Rome at a Price That's Right
Scoring bargain accommodations in Rome can be as tricky as deciphering ancient ruins. But you're in luck: We've unearthed nine charming, affordable hotels.
Some booking strategies
The loveliest times to visit the Eternal City are also the busiest and most expensive: mid-March through June (with a spike around Easter), September through October, and December through early January. Hotel prices are generally lower in August, when locals flee the sweltering heat and many restaurants close. Whenever your visit, be warned that those who procrastinate will be punished with less-than-desirable locations and/or price tags.
It's wise to consult hotel websites for possible discounts and to contact them directly—some will offer discounts of up to 10 percent for payment in cash. And as few Roman hotels are standard in room size and amenities, you'll want to be in touch to relay any special requests, like baby cots or even a room on a lower floor in hotels with no elevators. For online price comparisons, the Italian booking service venere.com typically has the best deals.
One alternative is to rent an apartment, especially if you're traveling with children or in a large group. You'll find some of the best deals at rome-accom.com though many landlords require a substantial deposit and cash payment. You could also consider staying in a religious house. The sites go-to-italy.com and santasusanna.org have extensive lists of obliging current and former monasteries and convents.
Consider Budget Travel's picks for affordable, independently owned lodging with some personality, with doubles starting at $92 a night.
ALBERGO DEL SOLE AL BISCIONE
'Hood Between Campo de' Fiori and the Pantheon, in arguably the best part of old Rome for wandering and people-watching. Locals take their weekend passeggiata through these busy streets.
First Impression One of Rome's oldest working hotels—built on the site of the ancient Theater of Pompey and in business since the 15th century—the Albergo exudes a sense of shabby chic that only a place with this much history could pull off.
Rooms Wood-beamed ceilings, tall windows, and rough-hewn furnishings are pleasantly reminiscent of an old farmhouse rather than a city-center hotel. Some of the 59 rooms have access to the communal terrace, but you'll pay more.
Plus The hotel affords gorgeous views of church domes and rooftops from flower-lined terraces with tables and benches. There's a quaint garden, too.
Minus Ignore the gaudy '70s-style neon sign out front and try not to be put off by the gaggles of tourists milling around the lobby.
Free WiFi? No.
Credit Cards Accepted None.
Details via del Biscione 76, 011-39/06-6880-6873, solealbiscione.it. Double with shared bath from €100 ($131), double with a private bath from €120 ($158), double with terrace access from €160 ($210). Lower weekly rates (with the sixth night free) are available in June.
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'Hood Termini, the area surrounding Rome's main train station, is dotted with cheap sleeps and bad restaurants, but the wonderfully free-spirited Beehive rises above the fray.
First Impression A hip, eco-conscious hotel that reflects the tastes and personal touches of its owners, a couple transplanted from L.A.
Rooms Beaded lamps, surfing-inspired prints, and mod furnishings make for six appealing—and spacious—rooms. A mixed-gender dorm room sleeps up to eight. Three self-catering apartments, which share a bathroom, a kitchen, and common areas, are located about 15 minutes off-site in Esquilino, Rome's Chinatown.
Plus The pervasive sense of understated style and wellness: a garden with lemon and fig trees; an organic vegetarian café; a rotating display of works by local artists; a yoga space and classes that can be booked at no extra charge.
Minus The owners' cat, Ingmar, has free run of the place, so those with feline allergies take note. If you're looking for privacy first and foremost, the communal feeling might be off-putting.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes; Computer in common area.
Credit Cards Accepted Visa, MC; cash only for apartments.
Details via Marghera 8, 011-39/06-4470-4553, the-beehive.com. Private rooms from €70 ($92), dorm beds from €22 ($29) per person, apartment rooms from €60 ($79).
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BUONA NOTTE, ROMA
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