Up next for The Telegraph's Travel: Babuino 181 I have begun contributing hotel reviews for The Telegraph's travel section, and I am having a blast revisiting Rome's hotel hospital, with my mind focused on detail, style, vibe, and experience, of course. This time, it's Babuino 181, a boutique hotel on my favorite via del Babuino, Rome's uber-fab shopping street. Keep your eye here and on the Telegraph as I continue to roll out reviews.
Babuino 181 first appeared in The Telegraph in August 2015.
Babuino 181 is a boutique Rome hotel offering attentive service, Art Deco interiors, a rooftop terrace, breakfast, and spacious suites, in Rome’s fashion district, near Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina. The chic, pied-a-terre vibe of Babuino 181 is key to its top ranking as Rome’s best and most discreet hideaway. Sitting pretty on coveted a shopping street, via del Babuino, Babuino 181 enjoys privacy and privilege as it hides in the shadows of the haute couture windows of Valentino, Chanel, Herve Leger and Moschino.
The very epicentre of contemporary Rome, especially for the shopping set. The fashion triangle that extends from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) and Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina includes boutiques, antique shops, art galleries and caffès. Only pedestrian traffic and nominal vehicular movement here, so days are quiet and evenings are even more so. Most monuments and sites are a short walk away including Piazza Navona, Ara Pacis, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Venezia, and greenery getaway Villa Borghese, meanwhile a visit to the Vatican and Termini station takes only a few metro stops.
A home away from home, especially when put together by a fabulous Italian man who has lived in the area for decades. Babuino 181 owner, Alberto Moncada di Paternò, and one of his well-informed concierges skip formalities and welcome guests in a chic mezzanine lounge. The intimate vibe is emulated in Babuino 181’s Back-to-the-Future décor. Original ornament details, such as the townhouse’s restored marble staircase and cast-iron railing, and Art Deco reproductions intermingle with contemporary art and photographs, while the earth-tone palette keeps the vibe calm and cosy.
Since it is all about feeling at home, Babuino 181’s concierge staff are available 24/7 and to your convenience to chat about what your heart desires — whether in the room or out — such as tour planning, babysitting and shopping. The glass-enclosed rooftop terrace is a private enclave for hotel guests, and hosts an Italian breakfast of pastries, cheeses, cured meats, yogurt and fruit, and afternoon-to-evening cocktails.
The 14 rooms and suites are dreamy hideouts of Frette linens, king-sized beds, comfortable couches, large windows, and natural woods blending with the hotel’s delicious warm tones of umbers, ochres and beiges. What makes each room unique is location, view and size, so be picky and ask questions. The entry-level double superior can be up to 280 square feet, and may or may not have a great view, while the Patrizi Suite (my favourite) enjoys nearly 600 square-feet of bedroom, living room, and terrace with a great rooftop view.
Food & drink 8/10
Though continental breakfast is served on the rooftop, there is no on-site restaurant at Babuino 181, but thankfully, the hotel is within walking distance of several trattorias. For a nightcap, head to Babuino’s rooftop terrace and peruse the cocktail menu.
Value for money 9/10
Classic Double rooms from £214 in low season; rising to £290 in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Yes. But it is worth noting that only a handful of suites can accommodate four people. Babysitting is available upon request.