Rome Travel Guide
Celebrity Scoop / Mark Zuckerberg / Priscilla China / Rome Hotels / Billionaire Hotels / Honeymoon Hotels / Lungarno Collection / → All Tags
There are many places we dream of going if we had unlimited funds and Italy is definitely at the top of the list. So when we heard that billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his new bride, Priscilla Chan, were honeymooning in Rome, we had to find out where they were staying.
Josh Flagg / Rome Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / Killer View / Starwood Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Our resident celebrity hotel hopper, Josh Flagg is about to invade your living rooms again when the fifth season of Million Dollar Listing premieres on Bravo on June 6. But life isn't all "house" work for Josh. As soon as filming finished, he packed up and resumed his whirlwind travels. Here's where he prefers to stay in Rome.
I must have stayed in Rome at least a half dozen times over the course of my short-lived life, however i have never really found an extraordinary hotel. The Hassler was nice...fifteen years ago. The St Regis is beautiful...if you don't mind using a flashlight when going out at night.
A block from Via Condoti and a block from Via Veneto, it is in the perfect location. The hotel exudes luxury and just the right amount of charm. The views are extraordinary and the staff is extremely nice and not snooty like at most of the other five star hotels in Rome. If I had my own star-rating system, I'd give the hotel five stars but the views, six stars.
Heading to Rome this summer and want to take up Josh's recommendation? The Hotel Eden's rates start at around 400 Euros a night. If you stay there, let us know how it went!
Hotel Excelsior, now an extra €3 per person per night.
We've railed on hotel fees before and aside from resort fees and WiFi charges, we especially dislike those extra tourism fees mandated by local governments, in addition to taxes.
But now when you're in Rome, you better get ready to pay a little more for your hotel stay.
That's because Rome has added a new hotel tax for visitors staying in hotels. Expect to pay an extra €2 per person per night in a hotel up to a three-star rating and an extra €3 per person per night when staying in four or five-star hotels.
But here's the rub--the tax must be settled at check-out and guests must pay in cash. No debit cards, credit cards or American Express Traveler's Checques allowed. So don't throw your Euros in the Trevi fountain until after you've checked-out.
[Photo: Tom Barnes/HotelChatter Flickr Pool]
Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Art / Rome Hotels / Waldorf-Astoria Collection / For the Sake of Hotel Art / → All Tags
The Andy, inspired by Andy Warhol's Dollar Sign.
We'd barely finished deciding which of the Argentine art-inspired cocktails we wanted from the El Casco Art Hotel (should we find ourselves in Bariloche), when along comes yet another art cocktail collection, this time at the Rome Cavalieri.
Hey, who are we to argue with the greats of the art world. Let's see what they want us to drink over in Rome ...
It’s never nice to hear about a good hotel going downhill, but when it’s one you’ve loved and recommended, it’s even worse. So we’re feeling pretty sad right now about the Hotel d’Inghilterra in Rome.
We stayed in the Inghilterra a couple of years back and loved it – a tiny, quiet little hotel, tucked away down a side street off Via Condotti. So when our friend decided to go to Rome for Easter, we immediately suggested they go there.
When we went, we’d been upgraded to a suite, so we knew we were in for a good time, but we’d peeked in a few of the standard bedrooms and thought they passed muster. So we were surprised when we got a phonecall from our friend on the first day, saying that the room wasn't up to scratch, then followed by a plaintive email mid-stay:
The camera never lies, and that looks pretty far off to us
It’s probably our favourite city in the world, but we always find Rome particularly tricky when it comes to accommodation. In fact, were we not so fond of it, we might be a little put off.
Most of the cheap hotels are clustered round Termini station and the area is, not to put too fine a point on it, scuzztown. If you want somewhere more salubrious, you have to pay through the nose.
The latest addition to the Rome hotel scene is the 162-roomed Courtyard by Marriott west of the Vatican, which used to be the Hotel Central Park. Will it shake the hotel scene up? Sadly, we reckon probably not. Rates are OK for Rome – about €100, and they have a three nights for the price of two offer running until April next year – and there are some smashing views of St Peter’s, as you can see from this pic.
This very well may be Rachel Ray's idea of hotel heaven.
We’ve been hooked on MANNI White Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil since we sat in on a demo at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen a few years ago. Then, Chef Ryan Hardy of Montagna at The Little Nell gave us two bottles to take home – one Per Mia Figlia (for my child) and one Per Me (for me) and it’s like liquid gold crack for foodies.
Now, the EVOO expert Armando Manni has extended his presence in the luxury lifestyle market with the opening of Casa MANNI Roma, an exclusive penthouse for two in a 17th-century palazzo in Via di Pietra, the heart of old Rome. And yes, MANNI is all caps.
Ah, we knew it: in all the hype surrounding Twilight (and, somewhat alarmingly, still surrounding Twilight), you totes forgot that the Angels and Demons movie was coming out, didn't you? Yeah, 'member that whole thing? That little book called Da Vinci Code that swept the naysh between the Harry Potter and Twilight crazes? Yes, well, Angels and Demons is the sequel and now the movie's coming out on May 15th.
Westin has been named the official hotel partner for the movie, and Dan Brown fanboys and girls can get all sorts of into it with a whole Angels and Demons immersion experience in Rome at the Westin Excelsior. If you book the package, you get a night in a double room, an official Angels & Demons private or group tour, 20% off at the hotel's restaurant and bars and a 20% discount on the Angels & Demons "theme menu" at the Doney restaurant.
What is this "official tour" we speak of, you ask? 'Tis this: if you book the Group Tour, you get a 4 hour Rome excursion with other people (24 max), which includes a Castel Sant'Angelo Entrance Ticket, a map of the Illuminati, a coffee break, and transporation in air-conditioned bus (yeah, Rome in the summer? Not so cool). Opting for the private tour will get you an upgrade to a GrandLuxe room if it's available, and a 4-hour private excursion including a pickup and drop-off at the hotel in an air-conditioned car.
The private tour starts at €433 (around $592) and the group tour will run you €326 ($446) per night. Book here.
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
In this episode, Hotel Maven Amanda K visits Rome...in her mind. Enjoy.
Life in the hotel centres around the library and lounge, a beautifully furnished space full of interesting, well-thumbed hardcover books, flowers, bowls of Italian sweets and fabulous framed family photos.
I'm sold by the time I know about the piles of books and the Italian sweets, but apparently there is plenty more in this grand hotel to tempt me. It's elegant, but not too stuffy; glamorous, but not arrogant. It's a five-star place that belongs to the Leading Small Hotels of the World collection, and I like the fact that it's small and tucked into a quiet (but still central) corner of Rome.
I could settle on a Junior Suite at €560 ($730) a night (the full version of the Suite is €735 ($960) a night) and I'd definitely need a booking in the Sapori del Lord Byron restaurant – apparently it's got a French chef but the food is definitely Italian-style and delicious. And I'd need to finish my evening at the hotel's Il Salotto wine bar because they say the pianist there can play anything you request. But hey, I was already satisfied just with the books and the sweets.
This is the penthouse bedroom at the Rome Cavalieri hotel.
We've had a mild fascination over here with the Rome Cavalieri hotel--once a Hilton, now part of the chain's Waldorf-Astoria Collection--largely in part due to its crazy extravagant services. Gladiator training anyone? Fancy a jog with the hotel's general manager? Or perhaps you would like to bring your dog with you and let him dine out of Gucci dog bowls? The hotel can accommodate all that.
Yet we've never known anyone who has spent a night in the hotel. Until now. The NY Times featured the hotel in its weekly "Check-In, Check-Out" feature in the Sunday Travel section. And while the hotel is full of fancy things, the staff seems to have dropped the ball. From reviewer Oliver Schwaner-Albright:
But for all the amenities, the hotel didn’t so much welcome as tolerate us: the desk staff was curt, the car valet was rude and the concierge couldn’t be bothered to halt his personal conversation to help us make dinner reservations.
This idea of fashion designers setting up hotels seems to be becoming a trend in Italy.
Anna Fendi and her daughters own one in Rome called the Villa Laetitia It's a boutique hotel or residenza with only 15 rooms, most of them suites with all the sweet bells and whistles. What makes it particularly special - and better than most boutique hotels set up by hoteliers - are two things.
Find out what they are after the jump.
Just when we thought we'd seen the pinnacle of doggie decadence and luxury, the Rome Cavalieri Hilton trumps them all. For travelers whose pampered pets demand the best, there's the new Very Important Pet program.
Four-legged guests of the Cavalieri can enjoy a full day of spa treatments, customized cashmere Dog Haute Couture and a four-course meal served in Gucci dishware.
Other amenities to pant over include doggy bathrobes, an escorted fitness run, and an Aloe Vera massage. Dinner includes a four-course in-room meal from the Menu del Vostro Fedele Amico -- beginning with soup, a full range of first and second course options, and a chocolate dessert. No, not for you silly. For your dog. And all served up in red ceramic Gucci-designed dishes atop a vermeil tray.
What, you say, isn't it all a bit over-the-top? Not according to General Manager Milan Arandelovic, who says the program was born out of an earnest attempt to meet and exceed the demands of the hotel's dog-loving guests:
"Our guests who frequently travel consider their pets members of the family. We go to great lengths to make our visitors feel comfortable and cared for; it follows that we would extend this service to all who stay with us."
And apparently, the services are appreciated, as the hotel reports an overwhelmingly positive response to VIP packages since announcing them late last year.
Another doggie luxe pic after the jump.