Set on a quiet street in the heart of Rome's luxury shopping district is this restored 16th-century mansion-house hotel, once home to John Keats and said to have been a favourite of Mark Twain and Elizabeth Taylor. Part of the Small Luxury Hotels group, it's all old-school glamour from impeccably dressed doormen to glossy black-and-white marble floors, gilt furnishings and glittering chandeliers. But this swanky décor comes without airs and graces - friendly, relaxed staff give it the feeling of a home from home and definitely a place where sinking into a jewel-coloured silk sofa in one of the ground floor drawing rooms with a glass of red would be actively encouraged.
There are 88 rooms which is surprising as the hotel feels more intimate. Successfully toeing the line between decadence and utility, bright airy bedrooms combine sweeping satin curtains, insignia-stamped linen and marble bathrooms with comfortable beds, contemporary lighting and power showers.
What's for breakfast?
An extensive breakfast buffet has all the usual suspects such as fresh pastries and cereal, as well as Italian extras including mozzarella, plump red vine tomatoes and deliciously rich local sausages. Ask for a table on the street and watch the world go by over a pot of really good coffee.
How about lunch and dinner?
The hotel's restaurant, Café Romano, will not disappoint those who have come to gorge on Italian cuisine. Michelin-trained Antonio Vitale puts a modern spin on classic dishes, using only the very best local produce.
Is there a bar?
Yes. The aptly named Bond Bar is moodily lit, well-stocked and trussed up in chic black lacquer. It's the kind of place which will make you want to order a negroni in your huskiest voice and sit looking sultry and smoking Gauloise until the early hours (N.B. smoking is not permitted indoors).
A grandiose-sounding ballroom and 'banqueting facilities'. For those setting their sights a little less high, you'll find everything you'd expect from a five-star hotel, including wifi and parking.
Things you should know
The fourth floor has been recently refurbished and rooms at the front have proper Romeo and Juliet-style balconies. We were awoken one morning by the sounds of Italian opera singing drifting up from street performers below.
Within a short walk you can find…
Everything! The hotel is perfectly located for those who want to explore Rome's historical sights on foot, with the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona all within walking distance, while those who want to pick up some Italian style on their travels can head to the boutiques of Via dei Condotti. We also recommend a trip to traditional Due Ladroni restaurant just five minutes away; open until 1AM, it's the perfect place for some late-night pasta.