Rome is as a unique a destination as any you’re likely to visit, so it makes sense that to make your stay complete, your accommodation should match up to the magic of the Italian capital. But with over 20 million tourists a year, choosing a place to stay can be overwhelming. Rome being Rome, many hotels are housed in converted palazzi and other ancient buildings, and from afar it can be difficult to distinguish a gem from a dive. So we’ve surveyed our Italy office and docent network to boil down the most interesting hotels and apartments in Rome, from boutique boltholes to quirky living quarters. We believe that to truly experience a place, accommodation should accentuate its spectacular history, architecture and culture, rather than shield you from it. This is the Eternal City, after all.
An Art Deco gem in the very heart of the city, Hotel Locarno manages to pull off its excess of gold leaf with tasteful design flourishes and a pretty roof terrace with spectacular views. Built in 1925 by a noble Venetian family, the building is located just steps away from the Piazza del Popolo, within walking distance of sites like the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. via della Penna 22
Housed in an ancient palazzo dating back to the 1600s, the DOM is a new five-star hotel with the atmosphere of an old stately home, yet an unmistakably contemporary flair. The character of the building is maintained through features such as exposed brickwork, wooden ceilings and 16th century inscribed marble. Yet the place is achingly hip, with contemporary art adorning the walls and a roster of compelling events. Tucked on Via Giulia, away from the main tourist trail, the DOM is perfect for those looking for a side of Rome that locals love. via Giulia 131
Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel
Built in the 17th century by none other than Francesco Borromini, a leading light in Roman Baroque architecture, the Donna Camilla Savelli started life as a monastery. Today, after painstaking renovation, the building has been transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel, that nonetheless retains some of the unique and historic features of its former manifestation. Focused around a central courtyard in original monastic style, rooms fuse ancient with modern features such as exposed wooden beams and antique furnishings. Situated in the Trastevere area, the hotel is a picturesque 10-minute walk from the Vatican along the River Tiber. via Garibaldi 27
This 15th century convent has been tastefully refurbished and now stands proud amid the historic centre, within walking distance of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. The hotel has been true to its medieval roots, with exposed vaulted ceilings providing a backdrop for contemporary design flourishes. The garden, awash with orange, lemon and olive trees, provides a serene sanctuary from the chaotic charm of surrounding Rome. via di San Teodoro 48
The Beehive is a true anomaly in Rome. Stylish, contemporary accommodation without the pricetag. A warm welcome is guaranteed, thanks to owners Linda & Steve, longtime friends of ours here at Context from the time when we were first getting established back in 2002. Simple, spacious rooms come with or without private bathrooms, and there’s also offsite, private guest rooms nearby, with common areas for socialising and communal self-catering kitchens so you can shop and cook like a local. Located just a couple of blocks from Termini train station, the Beehive also has a cafe serving freshly baked bread, organic coffee and vegetarian meals a few times a week. via Marghera 8