An insider's guide to the best boutique hotels in Rome, including the top places to stay for stylish rooms, rooftop bars and delicious breakfasts, in locations near to the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna.
This 14-suite bolthole, a short sashay from the Spanish Steps, is one of the city’s most stylish luxe options, lent panache by Michele Bonan’s tasteful contemporary-retro design scheme. It is suave and very private: think of it as a high-class residence rather than a hotel. When they say suites, they mean suites: even the entry-level 'superiors' are spacious. The discreet service, courtesy of a dedicated ‘lifestyle team’, is unparalleled – as is the cachet of the guests-only rooftop bar.
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• The best hotels in Rome
Mario de’ Fiori 37
Mario de' Fiori 37 is extraordinarily well placed in the very centre of Piazza di Spagna’s buzzing shopping area, making it ideal for those looking to fill up their suitcases with Gucci, Prada, and other Italian favourites. It oozes effortless Italian style: there are nine rooms and suites, each supersized with luxury details like large, Frette linen-laden and canopied beds, televisions, and hidden bathrooms (which are remarkable for the lovely Bisazza tiles and layout efficiency). The interior garden is a hanging ‘greenery’ of plants that was once an inner courtyard walkway connecting the two palazzi.
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G-Rough is molto, molto urban hipster: walk-in with trousers cut a bit too short, a braided beard and the latest issue of Monocle and you’ll blend right in. That said, the design scheme, curated by Giorgia Cerulli, will appeal to anyone who appreciates adventurous modernism. With its intimate service, trendy ground-floor bar and tall, two-suites-per-floor groundplan, there’s something very clubbish and insidery about the place. The rooms juxtapose pared-back shell and classy Italian design. It’s in a cute little square set just back from Piazza Navona.
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If you’ve ever wanted to live like a reigning contemporary Roman family, Villa Laetitia is the address. The Liberty-era villa, acquired by Fendi clan sister Anna, is a Belle Epoque time piece, a secluded urban retreat and a lovely balance of artisan hotellerie, haute design and epicurean attentiveness. The luxury villa’s 21 rooms are located in both the villa and its fully-restored 1910s garden. Family and friends are the main themes in each room – the main villa’s Adele room is a minimalist homage in 1910s wooden furniture to original Fendi matriarch Adele.
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• Romantic Rome hotels
This is the Italian dream, especially if that dream means acute style-acumen and normcore-chic. Each CasaCau 'Interior', as the apartments are called, are breezy open-spaces with contemporary furniture and art pieces, all which belie the palazzo’s Baroque façade. The open-space format includes an eat-in kitchen and bedroom/living room with king-sized beds. CasaCau is the nexus of all activity in Rome—from culture and history, to shopping and food. The Trevi Fountain and art collections of Palazzo Barberini and Palazzo Colonna are a mere five-minute walk away.
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'Home away from home' is an overused phrase but it’s one that exactly catches the charm of this four-room hotel, hidden away in a cobbled cul-de-sac in Rome’s centro storico. Casa Fabbrini occupies all five floors of a cute 16th-century townhouse which has been converted so as to give it an air of contemporary chic while preserving original features such as worn stone stairs and wood-beamed ceilings. Retro design pieces and cool industrial lighting mix it up with jazzy fabrics and colourful ceramics.
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- Top 10: romantic Rome hotels
The chic, pied-a-terre vibe of Babuino 181 is key to its top ranking as one of the city's best and most discreet hideaways in the very epicentre of contemporary Rome. The intimate vibe is emulated in Babuino 181’s Back-to-the-Future décor. Original ornament details, such as the townhouse’s restored marble staircase and cast-iron railing, and Art Deco reproductions intermingle with contemporary art and photographs. The 14 rooms and suites are dreamy hideouts of Frette linens, king-sized beds, and comfortable couches.
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The Fifteen Keys
Not just for urban hipsters, this charming, full-service towhouse hotel has finally given the villagey Monti district the classy accommodation option it was waiting for. You need to ring the bell to gain admittance to this tall, pale-cream-hued townhouse, which owners Sara Ferrajoli and Vincenzo Mirisola di Torresanto have converted, with the help of architect Antonio Girardi, into an utterly charming urban refuge with a cool retro feel – in look as much Paris or London as Rome. Grown-up colour schemes, 1950s-style armchairs and vintage light fittings set the tone of a cool insider address for plugged-in independent travellers.
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Nerva Boutique Hotel
Absolutely charming. That’s the overriding impression left behind by a stay at this cute, friendly three-star hotel which nestles right up against the Forum in the funky district of Monti. Rooms are more five-star than three, with chic check prints, vibrant colour schemes and furnishings by Dedar, Gervasoni and other Italian style-blazers. All have air-conditioning and TVs. Nerva is famous for its generous breakfasts, which includes fresh fruit, homemade jams and cakes, top-quality cheeses and cold cuts.
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Spagna Royal Suite
Be wowed by three floors of 34 uniquely decorated deluxe doubles and designer suites, each of which has a different theme. One suite has a mosaic mural of a woman sleeping and another, a mosaic bathtub in the form of a shoe. The design concept here is 'there are no unattainable dreams, only hidden desires' with trees that change colour and come out of the walls in a surreal indoor botanical-oasis secret world of sorts. Original frescoed ceilings and four-poster beds draped in gold silk means you wake up in style.
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• Top 10: hotels in Rome city centre