Piazza Montecitorio 131, Roma, Italy, 00186
- Recommended for:
- Business travellers, Culture vultures, Mature travellers, Shopping
Expert review of Hotel Nazionale
A home in Rome for businessmen, tourists who want a traditional hotel at the heart of the centro storico, and journalists or political lobbyists with their eyes on the lower house of the Italian parliament just across the piazza, this venerable four-star is in as reliable and comforting as an old overcoat. You don’t come here for cutting-edge design, but if you want handsome rooms and old-school courteous service without paying five-star prices, in a hotel on a pedestrianised cobbled square that is less than five minutes’ walk from the Pantheon, then this is a serious contender. I have a soft spot for well-run old-fashioned classics like the Nazionale, which has changed little since I put my parents up here when I got married in Rome over twenty years ago (they loved it).
Right opposite the Camera dei Deputati (the lower house of the Italian parliament), the Nazionale is close to just about everything – the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona, the fashion shopping district, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti). And its position on a pedestrianised piazza – dominated by an Egyptian obelisk brought to Rome by the Emperor Augustus – means you won’t be too bothered by traffic noise.
With their antique and reproduction furniture, acres of carpet or warm wooden parquet, and decent-sized marble-lined bathrooms, the Nazionale’s bedrooms are the epitome of traditional comfort. Some, however, are looking a little timeworn; to be sure of getting a recently renovated room, ask for one on the first floor.
There are elegant lounges for meetings and newspaper browsing amidst Neo-Classical columns and Old Master paintings. The hotel is also well-equipped for business meetings and conferences: it owns an entire Belle Epoque theatre giving onto Piazza Capranica, which has been converted into a conference centre; and a smaller presentation room next door to the hotel, the Capranichetta – which I remember from the days when it was an arthouse cinema.
It’s maybe not the most exciting hotel breakfast in Rome, but it’s abundant and will keep you going through the day. The elegant Donatello bar is a good place for an aperitivo, while the hotel’s 31 Al Vicario restaurant, all walnut boiseries, white linen and crystal glasses, does refined Italian cuisine (count on spending at least 50 euros a head). It’s popular with members of parliament and their bagmen – but they’re on expenses.
Old-fashioned and courteous.
A lot of Italian and international businessmen, journalists and politicians; but the central position means they get plenty of leisure trade as well.
A dizzying array of special offers can bring the price of rooms down. These include free internet offers (otherwise count on spending 15 euros a day to get online), special rates for Sunday and Monday nights, even a ‘free mini-bar’ offer.
More information on Hotel Nazionale:
- Price from:
- Piazza Montecitorio 131, Roma, Italy, 00186
- Business Centre, High-Speed Internet, Parking, Pets Allowed, Restaurant, Room Service