We started out with a 3-room Bed and Breakfast Rome Italy. Below is a photo of the original living room in 2002.
It has grown since then, into a small boutique hotel (and it now looks a lot different from this photo!) In the years since we started, and have renovated and grown, I have seen from the ground up what it means to open and run a bed and breakfast Rome Italy.
And believe me, they are not all created equal.
Want to find a good B and B in Rome? Bottom line, here is what you need to know:
I often find people have preconceptions about what a Bed and Breakfast in Rome actually is, and also turn out to be curious about way they are really set up.
Rome bed and breakfasts (and even those in most of Italy) do not follow the model you usually find in Anglo-Saxon countries, where we tend to think of a B&B as being in some lovely country home or cottage, with cozy rooms with bedposts and large communal breakfast tables, a roaring fire and a huge library with a housecat. (At least, this was what I remember of B&Bs in New England, where I used to live.)
In 2000, Rome was to host the Jubilee, a major celebration by the Catholic Church, normally held every 25 years (although in December of 2015, we will have an extraordinary Jubilee year!)
In preparation for this huge event, and concerned about not having enough beds to offer the floods of tourists and pilgrims expected to arrive, the Italian government came up with the idea of authorizing a new kind of accommodation, that just about anyone could offer: the bed and breakfast.
The idea went that many people had empty rooms in their homes, and they could make a little money by offering them to tourists, and tourists would have enough beds to stay in during peak times such as the jubilee (this was long before the existence of AirBnB, which has caused an explosion of this type of accommodation, and even more variation.)
In Rome (and frankly most of the rest of Italy) a bed and breakfast is literally what is says: you get a bed, and you get breakfast.
The rules and regulations for opening a bed and breakfast in Rome have changed a little since then but the basic concept is this:
As you can imagine, and especially if you have already visited Rome, and/or stayed in a B and B Rome, many Rome bed and breakfasts do not follow those guidelines. Most were set up by people hoping to get into the hotel or accommodation business. It is, in fact, what we did as well!
And now, with the advent of AirBnb, which seems to make it easy for just about anyone with a room to spare to advertise online, you will find even more variety of Bed and Breakfast in Rome Italy.
Staying at a B&B in Rome can be a lovely experience. I should know. We have one and that is what we try to offer! At a minimum, you should have a comfortable place to sleep, something to eat and drink in the morning, and some level of customer service, at least during check in.
Here is what NOT to expect:
Some Bed and Breakfasts in Rome may indeed offer some or all of the above. But the norm is that they don't. Bottom line is, you usually get what you pay for.
If you choose to stay in a bed and breakfast in Rome Italy, you will have a huge variety of options. Many people do in fact run 1-3 room B&Bs out of their homes, and you may meet the owner of that home. Most other “B&Bs” in Rome are larger than this, and may have many more amenities than what is required. The owners may want to surpass your expectations so that you will have a great experience. This is what we did, too.
When looking to book a B and B in Rome, think about what you want out of your stay. If price is an issue, you will do best when sticking to actual B&B’s run in someone’s home. If, however, you want more amenities and to possibly meet other travellers, then look for “B&B”s that are really more of a mini-guest house.
Of course I recommend staying at our Bed and Breakfast, Daphne. Here is the website to check rates and availability.
Another nice B&B in the Spanish Steps area, La Piccola Maison, is run by our friend and colleague. Here you will not actually get breakfast, or much concierge service, but their rates are very good for the area.
One of the best B&Bs in Rome is near Termini station, run by good friends Steve and Linda: The Beehive. They have lots of different room types, including dorm-type hostel rooms, and more upscale rooms with en-suite bathroom. The rates are excellent, and their level of customer care is tops.
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