Portrait Roma

Tridente, Rome, Italy Book from Eur468

Reviewed by Abigail Blasi
A super-stylish Italian townhouse owned by the Ferragamo fashion family, crowned by a rooftop terrace that overlooks designer-shopping heaven
The Ferragamos are famous for their shoes: exquisite, frivolous works of art. This extension of the Ferragamo empire applies the same immaculate design ethic to a place to stay. Perfectly set just down from the Spanish Steps, it’s a very special, discreet boutique residence. We hesitate to call it a hotel, because it has none of the impersonality that the word implies. Designed by Michele Bonan, there are 14 exquisitely styled suites and studios in this townhouse. Overlooking Via Condotti, Rome’s most exclusive shopping street, it's just a silk-scarf flutter from the Ferragamo store.

The rooms and communal areas, from the lift to the stairwells, have beautiful displays of Ferragamo designs, photographs and memorabilia from the family's 1950s heyday (with clients including Liz Taylor and Audrey Hepburn) that make it a gallery-museum, too. On the seventh floor is a roof terrace with a constantly burning fireplace behind glass; sofas gaze across Tridente district to the historic centre.

Highs

  • The huge rooftop terrace with views of the Spanish Steps and tonnes of space to chill out after a hard day's shopping
  • Immaculate attention to detail is combined with a great level of comfort, plus an intimate, personal and exclusive feel, with truly charming staff
  • Beautiful but unobtrusive design, including amazing displays of Ferragamo memorabilia; we found it hard to stop marvelling during out 2014 revisit
  • A superb central location on Via Condotti
  • Every studio and suite has a modern, private kitchenette

Lows

  • Some might be put off by the lack of restaurant, but breakfast is included in the rates, there's a rooftop lounge-bar, and meals can be delivered from a local restaurant
  • Though the Portrait Studios are supremely comfortable, they are also quite small
  • It is pricey, which will put it out of some people's reach
  • Not immediately easy to find; be sure to get clear directions (provided automatically when you book through i-escape)

Best time to go

Rome is a world-class city with something happening all year round. Perhaps the time to avoid is mid-summer (July-August), when it gets very hot. Late March, April, September and October are the busiest times. Winter (mid-November to mid-March) is quiet, with fewer tourists.

Our top tips

We recommend staying from 3 nights to a week, although Roma, non basta una vita (Rome, a lifetime is not enough).

Great for...

City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 14
  • Breakfast (+ room service)
  • 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
Room: Via Condotti Suite

Rooms

Spread across 6 floors, there are 4 room types to choose from: Portrait Studio, Deluxe Studio, Via Condotti Suite and Penthouse Suite. Each is exquisite and unique, though the designs share similar elements. Beds are king or twin. Floors are oak with large dove-grey pinstripe rugs. Curtains are weighty and luxurious, again in grey, with mauve-pink or acid-yellow motifs. Freestanding full-length mirrors complement the ample wardrobe space, there are fireplaces, and Ferragamo fashion plates, designs and photographs can be found throughout. All have marble-lined bathrooms - the bigger rooms with bathtubs and all with huge shower heads - and a small kitchenette too.

Some rooms face an inner courtyard but most overlook Via Condotti or Via Bocca di Leone; sterling double glazing shuts out exterior noise. Portrait Studios are smallest, but impeccably comfortable. Next up are the Deluxe Studios - they're larger, with a seating area furnished in pretty powder grey. Ask for the one with the romantic teak-decked balcony overlooking Via Condotti and the rooftops.

There is a big Via Condotti Suite with a sitting room (double sofabed) and a small private terrace, which can host up to 4 people. The impressive duplex Penthouse Suite boasts a mini-gym, a sauna and a huge teak-decked terrace - with spectacular views - wrapped around the building's perimeter.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Ipod dock
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

A sumptuous breakfast is served on the roof if the weather is good, or in your room if it’s not. It includes dried fruit, muesli, a selection of cold meats and cheeses, yoghurt, tea or coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, bread rolls and pastries, and jams and marmalades. You can also order other options (from eggs and bacon to miso soup), but they cost a little extra.

The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant, but staff will order food for you from the excellent La Buvette nearby (pasta, meat or fish and great large salads) and bring it to your room. Room service for drinks and snacks is 24-hour; food is served 7am - 11pm. There’s a neat, chic little kitchenette in each room too, with a microwave, a minibar, a dishwasher and a sink, so you can even bring food in and cater for yourself. The minibar is well-stocked with everything from Jelly Babies to vodka!

The roof terrace has a lovely lounge bar with an open-air fireplace - you can serve yourself on an honesty basis or ask one of the staff if you prefer. The views from here are fabulous - perfect for a pre-supper aperitif.

If you prefer to go out, there are lots of good restaurants nearby, such as Dal Bolognese for traditional, home-cooked Italian food and Café Romano for tasty cocktails and rich pasta dishes. Vintage cafés include the famous Caffè Greco, once a haunt of Keats, Casanova and Wagner (they weren’t together) and the 19th-century Babington Tea Rooms.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Room service
Eating: Portrait Studio
Activity:

Activities

  • Being on Via Condotti, the thing to do is shop, or at the very least window shop. You won’t have far to drop if you find the concentration of designers makes your head spin
  • Any closer to the Spanish Steps and you’d be sitting on them, so these are an obvious stop on your itinerary
  • Next to the steps is the charming Keats Museum - the young poet died here of consumption, aged only 24
  • At the top of the steps lies Villa Borghese, wonderful parklands that are ideal for a meander, bike ride or picnic. They also contain Galleria Borghese, one of Rome’s finest art galleries, as well as the Museum of Modern Art and the zoo
  • Go west from Piazza di Spagna and you’ll reach Piazza del Popolo; go east for Il Vittoriano - the mammoth white-marble, look-at-me victory monument
  • You’re also a short walk from the Ara Pacis (a modern alter to the Roman goddess of peace), Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, as well as a myriad other sights

Activities on site or nearby include:

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

Kids

Children are welcome and the hotel offers a good range of baby equipment. You're also very handily placed for sightseeing and shopping.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms have space for a baby cot, and Deluxe Studios and the Penthouse Suite have space for an extra bed, too. However, the best option for families is the Via Condotti Suite, which can sleep up to 4 + 1 baby as it has a double sofabed in its sitting area. Junior and Timeless Suites have a single sofabed in their living rooms so can take 3 + 1 baby

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Baby food warmers + warming dishes
  • High chairs
  • Bottles
  • Microwave sterilizers
  • Bibs
  • Humidifiers
  • Dummies
  • Thermometers
  • Toilet seat reducers
  • Baby bathrobes
  • Baby bathtubs

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

Children's meals:

The kitchenettes are ideal for preparing child-friendly meals and snacks

Kids Activities on site:

Available on request.

  • Puzzles
  • Toy bowling sets

Distances:

  • Airport: up to 1 hour (traffic)
  • Shops: 1 minute
Kid Friendly:

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