There are many ways of getting to Puglia, but for our guests travelling internationally for their Italian vacation, especially from North America or Down Under, all roads (and flight paths) lead through Rome.
That’s why we spent a few days on a Research Mission in the Eternal City before heading down to our Puglia Tour’s base in Lecce, visiting dozens of hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses. We want to ensure that our guests have a great experience, and receive a warm welcome, before they join us in Puglia.
Spreadsheets and spritzes: the Espressino Travel Team takes a break from the Rome Research Mission at Caffe Peru on Via Giulia, one of our favourite bars in the Eternal City.
We researched rigorously online, comparing reviews, blogs and comments from a vast array of websites to create a shortlist of the best-reviewed establishments. Then we hit the ground in Roma, exploring different neighbourhoods and personally visiting accommodation options at all price points. Rome’s a big city, and our feet were stinging by the time we were done, but we think it was worth it. Because we met some great people and saw some wonderful places to stay.
So, here’s the crema della crema: our Ultimate Top Five places to stay. When in Rome, don’t do as the Romans do. Treat yourself to one of these for the night.
Portrait Roma | Neighbourhood: Tridente
The glorious flowering terrazza of Portrait Rome.
Far from cheap, but for a dose of pure Roman luxury, you’ll be hard pressed to find a warmer welcome than the one the Portrait team ensures greets each and every guest. The 14 palatial suites all include an iPad loaded with insider and fiercely independent tips for getting the best out of Rome’s sights, restaurants and nightlife, while the staff are proud to go the extra mile to ensure every guest’s stay is the epitome of comfort.
They certainly made the Espressino Travel team welcome, sitting us down to explain their hotel’s history and philosophy (it’s inspired by the designer Salvatore Ferragamo) before giving us a tour of their superb facilities. The hospitality didn’t end there. We bumped into one of the team, Matteo, on our travels the next day, and he insisted that we paid a visit to their spectacular roof terrace (pictured above), as his guests, that evening. The views, and the Prosecco, were spectacular.
Hotel Lunetta | Neighbourhood: Centro Storico
Roman Ruins meet spa luxury at the atmospheric Hotel Lunetta.
The second oldest hotel in all Rome has been welcoming guests for hundreds of years, and you can certainly feel that legacy in the warmth of the greeting that awaits you. Fun and friendly, this four-star hotel isn’t short on heritage or charm. The real treat however, lies in its basement, where a luxurious spa has been built into the substantial ruins of an ancient Roman theatre. You can breathe in the history as you relax, knowing that you’re enjoying a comfortable and uniquely private trip back in time.
One of the many inviting bars in Hotel Lunetta's Campo de' Fiori Neighbourhood.
Residenza Scipioni | Neighbourhood: Prati
One of the spacious, light-filled and elegant rooms at Residenza Scipioni.
“You look overheated. Sit down. You want some water? Still or sparkling?”
We’d hardly introduced ourselves before the team of Residenza Scipioni were looking after us. If this is how well they look after strangers, we whispered to each other, imagine how well they treat their guests? Being shown around the comfortable rooms in this small and super-friendly luxury B&B in the heart of the fashionable Prati neighbourhood, we could see that even in a city full of great places to stay, the Scipioni team would go the extra mile to ensure every guest’s time in Rome would be special.
The stunning Ponte Sant'Angelo is one of the gateways into the Prati neighbourhood.
Hotel dei Borgia | Neighbourhood: Termini
Effortless elegance and tranquility await you at the Hotel dei Borgia.
A four star hotel with a five star welcome, we were blown away when Hotel dei Borgia’s manager, the beyond friendly Massimo, took time out of his busy day to show us every inch of his glorious hotel and the philosophy of hospitality behind it. Wonderfully located – within walking distance of Termini yet refreshingly isolated from the bustle that can surround big city train stations – the Borgia is perfect for guests looking to explore Central Rome on foot. And its spectacular spa is perfect for reinvigorating those feet at the end of a hard day’s exploration.
Castellani a San Pietro | Neighbourhood: Vatican City
Breakfast is about to be served al fresco at Castellani a San Pietro.
Looking for the ultimate cute and cosy Roman accommodation experience? Look no further. The Castellani family run this three-room B&B and treat their guests like extended family members for the duration of their stay. You’ll still feel like a local as the breakfast room doubles as the family kitchen. Cosy doesn’t mean cramped though. Rooms are spacious by Roman standards, and two feature adorable balconies for breakfasts al fresco. Plus, you’re in strolling distance of the sights of the Vatican and the tourist-free street life of Prati. Exclusive doesn’t mean expensive in this case. The Castellani offers tremendous value for money.
Dusk rolls in over the cupola of San Pietro, just steps from the doors of Castellani a San Pietro.
If you’re thinking of heading to Rome and would like to know more about the many options available, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our Guests will receive our free advice and customized consultation to help them plan their trip, both before and after our Puglia Tour, as part of the Espressino Travel experience. See you in Italy!
There's a magic to Rome at night. Buona notte Roma!
PLEASE NOTE: Espressino Travel has no formal or informal arrangements with any accommodations in Rome and have not stayed in any of these locations. All these recommendations are based on the warmth of the welcome, and the facilities and rooms we saw in May 2014. Espressino Travel is not responsible for any experiences, negative or positive, that may arise from independent parties following these recommendations.