Living la dolce vita does not always come cheap: there are Vespas to rent, attractions to explore, Negronis to imbibe at the best bars in Rome and truffle-topped pasta to eat. Prioritising cheap hotels in Rome without sacrificing any iconic Italian style will free up more funds for the tasty and cultural temptations around every corner. And luckily some of the city’s best hotels are also its most budget-friendly; finding cheap acommodations does not require being stuck in some soulless suburb. From art nouveau villas turned B&Bs in chic Parioli to tech-smart rooms near the Pantheon or former palaces on the edge of Piazza Navona, here are the top ten cheap hotels in Rome.
Best cheap hotels in Rome
Situated above Piazza Navona, Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj was once the 17th century residence of Pope Innocent the X. In 2017, the palace (which was designed by the famed architect Francesco Borromini) quietly reopened as a discreet 22-room hotel. The understated rooms have soaring ceilings and terracotta floors, and many look out at the Fountain of the Four Rivers. Contemporary touches come in the form of modern art in the common areas, while the rooms are left bare to allow the palatial architecture to speak for itself. The crowning jewel of the palazzo is the rooftop bar which has jaw-dropping 360 degree views of the domed skyline.
Housed inside a former church convent that dates to 1122, Relais Le Clarisse is a homey hotel in the heart of Trastevere. Given the historic nature of the building, each of the 18 rooms comes with a slightly different layout, but all have classic terracotta floors, wrought iron beds, AC, mini-fridges and eco-friendly olive oil toiletries in the modest marble bathrooms. The basic double rooms run a little small but there is a charming inner courtyard filled with olive trees and grapevines where guests can stretch out. The amenities end there, but the neighbourhood is full of options for drinking and dining along picturesque cobblestone lanes.
Set on a pedestrianised street a few minutes from St. Peter’s Square, Hotel Della Conciliazione is a contemporary hotel in one of Rome’s oldest neighbourhoods. With lots of natural light and bright ikat print touches, the décor stands out as decidedly modern among the other relatively old-fashioned interior decoration trends in most other Roman hotels. There are few extra amenities (no gym or full restaurant on site), but the hotel makes up for it with a generous policy of allowing room upgrades and/or late checkouts for a tiny surcharge.
Set in the secretly trendy San Saba neighbourhood, the Corner Townhouse has converted an Art Nouveau villa into 11 stylish rooms. Pops of colour and bold patterns dominate the décor, which also includes details unique to each room like sleek black claw foot tubs or marble fireplaces. The penthouse suite is particularly impressive, but be prepared to huff up every flight because there is no elevator at this boutique hotel. The iPad controls for the lights and heating will please technophiles, while foodies can chow down at the Michelin-starred garden restaurant on the first floor. Many of the rooms have balconies, but there is also a chic rooftop lounge that serves excellent cocktails.
Situated on the same square as the Pantheon, there is hardly a hotel in Rome that can claim to be more central than Albergo del Senato. But in addition to location, location, location, the elegant hotel has an old-world grace and attentive staff that make for pampered stay. The classic hotel is heavy on antiques, but they seem very much at home under the characteristic vaulted ceilings. While standard rooms are available, the split-level apartments are decidedly more comfortable. Oh, and did we mention the view? Many of the rooms at the front of the hotel offer unobstructed views of the Pantheon and the guests-only rooftop bar that is open from May to October offers once-in-a-lifetime sunset vistas.
Situated inside a characteristic townhouse from the 1920s, Suite Oriani has had many previous lives as the private home of a Texan oil baron and the former South African embassy. Today, the lovely villa has been converted into six spacious rooms brimming with antique period furniture and 1930s artworks. The bed and breakfast’s best features are its unique Art Deco frescoes and proximity to two of Rome’s largest parks: Villa Borghese and Villa Ada. Its location in the ritzy Parioli area affords Suite Oriani the luxury of space for a large private garden which is the perfect place to linger over a cappuccino before making the trek into the city centre, about a 20-minute metro trip away.
Slightly dated Hotel Sole’s insanely central location around the corner for one of Rome’s most popular squares makes it an enviable home base from which to explore the best of the Eternal City. The old-school air of Hotel Sole can be a part of its appeal, along with the multi-level internal terrace which offer private rooftop views of the city. While the décor is fairly straightforward, each of 58 rooms is outfitted with modern comforts including AC, a tea and coffee station and free Wi-Fi. There is no gym and the communal areas are free of frills, but the location and value mean more of your vacation budget is available to splash out on the charming streets of Rome.
When in Rome, live as the Romans do. The 11-room HiSuiteRome offers apartment-style accommodation on the charming residential backstreets of central Rome. Whether a suite or a full apartment, all the multi-level rooms have separate kitchenettes and dining areas that match the modest modern design of the bedrooms. A helpful concierge, free Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations and simple flat-screens round out the basic embellishments. Luckily everything else needed to complete a stay can be sourced within a few minutes from the small shops, bars and eateries on the picturesque lane outside. Major sights including the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Castel Sant’Angelo are also all reachable in ten minutes or less.
The stereotypical Roman façade of the building that houses iRoom Pantheon & Navona hotel gives no hint to the eclectic approach to design that the hotel has adopted for its 12 tech-smart rooms. Everything in the hotel is controlled by the in-room iPads, and even the front desk needs to be reached by Skype rather than landline. In addition to the latest gadgets, each room also has a borderline gimmicky theme like the iWild room with its fake tents and camping décor, or the iSpa room with chromotherapy lighting and Turkish bath. The funky design helps to distract from the fact that the techy rooms run a bit small.
With their bright jewel-tone colour schemes and custom-made furniture, it is hard to imagine that Roma Luxus’ 30 rooms were once a part of a convent. The flashy hotel doesn’t just keep the design in the bedroom, splashing modern art and installations throughout the common areas. The small hotel also has a private terrace and a pay-for-use spa with a Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath. And while many hotel restaurants are nothing to write home about, Roma Luxus shares real estate with not one but two amazing eateries (Madre and Yugo), both run by young Michelin-starred chefs.