Updated December 6, 2023
The most important part of planning any trip is figuring out where to stay. The right hotel, resort, lodge, or apartment can make or break a vacation.
The right choice can elevate a trip and make it even more memorable, while the wrong choice can create problems that could otherwise be avoided.
I often get questions like “what’s the best hotel in (insert city)” or “where should I stay in (name the town or region). But the answer isn’t that straightforward.
I’m involved in several travel advisor communities, and it always amazes me when an agent posts a question about “the best” hotel or resort in an area without sharing any information about their client’s tastes, interests, needs or desires.
The “best” hotel or resort for you won’t necessarily be the best for someone else. Everyone has a different budget and different tastes.
Maybe you want to be in the heart of a city, or perhaps you prefer to be in a quieter area where you can travel into the city center when you want to. Decor that for oozes opulence and luxury to you may feel stuffy and fussy to someone else.
That’s why I always take lists of the “best” or “must stay” hotels with a grain of salt. But I still love looking at them, and I’ve found some of my favorite hotels that way!
With that in mind, here’s my list of the best luxury hotels in Rome, Italy.
Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte hotel
French poet Jean Cocteau dubbed the Hotel de Russie “paradise on earth” for good reason. The hotel has been an icon in Rome for nearly 200 years, and is perfectly situated between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo.
That means you can easily walk to many of Rome’s key attractions, including Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and Vatican City with St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.
An unusual feature of the hotel is their extensive terraced garden, which provides a tranquil oasis in the middle of the city. The stunning gardens feature rose bushes, orange trees and pine trees, and you can wander the paths while listening to the restful sounds of the waterfall.
Dine alfresco at “Le Jardin de Russie”, enjoying the beauty of the “Secret Garden” during the day or in the evening, when soft lights illuminate the terraces.
Rooms and suites contain original artwork and antique furniture, and many overlook the hotel’s Secret Garden. Enjoy a day of pampering at one of Rome’s best urban spas, featuring a saltwater hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room.
Hotel Eden Rome
You’ll feel like a guest in a private home at the Hotel Eden Rome. Set between the Villa Borghese and the Spanish Steps, the hotel has been welcoming guests since 1889.
When it opened it was the only hotel in Rome to feature an elevator, electricity, central heating and running water, and it has maintained its reputation for elegance and luxury ever since.
The hotel remains a firm favorite among celebrities, royalty and discerning travelers with its blend of classic Roman style, modern features and Italian furniture. Many of the rooms feature city views, and for the ultimate view ask for a balcony on a high floor.
A rooftop space, formerly used to dry laundry, was converted into a rooftop terrace bar in the 1960s. It continues to be a guest favorite, with views over the city of Rome. A restaurant was later added so more guests could enjoy the beautiful location and stunning views.
Situated at the top of the Spanish Steps, the Hotel Hassler is the epitome of “la dolce vita”. The hotel is owned and expertly managed by Roberto Wirth, who represents the sixth generation of a famous Swiss hotelier family.
The hotel’s 87 luxurious rooms, along with the staff’s careful attention to detail, will leave guests rested and refreshed.
Imàgo, the sixth-floor Michelin-starred, panoramic restaurant, allows you to sample creative fare while taking in breathtaking views over the city.
Guests also enjoy access to the Hassler Wellness Club, the only gym in Rome where you can work out on state-of-the-art equipment while enjoying views of St. Peter’s Basilica. After your workout, step out onto the open-air terrace and enjoy a light snack or drink.
When it’s time to take in the city, the hotel makes it easy with their complementary electric courtesy car and driver. Whether you are heading to one of the nearby shopping areas, or simply want to get to the Piazza di Spagna without having to take the steps, all you need to do is contact the Concierge and request the car service.
In the evening, stop by the beautiful Hassler Bar and order the bellini. Princess Diana once said it was the best bellini she’d ever had. Give it a try and see if you agree. If you’d prefer to enjoy your drink with a direct view of the Spanish Steps you can stop in at the hotel’s nearby sister property, Il Palazzetto Wine Bar.
La Posta Vecchia
On the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea lies La Posta Vecchia, once the seaside home of J. Paul Getty.
One of Italy’s finest examples of Renaissance decor, you can enjoy a complimentary tour of the onsite museum that features the ruins of a Roman villa from the 2nd century BC.
Many of the hotel’s rooms overlook the Tyrrhenian sea, and 10 acres of private gardens provide ample space for strolling and exploring.
Rome is just 35 minutes away, making it easy to access all the cultural attractions, both historic and modern, that the Eternal City offers. It’s an excellent base to explore the Lazio region and taste its locally produced wines, olive oils, honey and cheeses. The coastal location also allows easy access to water sports and charter excursions.
You can’t get closer to the Colosseum than the Palazzo Manfredi. Standing just a few meters from the Ludus Magnus, a former gladiator school, the 16th-century palazzo boasts dazzling views of the Colosseum that make you feel like you could reach out and touch it.
A small hotel, with only 15 rooms and 5 suites, it’s an elegant hideaway in the former center of Imperial Rome. When you’re ready to see the sites, the Colosseum and Roman Forum are a few steps outside the door. If you’d prefer to take a guided tour of any of the sites nearby, the Concierge can arrange for one of Rome’s top guides to accompany you.
When you’re ready for an exquisite meal you’ll want to make a reservation at AROMA, the Michelin-starred restaurant. Featuring an outdoor terrace with an unparalleled Colosseum view, dinner in the intimate 40-seat restaurant can make it feel like you have the view all to yourself.
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Rome’s only luxury city resort, the Rome Cavalieri was the first Waldorf Astoria hotel in Europe. Located just 15 minutes from the city center, the resort is situated in a 15 acre private park and feels like a different world.
The rooms and suites all have private balconies or terraces, many with views over the dome St. Peter’s Basilica. Make sure to have a meal at La Pergola, Rome’s first and only three-Michelin-starred restaurant.
The hotel also boasts its own museum-worthy private art collection. The collection contains over a thousand pieces, ranging from 16th century masterpieces to contemporary art. If you’d like to view the collection you can make a request with the Concierge.
If you’ve been to Rome many times and think you’ve seen all the highlights, think again. The Rome Cavalieri’s historian can secure exclusive access to some of the city’s most exquisite private homes, including palazzos that have been the homes of Rome’s nobility for generations.
Fans of super cars will want to take advantage of the hotel’s special super car program. Simply tell them your dream design, and the hotel will arrange for your desired car to be delivered for you to enjoy with a spin around the town or countryside.
If you’ve never driven a super car, a test drive includes a comprehensive briefing on the F1 paddle-gear shift and full mechanical support. There is also a race track nearby for those who are looking for a more immersive experience.
Whether you choose a Ferrari, Lamgorghini, McLaren, or prefer a James Bond-style Aston Martin, you can decide to keep the car for a few hours, or have it at your disposal for the duration of your stay.
Have you always wondered what it would be like to be a gladiator, or wanted to try a different type of fitness training? The concierge can arrange for combat instructors from Rome’s Gladiator School to come to the Rome Cavalieri and spend a few hours training you in the gardens. You’ll train in a full gladiator kit, with a traditional tunic, Roman sandals, belt, protective gloves, and a wooden training sword and shield.
Through the day you’ll be instructed in ancient combat techniques, learning the difference between the Gallus, Thracian and Provocatores. This is the perfect experience for students learning about ancient Rome, allowing them to gain a fascinating cultural insight to ancient history that they can’t get anywhere else.
The St. Regis Rome
The St. Regis Rome captivates with its winning combination of history and charm. Located in the heart of the city, the Spanish Steps are within easy walking distance, as are some of Rome’s most renowned shopping districts. Also nearby are the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona.
Opened in 1894 by Cesar Ritz, the founder of the Hôtel Ritz in Paris and the Ritz and Carlton Hotels in London, the hotel combines its elegant past heritage with contemporary design elements. Rooms are refreshingly decorated in tones of cinnamon and powder blue, offering a cool but comfortable oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city.
If you’d like to experience one of Rome’s hidden secrets, the St. Regis’ signature Butler Service can enhance your stay by arranging exclusive access and private experiences tailored to your interests and desires.
In the summer months, enjoy the newly opened Lumen Garden, a meeting spot for local and international jet-setters with a superb selection of Mediterranean dishes and signature cocktails.
The Westin Excelsior, Rome
One of the legendary hotels of the Eternal City, the Westin Excelsior is a longtime favorite of celebrities and heads of state. The hotel was built at the turn of the century in the grand tradition of European hotels, and is located in the heart of the city.
Be sure to ask for a tour of the stunning Villa La Cupola, one of the most luxurious hotel suites in Europe. Provided it isn’t reserved, the staff is happy to show it to you. Located in the hotel’s magnificent dome, the Villa La Cupola is set over two floors, and offers breathtaking views for the ultimate “Roman Emperor” experience.
If you’d like to see and be seen, take a table on the Doney Restaurant’s outside patio along the Via Veneto. Or for a pre-dinner aperitivo or cocktail, stop by the OVRM Bar.
The bottom line: The best luxury hotels in Rome
Whether you’re looking for a classic Palazzo or a city resort, a room with a view or some peace and quiet, Rome has a hotel that is sure to delight.
For more Italy travel inspiration, check out my other Italy travel blog posts.