This unusual boutique hotel has a wonderful quiet location a short walk from the Spanish Steps but a world away from the crowds. This is an area with neighborhood restaurants, some of whose patrons even seem to be neighborhood residents.
One of the greatest reasons to stay here is the remarkable roof deck which has a stunning panoramic view of the whole city.
The hotel is a very chic and modern establishment built within an old building. The theme here is "art," and indeed there is art everywhere -- some of it very interesting, some of it merely trendy. The rooms are stylishly furnished and the marble bathrooms are beautiful. The beds are very comfortable and the bedding is luxurious.
But there are quirks. The standard rooms are elegant but small. We doubt that most people looking for a luxury hotel would be really satisfied. The "junior suites" are much larger, have sitting areas and are a much better value. But beware of a problem with some of them. We were originally assigned a suite whose windows were semicircular oddities placed low in the room. If you bent down, you could see out, but none too much light got through in any event. These suites appear to be mainly (or entirely) on the first floor (second in American terms). Avoid them! The third night we got a suite on a higher floor and it was much better.
There are other quirks: The suite had a lot of light on the artwork, but lacked an adequate reading light. (When we asked for one, it was delivered immediately however.) While the roof deck is a great place to read or have a glass of wine, it is often closed in the evening for special events, as others have noted. Sunsets on the roof are supposed to be spectacular, but on our two available evenings, we were shooed away before the sun had a chance to set.
But it was all done very politely. Indeed, employees here are very pleasant and went out of their way to help us with a couple of problems. We didn't have lunch or dinner at the hotel. But the breakfast buffet is much better than most and is served in a beautiful room -- with lots of art.
Nice benefit: Our package included an excellent car service to or from the airport. Our driver, Alexander, was very prompt, professional and helpful.
Overall, if you get the right room, you should have an enjoyable and interesting experience. If you stay here, you'll have many restaurant choices. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at La Penna d'Oca, only two blocks from the hotel. We also liked "Gran Sasso," an informal neighborhood place a half block from the hotel, which was also a good value.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Five stars boutique hotel located in the historical center of Rome, a drop from the 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 bringing life to a modern class atmosphere. The First welcomes its guests to venture into the Italian contemporary luxury, with dedicated multi-lingual staff that will make your stay a memorable experience. Perfect match between culture and elegance, all 29 rooms and suites are provided with LED TV with cable sports and movie channels, minibar, iPod/iPhone docking stations, a selection of books and marble bathrooms. Each room is curated by a contemporary artist, just like a small art gallery, yours for a few days. From the rooftop garden, guests can enjoy the breath-taking views of the Eternal city. The First is a smoke-free hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The 1st Luxury Art Hotel