Around 2 kilometres/1.2 miles north-east of central Rome, the hotel is not for those who want to be within walking distance of the main sights. But frequent buses run along nearby Via Nomentana, allowing you to reach Termini station in 10 minutes and central Piazza Venezia in 20 minutes. There are some good, untouristy restaurants in the surrounding area, and although the hotel lacks parking facilities, those arriving by car should with a bit of luck be able to find a (metered) space in the street outside.
Bright, comfortable and mostly spacious, the rooms have warm parquet floorboards and neat little design details, including some artsy wooden or stucco bedheads and bohemian lamps. All feature pretty en-suite bathrooms with L’Occitane amenities, scales and hairdryers. In-room perks include flatscreen TVs, minibars, safes, hairdryers, phones and free WiFi – not bad for a three-star.
There’s a lovely garden, shaded by the tall palm tree that gives the hotel its name, and a lounge inside that functions as breakfast room and aperitivo bar. There’s also a small, exotically-furnished veranda for smokers, and a roof terrace.
Eating and drinking
Served in a light-filled dining room or out in the garden, breakfast is a continental spread with better than usual bread, cakes and jams, and little extras like mozzarella and tomato salad. Of an evening this becomes a bar where a small buffet is laid out and guests can order cocktails or glasses of sparkling wine to consume here or in the garden. A café, open to external clients as well, should open at the beginning of 2011.
A small fitness area in the garden with an open-air hydromassage plunge pool should be ready by the autumn of 2010.
Everybody who stays here raves about the hotel’s friendly owner-manager Luisa, who told me that “I’m not really in this to make money, I’m doing it because it’s fun and I like meeting people”. Examples of services that go well beyond the balance sheet are what Luisa calls her “Oops” facility: little essential items of clothing and toiletries can be bought at cost price by those who forgot to pack them.
Who stays there
An international crowd of independent travellers who appreciate the secluded location and the fantastic service. The hotel is especially popular with families: it has several triple or quadruple rooms, and children are well looked after with special towels embroidered with dinosaurs or flamingos, toys and colouring books, even beds of three different sizes according to age.
There’s surprisingly little seasonal variation in prices.
- Mature travellers
Pros & Cons
- Great value for money
- Warm, friendly service
- Plenty of all-inclusive extras, like WiFi and newspapers
- Child friendly
- Pretty garden setting
- You’ll need to take a bus or taxi to get into the centre