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Best Hotels in Rome Italy

Looking for the best hotels in Rome Italy? 

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Best Hotels in Rome Italy - How to Know What You're Getting

How would you define “best?” Is it the decor, the style, the service? The star rating?

I know you were looking for a list (and I'll give you one), but bear with me while I explain how hotels in Rome are rated, so you can make an informed choice.

First you should know about the different types of lodging in Rome.

Second, consider these qualities and how much they matter to you:

Best Hotels in Rome Italy - Luxury and star rating

Are the best hotels in Rome the most luxurious? In that case, don't count on the star rating until you get to the 5-star hotel level. (Click here to go my page about luxury hotels in Rome.)

In Italy, the star rating system for hotels is not about quality, luxury, cleanliness or style. It’s based on a checklist of features.

For a hotel in Rome to have 3 stars, for example, it must meet certain criteria that include (but are not limited to): reception open 24 hours, en-suite bathroom in every room, tv and minibar in the room. There are many 3-star hotels in Rome, but they vary wildly in quality, style, amenities and service.

For a Rome hotel to have 4 stars, the reception must be on the ground floor, there must be a certain amount of public meeting/gathering space, etc. If you stay at a 4 star hotel in Rome, you should be guaranteed a higher quality than with a 3 star hotel or bed and breakfast, but the standards are still pretty varied.

You will only find consistency when you get to the 5-star level. At that point, the checklist of features is so rigid that for a hotel to meet all the criteria, it has to be very high quality indeed. If a 5 star hotel in Rome is what you are looking for, you will be sure to have top quality amenities and style.

Best Hotels in Rome Italy - When Style Counts Most

Maybe for you, the best Rome hotels are the most stylish. Rome did not used to offer particularly stylish hotels until just a few years ago. Now these have popped up all over, in the form of “boutique hotel”; “relais”, “inn”, “casa di…” etc.

Most of these are in fact not full hotels (although some are), and are really what is called “affittacamere.” This is an accommodations category that is just below hotel. "Affittacamere" (translated: room rentals) are not required to serve breakfast or to have a full-time reception desk, or to provide many other amenities. They can however, be more interesting, innovative, personalized and sometimes be less expensive than standard hotels in Rome.

Even where 5-star hotels in Rome are concerned, some of the newer ones are also concerned with providing a very stylish look and feel, as opposed to the more grand, old-fashioned 5-star hotels in Rome. Click here to go to my page about modern vs. old-fashioned 5-star hotels in Rome.

Best Hotels in Rome Italy - Looking For Great Service

No matter where you stay in Rome, be aware that Italy does not have a service-based economy. So to get lots of help planning your time in Rome, you will need to look for a place to stay that has staff and management that really care about this kind of service. You can stay at the best hotels in Rome Italy, luxury- or style-wise, but if you don't get good, helpful service, it can take a toll on the quality of your visit to Rome.

What do I mean by service and help with your stay? Do you want help booking tours? Knowing how to get into Rome? Knowing where to eat nearby that has really good, local food? Knowing where to go buy a toy for your son? Well, this site can help you with all that...but if you want hotel staff that does as well, that is another story.

I happen to know from friends, relatives and acquaintances, who have stayed in many hotels around Rome, that sometimes it can be difficult to find hotel staff that provide good information. Examples:

  • One friend recently stayed at a luxury "boutique hotel" by the Spanish Steps. She asked the concierge for a restaurant nearby with really good pasta. The concierge's answer? "Signora, we are in Rome, there is pasta everywhere." (I am not making this up!)
  • I once met a bewildered-looking couple at piazza Barberini that looked lost so I asked if they needed some help. They said they had asked at their 5-star hotel, located on via Veneto, about tours in Rome, and the concierge had told them to just walk down to piazza Barberini and get a taxi there to take them around. (I am not making this up!)
  • Someone I know stayed at a 3-star hotel recently. He missed breakfast because he didn't know they even served breakfast; nobody had told him. He complained to the front desk. The concierge replied, "that's too bad, you should have stayed home then." (I am not making this up!)

OK this is not to say that hotels in Rome do not provide any helpful service. Many of them do, but it does not really depend on the quality of the hotel rooms, or the star rating. It depends on the management's philosophy of what they want to offer.

How can you find the best hotels in Rome Italy offering helpful service? You can read reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp and other sites, but take them with a grain of salt. Look for the hotels that consistently get good marks for service.

Boutique Hotels in Rome

As someone who ran a “boutique hotel” in Rome for several years, I have seen a virtual explosion of this kind of accommodation popping up lately. It is difficult to keep up with how many there are now.

I suggest you decide the location that most appeals to you, and then look around for online reviews and comments about the amenities and other things that might matter to you. 

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