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Where to Stay in Rome: Best Areas & Hotels

For a city as large as Rome, the top tourist attractions are relatively close together, so several neighborhoods are convenient for sightseeing. And although the sights are not actually clustered, they do fall into groups. The ancient Roman highlights - the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill - are close together and within walking distance of the Pantheon. It, in turn, is close to Piazza Navona and the charming Campo de' Fiori neighborhood. To the northeast, and still within walking distance, are the Spanish Steps and Borghese Gardens, with the Trevi Fountain a short detour on the way. Across the Tiber are the sights of Vatican City and the atmospheric streets of Trastevere.

You'll find several choices of hotels in each of these popular areas, some so close that their balconies and rooftop terraces overlook major attractions. But other neighborhoods to consider are those only a few blocks away from these centers. The Monti neighborhood, for example, is near the Colosseum and handy to the main Termini rail station in Rome and the Baths of Diocletian. Often these slightly out-of-the-way streets are filled with restaurants that locals enjoy - and tourists usually miss.

Where to Stay for Sightseeing

Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux
Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux
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On a street so quiet that it's hard to believe you're in the heart of Rome and only a few steps from Piazza Navona, Hotel Raphael - Relais Chateaux is near the Pantheon and Campo de' Fiori's lively market and restaurants. A 100-percent organic breakfast is included, and there's a rooftop terrace for relaxing in the evening. Boutique Hotel Campo de Fiori also has a rooftop garden, this one overlooking the colorful daily market. This is one of Rome's most traditional old neighborhoods, within easy walking distance of the Pantheon, Palatine Hill, and the Vatican.

Balconies at Albergo del Senato look directly onto the Pantheon, which is an easy walk to the Colosseum, Borghese Gardens, and even to Vatican City, and Trastevere. Trevi Fountain is only five minutes away, and several good restaurants are very close. Only a couple of blocks from the Colosseum, Hotel Capo d'Africa is in Monti, a neighborhood filled with small restaurants. Also in Monti, close to both the Colosseum and Forum, Hotel Fori Imperiali Cavalieri is surrounded by restaurants and shopping.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Baglioni Hotel Regina
Baglioni Hotel Regina Lisa Elliott
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On the fashionable Via Veneto, close to Borghese Gardens and the Spanish Steps, the sumptuous Baglioni Hotel Regina lies in the heart of Rome's best shopping and is a 15-minute stroll from Trevi Fountain. On a quiet little street just off the Via del Corso, the highly-rated boutique J.K. Place Roma is also perfectly located for luxury shopping and close to the Spanish Steps. The included full breakfast is served a la carte.

Linger over breakfast in the rooftop restaurant of the luxurious Palazzo Manfredi - Relais & Chateaux, with up-close views of the Colosseum, just across the street. The outstanding churches of San Clemente and San Pietro in Vincoli are only a few steps away. Breakfast views from the rooftop terrace at The Inn at the Roman Forum extend over the Forum to the Colosseum, and there are Roman ruins inside the hotel itself. It's in Monti, halfway between San Pietro in Vincoli and Piazza Venezia.

Where to Stay for the Best Value

Hotel Alimadi Vaticano
Hotel Alimadi Vaticano Lisa Cancade Hackett
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Directly across the street from the entrance to the Vatican Museum and a 20-minute walk from St. Peter's, Hotel Alimandi Vaticano is in an elegant and beautifully restored old building. Restaurants and shopping are nearby. Across the street from the Teatro dell'Opera in Monti, iQ Hotel Roma has a covered rooftop terrace and modern décor.

Also in Monti, Bettoja Hotel Mediterraneo is close to the main Termini train station and the route of the hop-on-hop-off bus, within walking distance of the Colosseum. Be sure to ask for a copy of their excellent insider walking tours, free to guests. Owned and run by the same family, Bettoja Massimo D'Azeglio Hotel is also within walking distance of the Roma Termini railway station and the Rome Opera House, as well as the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Basilica Papale Santa Maria Maggiore.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Hotel Artorius
Hotel Artorius
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The Monti neighborhood is a good choice for value- and budget-minded travelers. Surrounded by the restaurants and shops between the Forum and opera, both the Hotel Artorius and the Hotel De Monti are no more than a 20- to 30-minute walk from the Forum, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and several museums.

Although it's not quite as close to all the attractions, Trastevere is one of the city's most colorful neighborhoods and a good place to escape tourist crowds while still being within walking distance of the most prominent sights. On the west bank of the Tiber, south of Vatican City, Cassiodoro is one of Trastevere's few hotels and is surrounded by traditional restaurants and shops. Travelers with a car, and those who don't mind taking the hotel's shuttle or a public tram into the city center, will find good value for their money at the highly-rated A.Roma Lifestyle Hotel. Along with free parking, the stylish contemporary hotel offers a pool, spacious rooms, good Wi-Fi connection, and a spa. Public transportation is a five-minute walk from the hotel.

Where to Stay for Couples

Barocco Hotel
Barocco Hotel
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Rome is a city for romance, so it's no wonder it's a favorite for honeymooners and those celebrating anniversaries. There is even a chocolatier that will create a chocolate heart "box" to hide an engagement ring. With beautiful views of Piazza Barberini from the well-appointed rooms, the romantic Barocco Hotel couldn't be handier to the Metro (a station is right across the street) or the hop-on-hop-off tour bus that stops outside the door. The included breakfast offers cooked-to-order omelets and egg dishes. Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps are within walking distance. For a very special occasion, reserve the penthouse honeymoon suite at Hotel Artemide, with a huge patio and a hot tub. The hotel has a rooftop restaurant.

Lovely and comfortable, in the heart of charming Trastevere, Hotel Santa Maria serves breakfast on a romantic patio shaded by orange trees. Although most of the main tourist attractions and top things to do are within walking distance, the hotel loans free bikes to guests who want to explore the city on wheels. The romantic boutique Lifestyle Suites Rome is among the city's most highly-rated hotels - its large guest room windows overlook lively Piazza Navona. It's a short walk to the Pantheon or Campo de' Fiori.

Where to Stay for Families

Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora
Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora
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Children are sure to love the location of the Hotel San Carlo, close to the gelato vendors at the Spanish Steps. Families will also welcome the diversions of the nearby Borghese Gardens, with pony and paddleboat rides, puppet shows, and playgrounds. It's not far to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain. Also near the Spanish Steps and Borghese Gardens, Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora has rooms that easily accommodate a family.

The mid-range Hotel Navona has spacious family-sized rooms just off Piazza Navona, a popular place for kids with its street performers and gelato vendors. It's a two-minute walk from the Pantheon, 10 minutes to the pizzerias of Trastevere or market in Campo de' Fiori, and only slightly farther to the Colosseum and Forum. Le Meridien Visconti Rome, only a five-minute walk from Vatican City and St. Peter's Square and a 15-minute walk to the heart of the city, has family-sized rooms. Across the river, it's not far to Piazza Navona and the Pantheon.

Where to Stay near the Spanish Steps

West Excelsior Rome
West Excelsior Rome
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Dedicated shoppers will want to be handy to the best shopping streets, so they can return easily with purchases before setting out again (although some of the prestigious shops on Via dei Condotti will deliver directly to your hotel). These highly-rated hotels are all handy to Via dei Condotti as well as the boutiques and specialty shops in the Via Vittorio Veneto and Via Bocca di Leone.

In a grand Beaux Arts building that has been beautifully restored to all its original grandeur, The Westin Excelsior Rome is close to the top of the Spanish steps and handy to the Borghese gardens. The pool is an added perk that's not common in Rome hotels. A boutique hotel with balconies of its luxury suites overlooking a fashionable shopping street, Portrait Roma serves breakfast at the top of the hotel with views of the Spanish Steps. A 10-minute stroll from the famous steps, Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese sits high above the city at the edge of the Borghese Gardens. Its elevation gives it fantastic views across the city to the dome of St. Peter's, especially from the rooftop terrace and restaurant.

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