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Hotel Locarno Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
Via della Penna 22 Rome, Italy -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Charm exudes from every furnishing and corner of this delightful Art Deco hotel, situated in the heart of Italy's buzzing capital. Everything, from the lamps that dimly light the small bar to the grand bedframes and heavy room keys, screams faded 1920s extravagance and class. Three buildings make up the entire hotel, each with a slightly different character and style. The tranquil inner courtyard is heavenly after a busy day in the centre of Rome and you'll find nothing lacking from the small bar, with its lingering smell of pipe tobacco.

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  • Well located
  • Charm
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    • Hotel Locarno

      Locarno   -   © Marco Toninelli EasyVoyage

    • Hotel Locarno

      Locarno   -   © Marco Toninelli EasyVoyage

       
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    Location 5.68 /10

    Located just two paces from the famous Piazza del Popolo, this gem of a hotel is full of character, antiques and more than a few creaking doors! Just off Via di Ripetta, step into the sanctuary of the hotel's beautiful private courtyard and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you. But rest safe in the knowledge that the sights of Rome are waiting for you virtually on the doorstep. Just a street across is Via del Corso, Rome's main shopping street, whilst the grand Vittoriano Palace awaits you right at the end of the road, along with the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Easy to reach from Rome's main Termini station, and only a five minute walk from Flaminio metro station, this delightfully traditional hotel provides the perfect base from which to discover the extensive city.

    Accommodation 6.70 /10

    Each room at the Locarno is completely unique in its furnishings, size and decoration. Choose from singles, classics, superiors, deluxes, suites and even apartments depending on requirements and budget. Though the original hotel only holds 48 rooms, don't be surprised if you get lost on the way. Corridors seem to blend into one and room numbers are not particularly well sign-posted. Though unique, the 20s style remains throughout all the rooms, as well as a vaguely musty smell that suggests they haven't been lived in for some time. The single rooms are slightly pokey but more than adequate for one person, with a single bed, small desk, TV, sufficient wardrobe space, mini-bar and a safe box. Though the mini-bar and safe are discreetly concealed within cupboards and wardrobes, the boxy TVs that stand atop delicate chests of drawers look strangely out of place. The standard and superior rooms are much more spacious, with grand double beds that dominate the room in all their gilded glory. In terms of amenities however, they are identical to the singles. In the same vein, each bathroom is also different, some of them with beautiful original double sinks and bathtubs. Basic bathroom products are provided, with the hotel's own brand supplied in the more luxurious rooms.

    Across the road at the Depandance Anahi, the rooms are better lit meaning a less stuffy feel. The furniture here is also a little more modern and certainly not as grandiose so the rooms loose something in terms of charm but feel a little cleaner and more relaxed. Families or those in large groups also have the option to stay in the hotel's family suites or apartments, which can hold up to six people.

    Overview 7.20 /10

    Take one step into the Hotel Locarno and you are instantly transported back to the 20's. The front doors creak open to reveal the lobby, complete with mosaic floor. A belle époque lift stands in the background, waiting to transport you ever so slowly towards your room. The only piece of the modern world in sight is a computer sat to one side. We can't say we felt the warmest welcome on arrival, but turn left into the small reception and the staff are helpful enough with check-in and taking your bags for you, if a little unorganised. Cross the lobby again and you enter the hotel's small but wonderfully intimate bar. Quiet at every time of day (with the exception of breakfast), it is a small haven in which to sit, have a coffee or read the paper in complete tranquillity. The service can, in true Italian style, be a little slow but you'll eventually get what you want. In any case, the wait will give you time to admire your historic surroundings. Ancient books, tattered Persian rugs and velvet covered chairs line every inch of the cosy bar, whilst just through another set of creaking double doors you come to the hotel's piece de resistance - the private inner courtyard. Filled with light-scented wisteria and cosy tables for two, guests can take breakfast here during the summer months or enjoy an afternoon aperitif far away from the noise of the city centre. A certain point of pride amongst the staff, they will tell you that it is regularly frequented by some of Rome's most famous people and has been used as a location in several films (though they seem to have forgotten which exact ones). It should also be mentioned that the hotel boasts a lovely rooftop terrace, but it seems to be shunned by most in favour of the courtyard, and we'd have to agree that it's the more pleasant place to pass the time.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    Though the hotel doesn't have a fully functioning restaurant, it does serve a buffet style breakfast every morning from 7am-11am. Though guests are charged extra, it is a hearty meal with hot and cold dishes on offer alongside the usual tea and coffee. Spread out through the bar and the dining room, breakfast is a quiet affair with a crackling fire during the winter months. The buffet is simple but gives guests plenty of choice, including fresh fruit, yogurts, cereals, pastries, bacon, eggs and plenty of bread. Waiters flit between the tables taking drinks orders and clearing plates. Whether you sit inside or out in the courtyard, it is an undeniably pleasant way to start the day. The Hotel Locarno Bar also serves light lunch and nibbles from 12pm-3pm, a simple afternoon aperitif or an after-dinner digestif if you are still out exploring the city till late.

    To know

    Originally opened in 1925 by Swiss owners, the Hotel Locarno is nothing if not charming. Its 90 unique rooms sprawl out across three separate buildings, the most recent being the Depandance Anahi. The most exquisite rooms are to be found in the 'palazzo' building, dating from 1905 when it was constructed by a noble Venetian family. Many of the features are original to the building so don't be surprised to see a few potholes and cracks here and there! Due to its central location not far from one of Rome's main streets, be prepared for a little background noise, especially in rooms facing onto the street. Wi-Fi is provided free of charge throughout the hotel but is not particularly strong, so you may prefer to use the desktop computer on offer in the lobby. There is parking space for only four cars so those planning on driving would be advised to check with the hotel first. The hotel also provides free bicycle hire to all guests, for a 50 euro deposit per bike. How easy it is to navigate a busy city with seven famous hills on a bike is left to the guests' discretion.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      beauty salon, Turkish bath

    • Sports equipment

      mountain bike

    • Animals allowed
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Excellent location
    • Beautiful private courtyard
    • Unique rooms
    • Hearty breakfast

    disadvantages

    • No fitness/wellbeing centre
    • Service can be slow
    • Outdated amenities (shower, TV)

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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