Heading to Rome and wondering where to stay? There are thousands of hotels, B&Bs and guest houses in Rome that you can choose from, making it fairly difficult to make a decision as to where to stay – particularly if it’s your first visit. We’ve been to Rome many times so we were looking for a 5 star hotel that was modern, centrally located and wouldn’t break the bank. We found just that in The First Roma.
Situated down a quiet side street, The First Roma is just a few minutes walk from Piazza di Popolo, Via del Corso (the main shopping street) and the Spanish Steps – the perfect location. Everything is in walking distance, depending on how much you like to walk! The Vatican, for example, is about a 30 to 40 minute walk away. However, if you don’t want to walk everywhere, there’s a Metro station just around the corner from the hotel.
There are six types of room and we stayed in a Prestige Room, which was beautifully decorated with colourful, modern artwork from Italian artists. The queen-sized bed was very comfy and the room was, importantly, quiet.
I loved the bookshelves full of books, although most were in Italian so I wouldn’t have been able to read them without my husband translating. There were one or two books in English, which I’m guessing may have been left by guests.
The marble bathroom had a large shower with luxurious Ortiga toiletries. Ortiga is a Sicilian brand and I love how The First Roma really promotes Italy – from the artwork, the ingredients used in their restaurant to the bathroom products. They are proud to be Italian!
We were disappointed to discover our room didn’t have a bath, particularly when you’ve been walking all day and want to soak your aching feet! We did ask to move rooms but unfortunately the hotel was full and they couldn’t accommodate our request.
Amenities in the room include wifi, Sky, air conditioning and a desk – and the best hotel slippers I’ve ever had! There was also complimentary bottled water every day and a welcome tray of biscuits when we arrived as well as a tray of sweet treats the night before we left. We loved the room, however the Prestige Room is quite small at only 20 square meters.
The building, that is now the hotel, is over 200 years old and used to be a 19th century palace. Last year the hotel was voted number one in the Top Hotels in Rome in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards. Like the rooms, the hotel is a living art gallery and I love how they only promote young Italian artists, giving them a platform to showcase their talent and their work.
There is a lovely, large lounge area for guests to sit and relax in, which displays more artwork by Italian artists. There’s lots of natural light from the floor to ceiling windows and you can read, enjoy a drink from the adjacent bar or even watch television.
The hotel has a small open air gym if you like to workout whilst on holiday. It’s actually located on a terrace and when we stayed there was quite a bit of rain and they hadn’t pulled the roof across so all the equipment was wet, and hence couldn’t be used.
Their restaurant, Acquolina, has a Michelin-starred Chef, Alessandro Narducci. We wanted to book a table for the night of Easter Sunday but unfortunately they were closed that night so I can’t report back on the food. It’s also where breakfast is served and breakfast was delicious. There’s a continental buffet and a selection of hot dishes, ranging from eggs to pancakes. They also have a rooftop garden, Acquaroof, where you can have drinks or enjoy a meal. As we were there in March, it wasn’t open.
We really enjoyed our stay at The First Roma and would recommend it for a luxurious stay in an ideal location. The staff were really friendly and helpful, suggesting restaurants for dinner on Easter Sunday and making reservations for us.
We would definitely stay again – but in a bigger room (with a bath!).