The Eternal City’s Second Act: Where To Stay In Rome

By Rosalyn Wikeley

8 months ago

New spots to rest your head

It’s time for Rome’s renaissance, says Rosalyn Wikeley. Here are the best hotels in Rome to book now – and to get excited for in the near future.

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The Best Hotels In Rome

From the pine-shaded paths of Villa Borghese to the drawn out trattoria lunches of cacio e pepe, Rome gets under your skin and enthrals even the loyalists at every turn. Even more so recently, with an ear-pricking host of new hotel openings – many eschewing the city’s museum-like soul for a smoother, contemporary sheen, while remaining in step with Rome’s legendary artisans. Similarly, a flurry of new-age restaurants have squeezed themselves between the family-owned trattorias, and while Rome can do culture in its sleep, this year’s exhibitions are layering its ancient appeal with a creative prescience typically associated with Milan.

Scott Dunn’s Destination Manager for Europe, Nick Cunningham, attributes Rome’s recent revitalisation to traveller’s elevated expectations and a desire to experience something new. ‘Now more than ever, the classic or most popular destinations need to give travellers a reason to keep returning – it’s Rome’s turn for a resurgence.’ With this in mind, here’s where to lay your head in the Eternal City.

Six Senses Rome

Piazza San Marcello, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

Six Senses Rome

Corner Suite Living Room

As the plush, progressive group’s first city outpost, Six Senses Rome’s opening in March caused quite a stir. The naysayers were alarmed by the eye-rollingly good ancient grain pizzas and casually dressed staff taking their right-on cue from five-star service of yore, without the stiff-as-a-rod Jeeves act. That’s Six Senses: wholly laid back despite such lofty standards and delicious interiors, all of which evince an earthy, elemental new-age narrative, expressed here through the design lens of Roman terracotta and clay. The group’s hallmark eco-thrust is evident in be-better talks in the Earth Lab, the absence of plastic in the rooms, and salt scrubs whipped up using roof garden botanicals in the spa’s alchemy bar. Alongside the spa’s Roman bath circuit – a travertine marble sanctuary where hammam, sauna-and-steam room yo-yo-ing and tropical rain showers await – deft hands work organic lotions and potions into weary muscles, with spa manager Ramy keeping standards as high as the pillars. But it’s the food that’s come out top at this fabulous medley of LA zen and Roman antiquity. From the beef carpaccio and oysters to the pitch-perfect baked artichoke and spaghetti cacio magno e pepe, the food here feels both nourishing and a little naughty.

BOOK IT: Doubles from £860.

Palazzo Ripetta

Via di Ripetta, 231, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Palazzo Ripetta

Deluxe Room

The 17th-century Palazzo Ripetta has lived many lives, originally as a convent for orphans and unmarried women and now as a family-owned hotel with a remarkable art collection and a restaurant to write home about. The hotel scoops guests off central Rome’s frenetic streets into a calmer, monochrome-and-marble dimension. Negronis arrive on silver trays in snug corners, a courtyard dotted with citrus trees is illuminated by sunlight and glamorous guests leaning over plates of pasta. Rooms are decked in Murano glass, parquet floor and Frette bed linen. Every detail of its new coat is proudly ‘Made in Italy’, from the lacquer furniture and eccentric wallpaper to the velvet sofas and Sicilian bathroom products. In the San Baylon restaurant a mix of locals and in-the-know Americans absorb the brooding atmosphere over plates of beef tartare with crispy herbs, handmade bucatini pasta filled with guinea fowl and gnocchi with sea cobs and squid ink.

BOOK IT: Doubles from €450.

Anantara Palazzo Naiadi

Piazza della Repubblica, 48, 00185 Roma RM, Italy

Anantara Palazzo Naiadi

Junior Suite

Curving majestically before its namesake fountain and sister building forming Piazza della Repubblica, Anantara Palazzo Naiadi is a neoclassical landmark in itself. Pace the lower ground floor and you’re stepping over history (above the ancient ruins of the Baths of Diocletian, bathing up to 2,000 Romans at one time); rest your head in the Clementino side of the hotel and you’re snoozing where Pope Clement XI once stored the Vatican’s grain and later, its horses. In more recent history, Italian silver screen legend Sofia Loren graced one of the two presidential suites, now named in her honour. Since falling into Anantara’s hands in 2020, this history has been unpeeled and celebrated as part of a seismic refurbishment. Some rooms gaze wistfully over the fountain illuminated at night, others bag alternative postcard-worthy views of the city, and all 230 embrace guests with that carpeted, crispy linened, marbled classicism in cream and coffee hues.

BOOK IT: Doubles from €360 B&B.

Bulgari Hotel Roma

Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 10, 00186 Roma RM, Italy; open since July 2023

Bulgari Rome

Junior Suite

Bulgari has scooped out the innards of a 1930s building on Piazza Augusto Imperatore, not far from the Spanish Steps. ACPV architects Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel have bejewelled the historic building in the finest Italian craftsmanship: hand-made mosaics, Murano crystal and sink tapestries.

Romeo Roma

Via Di Ripetta, 246 00186 Rome, Italy; opening by the end of 2023

Romeo Roma

One of the final projects of the late architect Zaha Hadid, Romeo Roma will poignantly embody her knack for honouring history through a contemporary lens. Highlights include birds-eye rooftop views over Piazza del Popolo, an Alain Ducasse-directed restaurant, and a Sisley Paris wellness centre.

Corinthia Rome

Opening in 2024

Corinthia Rome

Fans of the Corinthia group’s fresh classicism will be on tender hooks for 2024’s Piazza del Parlamento opening. Occupying the former Central Bank of Italy, the much-anticipated hotel is set to turn heads.

Getting There

Scott Dunn offers various Rome trips, including four nights at Six Senses Rome from £2,850 per person based on two people sharing a classic room on a B&B basis and includes return flights from the UK and private transfers. For more information please visit or call 020 8682 5030.