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In some cities, budget hotels are synonymous with soulless chains and basic motels, but the Eternal City is an exception, with some of the best-rated and most atmospheric accommodation options under €100 (approximately $115) a night. From renovated 16th-century monasteries to turn of the century palaces, historic buildings all over the city pair affordable rooms with a more genuine insight into Roman culture than many luxury brands can offer. Choose one of these and spend the money you’ll save on Colosseum admission tickets, mouthwatering meals in Campo de Fiori, or a shopping spree in Monti’s bohemian boutiques.
Best Overall: Hotel Santa Maria
On TripAdvisor, Hotel Santa Maria is ranked seventh of more than 1,200 Rome hotels — an incredible achievement justified by its idyllic setting and exceptional service. The hotel is located just across the river from the city’s historic center in lively Trastevere, in a renovated 16th-century cloister that gives you an authentic Italian experience without breaking the bank. Expect red-tiled roofs and ochre walls set around a courtyard garden and orangery. With just 19 rooms, the hotel has a wonderful boutique feel.
All rooms overlook the courtyard and combine floral motifs and oak furniture with modern comforts like air-conditioning, satellite TV, and orthopedic mattresses. A choice of two-bedroom suites also makes Hotel Santa Maria a great fit for families. Wi-Fi and breakfast are both included in the price. Start your day in the orangery or on the vine-entwined rooftop solarium. Ask the friendly staff for recommendations or help booking taxis, tours, and restaurants, then use the complimentary bicycles to get out and explore Rome’s famous sights.
Best for Romance: Boutique Hotel Campo de Fiori
It’s difficult to imagine a more seductive location than that offered by Boutique Hotel Campo de Fiori. The historic market is a few steps away and you are within easy strolling distance of Centro Storico landmarks like the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain. From the moment you enter the hotel’s glorious vine-covered façade, the stage is set for romance. There are just 23 rooms, all of them unique sanctuaries complete with original tapestries and antique furniture in addition to free Wi-Fi and an LCD TV.
For a honeymoon or anniversary, consider spending a little extra to stay in a Superior Deluxe Top Floor Room with a four-poster canopy bed, frescoed ceilings, and a private terrace with panoramic city views. If these rooms are out of budget, don’t worry — the multi-level terrace and solarium offers the same stunning vistas and is the ideal spot for toasting one another over sundowners. Rates include a generous breakfast buffet served beneath the arched ceilings and chandeliers of the breakfast room.
Best for Families: Hotel Golden
Housed in a late 19th-century palace, Hotel Golden is a home away from home complete with soft yellow walls and cherry wood furniture. Located within walking distance of the Spanish Steps, it’s also next-door to Villa Borghese — the perfect place for kids to let off steam after a day of museum visits. Run by the same family for over 20 years, TripAdvisor reviewers love that they are made to feel part of that family for the duration of their stay. The friendly reception also stays open around the clock.
Rooms are simple yet comfortable, with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and satellite TV. Several floor plans are made to accommodate families, including spacious Family Rooms and the two-bedroom Family Suite. The latter even has its own private breakfast room. For everyone else, breakfast is served in the dining room or on the veranda and features child-friendly favorites like French toast and pancakes. Other useful amenities include a coin-operated laundry and an optional airport pick-up service.
Best Views: Residenza Maritti
Residenza Maritti is located steps from the ancient forums of Trajan, Augustus, and Nerva and is as deep inside the city’s historic heart as it’s possible to be. The residence’s own story goes back some 300 years and is reflected in the uniquely styled guest rooms. Classic Rooms offer period furnishings and glimpses of family history; while Contemporary Suites feature all-white decor and works from emerging artists. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and an LED TV. To make the most of the hotel’s location, ask for one with Forum of Augustus views.
The best views in the house are from the terracotta-tiled terrace, however. From here, you can admire magnificent 360º panoramas of Rome’s most iconic sights, including the Temple of Mars Ultore, the Colosseum, and Altare della Patria. Come to watch the sunset, or make a reservation for an al fresco dinner. Breakfast is served buffet-style in vaulted, brick-walled bistro Lupigiada. Alternatively, you can save money by self-catering in the kitchens located on each floor.
Best for Nightlife: Hotel San Francesco
In a previous life Hotel San Francesco served as a seminary for trainee missionaries — but today, the hotel is the ideal base for exploring Rome’s eclectic nightlife. The boutique is located in Trastevere, the capital’s drinking and dining epicenter. It’s a short walk from the busiest piazzas, although the hotel itself sits on a quiet street that guarantees a good night’s sleep in between parties. In summer, there’s no better place to start the festivities than at Hotel San Francesco’s own rooftop bar, where you can sip Italian wines and handcrafted cocktails while enjoying magical city views.
All 24 rooms are equipped for a comfortable stay with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a mini-bar, and a flat-screen TV. Though there’s no restaurant on-site, you’re spoiled for choice in terms of affordable, authentic trattorias within a few minutes’ walk. The hotel also offers bike rentals (perfect for exploring beyond Trastevere) and airport pick-ups.
Best Hostel: The RomeHello
Quirky hostel The RomeHello is a 10-minute walk from Roma Termini train station and just a stone’s throw from Centro Storico sights like Piazza Barberini and the Trevi Fountain — allowing you to save money on transportation. With street art-inspired decor and friendly staff, it’s a trendy pick for young backpackers and budget travelers. Stay in a four-, eight-, or 10-bed mixed dorm or opt for a girls’-only room. All dorms have en-suite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, USB chargers, individual lamps, and lockers.
Couples will appreciate the private rooms, which come with additional luxuries such as cable TV and a mini-fridge. Cook for yourself in the brand new guest kitchen, or head to The Barrel Bar & Grill for tasty pizza, pasta, and cocktails. In the evening, the vibrant inner courtyard is a social space with regular live music. You can also bond with your fellow travelers over the foosball and ping-pong tables, while other useful amenities include on-site laundry and an optional breakfast buffet.
Most Peaceful: Suite Oriani
Suite Oriani is a graceful red-brick villa decorated in the Art Nouveau style, with original hardwood floors and stucco ceilings, 1930s watercolors and Biedermeier furniture. Located in the upscale, residential Parioli neighborhood, it provides a tranquil escape from the tourist hubbub of Centro Storico; though Rome’s famous landmarks are still only two metro stops away. Reviewers appreciate the opportunity to experience life in “real” Rome, in an area historically associated with artists and diplomats. In fact, the villa itself was once the South African Embassy.
All suites feature elegant, sunlit interiors and some have their own balcony. You can enjoy the hotel’s a la carte breakfast in your room or in the leafy garden. There is no restaurant on-site, but a bevy of authentic local restaurants serve mouthwatering Italian seafood, pizza, and gelato. Suite Oriani’s attentive staff are on hand to help arrange every aspect of your stay, from guided city tours and laundry services to limousine transfers for those with a little extra room in the budget.
Best for Business: Hotel Dei Congressi
Located in the EUR business district, Hotel Dei Congressi is the obvious choice for conference attendees at next-door Rome Convention Center The Cloud. You can also host your own corporate events in the hotel’s on-site congress center, which boasts six separate rooms with audiovisual equipment and a maximum capacity of 400 people. Although it’s too far from the historic center to be convenient for regular tourists, it only takes 20 minutes to reach the Colosseum area on the metro.
Though slightly outdated, the rooms are clean and comfortable with free Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, TV, and safe. Soundproof windows and light-blocking curtains ensure you sleep well before an important meeting. On-site La Glorietta restaurant hosts a lunch buffet on weekdays and has a la carte menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also arrange event catering and enjoy al fresco meals in the garden in season. If you enjoy a workout between work sessions, the seventh-floor fitness room inspires with views of the Alban Hills.
Best Vatican: QuodLibet
If exploring Vatican treasures like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel is at the top of your Roman wish-list, it makes sense to stay as close as possible. There are no hotels in the city-state itself, but QuodLibet B&B is just an eight-minute walk from the Vatican Museums. It’s also ranked on TripAdvisor as the best B&B in Rome — ahead of nearly 4,000 competitors. Reviewers love it for the exceptional attention to detail showed by its welcoming hosts. There are four rooms, all with fourth-floor views, tiled floors, and colorful artworks.
Soundproof windows and orthopedic mattresses provide a good night’s sleep, while creature comforts are taken care of by a Nespresso coffee machine, a 32” TV, and free Wi-Fi. The included continental breakfast is a particular highlight; served on the rooftop terrace, it’s likely to be one of your best trip memories. The terrace is open year-round and is a scenic spot for evening drinks before dinner at one of the many local restaurants.