My wife and I first stayed at the Hotel Locarno fifteen years ago. We did not choose the hotel -- we were on a trip organized by my someone else -- but we remembered it fondly, so we booked two nights there on our return visit to Rome this month. We paid extra for a "superior" room, because one of the things we liked on our earlier visit was the spacious room with a little hallway that gave it the feel of a suite.
So we were surprised to find that our room was barely big enough for the bed and a couple of other pieces of furniture. It was way too small for two people; the spaces between the bed and the walls were too narrow for more than one person to pass. Although there was a small side table that could have served as a computer desk, it was impossible to sit there because the chair would not fit between the table and the foot of the bed. At first we thought our memories of the large room on the previous visit must have been wrong. But the next morning we happened to walk by several rooms that were being cleaned, and they were all substantially bigger than ours. One room even had a hallway at the entrance, just as we remembered. We mentioned this to someone at the hotel desk, who told us that our room was classified as "superior" because it had a bathtub rather than a shower, and that the less expensive "standard" rooms were even smaller.
Everything else about the Locarno was as pleasant as we had remembered. The building appears to be at least 100 years old, with the high ceilings, woodwork, and other features that make old buildings so much more interesting than new ones. The furnishings in our room and in the public spaces were all either antiques or reasonable imitations thereof. The ancient wooden elevator was charming, although its tiny dimensions and manual doors presented some challenges. Breakfast in the bar/lounge, included in the room rate, was tasty and problem-free. The roof garden and courtyard, although somewhat inhospitable in January, are a great feature at other times of the year. The free wi-fi worked fine, as did the hot water in the bathroom. And most of the staff members were awfully nice people. (One or two of the senior staff seemed a little stiff, but we might have caught them on a bad day.)
As noted by other reviewers, the Locarno's location is also just about perfect. Lots of interesting shops and restaurants are in easy walking distance, as are the Piazza del Popolo (around the corner), the Borghese Gardens, the Spanish Steps, and the River Tiber/Tevere. The Vatican and the Trevi Fountain are a bit further but still walkable on a nice day, and there's a Metro stop (Flaminio/Popolo) a couple of blocks away to take you just about everywhere else.
We would love to stay at the Locarno again. But next time we will request a room substantially larger than the tiny "superior" room we had on this visit, and if our request cannot be honored then we will probably just pay the lower rate for a "standard" room.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Travel back in time to the 1920s!Near the splendid Piazza del Popolo, at the very heart of Rome, is a romantic and intimate guesthouse sought by actors, directors, writers, producers and musicians. Its two buildings are adjoined by an open garden where in spring and summer guests can take their breakfast and lunch or just an excellent aperitif. Enjoy relax and atmosphere in our bedrooms and suites strictly antique but also featuring modern facilities.Hotel Locarno: we’ll make you feel welcome! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Locarno Hotel Rome