The Hotel Locarno occupies two adjacent buildings in the cosmopolitan district between the Tiber River and Piazza del Popolo. The original property, built and inaugurated in the 1920s, houses the majority of the standard and deluxe rooms, while the annex, a former palazzo owned by a Venetian family, houses the more luxurious suites. Both of the adjoined structures blend Old World charm and art nouveau elegance, and their rooms preserve turn-of-the-20th-century decor, including lavish drapery, oil paintings, embellished ceiling stuccoes, and period furniture.
The two buildings are joined by a wisteria-filled courtyard, where breakfast is served in fine weather. The rooftop bar offers aperitivo (the Italian version of happy hour) cocktail service and sweeping views over the city and across the river to St. Peter’s cupola. The bar is open to the public and attracts a well-heeled Roman and expat crowd.
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The Hotel Locarno resides in a high-end shopping district known for its designer boutiques and tony cafés. It sits just off Piazza del Popolo, a large public square home to the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo and artwork by Caravaggio and Bernini. The adjacent park, the Villa Borghese, is among the largest parks in town, and hosts several world-class museum collections like the Galleria Borghese and the Villa Giulia Etruscan Museum. Due south of the hotel, Richard Meier’s glass and limestone museum contains the 1st-century BC Augustan Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis), while the Spanish Steps and Via dei Condotti are a short walk away.
Need to Know
Rooms: 59 rooms. From $104. Check-in: 2:30 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The bar serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails. Spa and gym details: There is no gym at the moment, but facilities are scheduled to be built by the end of 2015.
Who’s it for: Travelers with classic taste and a penchant for luxury shopping. Our favorite rooms: The Venetian suites are based on a formal Venetian noble’s residence built at the turn of the 20th century. See the city: Spend the day cruising on the hotel’s complimentary bicycles, then carve out time to enjoy the sunset views from the rooftop bar.