THE DEAL: FORTYSEVEN HOTEL, ROME
THE BACKSTORY: Located in a former 1920’s office building for RAI, the Italian broadcasting company, Fortyseven Hotel is a bona fide four star luxury hotel that might be called "boutique" and "minimalist." But those terms mask the essential warmth of this Rome hotel. It is intimate, personal and very friendly, from the concierges to the breakfast waiststaff. This hotel gets high marks in virtually every category.
THE ROOMS: Done in blonde wood and taupe, rooms are spacious, with high ceilings. The marble bathrooms have huge showers. The linens are high thread count and there is ample closet space. In short, rooms are cool, clean and warm at the same time, a miracle of high design. The electric blinds insure quiet and dark. But raise them in the morning for the views over the temple of Hercules and the temple of Portunus.
MORE REASONS TO STAY: The generous buffet breakfast is a treat and you can dine in the courtyard, an oasis before you head out onto Rome’s manic streets. The rooftop bar and restaurant, with views of the tree covered Aventine neighborhood and glimpses of the Tiber, a block away, is a glorious place for a cocktail or dinner. And frankly, a rival to the more famous rooftop bar at the Hotel Eden.
THE DEAL: Rates are running at 305 Euro for two people for bed and breakfast, about $414. For four star luxury in Rome, you can’t do better. It’s real value at this price, especially when you consider that older three star properties badly in need of an upgrade charge around $300 nightly.
INSIDER TIP: The concierges, especially Francesca, are among the most friendly and efficient around. They can get you into a small trattoria in Trastevere on the busiest nights. And for a hotel with high style, it’s remarkably kid-friendly.
CAVEAT: Dining on the rooftop restaurant is a pleasure, and the food is good (and with dishes like spaghetti alla carbonara, occasionally great), but the service is remarkably inconsistent. It’s the only flaw in this otherwise well oiled machine.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: In the Aventine, blissfully away from the tourist crush. You’re close to the Tiber, you look across at the temples of Hercules and Portunus, as well as Santa Maria in Cosmedin, where the Bocca della Verita (mouth of truth) draws those who remember Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday." You’re about a five minute walk to the Forum, Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus. A short stroll of 15 or 20 minutes places you in the heart of Trastevere across the river.
THE DETAILS: Fortyseven Hotel, Via Petroselli 47, 00186 – Rome tel +39.06.6787816; www.fortysevenhotel.com