel Adriano: For boutique appeal in the city’s heart
In a 17th-century palazzo about equidistant from the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps, Hotel Adriano is a 3-star boutique property that dazzles in the details. Sibling owners Barbara and Pompeo Ricci have created a chic, inviting retreat where the action revolves around The Gin Corner, Rome’s first bar dedicated to the juniper-based liquor, and one of the early players in the city’s craft cocktail scene. The bar is hip, retro and great fun, and several cozy sitting areas set off from it make comfortable places to chat with friends, read or check email. There’s evidence of the building’s 400-year-old history throughout the hotel’s common areas, but especially in the elegant breakfast rooms, with their lofty windows, wood-beam ceilings and gilt touches.
Standard rooms at Hotel Adriano are minimalist and modern, with neutral color tones and efficient, polished bathrooms. As at Mediterraneo, suites here are the best-kept secret; most have separate living rooms with sofabeds—meaning they’re family-friendly—and several offer whirlpool tubs. A handful have furnished balconies and well, there are few things more relaxing or quintessentially Italian than enjoying a bottle of wine while gazing out over the rooftops of Medieval and Renaissance Rome.
The Centro Storico, or historic center, is an enchanting part of Rome, and one that lends itself to wandering backstreets, taking wrong turns and getting delightfully lost on narrow cobblestone streets. It’s one of the most desirable areas of the city, and a great base for exploring some of her great monuments, from the aforementioned Pantheon and Spanish Steps to Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain and Piazza del Popolo. – By Elizabeth Heath for LuxeGetaways
Gran Meliá Rome: For chic urban luxury near the Vatican
Near Vatican City, the Gran Meliá Rome Villa Agrippina by RockStar Hotels is the epitome of luxury accommodations in an elegant and spacious property. Opulence is no surprise here, since the hotel sits on the site of the ancient Villa Agrippina, the home of the mother of Emperor Nero, Rome’s original crazed Rockstar. It is a short walk to Saint Peter’s Square, steps from the Ponte Principe, a bridge over the Tiber River that links you with the ancient marvels of Rome including the Colosseum, and just 15 minutes from the Piazza Navona.
There are many luxury hotel choices in Rome, that’s why you’ll be pleased to find RockStar Hotels. Their carefully selected and personally inspected collection of boutique properties makes booking seamless. They represent only the most unique hotels who have made a deep commitment to guest service. Book your stay on the RedLevel for special VIP privileges; described by Gran Meliá as “luxury without limits.” A favorite is the in-room menu of aromatherapy sprays offered. Select the scent you like and staff will come while you are away to spray essential oils in your room. It is heavenly to return from a day wandering the busy streets of Rome to a cool, elegant room or suite with the light scent of orange blossoms or lavender. Pop into the private RedLevel Lounge for an Aperol Spritz and enjoy aperitivo like the Italians do. RockStar Hotels are individually selected for sophistication, unique worldwide locations, and the highest level of hospitality. Your membership with RockStar Hotels will open doors to exclusive experiences and a customized travel guide for your destination written by local experts and those in-the-know. You’ll also receive an 8% cash rebate when you book through RockStar-Hotels.com. So why not join?
Rooms here are pure Italian elegance. Silky drapes pool on the wood floors. Important paintings found throughout Rome have been copied and blown up to a large scale creating romantic focal points over the supremely comfortable beds dressed in the best linens. Premium Rooms have a huge round tub which is enclosed in glass and perfect for two. If you are so inclined, in RedLevel order a customized bubble bath with floating red rose petals to await you. The Emperor Penthouse and Wellness Suite RedLevel has an expansive terrace and is the ultimate Rome experience. Have your breakfast cappuccino there or wander down to the bright restaurant before your spa date at Spa My Blend By Clarins, or a leisurely swim in the pool. Gran Meliá is a Spanish hospitality company with a lovely tradition at every Gran Meliá destination. She is the Lady In Red: each guest is welcomed by a beautiful woman dressed in red, who is also your personal concierge. And for any experience level, Gran Meliá “Red Glove” service is at your disposal. As a resort-style oasis in Rome, Gran Meliá Rome Agrippina is an opulent choice and RockStar Hotels is the way to book your luxury experience. – By Michelle Winner for LuxeGetaways