Right opposite the Camera dei Deputati (the lower house of the Italian parliament), the Nazionale is close to just about everything – the [node:168815] and Piazza Navona, the fashion shopping district, the [node:168815] and the [node:169860]. 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.
Eating and drinking
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.
Who stays there
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.
- Business Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
Pros & Cons
- Good old-fashioned style and service
- Amazingly central location
- Some of the rooms can look a little frayed at the edges
- Pricey internet access