Once one of Rome's landmark fixtures, this 17th-century palazzo used to be a favorite address for everyone from Stendhal to Sartre along with a bevy of crowned (and uncrowned—Carlotta, the deposed empress of Mexico resided here for a while) heads. However, many wouldn't recognize the former grand hotel since its zillion-dollar renovation two decades ago: results were mixed, from the gaudy (that lobby glass ceiling) to the great (the rooftop restaurant, which allows you
to almost touch the dome of the Pantheon). Happily, it retains its prime position in the lovely square that is home to Bernini's elephant obelisk and just around the corner from Hadrian's mighty temple. Though many of the rooms have had a facelift in recent years, several guest rooms still have furnishings that are a bit outdated and worn around the edges.