Villa Spalletti Trivelli Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This upscale boutique hotel, with just 12 rooms, is housed in a gorgeous historic mansion less than 10 minutes from the Trevi Fountain. Despite its small size, the hotel goes above and beyond with the amenities, offering a gym, spa, lovely outdoor garden, excellent free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi. The rooms blend elegant decor (antique furniture and artwork, patterned bedspreads, crown moldings) with modern technology (iPod docks, flat-screen TVs). The luxurious, large marble bathrooms are the highlight -- all have separate showers and tubs. Many of the rooms overlook the hotel's private courtyard. Its upscale vibe, quiet atmosphere, beautiful rooms, gorgeous common areas, and high-end amenities put Villa Spalletti at the top of our list.
St. George Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The 64-room St. George is a luxury boutique hotel in a fabulous location: on a cobblestone street in Old Rome, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and some of Rome's most popular sights. The hotel is certainly luxurious -- sophisticated rooms have warm beige decor and modern amenities, and the small spa is sleek, with a tranquil Turkish bath. A drawback is that the fitness center is tiny.
Palazzo Manfredi Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This luxury boutique hotel stands out for its incredible views -- guests can take in the nearby Colosseum from the rooftop restaurant and lounge, as well as from their rooms (these view rooms cost a bit more). The 16 rooms themselves are quite spacious for European standards and have modern decor, flat-screen TVs and dim lighting (that's almost too sexy to be practical). The rooftop restaurant, Aroma, offers fine dining and spectacular views -- and serves a free American-style buffet breakfast daily.
Boscolo Palace Roma Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The sleek Boscolo Palace is located on the fashionable Via Veneto, across the street from the U.S. Embassy. This 87-room, Marriott Autograph Collection property completed a renovation in 2010, which added modern touches to a period building. Hallways have a stylish pink and gray motif that continues inside the rooms with the striped wallpaper and interesting designer furnishings. Amenities include crisp linens, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and spacious bathrooms with big walk-in showers. This design-focused hotel offers perks such as period travertine balconies off some rooms, and a cozy lounge off the lobby with a big flat-screen TV. Beyond the beautiful rooms, there is a spa on-site, as well as the upscale ABC Restaurant and Lounge.
Hotel Lord Byron Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Hotel Lord Byron is a charming 32-room hotel decorated in a 1930s Art Deco style: Big, elegant rooms have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and huge marble bathrooms (some with vintage marble tubs), but they're not quite as luxurious as some may expect for the price, and the decor is more hit-or-miss than at the Palazzo Manfredi. Still, Art Deco touches can be seen in the fun color schemes, mirrors, and art work on the walls. Some of the suites come with balconies and electric shutters to keep out the morning light. The hotel is also home to a cozy bar and a restaurant, Sapori del Lord Byron, that is known for its extensive wine list. Beyond that, features are few (no fitness center, business center, or spa), but its quiet atmosphere and attention to details make it a solid choice.
Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This elegant, 78-room boutique hotel is located in the Trastevere neighborhood on the right bank of the Tiber River, a bit far from most tourist sights but nonetheless a quiet, romantic spot. Lovers of history will likely appreciate the 17th-century monastery setting, designed by a well-known Baroque architect and featuring wood-beamed ceilings, arched hallways, and marble floors. Rooms have antique-style furniture (though some bedding is slightly dated rather than charmingly old-world), as well as flat-screen TVs, minibars, spacious bathrooms, and bathrobes. The romantic rooftop terrace offers outstanding panoramic views of the neighborhood, but it lacks seating areas. Those who want to relax outside will have to make do with the pretty courtyard garden on ground level. This is where the free breakfast can be enjoyed in summer months, as well as cocktails in the evening (there is no full restaurant on-site).
Prime Hotel Principe Torlonia Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The 27-room Prime Hotel Principe Torlonia provides a tranquil atmosphere in what can be an overwhelming city. That said, the tranquility means the hotel is located far from all of the popular tourist attractions -- though it's in a nice, safe, residential neighborhood with plenty of dining and shops nearby. The rooms have modern amenities such as iPod docks and flat-screen TVs, but they're short on space unless you're in a suite (in which balconies and patios are huge). The on-site dining is nice and there are some tables out in the garden so guests can take in the outdoors. This is a solid option for guests wanting a relaxed, comfy place to crash after a busy day of sightseeing.
Relais Vatican View Rating: 3.5 Pearls
If you're in town to see the Holy See, you can't do much better than the Relais Vatican View. It's located just meters away from the Vatican walls. The downside? It's about a 30-minute walk to the city center to see anything else -- and the closest metro is about 15 minutes away. As far as the hotel itself goes, the 15 rooms and suites are clean and relatively spacious with high ceilings and plenty of natural light. The bathrooms are also modern and sleek, with gray tile and rainfall showerheads. There isn't much in the way of amenities here (not even a restaurant, though there is a daily breakfast buffet), but the rooftop terrace with views of St. Peter's Basilica is a standout.