Pretend you’re a Roman (a very refined one, natch), at Le Quattro Dame, whose apartment-style, city-centre sleeping-quarters put the Eternal City’s best bits on your doorstep. Instead of bemoaning the lack of bar or restaurant, take this as your cue to plunder the pizzerie and trattorie that await nearby (or enjoy deli-plucked treats in the comfort of your little kitchenette). The Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Trastevere are also just a short stroll from this perfectly poised palazzo, whose historic architecture gets a breath of fresh air via modern, designer-flair interiors.
Six, including two Junior Suites and the extra-independent Flat.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm (let staff know your arrival time in advance; if they can let you in early, they will). Guests can use the hotel’s luggage area and WiFi-toting sitting area before or after these times.
Double rooms from $135.71 (€123), 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-in.
Rates usually include WiFi.
In-house staff are available from 8.30am to 6.30pm each day. They’re brimming with exciting ideas about how to spend your holiday, so be sure to engage them.
At the hotel
Lounge with designer portraits and a mini-gallery of Renaissance portraits. In rooms: TV, free bottled water, black-out curtains and CO Bigelow bath products. Each room has a kitchenette with a minibar, kettle, Nespresso coffee machine, champagne and wine glasses, silverware and china. The Flat and Junior Suites have bathrobes, too.
Our favourite rooms
Our knees weakened at the sight of the Junior Suite Deluxe’s magnificent fresco – and we wager yours will, too. Each room also has a snug little kitchenette with plenty of thoughtful extras, so you can properly make yourself at home.
Bring a list as long as your arm of must-try Roman restaurants. (And an appetite for gelato.)
Language barrier? Non è un problema… Multilingual staff ensure there’ll be no awkward phrasebook-fumbling.
Little Smiths can come, but the hotel reckons it’s best for teens: you’ll need to navigate a 13-step staircase and a tiny lift (not ideal for pram-pushers) to get to your room.
None, but it’s pretty much illegal to go hungry in this city.
There’s no room service, but each room has a minibar stocked with soft drinks, beer, sparkling wine and crisps. Staff can arrange for a bottle of your favourite something to be left on ice (or not) in your room, pre-arrival (for an extra cost).
Le Quattro Dame enjoys a prime central perch between Piazza Venezia and Torre di Largo Argentina, in a magnificent historical building on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the city’s arterial streets.
Leonardo da Vinci Airport (aka Fiumicino) is 29 kilometres away, a 45-minute drive from the hotel. One-way hotel transfers in a private car cost €55, for up to three passengers, or €65 in a larger vehicle (add €10 if it's before 7am or after 10pm). You can also flag a taxi from the airport for around €48, or take a train to Termini and hop on a taxi or bus. Alternatively, Ciampino Airport is 20 kilometres away (a half-hour drive). EasyJet offers direct flights to Fiumicino (Alitalia also runs a regular service), and Ryanair flies direct to Ciampino from a wide range of European cities.
Trains from Florence, Milan, Naples, Venice, Turin and Bari pull into Termini station, a 15-minute drive from Le Quattro Dame. Hotel transfers from the station cost €30.
The hotel doesn’t have any parking facilities; you’re better off arranging transfers or flagging taxis.
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel is a few minutes’ walk from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, on the edge of the Trastevere district, where lots of excellent local pizzerie and trattorie can be found (it’s especially lively by night). The Colosseum, St. Peter’s Church and the famous Spanish Steps are a 15-minute stroll away. Go for a potter around the Villa Borghese gardens at Piazzale Scipione Borghese; Orto Botanico, Rome’s peaceful botanic gardens is equally lovely. Shop for vintage treasures at Omero e Cecilia, on Via del Governo Vecchio. Post-adventure, relax in the cosy lounge, sipping an espresso and admiring the little selection of Renaissance portraits, including the eponymous four ladies.
Roscioli on Via dei Giubbonari honours its raw ingredients, serving delicious dishes that maximise each component. The restaurant has four separate spaces, including one for private dining. Dress to impress at Antica Pesa in Travestere, a high-end charmer with history: it was once a tavern frequented by the farmers who paid their taxes nearby. Eat with the locals at Da Lucia, a neighbourhood trattoria beloved for its consistently delicious dishes (you’ll have to fight for a table at Sunday lunch). Try Roman specialties, including trippa alla Romana – and remember to save room for tiramisu. Per Me on Vicolo del Malpasso gets rave reviews for its swish Mediterranean cuisine; the ambitious tasting menus include ‘Sea Rhythms’ and ‘Between Earth and Sea’. Enoteca Ferrara at Piazza Trilussa serves typical Italian food in a typically warm environment; the wine selection is equally praiseworthy.
Our taxi lurches and barges its way through the traffic pandemonium of Piazza Venezia, swinging a left onto a honking, growling street. Our heart sinks when we slow to a stop.
Oh no. Really? This street?
Tourist-flytrap shops peddle Martin Parr-esque boxers with Renaissance-statue packages on them. Rowdy Halloweeners spill out of the Plastic Paddy pub that pops up in every city, like a dandelion cheerfully forcing its way out of a pavement.
No. This is not Roman Holiday at all.
But respite is in sight. Propping open a magnificent door are two friendly Italian men; our welcoming committee. We gape up at the carved, mahogany, 18-foot door topped with snarling stone griffins. 'Nice door,' I say to Flavio, a co-manager of our guesthouse. 'Oh, you like it?' he says. 'Yes, I have one like that at home.' (I don't, but he looks convinced that I do)
We shut the enormous door, walk through the lobby, and a blanket of silence falls. We're now cocooned in a 17th-century enclave with handsome marble staircases and no clue of the hubbub outside. Ahhh. This is more like it.
An Art Deco vintage lift waits politely behind ornate iron gates; as we whir and clunk our way upwards, we feel like we're in Poirot. We're shown into teal-walled entrance rooms with Renaissance prints of the four 'Portraits of a Girl' the property is named after, plus parquet flooring, burnished gold details, sleek contemporary chairs and squashy sofas.
We're staying in the Junior Suite Deluxe. My experience of boutique guesthouses is that they are generally beautifully design-led, but dinky. What you gain in character and style, you lose in slick mod-cons and space. This place bucks that trend. Our suite is a cavernous 40-square metres, elegantly dressed in an oyster grey, cappuccino and vanilla gown. It is dotted with the whimsical touches of a boutique, such as a bronze birdcage, but also gifts you luxier perks, too: two HD 48-inch flat-screens, a rainfall showerhead, and a polished kitchenette with a Nespresso machine and a minibar tucked demurely into a wardrobe.
We look up to discover the piece de la resistance; a vaulted ceiling featuring a majestic 18th-century fresco. Blimey. It's special. We definitely don't have one of those at home. We drift off in the designer super-king-size bed and awake eight hours later to the sight of moody cherubs playing on the ceiling with a sheet and a laurel wreath (bad times for cherubs; no Octonauts or My Little Ponies).
Fresh air is provided by delicately wrought French balconies overlooking a central courtyard. As a result, the suite is shadowy and serene, rather than bright with daylight. But boy, is it relaxing. All we can hear is the occasional caw of a crow, squawk of a seagull, or burble of a dove. It's so quiet you'd think we were in the country, rather than smack-bang in the middle of the action, within a 10-minute walk of the Pantheon the Trevi Fountain. Even the drawers close with a courteous sigh.
We can order a delivery breakfast to be enjoyed in bed (€15 for homemade croissants, waffles with berries, fresh organic OJ and coffee), but we decide to take a punt on the place the management has recommended as 'perfect for brunch'. On the 15-minute walk, we pass a clutch of priests swaggering down the street like a stag do, a nun chattering away on an iPhone, and a Buddhist monk taking a panoramic shot of Piazza Navona. Street art shows the current pope opening his robes to show a Superman costume (we agree, the guy's a legend). Hidden down a labyrinthine street, classy-to-the-core Coromandel is a vintage emerald gem, that serves insanely good eggs benedict and chocolate and almond pancakes on Grandma's best china.
We go to see the off-the-hook ceilings of Galleria Borghese; so opulent and colossal that they threaten to make the Sistine Chapel look lame and tiddly. The lush surrounding park, Villa Borghese, features a hopeful row of love-padlocks overlooking rooftops and the dome of St Peter's Basilica. We wander through the Roman Forum, past jobbing gladiators with plastic shields charging tourists for photos.
After a 12km day of sightseeing, we come back to the alternative reality provided by the Le Quattro Dame. Did we mention the lovely bathroom? It's a heady mix of marble and chrome, slotting neatly into the bygone-meets-millennial theme. A large modern mirror has an ornate silver frame in centre, which makes us feel satisfyingly like a cameo brooch. The posh toiletries are chock-full of lavender and peppermint: two of our favourite smells. The only thing overlooked is that there's no milk. But then, Europeans have never understood our British quirk of putting milk in coffee.
The owners here say in their mission statement that they've tried to create a hideaway where you can retreat 'as if you would spend your time in your home's privacy.' Well, mission complete. It's a bit Narnian, being able to go from the urban rush into a hushed yesteryear, simply by stepping through a door. We literally saw no other guests; there are only six rooms in total. And staff presence was barely noticeable. You do feel like you're stepping into your own apartment. In Rome, which is always teeming, even in down season, that's a rare and luxurious feeling. So, you know what? We're cool with buying our own milk.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Le Quattro Dame’s Guestbook below.
Absolutely loved this little boutique oasis. It was very well appointed, with beautiful views through large windows. The location was great. Dori was super lovely and helpful – she made some excellent suggestions for dinner! We plan to return next time we are in Rome.
Stayed on 31 May 2019
The exclusive, boutique feel. How it's discreetly tucked away above a busy street. The beautiful decor and huge, high ceilings. The soft, luxurious bedding and super comfortable bed.
A swanky lobby or hotel amenities (like a hotel bar or gym).
Stayed on 27 May 2019
The very central location in the city - we walked everywhere. Bathroom great - double basins, lovely big shower (although very unlit!).
Staff to be on hand all hours of the day and night. Bedding very tired, needs to be replaced (duvets, pillows and all linen). Need bath mats!
Stayed on 25 Apr 2019
The location in central Rome, close to most of the tourist attractions. It's behind a set of wooden doors, where you can relax from the traffic noise outside and sleep In a lovely comfy bed in peace and quiet. There are shops and restaurants just a few minutes walk in any direction. Disappointingly, we didn't receive the Mr & Mrs Smith gift.
To be able to find it easily.
Stayed on 3 Apr 2019
We loved the decor of the hotel and especially our room. It was very spacious, clean and comfortable.
It's not a typical hotel with breakfast, but who needs a hotel breakfast when there are so many amazing places to eat around Rome?
Stayed on 15 Mar 2019
I absolutely loved my stay at this little jewel of a boutique hotel. It is nestled away from all the hustle and bustle of the busy streets in Rome so upon returning to my guest suite it was always a pleasure to walk through those beautiful doors into peace and quiet in a sophisticated modern lux home like atmosphere. It was virtually minutes away from the Pantheon and Via Del Corso, the Vatican and Trevi Fountain and smack in the heart of everything. The staff was superior. Dori was a warm welcome after a long day and always ready to help at the drop of a hat. My entire stay was outstanding!
Don't expect a loud place with a cookie cutter mentality. This is special. I won't stay anywhere else and will recommend it to all of my friends and colleagues.
Stayed on 23 Nov 2018
Rooms are perfectly situated, big and clean.
Noise from the street in the room.
Stayed on 19 Oct 2018
The room design was beautiful and a great size for our three-night stay. The furnishings were lovely and the outlook was very Roman! It was well located, we were typically only a 10-minute walk from most sights.
Aesthetically it was a beautiful hotel but there are a few functional areas that need addressing to bring it to a 5-star level. The price point was quite high considering the areas that need improvement. The major items being the light and noise – we had a room facing the street and the constant sirens through the night was tiresome. Definitely bring ear plugs with you! Also recommend a sleeping mask if you want to a sleep-in, as it was quite bright. The minor items – there was no milk in minibar for the coffee. We couldn't get the TV to work, eventually we navigated through to the Netflix page but had to use our personal account to sign in, but still couldnt get it working unfortunately. The room didnt have an iron, although we didn't ask for one. The safe was hard to open as the handle was missing. The lighting in the bathroom was quite dim which made getting ready a little difficult.
Stayed on 16 Oct 2018
We loved everything about staying at Le Quattro dame. From the moment we arrived Dori made us feel so welcome and was very helpful with suggestions from restaurants to sightseeing. We requested a Nespresso machine with a milk frother for our morning cappuccinos and within minutes it arrived. The room was immaculately clean, beautifully furnished and the bathroom was luxurious. The most comfortable bed in four weeks of travelling. Exactly as per the photographs online. We were given our own key to the front door of the property as well as our room so we could come and go easily. We would definitely recommend this property very highly.
Stayed on 5 Oct 2018
The hotel is hidden from sight on the third floor of a beautiful old building within walking distance from the Forum, Colosseum, and the Piazza Venezia. Despite the building's old age, the rooms are beautifully updated and furnished. Our room had a stunning view of of the street, beautiful wood floors and soaring ceilings. If you are looking for a great hotel to make your home base as you tour the sights of Rome, this is your spot.
Stayed on 27 Sep 2018
The massive bed was a bonus, the shower was amazing and the provided products smelled great. The coffee machine was a bonus.
Stayed on 19 Sep 2018
The room was chic and beautifully decorated. A quiet and still oasis, however almost in the heart of the city. Easy walking distance to Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and all the major sites. Best air conditioning we found in Italy, which was much appreciated when we returned from the mid-afternoon heat of Rome in August.
Don't expect room service – Quattro Dame is really a collection of excellent serviced city-appartments with a part-time concierge, than a hotel. You need to eat out for all meals, including breakfast. It is also very inconspicuous; without the address, you wouldn't really know it was there.
Stayed on 2 Aug 2018
Location. Good staff.
Not enough value for money. Airbnb better.
Stayed on 28 Jun 2018
We loved the location of LeQuattro Dame, walking distance to everything in Rome. We loved the feel of the place because it made us feel like we were locals and not at a huge hotel. Antica Pesa resturant. Great food and wine in a cool part of Rome. Go there!
Stayed on 11 Jun 2018
Room size, the bed was amazing, lovely bathroom with lots of space. The room has such tall ceilings, it's very grand. Dora was so helpful, made really good recommendations and was always at the end of the phone if you needed her.
There is no food, anything but a kettle and small fridge in the room, or someone to be at the front desk during working hours.
Stayed on 2 Jun 2018
The location of the hotel was perfect – very central and only a 5 minute walk from the Pantheon and Piazza Venezia. Osteria delle Copelle, a great restaurant which is just a 10 minute walk from the hotel, has a secret bar through the cupboard!
Hotel-like services as this is only a guest house so does not have a full time reception or restaurant/bar.