It's the click of your heels on inlaid marble, the whisper of 600-thread-count Frette sheets, the murmured buongiorno of a coat-tailed porter bowing low as you pass. It's a rustic attic room with wood-beam ceilings, a white umbrella on a roof terrace, a 400-year-old palazzo. Maybe it's birdsong pouring into your room as you swing open French windows to a sun-kissed view of the Colosseum,
a timeworn piazza, or a flower-filled marketplace.
When it comes to accommodations, Rome offers a wide selection of high-end hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, designer boutique hotels—options that run the gamut from whimsical to luxurious. Whether you want a simple place to rest your head or a complete cache of exclusive amenities, you have plenty to choose from.
Luxury hotels like the Eden, the Hotel Hassler, and the Hotel de Russie are justly renowned for sybaritic comfort: postcard views over Roman rooftops, silver flatware on white linen atop a groaning breakfast-buffet table, and the fluffiest towels. But in more modest categories, very often Rome's hotels are not up to the standards of space, comfort, quiet, and service taken for granted in the United States: you’ll still find places with tiny rooms, lumpy beds, and anemic air-conditioning. The good news: if you're flexible, there are happy mediums aplenty.
One thing to figure out before you arrive is which neighborhood you want to stay in. There are obvious advantages to staying in a hotel within easy walking distance of the main sights. If a picturesque location is your main concern, stay in one of the small hotels around Piazza Navona or Campo de' Fiori. If luxury is a high priority, head for Piazza di Spagna or beyond the city center, where quality/price ratios are higher and some hotels have swimming pools. Most of Rome's good budget hotels are concentrated around Termini station, but here accommodations can vary widely, from fine to downright seedy, and you'll have to use public transportation to get to the centro storico (historic center). The popularity of Pope Francis has drawn hundreds of thousands of new tourists to the papal mass and blessings since his appointment in 2013; this has naturally been good business for hotels in the Vatican and surrounding areas.