ScheckTrek Pick for Rome:
Hotel San Anselmo
This was, hands down, the most romantic hotel we’ve ever stayed in. It was unmistakably opulent, but in a fresh way. Every room at San Anselmo is individually decorated, and I couldn't help but think that the owner bought hotels just so she would have something to spend money on. The room above is Camera delle Poesie (“Room of Poems”—note the wall).
Our room was L’Angelica, pictured below.
You could literally float in that tub, and true to European tradition, there’s a bidet next to the toilet. The hotel’s logo is in marble on the floor. The workmanship was so good, it took some looking even to find the two seams in the outer maroon band in that logo.
Stone stairs and a stories-high crystal chandelier
The breakfast room had a gold-leafed ceiling and crystal chandelier and sconces. Its gilded candelabra, on the way to the lounge, dates from the 800s and came from an old chapel belonging to the family. Every cup of cappuccino was topped with a heart.
The bar. Drinks or sandwiches could be ordered here and taken to the lounge.
The lounge, with its steel-faced fireplace, was like nothing we’d seen before. Every detail was thought out.
Hotel San Anselmo is located on Aventine Hill—one of the seven hills of Rome—in an upscale, diplomatic residential area. (The residence of the Egyptian Ambassador to the Vatican is just a few doors away.)
It’s only a 15-20 minute walk to the Coliseum, but it’s removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, which we and others have found a plus. It’s much more pleasant to be awakened to the sound of chirping birds than that of honking horns.
The downside is the climb back up the hill after a day of sightseeing. It’s fine in the cooler weather of October, when we were there, as it definitely warmed us up by the time we reached the top. I wouldn’t recommend it in summer heat and humidity, but taxis are available. (I can’t yet speak to how quickly available they are in the summer.) Even factoring in the cost of a taxi in the evenings, in our experience the hotel was very well priced for its exceptional quality and design.