Where to stay in Rome

Neo-Baroque granduer or an intimate retreat in the Eternal City.

Regina Hotel Baglioni

What's so special

Escape the uniformity of Rome's many chain hotels with a stay at this grand alternative. It offers a far more personal service than most hotels, but it also has another ace card: a roof terrace with fantastic views of the Roman skyline.

How they rate it

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"Oozing timelessness from its gracious rose-and-buttercream faade, the Regina Hotel Baglioni is deeply comforting in a world where many hotels feel sterile," says Rachel Spence in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. "Doormen pounce on your suitcase before you even enter. Chandeliers glitter. Marble in many tones flows across the floor, while opulent colours and bold patterns lend a Neo-Baroque drama that is utterly 21st century." Be sure to "take something from your minibar up to the rooftop terrace for a DIY aperitivo watching the sun set over Rome's gilded towers".

The menu

The hotel restaurant is well worth a visit for its high-quality Italian dishes try the oven-baked zucchini flowers stuffed with cod.

The cost

A double room costs from £136, including breakfast. For more information, visit www.baglionihotels.com, or call 00 39 06 6992 4555.

Hotel Lord Byron


What's so special

This hotel's longevity is evidence of its brilliance. Guests have returned time and again over the decades to enjoy a luxury hotel that offers fantastic amenities and service, while retaining the feel of a private home.

How they rate it

"Perhaps you don't happen to have a rich, cultured, globetrotting uncle who lives in Rome; but if you did, the Lord Byron would be his kind of pad," says The Daily Telegraph. "This secluded, elegant, antique-filled, five-star hotel near the Borghese Gardens still does pampered, exclusive luxury like few others." The interiors are a mix of "Art Deco verve and Belle Epoque romance" that "manages to feel light and fresh". The 32 bedrooms are "as intimate a Roman retreat as one could desire, with warm colours, crisp linen sheets, bathrooms done out in Carrara marble and just a dash of Deco decadence".

The menu

The Sapori di Lord Byron serves up "light cordon bleu pan-Italian cuisine" and, in a clear sign of its success, is highly popular with locals. There is also an impressively huge wine list, although be prepared for some steep prices as you venture further down it.

The cost

Prices start from £188 per night, including breakfast. Find out more at www.lordbyronhotel.com, or call 00 39 06 3220 404.

How to beat the queues


The British may be the best queuers in the world, but that doesn't mean we always enjoy it. Here's how Laura Goodman in The Sunday Times Travel beats the queues at the world's biggest tourist attractions.

Avoid the masses at the top of the Eiffel Tower (pictured) by taking snaps on the second floor. It's the same height as a 30-storey building and "the view is sharper and lovelier than at the top, and you can make out far more of the city". If you're feeling fit you can dodge the queues by taking the 704 steps to the second floor rather than taking the lift. This option will also cut your costs a walking ticket costs £3.65, while the lift will set you back £11.

For a quiet view of New York, head to the Empire State Building after 11:30pm as it's open until 2am. Or head for another skyscraper. You can book online to go to the GE Building's observation deck in the Rockefeller Center (www.topoftherocknyc.com) and it costs £15, compared to £27 for the Empire State. "Your prize is a clear view of Central Park and Manhattan including the Empire State itself and hardly any wait time."

Beat the hordes to the Colosseum in Rome and cut your costs by buying a combination ticket for the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Forum. It costs just £10.50 compared to £12 for a Colosseum ticket alone and lasts two days. Visit the last two landmarks before heading to the Colosseum at 8:30am on day two.