What We Love
- Panoramic views and fantastic martinis on the roof terrace
- Melt-in-your-mouth caramel panacotta at Vicolo 88
- Nearby Triangolo della Pace: a favorite hangout for Roman hipsters
- Free WiFi
What To Know
- A tourist tax per person, per night, will be collected by the hotel at checkout
- Bring your Prada sunglasses—the well-heeled Roman clientele will expect you to look the part
- Rooms can be small, and the minimalist bare brick and concrete walls will not be to everyone’s taste
- Free WiFi
Rumor has it this 17th-century townhouse was once a holding facility for the enemies of the Catholic church. But all that dark and dusty history has been well and truly zapped thanks to the hotel’s bold design, stark décor, and hip hangouts. Thankfully, all this no-frills minimalism perfectly balances the dip and sway of the ancient cobbled streets around picture-perfect Piazza Navona. In guest rooms, distressed concrete and bare brick walls are complemented by rich, dark wood paneling, timber flooring, and ingenious recessed lighting. Details such as zebra-skin easy chairs and spot reading lamps reinforce the relaxed elegance, while the views across the Tiber to Ponte Umberto scream pure Roman romance. Stark white walls, black leather benches, and red velvet curtains are the order of the day at Vicolo 88, the hotel’s small but perfectly formed restaurant whose menu includes several nods to the continent (coq au vin; Catalan salmon carpaccio) and is uniformly excellent, but the real showstoppers are the homemade desserts—the caramel panacotta knocks the proverbial socks off. After dinner, take a glass-fronted elevator to the roof terrace, where local hipsters sip eclectic cocktails and drink in the panoramic views of the city.
How to Get There
Hotel was lovely and in a great location. It was about 25 minute walk from the Vatican, Colosseum and the main station. The receptionist was super friendly! The room was modern and clean. We were looking forward to using the roof terrace but the lift was broken throughout our two night stay. We also had three pillows for 2 of us and when we asked for an extra one they said that they’d run out - we thought this was a bit odd for a hotel. Other than this we loved it.
We have just returned from 4 nights at Relais Orso. The location is fantastic, could not be better, 5 minute walk to Piazza Navona, 10 minute walk to St Peters Basicillica. Right by the river. 5-10 minute walk to Trevi Fountain. It's on a quiet side street so no noise at night.
On the next block (2 min walk) is a lovely restaurant The Old Bear, gorgeous food, great service, if you want to sit outside it's better to book as it's gets busy and there will be queues for outside tables from about 8:30pm. Food is lovely here, fast, efficient service at very reasonable prices.
Papas Cafe is also only 1 minute walk on next block, cheap drinks and food, lovely staff. We went in here at least twice a day for drinks and lunch as very cheap and lovely to site outside and watch the world go by.
The hotel rooms are small but lovely and cool, cleaned daily. We changed rooms for one night and had the lovely room with a terrace, hot tub and sun loungers, only cost an extra 30 euros for the night (would highly recommend this if you can get this room). The hotel roof bar was lovely too, very hot whilst we were there 39 degrees. The hotel bar cocktails and gin and tonic were 10 euro each. In comparison to 6 euro at Papas Cafe next door.
We had an issue with our transfer to airport on way home and the lovely male receptionist was fantastic and sorted this out for us. All of the staff here are lovely and will help you in any way they can.
I would definitely return to this hotel as the location is second to none, so many amenities and major sites on the doorstep.
We went to Gregorys Bar on the river with live jazz music, cost 30 euro for two drinks but you pay for the view of Castle St Angelo lit up at night while you relax with live music (the drinks were large measures so not too bad). Bars opposite Pantheon also VERY expensive, check the price before you sit and order, cost us 27 euro for two beers!!! ridiculously priced but again you pay for the view.
You must visit Della Palma a shop selling Gelato and gorgeous cakes, was very busy and the gelato and cakes were amazing (4 euro for gelato and 5 euro for piece of cake). This is again only a 2 minute walk from hotel.
Take a water bottle around with you as there are drinking water fountains everywhere so you don't have to pay for your bottled water.
Make sure you take flat comfortable shoes as the cobbled streets play havoc with your feet when you're walking around all day.
Hot Tips! Pre book your tickets for sites where you can i.e. Colloseum, Forum, Vatican as you can skip the queue and won't have to wait for an hour to get in to places. Also, whatever you plan for your budget, double it, it's very expensive in some places.
Hotel could benefit from a little more attention to detail when cleaning i.e. glass around jacuzzi was dirty, jacuzzi only worked on one side, shower curtain grubby, square toilet looked lovely but was not comfortable. Other than very minor details, fantastic hotel, would definitely return.
If you travel in hot weather take lots of loose cool clothing as it's so humid and hot with barely any breeze. The air con in the hotel is a welcome break. No English TV channels but wifi ok so you could take your computer and watch Netflix etc.
There is a bike rental place around the corner.
We had a very relaxing experience at Relais Orso. The woman who greeted us was extremely friendly and helpful. The hotel is in a great location just out of the way of the main tourist hub. The rooms are tastefully decorated and most importantly - clean!! They provide you with a sheet that has some great restaurant recommendations. The only downfall is there is no breakfast in the hotel however, there are various great cafes or spots to grab something within a few minutes around the hotel. Would recommend this hotel to anyone who is coming to Rome and wants a relaxing and more upscale experience.