Casa Montani

Tridente, Rome, Italy Book from Eur168

Reviewed by Abigail Blasi
An immaculate, lovingly appointed townhouse overlooking Porta del Popolo, with 5 rooms and a separate apartment for 2-4
Casa Montani overlooks Porta del Popolo, the old Roman gateway that was once the main entrance to the city for visitors from the north and which leads onto the spectacular disc of Piazza del Popolo. The casa, tucked away on the third floor, is one of Rome’s new breed of discreet townhouse conversions and has been in the family for generations: Giuseppe Montani’s great-grandfather bought the place directly from the builder in 1916.

Today, the casa is not a hotel but an intimate upper-range guesthouse. It’s a labour of love, designed by architect Liliana Sciacca and decorated by its French-Italian owners with custom-made furniture (such as glossy lacquered desks) and original paintings by Giuseppe Butera. The lobby-reception has walls hand-painted by Philippe Gandon in bold black and white stripes that call to mind 1930s chic, or Audrey Hepburn photographed by Cecil Beaton. For the standard of comfort, for the design and fittings, for the location and for Rome prices are reasonable - a great getaway for families, friends or couples, who want a home from home in the Eternal City.

Highs

  • Great location, footsteps away from Piazza del Popolo, Villa Borghese and Via Babuino, and 5 minutes from the Spanish Steps. There's a metro stop right outside, too
  • More intimate than a hotel with only 5 rooms, plus a 2-bedroom apartment (20-minute walk away) if you want total independence
  • We loved breakfast during our 2014 revisit. It's served in your room, which we felt heightened the sense of privacy and indulgence
  • Friendly and personal service; nothing is too much trouble and the receptionist will tailor recommendations to suit your tastes
  • Top quality furnishings and fittings: Tebro linen, Zazzeri taps, Hèrmes toiletries

Lows

  • You have to choose your breakfast the night before (don't decide before you go to dinner!), and you may get tired of the options if you stay for 3+ days
  • No restaurant or room service, but this is not a hotel and light snacks are available all day
  • Although the price is the same for all Deluxe Rooms, Room 2 feels a bit cramped compared to the others and overlooks an internal courtyard rather than the street
  • We've not yet visited the apartment, but from the photos it looks every bit as stylish as the rooms, plus it's in an exceptional location

Best time to go

Anytime, but September, October, April and May have the best weather - sunny skies but not too hot. However, they are also high season (and busy). It’s very hot in July and August, but also vibrant, with free open-air festivals. In August some businesses close (though not in the tourist centre).

Our top tips

Bring comfortable shoes! You'll also want smart clothes for meals out, and your credit card - you'll try to resist the shops but it's best to come prepared, just in case...

Great for...

City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5 rooms + 1 apartment for 2-4
  • Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The main building has 5 rooms in total. All have heavy Designer’s Guild curtains, wenge wood floors that are oiled daily, and kingsize beds with soft white Tebro sheets, goose-down comforters and shot-silk bedcovers. Bathrooms have carved antique-style mirrors that contrast with the sleek modern fittings. The 2 suites have bathtubs, the rest showers, but all have Frette towels and Hèrmes toiletries.

We stayed in the Junior Suite (Room 1), which is wallpapered with broad, delicately coloured stripes. There’s an extra sofabed for a child (custom-built around an actual single bed, so more comfortable than most), and this is upholstered in Designer’s Guild fabrics. But our favourite room is the Suite (Room 5), thanks to its 3 huge windows, 2 of which face Piazzale Flaminio. Its sofabed (also for a child) is upholstered in dark damask and there’s a dark marble bathroom.

Of the Deluxe Rooms, Room 2 is the smallest, with olive-green walls and narrow French doors leading onto a small stand-up balcony with outdoor furniture, a rain cover and a little heater overlooking an internal courtyard (perfect for enjoying a glass of Italian vino at the end of the day). Room 3 is a little bigger and has long views over the street. Much-requested Room 4 is a little larger again, and is particularly romantic thanks to its elaborately carved headboard and street views. Deluxe Rooms are assigned on arrival.

There's also a separate apartment for 2-4 about 20 minutes' walk away on the Piazza dei Satiri, perfect for a family (or 3-4 friends) wanting their own pad in Rome. We haven't seen it yet, but it is clearly finished with the same quality and attention to detail, but in a more muted palette of silvers and greys. There are 2 bedrooms (1 double, 1 single), each with a marbled ensuite bathroom, and a living room with a double sofabed and a simple kitchenette in the corner. You get a personal check-in, daily cleaning and WiFi; for any other requests, there's a "telephone concierge" to help you out.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Breakfast is served in your room, on a little chrome trolley. Simply fill out a menu form the night before, with the time you’d like it delivered (but be aware that you should then call to confirm in the morning). It's a continental affair (satisfying enough though not particularly lavish), and includes coffee, cappuccino, tea or hot chocolate, cornetti (croissants), yoghurt, orange juice, jams, marmalades, Nutella and a great selection of fresh Italian bread rolls. There are also light snacks available throughout the day.

The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant, but there are loads of good eateries nearby. Within a 5-minute walk there’s the molto chic Dal Bolognese, the intimate and traditional Edy or the rooftop High Res, which offers fusion food with a fabulous view. Gusto Pizzeria and Wine Bar is also popular and well located, particularly if you’re after typical Italian pizzas - and who isn’t?

If you're staying in the apartment, you'll find a simple kitchenette for preparing breakfast, light meals and snacks (2-ring hob, fridge, microwave, Nespresso machine, dishwasher, washer-dryer), and a white tulip table with 3-4 chairs. There's no shortage of eateries around the Piazza dei Satiri. Note those staying in the apartment do not get breakfast included.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Kitchenette in apartment
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit the great disc of Piazza del Popolo, which could hardly be closer, and see its central obelisk and the Caravaggios and Raphael chapel in the church of Maria del Popolo
  • Wander up to the views from Pincio Hill, then explore drop-dead gorgeous Villa Borghese, its magnificent Galleria Borghese and its tranquil gardens
  • Head east for Il Vittoriano - the mammoth, monstrous yet undeniably impressive white-marble victory monument
  • Decide for yourself whether Richard Meier’s Ara Pacis building (a modern alter to the Roman goddess of peace; 10 minutes' walk) is exquisite or an eyesore
  • Window-shop in the glamorous designer-laden grid of streets that make up Tridente, then settle on the Spanish Steps for some serious people watching
  • Meander through the historic centre to Piazza Navona and the majestic Pantheon
  • Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure you return to Rome, as there are a myriad other sights to see, including the Forum, the Colosseum, Trastevere, St Peter's Square and the Vatican

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Language courses
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children are welcome at Casa Montani, and Rome is a great place for kids with an imagination and an interest in the Romans' fascinating history.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Each of the 2 suites has a single sofabed, and Casa Montani can supply a cot in any of the rooms at an extra charge (unless the sofabeds are in use). For a family of 4, the separate apartment looks like a great option.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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