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“Fantastic modern boutique hotel!”

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The First Luxury Art Hotel
Ranked #34 of 1,269 Hotels in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 October 2012

If you are looking for a contemporary boutique hotel in Rome, you should stop looking. The First Luxury Art Hotel is what you are looking for! This modern hotel got everything you want and need for a good stay in Rome. The check-in was a breeze, and the junior suite was spacious with loads of small details that gives the room a luxurious feeling. Since we was staying at The First during our vacation, location was the most important factor for choosing this hotel. It did not let us down. All of the most important attractions was within walking distance.

The breakfast is expensive, but still of good value. Fresh and delicious. The only negatives I can say about this hotel, is that the room was a bit too dark and that the check-out was a bit slow.

Room Tip: If you want a room with a view, do not go for junior suite No. 103.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bertago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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565 - 571 of 833 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2012

I could easily sum up my review in a few words: SUPERB SERVICE + LOCATION, but I feel compelled to give thorough credit to a SUPERB staff that went out of their way to ensure that I was comfortable during my stay. Service and location are the most important factors to me when selecting a hotel. The First is on a tiny little street off the Via di Repetta, which was divine because you don’t get a lot of noise from street traffic (neither cars nor people). It’s located just a few blocks from the Piazza del Poppolo in an upscale part of the city and I pretty much walked everywhere – which was especially ideal for this shopaholic when I returned with armloads of bags from the Via del Corso and Via dei Condotti. I spent 3 nights in this wonderful boutique hotel in mid-Sept. and wish I was already going back. I work in the resort industry and have stayed at many 4-5 star properties – this was one of THE best experiences I've had in awhile – which is saying A LOT coming from this self-confessed hotel snob. I booked a private transfer through the hotel and the driver was waiting for me at FCO arrivals with a smile, then promptly delivered me to The First w/out issue. One of the hotel managers, Daniele, was waiting at the hotel entrance to greet me and provided a personal escort (no stopping at the front desk) to check me in directly from my room. I booked a Jr. Suite and was delighted to learn that they’d automatically upgraded me to their best suite, the "Art Suite," without me having to ask. {Tip: NEVER use a "discount" online booking engine to book hotels, because hotels have to pay a fee to the booking engines and they loose $. By booking DIRECTLY with a property, they're FAR more likely to provide you with complimentary upgrades, just ask at check-in} I was also delighted to see a nice bottle of champagne on ice with a bowl of fresh fruit + a welcome tray of sweets. The entire staff remembered my name and was always quick to greet me upon entering or leaving. Every request I made was expediently and pleasantly responded to and when they didn't know an answer to a few of my questions, they were on the phone/internet to figure it out ASAP and provided prompt follow-up. I sent MANY email inquiries prior to arrival that were all answered quickly and thoroughly. All of the requests that I made prior to arrival were fulfilled, illustrating the staff’s superb attention to detail. {Tip: if you prefer a room with a “fixed” stand-up shower, make your request known via email PRIOR to check-in} The 'genuinely' hospitable service is what really made this stay such a memorable one. When staying at traditional 'grand' style hotels, I feel that the service is not as “personal.” Also at larger hotels, I often find that staff members put on airs – exactly the opposite of the warm hospitality I expect when booking a 4-5 star property – which is why I personally prefer to stay in more intimate, "boutique" hotels. This is a genuine boutique property and the entire staff seemed "authentically" appreciative of my patronage. The furnishings and design aesthetic are all contemporary, which is my preference (I prefer “new” plumbing over ancient, if you get my drift). As another reviewer commented, unfortunately the lighting (at least inside the Art Suite) wasn’t the best for reading or computer work. I had to work and was able to move the lamp that was on a table near the door to the desk, which created a quick fix for providing adequate task lighting while working on my laptop. Just remember, this isn’t the fault of present-day Management, unfortunately this was an oversight on behalf of the construction/design team, and it’s very costly to re-wire an entire (ancient) structure to incorporate overhead lighting. They offer laundry service, but I didn't notice an iron in my closet, although I'd arrived from Spain and had a travel iron with me, so I didn't need to ask. I recommend inquiring before you arrive if you require one. I never had an issue with leaving my room key in the slot to keep the lights on like another reviewer had, because it gave me a good several minutes to remove the key and tuck it away in my bag before everything shut off. Knowing this, I made sure to charge all of my electronic gadgets overnight, ensuring that they were all set to go during the day + the staff also provided me with a complimentary converter to use, which was helpful. I brought 2 converters/adapters and also used the one they loaned me to charge my iPhone, iPad + Mac laptop and never had an issue. The only slightly frustrating aspect was that I had to plug my iPad and iPhone into the bathroom sockets to charge overnight, as there were no accessible outlets near the bed. Fortunately, there was ample counter space in the bathroom to accommodate them. To my dismay, I find the lack of bedside outlets common in European hotels, but just wish that they would give us "gadget obsessed" Americans somewhere to plug our phones in "near the bed" so that we can use our iPhone alarms! {For US travelers: remember, this is Europe, and things are always "slightly different" abroad than at home. That’s the beauty of traveling, to experience and appreciate the diversity between other cultures, while reigniting the pride and appreciation of one’s own :) As the old saying goes,“When in Rome...” right?!} As for a gym and swimming pool, I don't think the hotel has either - but when on vacation in Europe, the last thing I want to do is exercise because I'm walking around from sun up until sun down. Personally, I'm there to experience as much of the city's sights and culture that I can fit in within each 24 hour day - not maintain my workout regimen - so this didn't bother me in the least. My room was on the second level and faced the street - I NEVER once heard a peep of noise that disturbed me, and I'm likely the world's lightest sleeper. The walls in my room (205) were very well insulated and I was able to take long naps every day in late afternoon that felt like a the ultimate indulgence, as the bedding was simply divine. The ultra-luxe white sheets were spotless and soft as a baby's bottom! The pillows were like clouds. The bed was a superior quality memory foam mattress which didn't move nor squeek an inch, allowing me to sleep like a rock every time I hit the pillows. I actually contemplated staying in bed one day because it was just so comfortable and I was soooo enjoying the beautifully designed interior from my absolutely scrumptious bed! Since I’m not a big breakfast person, I opted not to pay for the full daily breakfast. But each morning I did order a cafe latte + the assorted bread basket from room service (which, I believe, only cost me several Euros). The coffee was lovely and the croissants were so warm and buttery soft, they rivaled many that I’ve had in Paris (no exaggeration). I always carry spare plastic baggies when I travel, which came in handy because I was able to pack the extra rolls and take them along for snacks throughout the day, saving time and money. I also ordered a pasta dish in white sauce from room service (sorry I can’t recall the actual name of the dish) and it was incredibly delicious (just make sure you tell them up front if you prefer your pasta cooked al dente). The ladies will appreciate this; my room's hairdryer actually worked BETTER than the $100 one I have at home, which was a huge relief because you never know what you're going to get in Europe and sometimes a bad hair day can ruin a good vacation day! Another note for the ladies; I didn't care for the scent of the toiletries, they were too "spicy / masculine" for my taste (think patchouli crossed with musk and evergreens). The quality of the products all seemed fine, but I just didn't care for the strong, masculine scent of them and was very grateful that I had brought my own soap and hair care products. So ladies, keep this in mind when packing if you're sensitive to particular scents or want to wear your favorite perfume, as it would likely clash with The First's bath fragrances. Maid service was always prompt and they provided me with a complete set of fresh towels, plus vacuumed my room EACH day. Every night at turndown service they left me 2 bottles of water + candies, laid out a floor mat with my slippers and also provided me with a weather report for the following day, along with a personal note with wishes for a good night’s rest. My room was always spotless when I returned to it, without me ever having to ask for anything. The only hiccup was the poor service I experienced when I had dinner at the rooftop on my last night. This was the SINGLE blemish to an otherwise outstanding experience at The First, so I decided to alert the front desk with “constructive criticism.” I was relieved to learn that the Japanese-fusion restaurant is NOT operated by hotel management, which accounted for the big disconnect in the level of customer service between the two. So until there’s a new restaurant with new management in place, my recommendation is to skip dinner and just go up for a quick drink (or photo op at the least), because the view and atmosphere are worth it – just don't expect the same level of service you receive from the hotel staff. Although I was disappointed by the negative experience at the restaurant, the reaction of The First’s management staff FAR EXCEEDED my expectations. Within minutes of arriving back in my room, I received not one, but TWO phone calls from different managers (off-duty, nonetheless) expressing their sincerest apologies. Not only was my dinner bill comped, but I also had the choice of ordering anything I wanted from the room service menu, free of charge. As if this wasn’t enough, upon my departure the following morning, management had also left me with a spectacular departing gift of deluxe bath goods as another gesture of appreciation, they had a cab driver waiting for me, AND they asked the driver to provide me with a discounted fair to the airport - I think they must've called in the best cab driver they knew of, because he was delightful all the way to the airport, taking an alternative quicker route and providing interesting unknown facts about the city all along the way!! Suffice it to say, management’s quick response and manner in which they dealt with my complaint was very much appreciated. I left the hotel feeling like an extremely valued guest and couldn't wait to get back. The true test of a hotel staff is how they handle conflict, and in my opinion, The First passed the test with flying colors! I give them an "A+" for their effort and their execution of handling the situation. An incident that could have potentially ruined my stay was turned around instantly by their prompt, highly professional manner and their commitment to ensuring their guest’s satisfaction - Daniele and Giuseppe, MILLE GRAZIE!!! My entire experience with the hotel staff was 5 stars throughout and frankly, I will not apologize for my effusive review of this lovely boutique hotel and its spectacular staff. As a first time visitor to Rome, I genuinely appreciated the level of superb service while traveling alone in a city I was unfamiliar with. I’m sincerely looking forward to visiting the hotel again and have no problem paying a little more to receive such great service in an ideal location, as the cost is certainly well worth it. This will be the ONLY place I’ll ever stay while in Rome, as I highly doubt that I’d ever be able to improve upon The First’s dedication to serving their guests AND their fantastic location.

Room Tip: For US travelers (and any others who might find this helpful): Rome is like New York - you end up ta...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank Shawn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2012

One of the best motels we stayed in during our month trip. We had a junior suite which was a good size, and had a nice little balcony. It was ultra quiet in the room, I slept well ever night. Food and drink was expensive from the bar and cafe. I also thought it was a bit strange that three bar tenders all made the same cocktail in a completely different manner. We paid for breakfast separate and it was very tasty each time. the private transfer service was excellent, we used it twice. all the major attractions wer a short walking distance. wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Strudelgirl01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2012

Beautifully designed boutique hotel down a quiet side street right by the Tiber river, Piazza del Popolo, Borghese villa gardens, Spanish Steps, and high-end shops. Great neighborhood for wandering around at night. Very clean, modern & luxurious. One of the best showers I've ever seen in a hotel. Fantastic, multi-lingual staff members who are friendly and helpful. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ginger R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2012 via mobile

Love the location... shopping and lovely cafes steps away.
Love our room... Luxurious and comfortable.
Love the breakfast... Fresh and the coffee is fantastic.
The first luxury art hotel is upmarket without being snobby.
Perfect hotel for our visit to Rome.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank Travelbugalug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2012

My wife and I stayed here while I was attending a conference in Sept. 2012. We were able to enjoy 5 nights in a junior suite. The hotel is very new and modern. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The service was excellent, room always cleaned and readied quickly.

I really, really enjoyed this place. So close to sights and a metro stop.

Room Tip: Close to hotel on Ventaggio between Via Ripetta and Del Corso on the south side of the street is a c...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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Thank dergondarkhelm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2012

Our visit started out a little rough. We arrived early evening reserving a suite with a jacuzzi. Unfortunately the jacuzzi was cold. They moved us to another room and as luck would have it the jacuzzi failed the following morning. That's the negative.
Now for the positive. The staff did everything they possibly could to correct the issue. They really cared.
They bent over backwards to make it up to us. Staff was so nice, pleasant. The hotel is very cool.
The breakfast is phenomenal. Order it served in you suite for 5E. Well worth it.

Our last night we had dinner at their sushi restaurant on the roof. We are very very picky about our sushi. This was one of the highlights of the trip. The ambience, the food and the fantastic, full, martinis.
If you like sushi you have to give this a try.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The First Luxury Art Hotel

Address: Via del Vantaggio 14, 00186 Rome, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Lazio > Rome > Campo Marzio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#18 Luxury Hotel in Rome
#21 Romantic Hotel in Rome
#63 Family Hotel in Rome
#97 Business Hotel in Rome
Price Range: £283 - £682 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The First Luxury Art Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awarded 5 stars boutique hotel located in the historical center of Rome, a drop from the iconic shopping streets and The Spanish Steps. The historic building dates back to the nineteenth century and has been completely renovated respecting the original architecture, redesigned with refined colors and natural materials. The First welcomes its guests to venture into the Italian contemporary luxury, with 29 rooms and suites perfectly matching culture and elegance. Each room is curated by a contemporary artist, just like in an art gallery, yours for a few days. Enjoy AcquaRoof dining with breath-taking views of the Eternal city, and the amazing cuisine of Michelin star Chef Alessandro Narducci at Acquolina. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The 1st Luxury Art Hotel

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