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Best bets for a place to stay in Rome

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Best Historic Hotel: The truly grand St. Regis Grand, Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando 3 (tel. 06-47091;, was created by César Ritz in 1894, with the great chef Escoffier presiding over a lavish banquet. It was the first hotel in town to offer "a private bathroom and two electric lights in every room." Its roster of guests has included some of the greatest names in European history, including royalty, naturally, but also such New World moguls as Henry Ford and J. P. Morgan. This lavish hotel is within walking distance of many of Rome's major sights.

Best Recycled Hotels: A real discovery and a charmer, The Inn at the Spanish Steps, Via dei Condotti 85 (tel. 06-69925657), is the former Roman residence of Hans Christian Andersen. It has been transformed into one of the most desirable little upscale inns of Rome, with each bedroom furnished in gorgeous, authentic period decor. Not far away, the brilliantly restored Hotel de Russie, Via del Babuino 9 (tel. 800/323-7500 in North America, or 06/328-881;, was a retreat for artists, including Picasso and Stravinsky. Reclaiming its 1890s style, it's been remade as a stunning little boutique hotel with a fabulous location right off the Piazza del Popolo and excellent service.

Best for Business Travelers: The restored neoclassical palace, Exedra, Piazza della Repubblica (tel. 06-489381;, stands right in the heart of Rome near the Termini. A government-rated five-star hotel, it is equipped with all the amenities, including a well-run business center. Executives will also find a helpful, multilingual staff ready to help ease their adjustment to the Eternal City.

Best for a Romantic Getaway: A private villa in the exclusive Parioli residential area, the Hotel Lord Byron, Via G. de Notaris 5 (tel. 06-3220404), is a chic hideaway. It has a clubby ambience, and everybody is oh-so-very-discreet here. You get personal attention in subdued opulence, and the staff definitely respects that DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door. You don't even have to leave the premises for dinner; the hotel's Relais Le Jardin is one of the finest and most romantic restaurants in Rome.

Best Classic Choice: Ernest Hemingway and Ingrid Bergman don't hang out here anymore, but the Hotel Eden, Via Ludovisi 49 (tel. 800/225-5843 in the U.S., or 06-478121;, remains grand and glamorous. Views over the city are stunning, the hotel restaurant (La Terraza) is one of the city's best, and everything looks as if it's waiting for photographers from Architectural Digest to arrive.

Best for Families: Families gravitate to the Hotel Ponte Sisto, Via dei Petinari 64 (tel. 06-6863100), near the Piazza Navona and the Campo de'Fiori in the heart of Rome. It's a restored Renaissance palazzo offering reasonably priced family suites on its top floor with terraces overlooking the rooftops of the ancient city.

Best Moderately Priced Hotel: So you don't have a bottomless expense account? We've got a couple of wonderful values for you. Consider the Hotel Columbia, Via del Viminale 15 (tel. 06-4744289 or 06-4883509;, one of the newest properties in the neighborhoods surrounding Stazione Termini; everything is well-maintained and comfortable. We also like La Residenza, Via Emilia 22-24 (tel. 06-4880789;, with a convenient location near the Villa Borghese and Piazza Barberini. Here you'll get a good price on a homey, spacious guest room.

Best Service: Both management and staff at the Hotel de la Ville Inter-Continental Roma, Via Sistina 67-69 (tel. 800/327-0200 in the U.S. and Canada, or 06-67331;, are highly professional and exceedingly hospitable. The staff is particularly adept at taking messages, giving you helpful hints about what to see and do in Rome, and fulfilling any special room-service requests. Their general attentiveness to your needs, quick problem solving, good manners, and friendly helpfulness make this place exceptional. Room service is available 24 hours daily.

Best Location: Everybody knows about the astronomically expensive The Hassler, Piazza Trinità dei Monti 6 (tel. 800/223-6800 in the U.S., or 06-699340;, a grand old hotel set right at the top of the Spanish Steps. But given its high prices and the fact that it's gotten a bit dowdy, we'll send you instead to the Hotel Scalinata di Spagna (tel. 06-6793006;, which is across the street at no. 17 on the same piazza and isn't so breathtakingly pricey. This intimate, upscale inn has a roof garden with a sweeping view of the dome of St. Peter's across the Tiber. When you step out your door, the heart of Rome, including its best shopping streets, is at your feet.

Best Views: A great place to book a room with a view is the Albergo Del Sole al Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda 63 (tel. 06-6780441;, where you can gaze out at the Pantheon from your bedroom window.

Best for Understated Elegance: Of course, it's not as elegant or as grand as the Excelsior, the Eden, or The Hassler, but the Hotel d'Inghilterra, Via Bocca di Leone 14 (tel. 06-699811;, has its own unique brand of low-key opulence. Plus, it's just 2 blocks west of the Spanish Steps. The hotel's public rooms feature black-and-white checkerboard marble floors, and its upholstered lounges are filled with antiques. The fifth floor has some of the loveliest terraces in Rome, and the romantic restaurant below has trompe l'oeil clouds that give the impression of a courtyard terrace open to the sky.

Best in a Real Roman Neighborhood: You can't get more Roman than the Hotel Teatro di Pompeo, Largo del Pallaro 8 (tel. 06-68300170;, which offers rooms with charming touches such as hand-painted tiles and beamed ceilings. The hotel is actually built on top of the ruins of the Theater of Pompey, where Caesar met his fate. It's on a quiet piazzetta near the Palazzo Farnese and Campo de' Fiori, whose open-air market makes this one of Rome's most colorful neighborhoods. Shopping and nightlife abound in this fascinating section of Renaissance Rome, and restaurants and pizzerie keep the area lively at all hours.

Best Value: Rated three stars by the government, the Hotel delle Muse, Via Tommaso Salvini 18 (tel. 06-8088333), lies .5km ( 1/3 mile) north of the Villa Borghese. It's run by the efficient, English-speaking Giorgio Lazar. The furnishings are modern and come in a wide range of splashy colors. In summer, Mr. Lazar operates a garden restaurant serving a reasonably priced fixed-price menu, and the bar is open 24 hours a day. This is one of Rome's best bargains, and you should consider checking in before he wises up and raises his rates.

For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed accommodations, visit our online hotels index.

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