A hotspot for artists and creatives such as Mimmo Palladino, Enzo Cucchi and Federico Fellini since the 1960s, this Art Deco jewel remains simultaneously scenery and classic. Pre-dinner cocktails in the courtyard are guaranteed to impress even the fussiest guest. The hotel is wedged between the river and Villa Borghese park in the Tridente district.
It is within staggering distance of Piazza del Popolo’s timeless Rosati aperitif bar and next door’s stellar Dal Bolognese restaurant. Thanks to encouragement by the hotel’s owner, Caterina Valente,
the street is full of independent shops and artisans including hat-makers and perfumers. It’s 100 meters from the Tiber, 800 meters from the Spanish Steps and two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the Vatican.
It’s been the grande dame of boutique hotels since the 1970s when the owner’s mother pioneered the concept of creating unique rooms and the feel of a country house with eclectic and antique furniture and velvet and silk chaise-longues. In winter, there is always a fire in the Art Deco bar with its Liberty lamp, wrought-iron French doors, and deep moreish, armchairs.
One-of-a-kind features such as a piano with beaded lamps, a bird-cage lift and curved library ladder overload on the charm. Caterina grew up doing her homework at the bar giving her a lifetime of experience, rendering the hotel’s staff exceptionally attentive and flexible. The mixologists behind the bar offer cocktail classes fit for starting a night out.
The so-called detox terrace offers a limited outdoor gym with balls and mats. Pilates,
Others are less grand but equally personal with Persian rugs, books reached by a library ladder and trunks as coffee tables. Despite the history, the hotel more than meets the highest modern levels of comfort, with beds that swallow you whole, phones you can walk around with and speakers in bathrooms. Minibars are gift-worthy, with grappa in a hipflask, ammo
Breakfast includes à la carte eggs and coffee, plus a small buffet and freshly squeezed juices. Dinner at the restaurant, meanwhile, offers a choice of prawn and salmon ceviche with mango sauce, Roman fish and chips, Cacio & Pepe macaroni with Mazzara del Vallo shrimps and crispy bacon, and tuna kebab with wasabi mayonnaise.
The bar is one of the best in town, with a mixologist formerly from Buddha Bar Paris knocking up cocktails such as the signature Roma Bracciano, with Campari and vermouth, Earl Drunk, and tea-infused vodka served in a teapot.
There are ground-floor rooms with disabled access as well as lifts to upper floors. Don’t miss the world’s most beautiful disabled toilet, with its peacock wallpaper.