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Hotel Highlights

  • Overlooking the Spanish Steps
  • Incredible wine cellars
  • Intimate and romantic, with only four bedrooms


This island of serenity and elegance lies in the heart of the Roman tourist beast, only a few short metres from the Spanish Steps. In fact, the view from the terrace of Rome's Il Palazzetto hotel onto the 18th-century landmark is absurdly perfect. The private spaces are quiet and airy, lulling the world away. King-size beds are swathed in voluptuous yet unisex fabrics, and the marble bathrooms, which seem demure, are, upon inspection, quite naughty.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Il Palazzetto with us:

A bottle of wine, selected by the director of the Wine Academy

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Il Palazzetto

Non-refundable offer Last-minute offer


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Need To Know




11am. Check-in from 2pm.


Double rooms from $230.47 (€210), excluding 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.

More details

Breakfast isn't included in room rates. Served at the nearby Hassler Hotel, Continental breakfast (coffee, tea, juice, croissants and pastries) is €29 a person; a cooked buffet with eggs, meats, cheeses, home-made cakes and fresh fruit is €36 a person.


Check-in is at sister hotel, the Hassler on Piazza Trinita dei Monti, a two-minute walk away. No pets.

At the hotel

All rooms have plasma televisions with satellite and 24-hour high-speed internet connection, and the minibar has an extensive selection of wines.

Our favourite rooms

The Black Room at the top of the hotel. Three of the four rooms at this boutique hotel in Rome come with a view of the Spanish Steps.

Packing tips

Rosary beads; a pick and shovel to unearth ancient artefacts a few metres down (the reason Rome's metro has never been completed).


The Wine Academy at Il Palazzetto runs wine courses and private wine tastings as well as guided tours to Italian vineyards. All must be booked in advance. Hotel guests have free entry to the Amorvero Spa – in the Hassler Hotel, a five-minute walk away – which has a sauna, steam room and solarium, a small gym and a range of traditional Oriental massages and treatments.


An extra bed can be provided if necessary.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

There's no restaurant at Il Palazzetto itself. Guests are shepherded to try the fare at nearby Hotel Hassler at mealtimes, where there's sky-high Imàgo restaurant, piano-accompanied meals in elegant Salone Eva, and light lunches in the flower-filled Palm Court Restaurant and Bar.

Hotel Bar

The cocktail bar on the 4th- and 5th-floor terraces is open to guests; times vary depending on the season, ask at reception for current opening times. Order a Campari and enjoy one of the best views in Rome – the terraces overlook some of the city's most beloved sights: the Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna and the Barcaccia fountain and Trinità dei Monti Church. 


Last orders

9.45pm. Restaurant closed Monday.

Room service

Not officially available.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Informal, but zhuzh up for dinner.

Top table

In the summer, grab a place on the terrace.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Viewpoint Piazza del Campidoglio by night, for panoramas over the Forum and the Palatine.
Arts and culture Rome’s importance to Western civilisation is inscribed in its imposing historical sites: the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Forum, St Peter’s and the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is a mansion housing a gallery of 15th- to 18th-century art; Villa Borghese boasts a magnificent art collection and spectacular grounds.
Something for nothing A stroll at sunset in the lush Pincio Gardens, above Piazza del Popolo.
Shopping Via Condotti, starting at the base of the Spanish Steps, is Rome’s most prominent shopping street; Via Frattina runs parallel, along the same lines. Via del Corso sells younger styles. More interesting shopping can be found near Piazza del Popolo. On Via Nazionale, you’ll find leather stores and a handful of boutiques. Via Sistina is good for small, stylish outlets. Porta Portese open-air fleamarket in Trastevere is the largest in Europe, open on Sundays from 7am until around 2pm.
Also Train as a gladiator ( Or, if larking about in loincloths doesn't appeal, arrange a private wine-tasting lesson at the Rome International Wine School on Via della Croce (+39 331 999 5549;

Local restaurants

Il Prado on Via Mameli is always buzzing, owing to great food at good prices – no need to book. Also good for a quick pitstop is Pizza Mariotti on Vicolo del Bottino. For more serious dining, on Piazza Augusto Imperatore, Gusto (+39 6 322 6273) is a restaurant, pizzeria, wine bar and bookshop all in one, good for weekend brunch or dinner. Originally a farmhouse, Casina Valadier on Piazza Bucarest (+39 6 6992 2090) is a café/restaurant with terraces, neo-classical columns and a beautiful garden. Arancia Blu, on Via dei Latini (+39 6 445 4105), is Rome’s best vegetarian restaurant, a rarity in these parts. Great for lunch for omnivores, too. Il Drappo on Vicolo del Malpasso (+39 6 687 7365) is an inventive Sardinian restaurant; for pudding, try the seadas (cheese-stuffed fried cake in dark honey). Camponeschi on Piazza Farnese (+39 6 687 4927) serves some of the best fish in Rome. Get seats outdoors at Santa Lucia on Largo Febo (+39 6 6880 2427), to eat Neapolitan-leaning pasta, seafood and vegetarian dishes in a spectacular location. Reef, also on Piazza Augusto Imperatore (+39 6 6830 1430), is a popular haunt for Oriental-influenced Italian food. Boccondivino on Piazza di Campo Marzio (+39 6 6830 8626) is all modern art and 16th-century columns, and lives up to its ‘divine mouthful’ name.

Local bars

The terrace at Hotel Aleph on Via San Basilio is a popular summer drinking spot, as is the courtyard in the Hotel de Russie, where you’ll find Stravinskj Bar on Via del Babu (+39 6 328 881). Ketumbar on Via Galvani (+39 6 5730 5338) is a restaurant/bar serving fusion cuisine, with a sleek, minimalist interior – a great base for your entire evening.

Local cafés

Bar della Pace on Via della Pace (+39 06 686 1216) is a social institution. For the aperitivo – a drink before dinner, 18h–21h, head down to Campo de’Fiori. Friends on Piazza Trilussa, and Red, the bar in the Auditorium di Santa Cecilia on Via della Conciliazione, are also good options.

+ Enlarge
A stagger from the Spanish Steps

Il Palazzetto

8 Vicolo del Bottino, Rome, Italy, 00187


Rome Fiumicino is roughly 50 minutes from Il Palazzetto; using public transport, the best way to reach the hotel is with the Leonardo Express ( 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 ( shuttles passengers from here to Termini.


Il Palazetto is by Piazza di Spagna, where there's a metro stop (Spagna). From here, it's three stops (on line A) to Termini, Rome’s main station, from where trains depart for other regions of Italy; see Trenitalia (


The hotel has parking, but be aware that it's within the restricted traffic zone, and entry is denied between 8am and 6pm. Follow signs for the centre and then Piazza di Spagna.


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Il Palazzetto
Il Palazzetto 8 Vicolo del Bottino Rome 00187 Rome Italy

Anonymous review

by , Advice-giving author

Rating: 10/10 stars
We’re in the heart of Rome, standing with our backs to the Piazza di Spagna, searching for our luxury hotel, which should be exactly here,and we find – a metro station. Some mistake, surely? But no. Rome is an ancient place, specialising in the unexpected. To our right, an arched stone doorway appears, only a few steps from a hole-in-the wall pizza place and the metro entrance – …
Read more

Il Palazzetto

Anonymous review by Karen Krizanovich, Advice-giving author

We’re in the heart of Rome, standing with our backs to the Piazza di Spagna, searching for our luxury hotel, which should be exactly here,and we find – a metro station. Some mistake, surely? But no. Rome is an ancient place, specialising in the unexpected. To our right, an arched stone doorway appears, only a few steps from a hole-in-the wall pizza place and the metro entrance – and so does Roman paradise.

Glassed off from the street bustle, the tiny reception of Il Palazzetto (the building that houses the Wine Academy) leads to a remarkable wrought-iron and marble staircase (as featured in Bertolucci’s 1998 film Besieged). The stairs wend upward to the garden restaurant, library and salon/wine bar, and further to rooms and a rooftop terrace. (A petite lift, complete with floor mosaic, is available for those who can’t or won’t do stairs.) As there are only four guest rooms, the place feels as if it is ours: all ours. With no signs of other occupants, it is as if we have walked into our own Roman villa. Cool.

Getting us more aquiver is Il Palazzetto’s location. This island of serenity and elegance lies in the heart of the Roman tourist beast, only a few short metres from the Spanish Steps. In fact, the view from the terrace onto the 18th-century landmark is absurdly perfect – you’re the envy of every tourist who looks at you as if to ask, ‘How’d you get there?’. Little wonder that the Roman family who once lived here preferred it to their palazzo. The bedroom views of the Steps and the Vicolo del Bottino are also ridiculously spectacular – not that you’ll stare out of the windows for long.

The private spaces are quiet and airy, lulling the world away. Kingsize beds are swathed in voluptuous yet unisex fabrics and the plasma TV screen is Goldilocks-size (ie: just right). The marble bathrooms seem demure. Upon inspection, they’re quite naughty, with their discreetly-mirrored walls, large old-fashioned showerheads that can easily wet two,and a bath huge enough for a pair of dirty people.

Three years of refurbishment have restored the once-abandoned Il Palazzetto to a balanced, timeless style. It is more informal in style and atmosphere than its big sister, the Hassler Hotel (where you go for breakfast: no breakfast in bed here as yet, alas). Now it is home to Rome’s International Wine Academy, which means there are 400 different wines available at dinner. (Fortunately, the wine tasting every evening is limited to four bottles.) The restaurant's two spaces – the covered garden and the Library room – serve wildly tasty traditional dishes given a modern touch by chef Vincenzo di Tuoro. And the service couldn’t be more helpful or wittier. (‘This is not dangerous,’ says one waiter as he gestures to a bread roll – then to the latest bottle: ‘This is.’) So any lovers staying at the Wine Academy will be faced with the eternal question: ‘Do we stay here or go out?’ Choosing between the Inner Rome or the Outer Rome has never been so ruddy difficult.

If you can tear yourself away from this palatial heaven, ignoring the bottles of luscious wine in your mini-bar, the most exclusive quarter of the city is at your feet, literally. You won’t even need a friendly Roman taxi. The upmarket shopping streets of Via Condotti and its environs lie on a gentle slope away from the hotel entrance. For a quick, no-frills slice with a genuine smile, Pizza Mariotti is that odd place we saw facing the hotel entrance. It turns out to be a godsend for the starving: the room is so lovely that we regularly miss lunch. Another salvation is the ordinary-looking Caffetteria DoBar on Via della Carrozze. There, kindly waiters help make embarrassing map-reading a less painful event.

Despite being told that Romans don’t do pre-dinner drinks, we decide to chance it and scamper cross the hotel’s metal catwalk to the front of Trinita dei Monti. From there, we trot along to Hotel Aleph. This is a Philippe Starck homage with a playfully decorated bar, lined with gratis snacks. We sample a bit too much of a very delicious really-I-mustn’t-but-yes-please prosecco called Deco Conti Bernardo before we stagger out to a cab. (Roman taxis are consistently great: clean, fast, professional and multilingual.)

Following in Fellini’s forksteps, we go against our concierge’s advice and head to Otello alla Concordia on Via della Croce, where the great director himself often dined. Alas, the place – heaving yet unremarkable – did not live up to its illustrious past, reminding us of any depressing greasy spoon off London’s Old Compton Street. Both feeling like idiots for not listening to Wine Academy wisdom, we drag our sorry tails to Via del Babuino, to the beautifully minimal indoor/outdoor Stravinskj Bar, which lies within Hotel de Russie. After considerable lubrication (prosecco not as nice as that at the Aleph), we head back to the hotel.

This one-time home street of Fellini is an antique-lover’s dream, but a road that loves men more than women: cobblestones seem purpose-designed to wrench off all high-heeled footwear. (As if Fellini hadn’t done enough to us that night, what with his less-than-illustrious favourite restaurant. Next time, we’ll listen to what the concierge says.) In the morning, we are feeling worse for wear and tear, but we sleep in soundly, not hearing a single tourist shout. We learn one thing for certain, however: when in Rome, wherever we went and whatever we did, we returned to the Wine Academy with slight regrets that we’d left at all. 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members have to say about Il Palazzetto in the Guestbook below…


Stayed on

We loved

The location was perfect, just next to The Spanish Steps. The reception staff were so helpful. Using the facilities of the Hassler Hotel opposite. The breakfast was excellent.

Don’t expect

Can be a little noisy at night, although the shutters cut out most of the noise.

Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

The rooms are exquisite, and the service is amazingly friendly and helpful. It's the perfect stay in Rome!

Don’t expect

I thought it would be nice if a simple breakfast were included on the terrace.

Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

The hotel's central location is fantastic! The room is large and includes everything you need. Surprisingly, the noise from the crowds on the Spanish Steps is almost non-existent. There's great access to the Metro too!

Don’t expect

Having the main hotel across the street is a bit inconvenient especially if you want to use the spa.

Rating: 8/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

The setting was world class. Ten out of 10.

Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

The accommodation is simply gorgeous! Our view of the Spanish Steps was uninterrupted and just being able to uncork a bottle of wine, through open the windows and watch the world go by was a wonderful memory!

Don’t expect

I really can't think of anything that could be improved, other than fewer people staying there so that we could have had a room for longer! Then again that would defeat the purpose of giving such a glowing review!

Rating: 10/10 stars