The D.O.M., which opened in late 2013, is a five-star boutique hotel in the heart of Rome’s historic center. Originally built as a 17th-century noble palace, the property was subsequently converted into a monastery, then Ministry of Justice offices. Its current design, which blends architectural elements from its previous uses, was entrusted to architect Antonio Girardi, who has seamlessly married Renaissance reverence and modern design.

Thanks to the previous ecclesiastical incarnation, rooms are intimate and many have low ceilings. Dark gray and brown hues mingle with velveteen, brick, and wood, creating a cavernous feel in the ground-floor common areas, which contrast with the bright and open rooftop terrace and its views over Rome’s Renaissance quarter and across the river to Trastevere. On the ground floor, a small reception area precedes the hotel bar and restaurant, as well as a small enclosed terrace.

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Since it opened in 2013, Rome’s DOM Hotel has added to the city what it was lacking for some time: a truly modish, young and exciting five star hotel. The city’s grand dame lodgings near the Via Veneto are mostly over priced, and quite frankly, a little stuffy. But Rome’s new DOM Hotel is one of the first proposals to enliven the city’s historic center.

Set inside a 17th century palace, DOM (an abbreviation of the latin inscription, Deo Optimo Maximo, found in a nearby church), once served as Claretian monastery, a defining period in the buildings architectural heritage. When it came time to revamp the interiors to create a hotel, the task was handed to architect, Antonio Girardi, who fitted the building with 18 rooms and suites. But many of the striking details of the hotel had been part of the building for hundreds of years, like the worn smooth blocks of marble with Renaissance religious inscriptions that grace the DOM’s hallways and some of the new guest suites.

Suites are attractive in more ways than one. Beyond their lavish embellishments, their cashmere and silk carpets, and opulent Venetian-inspired decorum (where a large mirror would fit, they placed one), the rooms are big and lofty. You could skip seeing Rome and spend the day indoors relaxing, snacking and listening to the motorinos wiz by on the street below. Again, much of the detail that makes the rooms cool was already here, like exposed brick walls and very gorgeous and high wood beam ceilings.

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