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.
'Hood Centro Storico, with two locations near Piazza Barberini: The Daphne Veneto is parallel to the glam Via Veneto; the Daphne Trevi is on a quieter street.
First Impression A rare blend of personalized service, contemporary flair, and relative affordability. Where the staff at other hotels might circle a location on the map, the Daphne's will actually walk you there.
Rooms There are eight rooms in the Veneto and nine in the Trevi. Singles, doubles, triples, and, at the Trevi, two junior suites are available. All are decorated in soothing neutral colors, and many have terraces and garden access. The website has floor plans, so you know precisely what you're booking.
Plus Superhuman hospitality. Owners Elyssa (Floridian) and Alessandro (Roman) supply guests with cell phones with preprogrammed numbers—including theirs—in case guests get lost. When you arrive, the couple sits you down with a map for a helpful orientation.
Minus If you like to come and go discreetly, forget it. Elyssa and Alessandro will want to know how you spent your day and what you plan for the next. Note that the Trevi location, housed in an 18th-century palazzo, has no elevator.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes; There are also computers with free Internet access in sitting rooms; all rooms have high-speed connection jacks.
Credit Cards Accepted AmEx, MC, Visa.
Details (Veneto) via di San Basilio 55; (Trevi) via degli Avignonesi 20, 011-39/06-8745-0086, daphne-rome.com. Double from €140 ($184), including breakfast, Internet use, and cell phone use (local calls only; others will be charged to your room).
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'Hood Tucked between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona in the Centro Storico, an area where over-priced tourist joints and authentic trattorie and gelaterie meet.
First Impression A hotel at this price in this unbeatable location might set off alarm bells. Instead, there's a sense of relief on finding a centuries-old Roman palazzo whose unassuming second-floor lobby has fresh flowers.
Rooms The 14 rooms vary by occupancy (single to quad), size, and ambience. Standard doubles with private baths are the most inspired—decorated in sunflower yellows and terra-cotta reds, with antiques and Persian rugs.
Plus Unlike many budget hotels in Rome, the Mimosa doesn't skimp on comforts like fluffy towels and extra pillows, and it accommodates everyone from solo travelers to families. Single rooms tend to have more breathing space than doubles, and the staff can help reconfigure beds or remove furniture to make space for kids.
Minus Five rooms lack private bathrooms, and the shared bathrooms can feel neglected because they're only cleaned once a day, on the same rotation as the maid service in the rooms.
Free Wi-Fi? No.
Credit Cards Accepted Rooms must be paid in cash, although reservations are made online with credit cards—either MC or Visa.
Details via di Santa Chiara 61, 011-39/06-6880-1753, hotelmimosa.net. Double without bath from €50 ($66), double with bath from €70 ($92), including breakfast.
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'Hood A slice of the Centro Storico overrun with tony boutiques and sidewalk cafés—so close to the Spanish Steps that in springtime you can smell the azaleas.
First Impression The narrow halls of this old-fashioned hotel are lined with heavy antique furniture. It's a terrific find, as most area hotels are prohibitively expensive.
Rooms Vaulted wood-beam ceilings, stone-tiled floors, and traditional pull shutters give the 30 ochre rooms the feel of a typical Centro Storico apartment. Some have 19th-century frescoes; others have hand-painted tiles in the bathrooms.
Plus The staff is more helpful than you'd expect for this price: They'll gladly book restaurants and museums, arrange transportation, and share advice on where to shop and when it's best to visit certain museums and monuments.
Minus Late-night noise in this part of Rome can be a nuisance; you'll want to keep windows closed at night. Air conditioning (practically required in summer) will set you back an extra €6 ($9) per night.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes.
Credit Cards Accepted AmEx, MC, Visa.
Details via della Croce 35, 011-39/06-678-0179, hotelpanda.it. Double with shared bath from €98 ($129).