Like any popular tourist city, Rome is filled with a staggering range of hotel options. From five-figure-per-night luxury suites to tiny rooms with shared bathrooms, every neighborhood seems to have a variety of choices. I tend to like luxury boutique properties and the city sure has a few great ones. These are small luxury hotels, connected with or owned by larger corporate brands and hotel groups, in great local settings. Whether it’s a balcony overlooking the Borghese Gardens or a shower with a Colosseum view, they all provide unique experiences not possible when staying in a large property or a generic corporate hotel. Here are three great luxury boutique hotels in the Eternal City:
Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George
Part of the IHG family of hotels (the same company that owns InterContinental, Holiday Inn and a bunch of other great brands) Hotel Indigo is one of the company’s lifestyle boutique hotel brands. The properties are always very local and cool, yet they retain the high standards of service and quality accommodations IHG is known for. The Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George sits on tiny Via Giulia in the heart of Rome’s historic core. Only a few minutes walk from the Vatican, Trastevere and other iconic areas, the historic building boasts very stylish and very new accommodations and some great amenities.
I had a very cool junior suite with two large living areas. One wall in the bedroom and one in the bathroom were covered with large Renaissance art prints. This hotel also had two amazing guest amenities. The first was a complimentary mini-bar (available to suite-level guests), replenished on request. It had two beers, a few Cokes, some juice, water and some snacks. The other incredible amenity was that the room came with a free mobile phone. A free mobile phone with unlimited free local and long distance calls (to six different countries). Not only you could call for free, the phone (a Samsung branded Handy, the company that supplies the phones) had free 3G/4G data. You could log into your social media accounts and use the phone like any other.
Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese
What happens when you take a French luxury hotel brand and put in the heart of the Italian capital? Magic happens. The Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese puts guests in the heart of both ancient and modern Rome. A few steps from the iconic Spanish Steps, you’re also only a few steps from serious shopping on Via Veneto.
The Sofitel’s rooms and suites have beautiful views across the Borghese Gardens and the skyline of Rome. The rooftop terrace restaurant also has amazing views of the city, all the way to the dome of St. Peter’s. I had a nice room with a large balcony, allowing me to see the gardens on one side and a long way down Via Lombardia to the other side.
Do you love the Colosseum? Like, really, really love the Colosseum? Then a stay at the Palazzo Manfredi is what you need. A beautiful boutique property, part of the Relais & Chateaux luxury group, Palazzo Manfredi has the distinction of being right across the street from the Colosseum. The only thing between the hotel and the iconic monument are the ruins of Ludus Magnus, the gladiator’s training center.
Foodies will enjoy having a Michelin-starred restaurant on-site. Aroma tantalizes guests with a delicious menu, extensive wine list and jaw-dropping views of the Colosseum right from your table. I stayed in a very stylish and cool room with an amazing view of the Colosseum from my window. Yes, I could even see it from my bed. The very modern bathroom had a large shower with its own window on the monument, allowing me to enjoy the view while showering. Although the room lacked a work desk, the style and design was very contemporary and modern, more like a luxe apartment than a hotel room.