My review of the family-owned Hotel Celio first appeared in the Telegraph.
It is not every day that you find a three-star hotel in Rome that goes far beyond expectations. Honestly, I've found that it's predictably the opposite which can be a bummer when looking for affordable and reliable hotels in Rome.
The Nitty Gritty: Roberto Quattrini's 20-room boutique hotel is a fabulous find- for three-star prices, you get a five-star location, quality design and personal service. With decades in hospitality, Robert anticipates and understands his guests and their needs, he understands hospitality and he has homegrown insight onto the city of Rome. What does that mean? He lives and loves the city, and is happy to share the how-tos.
And Roberto has patience. The room experience is charming, if you know what you have booked. Rooms are small in size, and meticulously curated to a classic style- mosaic floors, hand-painted frescoes, vintage prints and paintings, and heirloom furniture. The bathrooms are tiny jewels decorated with lovely marbles. This is the kind of hotel for those who enjoy classic style, not for those looking for minimalist chic or an Instagram shot. My favorite details outside of the rooms? The subterranean level with winter with gold-leafed breakfast room, and the mosaic-tiled (à la ancient Rome) hammam for personal use. Oh yeah, I love the private screening room.
8 out of 10, Telegraph Expert Rating
"Named after one of Rome’s famed seven hills, the Hotel Celio is a charming and great value three-star hotel with an obvious love for the history of its Celio neighborhood."
Location: 9 / 10
Hotel Celio has great real estate just behind the Colosseum and within walking distant to all of Rome’s major sites, including the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, Piazza Navona, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. The immediate area is primarily residentially and pleasantly quiet, considering its proximity to Italy’s most visited monument. For a bit more buzz, hipster hub Monti (a neighborhood known for its restaurants, bars and shops) is a short 10 minute walk away. For more extensive travel, there is a near by Metro stop, tram stop and bus stops for getting to all corners of the city. Nature lovers and children of all ages will enjoy Villa Celimontana, a tranquil and very green park about five minutes walk from the hotel.
Style & character: 8 / 10
Playful, vintage Rome is the underlying theme at Hotel Celio. The décor harkens Rome of yesteryear with wood paneling, Venetian glass, period wallpaper and marble. Additionally, the hotel pays homage to the Eternal City's history with ceiling frescoes reminiscent of the lavish rooms of Ancient Rome’s elite. But don’t think this hotel is a dusty museum piece, instead owner Roberto Quattrini creates a warm and friendly refuge from a long day in Rome.
Service & facilities: 8 / 10
Very enthusiastic and efficient service, far more friendly and informed than the average Rome three-star. The hotel staff provides replete material on neighborhood restaurants, tour offerings, and events. There is a small workout room on the hotel’s rooftop with Technogym equipment (elliptical and running machines) as well as free weights, and in its basement is a private hammam, with gorgeous antiquity-inspired floor and wall mosaics. For a quick beauty fix, immediately across the street is e-Wellness, the Hotel Celio’s beauty center with a menu of beauty treatments including facials, massages, pedicures and manicures.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
Rooms: 8 / 10
Each of the Hotel Celio’s 20 rooms is charming, with a prevalence for Renaissance revival in its décor. All rooms are decorated in period style with detailed wallpaper, vintage furniture, patterned floor tiles and, in some cases, lavish mosaic floors and in situ frescoes. The standard doubles are small to average in space, so if size does matter, the first level, Ambassador Suite with its king-size bed, personal library of first edition books, and gorgeous brocade is an excellent choice, though I much prefer to go to the top for the Pompeian Suite, a rooftop terrace apartment with living room (that doubles as a guest room), two bathrooms, and three private terraces—with a prime view of the Colosseum. This is where you will want to sit at sunset.
Food & drink: 7 / 10
Hidden in the Hotel Celio’s ground level is a gorgeous, gold-leafed breakfast area, where guests are entertained for winter weather. In the summer months, Hotel Celio opens its garden courtyard for tented, al fresco breakfast, which is standard continental fare.
Value for money: 9 / 10
Double rooms from £90 in low season; rising to £120 in high. Breakfast and Wi-Fi included.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Yes. In summer months, the rooftop terrace has a small wading pool and play area for children.
Via Dei Santi Quattro 35/C, 00184 Rome, Italy.