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Rome has been hosting visitors for more than a millennium. So it should come as no surprise that the city is full of places to accommodate them. From monastic quarters that offer basics and a curfew to luxury suites in former palaces, Rome has the full range of lodgings. Of course, some Rome hotels are better than others.
One thing to note is that Rome has a very short off-season. Spring brings Easter pilgrims. Summer, which starts as early as mid-May and lasts until the end of September, is packed with international visitors. And December sees a boom as tourists pour in to see Rome and Vatican City at Christmastime. It is far easier to find a deal and a vacancy in January, February, October or November.
Here are our recommendations for where to stay in Rome. All have free Wi-Fi and breakfast unless otherwise noted.
Federico Fellini, Pablo Picasso and many other artists have called Via Margutta home over the years. It has been a favorite street for artists since the 17th century, and there are still numerous painters, sculptors, jewelers and leather craftspeople working in studios along it. This exclusive boutique hotel at No. 54 is also housed in converted artist workshops centered on a private courtyard. The lively but luxuriously decorated rooms inspire creativity while offering ample room to stretch out, work or relax. Sister hotels Babuino 181 and Mario de’ Fiori 37 are equally pleasant and have the same level of style and service.
For those looking for accommodations within walking distance of the sites of ancient Rome, Fortyseven Hotel offers an elegant respite from the ruins. Rooms are cozy, decorated minimally in muted tones befitting the Roman palette, and contemporary artwork from famous Italian artists hangs throughout the property. But the rooftop terrace and restaurant are Fortyseven’s main calling card. Here, you can dine or have an aperitif while watching the sun set over the Temple of Vesta and Forum Boarium.
Six spacious but sparsely furnished suites and 1 apartment (which is on the ground floor with its own entrance and kitchenette) make up Mood 44, discreet accommodations in the heart of the center of Rome. Situated on a small alley around the corner from Parliament, roughly halfway between Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps, Mood 44 feels like staying at the pied-à-terre of a fashionable friend. The rooms’ separate living room and bedroom areas and quiet location make it ideal for business travelers.
Francesco Borromini, the architect who designed the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone in the Piazza Navona, also designed the 17th-century convent that now houses this elegant, 76-room Trastevere hotel. The hushed ambience of the former religious structure is still evident in the elegantly appointed rooms, along with the long, vaulted hallways and immaculately maintained garden. Stroll among the property’s flowers and fruit trees or meander over to Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, this old Roman neighborhood’s main square. Also nearby are the botanical gardens and Villa Doria Pamphilj, both of which are worlds away from the bustle of Rome. (Free Wi-Fi in the public areas only.)
Round beds with silk and velveteen covers can mean only one thing: Suite Sistina is for lovers. The exclusive boutique hotel goes even further to encourage romance by placing in each suite a modern, stand-alone tub within sight of the bed. Despite this setup, Suite Sistina isn’t tawdry, thanks to other elements such as mosaic tile floors, exposed-brick archways, Bang & Olufsen sound systems and iPads in every room, and clean, minimalist accent furniture. Room service is available (of course), and other services, such as massages and personal drivers, can be arranged by the concierge.
The latest name in hotel luxury is D.O.M., opened at the end of 2013 by Rome-based architect Antonio Girardi. The name comes from Deo Optimo Maximo (“To God, the best and greatest”), a Latin phrase commonly found in churches throughout the city, as well as on the 400-year-old flagstones inserted into this hotel’s walls. The stones are a nod to the fact that D.O.M. was built inside a renovated 17th-century convent. But they are also there to affirm that D.O.M. is worthy of praise. Every detail, from its coveted address on the Via Giulia to Frette linens to the richly outfitted, speakeasy-inspired bar, combines to create an opulent but thoroughly modern property. This one is splurge-worthy. (Free Wi-Fi in the public areas only.)
My article, Where to Stay on a Roman Holiday, was originally published on travelchannel.com