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The Eternal City beckons with an embarrassment of cultural, architectural and culinary riches. Seamlessly integrating millennia of history, a walk around Rome is a feast for the eyes — not to mention a tour through the past. Sites like the Colosseum, Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica and Trevi Fountain enchant, while no visit is complete without a sampling of modern delights: shopping along Via del Corso and Via Cola di Rienzo, a piping-hot slice of Roman-style pizza and a leisurely afternoon spent enjoying coffee or gelato (or both!) in a piazza while watching the world go by. While Rome may seem chaotic, the city is best appreciated while enjoying the Italian concept la dolce far niente — translated as “the sweetness of doing nothing.” Doing nothing in Rome produces memories for a lifetime. Here, the city’s best boutique hotels, including options for those on a budget, business travelers and couples.
Best Overall: J.K. Place Roma
A luxurious 30-room boutique, J.K. Place Roma is minutes from the Spanish Steps and Via Condotti. Designed by architect Michele Bonan and featuring sumptuously appointed and antique-laden rooms and suites, even the entry-level suites offer free Wi-Fi and minibars, balconies with impressive views and LED TVs, as well as welcome Prosecco for guests during check-in. For those in J.K. Master Room suites, there are canopy beds, marble bathrooms with double sinks, hardwood floors, large walk-in closets and separate living rooms. The hotel’s prime location makes it an ideal jumping off point for exploration by foot. For guests wanting a meal before setting out into the city, there’s a J.K. Cafe Lounge, Bar and Restaurant, offering a breakfast buffet in the mornings and Italian cuisine the rest of the day, with a rooftop garden bar slinging cocktails and aperitifs. The hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and participates in the Leaders Club program.
Best Charm: Mario de’ Fiori 37
With nine chic rooms and suites, this hotel occupies two 17th-century palazzos and epitomizes Italian style with Frette sheets, canopy beds, flat-screen TVs, original artwork and Nespresso machines. Even the smaller rooms are spacious, and the 377-foot Rooftop Suite, located underneath the timber beams of the townhouse’s pitched roof ceiling, features a sitting area, nightly turndown, spacious bathroom with rain shower plus tub and free Wi-Fi. Located just off Piazza di Spagna, Mario de’Fiori 37 boasts an unbeatable location in the very heart of Rome, a stone’s throw from the Spanish Steps and the fashionable boutiques along Via Condotti. There’s also a highly-recommended concierge, although travelers note that parking is hard to find.
Best Budget: Campo de’ Fiori
Whimsical design and a romantic atmosphere combine in this charming old-world boutique hotel. Located close to the Campo de’ Fiori piazza and a short walk across the River Tiber from the foodie neighborhood Trastevere, Campo de’ Fiori offers an inexpensive but comfortable place to rest one's head. Travelers experience a visual feast for the eyes, with an eclectic design including antiques, marble, velvet, terracotta tiles and walls sponged in bright jewel tones or lined with elegant wallpaper. While there is no restaurant, stays offer a breakfast buffet of freshly baked bread, yogurt, cheese, croissants, cappuccino, tea and chocolate. Guests can enjoy cocktails or aperitifs on the rooftop garden terrace which offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the city. The helpful, bilingual staff will go out of their way to ensure a perfect stay and are available 24 hours. Although the hotel doesn’t offer laundry, there is a recommended service available nearby.
Best Business: Hotel Cosmopolita
Housed in a 19th-century building mere steps from the Roman Forum, Pantheon and Via del Corso shops, the four-star Hotel Cosmopolita meets all the necessities of a business traveler in a sleek, appealing Roman package. Each of the rooms offers air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, digital TV with premium channels, minibar and a hypo-allergenic parquet floor for those with allergies. While there is no in-house restaurant, there is a restaurant and café connected to the hotel, as well as a rooftop terrace and bar — complete with stunning city views of the Vitorriano Monument and Vatican City — as well as a breakfast buffet. For business travelers, there are two meeting rooms which can accommodate up to 40 people, both Wi-Fi and facility equipped, as well as banqueting and secretarial services available.
Best Luxury: Portrait Roma
Close to the Spanish Steps and just off of posh shopping mecca Via Condotti, the 14-suite Portrait Roma is a luxurious delight with the feel of a lavish private residence instead of a mere hotel. Designed by Italian architect Michele Bonan, the hotel is owned by the Ferragamo family, with stylish touches that prove it. Suites feature art and coffee table books devoted to Ferragamo, and the sleek, modern bathrooms offer Salvatore Ferragamo bath amenities. There’s a private, only-for-guests rooftop bar with cozy chairs, fireplace and stellar views, as well as a fantastic concierge. Both a Lifestyle Team and a Guest Assistance Team cater to every whim, with no request considered too big or small. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Portrait Roma is one of only ten hotels in Italy (and 26 in Europe) awarded a Forbes five-star rating.
Best for Singles: G-Rough Rome
Uber-hip and dripping with character, G-Rough Rome might be the coolest boutique hotel in the city. With only ten suites — each decked out with unique design details curated by Giorgia Cerulli — rooms include original furniture from the 1950s, a separate living area and bathrooms with mosaic floors. The 17th-century property is set just off the Piazza Navona and features original wooden ceilings, a ground-floor bar, excellent concierge service and a vibe that feels like you’ve stumbled across something exclusive. This is the spot for travelers seeking a buzzy scene; those hoping for a quiet, serene stay might be better served elsewhere. Although there’s no restaurant in-house, the concierge will help with bookings around the city. The hotel also has a partnership with SPG, allowing guests to earn Starpoints, nights and stay credit towards elite status, plus on-property benefits.
Best Design: Hotel de Russie
The 86-room Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte hotel, is an impeccable stay located in the shadow of the Borghese Gardens. With a view of Piazza del Popolo, the hotel’s showstopper modern design is a collaborative effort between Olga Polizzi and architect Tommaso Ziffer. A Forbes Five-Star Hotel, the de Russie’s 34 suites manage to be simultaneously opulent yet homey, many with views of the secret garden, marble bathrooms with Roman mosaics and personalized concierge service. All have free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast, and suite guests enjoy a welcome bottle of Italian wine and Mercedes S-class airport transfer. In addition to a small but luxurious spa, those seeking to unwind can relax at the hotel’s restaurant offerings. The Stravinskij Bar is set inside a private piazza and is an ideal place for sipping hand-crafted cocktails, nibbling fresh salads and watching Rome’s beautiful people, while Le Jardin de Russie offers elevated Italian cuisine from two Michelin-starred chef Chef Fulvio Pierangelini.
Best History: The Inn at the Roman Forum
Tucked into central Rome near the Colosseum and the Roman Forum (hence the name), this charming four-story townhouse is chockablock with history. Although it’s been completely renovated, Ancient Rome nerds will delight: there are Roman ruins and a more than two-thousand-year-old crypt on-site offering tours. Full of modern comforts, all guest rooms and suites offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and iPad docking stations, as well as comfortable and luxurious accommodations with stylish décor, marble bathrooms and, in some rooms, Jacuzzi tubs. Although there’s no onsite restaurant, guests will find a free breakfast served either in-room or on the terrace, and guests enjoy free wine and sweets at check-in, as well as during a nightly happy hour. The staff is particularly notable for going above and beyond to help ensure a magical stay.