Chapter Roma, Rome, Italy

Chapter Roma, Rome, Italy

Gritty yet glamorous, boutique hotel Chapter Roma injects
design-forward, audaciously sexy aesthetics into a 19th-century
building where culture and creativity reign supreme.

“We’re not fancy, and we’re not not fancy” is Chapter Roma’s
defining mantra, so if you’re expecting the crème de la glam of an
Italian grand dame, our advice is simple: these digs aren’t for

In place of the smart ballroom, then? A sexy, daringly naughty
and forward-thinking arts space dreamed up by South African
designer Tristan du Plessis, who has transformed the once exhausted
late 19th-century pile of bricks into an exceptionally slick
monochrome pad.

Marco Cilia, owner and alumnus of several spunky hotel
start-ups, set out with a goal for Chapter Roma to challenge
traditional Italian hotelier codes by creating a “new boutique
concept” that celebrates both the locale and the creative

Brass, copper, steel and bronze fixtures, dark-stained
herringboned and green-granite floors, mid-century velvet loungers
and art pieces by Warios, Cyrcle, Willy Verginer and local creative
Alice Pasquini are framed by original brick work, ornamental nods
to the area’s Jewish heritage and a cleverly curated mishmash of
muted industrial tones. In a word, Chapter Roma is stylish.

The location is just as edgy as the interiors. It’s wedged in
between the razzmatazz of the Jewish ghetto and the
cooler-than-cool Regola neighbourhood, so a grand bazaar of
eclectic bohemian hangouts and no-nonsense restaurants add to the
hotel’s already glowing street cred.

Spoiler: culture and creativity reign supreme at Chapter


The vibe is a chic mash-up of art deco Manhattan-loft-esque
glamour and all the mod cons of contemporary Roma. All 42 rooms are
minimalist but Instagrammable, with most boasting snazzy lights
from Tom Dixon along with exposed brick and boiserie walls
plastered with statement artworks. Think neon signs glowing “what
if?” and steamy Seletti rugs bearing tight bum cheeks.

Though the digs appeal to all the latest trends, out-there
designer details stay true to the area’s Roman past and cultural
heritage. Worthy shout outs include the custom open wardrobes built
by local metalworkers (an historical throwback to the area’s
blacksmithing traditions) and the hyper-comfy velvet beds
handcrafted in central Italy.

Stealing the spotlight however, are the industrial-style
bathrooms. Dark terrazzo floors complement swish cement walls and
brass fixtures, along with spacious walk-in showers ready for a
post-pasta sweats or couples looking for a good time. The L:a
Bruket bath products and the skimpy Turkish-made peshtemal-cotton
bathrobes are a real treat too.

Best of the bunch? OTT millennial flair is omnipresent in the
hotel’s corner rooms. All come with dual-aspect views and raunchy,
camera-friendly orange velvet sofas that hug the walls.

What’s for breakfast?

Breakfast is a continental affair served downstairs in the main
lounge and bar area to the sounds of punk rock and garage classics.
From 7am to midday, you can expect fresh juices, cured meats, local
and regional cheeses, breads and Roman pastries, cereals and
yoghurts. Eggs made to your liking are also up for scoffing on

What about lunch and dinner?

The recently opened Market bistro is all about sustainable fresh
salads and clean, green juices designed to wake you up and get all
your key organs fully detoxed. Signature dishes include spicy Thai
and veg avocado bowls and a knockout kale caesar salad. Granola,
chia and acai pots are other highlights.

A Peruvian restaurant and rooftop bar are planned for spring and
summer 2020, respectively. Until then, down a few negoronis in the
Lobby Bar – some say they are the best in town.


You will find no spa or gym here – yet. The hotel does, however,
host a series of creative nights along with DJ-led takeovers. Ask
for more info at check-in.

Things you should know

As the building is listed, room layouts vary, along with the
furniture and even the height of the windows in each room. If
there’s one you really want, call in advance and request it before
you hop on the plane. Small pets (under five kilos) also stay for

Within a short walk you’ll find

A-list attractions. The Colosseum and Roman Forum are a short
15-minute stroll away; the Trevi Fountain (20 minutes) and Vatican
City (25 minutes) are also within easy reach of the hotel. Tip: go
early to avoid all the crowds.

If you’d rather ditch the tourists, stay put. The Jewish ghetto
is home to several top restaurants, including Ba’Ghetto (don’t miss the fried artichokes or fried
mozzarella balls) and, if you walk two minutes north of the hotel
up Via dei Giubbonari, Roscioli spins out some of the best
pasta, wine and cured meats in the city.

The lively restaurants, cutesy shops and photogenic
plant-flecked market squares of Trastevere are just across the
river, too.