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Four of the most exciting new hotels in Rome for 2022

The Eternal City is embracing a new era of la dolce vita with a string of exciting openings.

Tables set for dinner in the patio area, Hotel Vilòn.

Photograph by Hotel Vilòn
By Julia Buckley
Published 18 Apr 2022, 06:10 BST, Updated 19 Apr 2022, 06:42 BST

1. Mama Shelter

The Italian capital has seen a string of hot new openings and revamps over the pandemic, but instead of stuffy traditional grande dames and tiny boutique hotels, Rome is now back to full-on, Fellini-style glamour — and it’s attracting the brands to match. In the past year, Soho House, W and the Hoxton have all landed in town, but the arrival of the cool French brand Mama Shelter is the icing on the cake.

It might be just a 10-minute walk from the Holy See, but it’s a far cry from what many think of when they picture the Vatican: this is a retro homage to the post-Second World War cultural boom that anointed Rome as one of Europe’s most swinging capitals. Set over two buildings — iconic office blocks that featured in the 1962 film Il Sorpasso — it crams in over 200 rooms, a bower-fringed garden, an excellent pizzeria and a sprawling rooftop, which fits in stadium-style seating and a bar and restaurant serving small plates. You’ll also find some of the city’s most spectacular views, too, stretching from the Vatican to the mountains beyond Rome. 

This is of course a French take on all things Italian — and it’s all the more playful for it, with exaggerated icons aplenty, including lifesize pizzas and Roman emperors swirled over the lobby carpets. There’s foliage dripping from the ceiling of the pastel-coloured winter garden, and a vintage-style, pink-tiled pool area in the basement. Already a hit with locals, life chez mama is exceptionally sweet. From €159 (£133).

Restaurant at Mama Shelter.

Photograph by Mama Shelter

2. The Hoxton

Bringing a dash of vintage London to chic Parioli, The Hoxton mixes mid-century elegance with modern colour, while restaurant Beverly channels California, with farm-to-table sharing plates. Book direct and enjoy ‘flexy time’ — 24 hours in your room, with your choice of check-in and -out time. From €129 (£108), room only.

3. Hotel Locarno

Between Piazza del Popolo and the Tiber, Hotel Locarno had a facelift during lockdown, with all 44 rooms expanded and updated, the courtyard becoming a bar and restaurant, and the rooftop bar revamped — although its sweeping views towards the Spanish Steps remain as spectacular as ever. From €253 (£211). 

A bedroom at The Hoxton.

Photograph by The Hoxton

4. Hotel Vilòn

Hotel Vilòn is a classy new addition to the Italian capital: from staff in smart green uniforms to its intimate, plant-frilled courtyard, everything slots together with top-notch precision. Rooms have an art deco vibe, with plush beds, special house toiletries and, for some, views over Palazzo Borghese’s private landscaped garden. From €600 (£501). 

Published in the May 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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