Casal Palocco is a purpose-built garden suburb halfway between Rome and the sea which in the sixties and seventies became the retreat of choice for several monied Roman movers and shakers, like film director Leone. Handy for Fiumicino airport, it’s connected to Rome by a combination of bus and metro (allow the best part of an hour for the journey to Colosseo metro station). One of the advantages of being here is that you can head for the beach rather than the city in summer, or explore nearby archaeological sites like the Ancient Roman port town of [node:168822].
Done out in restful pastels and decorated with antique furniture, rugs and artworks, the five roomy, light-filled bedrooms make for a welcome contrast with so many cramped and dark centro storico hotels. Each comes with minibar, satellite TV, broadband internet connection and phone.
There’s an elegant downstairs lounge, and the pretty garden is well-provided with chairs, tables and sun-loungers.
Eating and drinking
A good continental breakfast is served on an enclosed, air-conditioned terrace overlooking the pool. The owners are wine buffs, and you can buy bottles (or simply enjoy a glass) from their well-stocked cellar. There’s no in-house restaurant, but there are a couple of decent options within walking distance.
In summer, the large pool will monopolise most guests’ attention; but there’s also a billiard room and a small fitness area, and bikes can be borrowed to explore the nearby Castel Fusano pinewood and nature reserve.
Owners Enrica and Massimo are charming and helpful hosts.
Who stays there
The Relais attracts a lot of Italian business guests, many of whom are return customers; but it’s starting to be discovered by international leisure travellers too, especially in summer, when the pool is a persuasive factor.
- Families with younger children
Pros & Cons
- It’s like having your own private villa with garden and pool
- Great wine cellar
- Warm and friendly service
- It’s a long way from the centre of Rome