Crossing Condotti hotel is just a laurel-wreath’s throw from some of Rome’s best assets (hello, Spanish Steps and big-name boutiques). With its oil paintings and contemporary furniture, this grown-up boutique bolthole just behind the Piazza di Spagna gives you the privacy and freedom to do as you please, and it might just have the most well-versed concierge in the city.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of organic Montefalco wine in your room on arrival
Nine individually decorated ensuite rooms, plus a Junior Suite.
11am (but flexible, depending on arrivals). You must check in before 6.30pm (unadvised late check-ins incur a €50 call-out fee).
Double rooms from £261.46 (€302), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.50 per person per night on check-out.
Rates exclude breakfast.
The hotel doesn’t offer breakfast, so if you really can’t bear to drag yourselves out to one of the dozens of nearby cafés for a Roman cappuccino and jam-filled croissant, buy something to nibble on with your Nespresso coffee. If you’re staying in the Master room or Junior suite, take advantage of a private, in-room wine tasting session with a member of the Antonelli family, who’ll tell you all about the vintages and the family’s four-generation wine-making history. Opt for the ‘Superior Taste’ version – which gets you four tipples plus light snacks for €70 – or push the boat out with the ‘Top Experience’, a five-wine fiesta at €100.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, library, coffee machine and complimentary honesty bar, laundry, desk concierge (8.30am–6.30pm). In rooms, flatscreen satellite TV, iPad Air, iPod docks, local guides, L’Occitane toiletries, tea tray, slippers, high-threadcount bedlinen. The Master Room, Junior Suite and Deluxe Room have kitchenettes with Nespresso machines, a kettle and a selection of teas, biscuits, cakes and a fridge packed with free soft drinks and Peroni.
Our favourite rooms
Each of the elegantly renovated rooms has been individually styled with heirloom paintings and Sicilian antiques; but all have wood floors, queen-size beds, sleek bathrooms and iPad Airs for on-the-go browsing. Superior Rooms are cosy, but cleverly furnished; most have beamed ceilings and generous welcome trays. We like Spagna’s romantic canopied bed and stone-lined bath tub; Carozze has a modern-Renaissance feel, with a flock-fabric headboard and sleek mushroom-hued bathroom with tub and shower; and Frattina is a slightly larger corner room with a walk-in rain shower. Condotti has side-by-side twin beds with shower, bath and separate toilet. With its own entrance and private courtyard, steam shower and inviting living room, the Junior Suite makes a seductive stay. Master Rooms come with a swanky chromotherapy walk-in shower, with speakers for an extra soothing soak. There's one in the Deluxe Room too, a refined space overlooking Mario de' Fiori, where period details converse pleasantly with modern fittings.
A heaving wallet, if you want to buy anything in the array of designer shops around the corner (Gucci, Versace, D&G…). And pick up a bottle of bubbly for your room from the airport if you’re celebrating something special.
Small dogs and cats can stay in most room types for free, but notify the hotel when you book. They're allowed in all public areas of the hotel too. See more pet-friendly hotels in Rome.
Welcome. Under-threes stay free, and cots and extra beds can be added to some rooms, but as it’s filled with antiques and objets d’art, and has lots of steps, this is not the ideal place for wee ones or prams. Babysitting can be arranged in advance.
Settle yourselves into one of the pretty, puffed-up sofas in the library-lounge and admire the aristocratic portraiture.
Black linen, cream silk.
There’s no restaurant, but your fantastic central location means there’s plenty to choose from locally: the concierge can help you make reservations before they leave at 6.30pm.
Help yourselves to free soft drinks and beer from the house fridge or make yourself a coffee from the Nespresso machine. If you like stronger stuff, stroll out to a bar or bring back a bottle of something for after-dinner drinks.
None – the Master and Deluxe rooms and Junior Suite have a kitchenette, and the others have a tray of tea-making kit and devilish tasty snacks. If you run out (unlikely) restock from the kitchen, which has a fridge full of drinks, and plenty of snacks.
Rome Fiumicino is roughly 50 minutes from Crossing Condotti; using public transport, the best way to reach the hotel is with the Leonardo Express (www.trenitalia.com). It takes 30 minutes to reach Termini train station, 2.5km from the hotel. From here, a taxi will cost €10–€15). The other option is hopping on the metro for three stops to Spagna. A taxi all the way from the airport is €40 plus €1 for each bag. From Ciampino, a taxi will cost €30 plus an extra euro for each bag. Terravision (www.terravision.eu) shuttles passengers from here to Termini.
Crossing Condotti is on Piazza di Spagna, close to the Spagna metro stop. From here, it is only three stops (line A) to Termini, Rome’s main station, which is served by many lines to other regions of Italy; see Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.com) for details.
Driving in this city-central location may be tricky: there's no parking at the hotel, and it's in a restricted zone, with access denied between 8am and 6pm. Parking is available close by at Parcheggio Villa Borghese (+39 06 322 5934) and Parcheggio Ludovisi (+39 06 474 0632, 1.5km from the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Crossing Condotti's concierge is on hand every day to assist you with anything you might dream up (or make suggestions, for those less imaginative). They can fill you in on current exhibitions, recommend dinner venues or arrange a hire car – whatever you need. Rome delivers tourist bliss without much effort: a stroll along pretty much any road will lead you past centuries of history and almost inevitably lead somewhere fascinating – so step outside and follow your feet.
On Via Borgognona, Nino has been feeding the glitterati classic Italian dishes with a Tuscan accent for decades. Over in Piazza Augusto Imperatore, Gusto is justly famed for its pizzas, but in truth it’s a culinary polymath, with a restaurant, wine bar, cheese shop and kitchenware store – not to mention beautiful interiors. Porto di Ripetta on Via di Ripetta specialises in innovative seafood dishes – the swordfish roulades are not to be missed.
Il Brillo Parlante on Via della Fontanella is the perfect low-key lunch stop, with a well-stocked wine bar upstairs.
Eyes straight – blinkers if necessary – and repeat after me: Dior, Prada, Gucci, Bulgari, then hang a right at Cartier. Walk all of 30 yards and we’re there. Wow. If you worship the Roman gods of shopping and fashion, luxury boutique hotel Crossing Condotti – just a handbag’s throw from designer-shopping heaven in the Italian capital – makes a more than suitable temple. Indeed, Mrs Smith even confesses to Posh Spice-like levels of excitement at the thought of the damage she can do to her credit card within a few paces from our front door. And it really is our front door: Crossing Condotti isn’t a hotel as such, but rather a smart townhouse with five delightful rooms, a kitchen and shared sitting room. Thus, while there is no room service or spa, we do have the enviable freedom to come and go according to our whims.
Upon arrival, Marco, the assistant manager and concierge, rushes downstairs to hike our not inconsiderable baggage up the one flight of stairs into the serene sitting room, where, he points out with a flourish, there is a luxuriant selection of guides, novels and style magazines at our disposal. Marco offers us coffee and a scrumptious little pear cake while he does the paperwork. The kitchen features perhaps the best espresso machine I have ever encountered in all my years of caffè snobbery. We are also pointed at a generously stocked fridge, with a large range of complimentary soft drinks.
All five rooms, although not huge, are comfortable, and sensitively and elegantly decorated in muted tones. Ours – Carrozze – is a splendid mix of greys, olives, ochres and creams, which sets off the impressive 19th-century dark wood-panelled ceiling a treat. Furniture is a mix of antiques in dark wood with tapestried upholstery and modern pieces, such as Perspex-cube side tables. Lovingly restored portraits of rather austere-looking characters from the 1800s adorn the walls. And sumptuous drapes hide recesses, so the overall effect isn't spoiled by something so pedestrian as a kettle and a few sachets of Nescafé.
Crossing Condotti doesn't serve breakfast, but Do Bar, just around the corner on Via delle Carrozze, means we manage to bypass the kitchen altogether, and enjoy cappuccini and Roman pastries each morning until we are replete and ready to flex our Amex Blacks.
Do Bar is just one of Marco’s recommendations which, along with his encyclopaedic knowledge of local events, proves invaluable during our long weekend in the Eternal City – where time is short and options too numerous to leave to luck. Along Via Mario de’ Fiori, a few metres from Crossing Condotti, is a vibrant wine bar called Shaki, where the table service spills cheerily onto the pavement. Stop there for a glass of Prosecco, fresh pasta and risotto, or just to spot the fashion faux-pas of passing tourists and Romani.
We manage (inadvertently) to be in the city at the same time as La Notte Bianca, a night of cultural events in which all the city’s museums stay open till 2am. Sadly, after pounding the streets with several hundredweight of designer shopping bags and filling our bellies with sumptuous pizze and gelati, I am ashamed to report that we didn't manage to take full advantage of this cultural opportunity this time around. Vatican? What Vatican? Sacrilegious, I know.
And we have no excuses… Crossing Condotti’s A-plus for location is as much for its proximity to Rome’s cultural attractions as it is for its boutique-side credentials. As well as being metres from the Spanish Steps, it’s only a short stroll from the Trevi Fountain. Our first visit (circa 1pm) involves being stampeded by around 42,000 other tourists. Fortunately, after a splendid dinner at Il San Lorenzo on Via dei Chiavari (thanks for the tip, Marco), we meander past contentedly, arm in arm, and get to enjoy it floodlit and alone at around 1am. Thankfully Mrs Smith resists the temptation to do an Anita Ekberg, La Dolce Vita-style, but the romantic effect is, well, magical. While we’re on a cinematic bent, fans should note that this corner of the Centro Storico – from the Spanish Steps to the foot of Via Vittorio Veneto on Piazza Barberini – is the where the Vespa scene was filmed in Roman Holiday.
It is with extremely heavy hearts – and shopping bags and bellies – that we peel ourselves out of our exceptionally comfortable bed for the last time and make our way to check out, complete with newly acquired suitcase (not Vuitton – I drew the line, after Mrs Smith splurged her Euros to extinction in Prada).
Phrases such as ‘home away from home’ are bandied around way too much in hotel reviews, but the set-up, location and hospitality afforded us at Crossing Condotti made us feel more at home than we could ever have dared to expect. I only wish that our actual home was as commodious, peaceful and elegant as Crossing Condotti. And a concierge such as Marco wouldn’t go amiss either…