I love it when Jack and I discover a hotel that is reasonably priced, close to everything a city has to offer and managed by folks that make us feel like family. When we are in Milano we stay in our Milanese home away from home – Il Girasole High Quality Inn. Now, I am excited to have finally discovered such a place in Rome! Our Roman home away from home will be Charmsuite.
Charmsuite literally found us. Isabella, a New Jersey pal of mine, invited us to meet her Italian architect friend. Over dinner we discovered that the charming Ruggero Donati was not only an incredible designer/architect but was quite entrepreneurial. He and a group of friends rehabbed a large space in a 16th century Centro Storico building. Raffaello Charmsuite has four rooms for rent that all include a kitchenette and are bigger than some New York City studio apartments. A painting of namesake Raffaello festoons each elegantly appointed room/suite. Even though the rooms are large, comfortable and easy to hang out in, what makes Charmsuite a home away from home are the folks who manage it.
Alessandra and Carla answered all my questions in advance including alerting me to their pick up service. Wow, having a driver that costs less than a taxi meet us at the airport, help schlep the bags and deliver us to the door made me feel like a classy chick. Our driver was so helpful, he even found a Mail Boxes ETC for me and drove by it. (When we are taking a train, we ship our suitcases ahead of us.) Alessandra warmly welcomed us and showed us to our room. Ruggero has created unique room configurations. The kitchenettes were concealed in furniture, beds float in the middle of the room creating a second usable space behind a half wall. Some suites are large enough for families. Alessandra speaks a number of languages. Her English is perfect, yet she was willing to let me speak Italian and gently correct me. She told us where to shop to stock our refrigerator, how to take the bus to explore areas further out and how to navigate the transit system. When we left we exchanged numbers and I hope we see her again.
Charmsuite is located at Via del Banco di Santo Spirito, 21, 00186 Roma RM. That means you can walk to just about any site you’d like to see or grab a bus and explore further out. Piazza Novana, filled with cafes, is a short walk away. In three minutes we walked across the bridge to visit Castle S. Angelo and afterward made a quick right and found ourselves at the Vatican.
We were in Rome the first week in December and friends who were on their way to visit us in Pontelandolfo stayed there the second week. Cindy tells me that she loved the fact that she could spend the day walking and eating, eating and walking. They walked everywhere, including the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. I will admit that after our flight I mostly slept, went to good restaurants and explored all the little narrow neighborhood streets. We did discover a wonderful museum, Museo Napoleonico, that featured art and furniture from the Napoleonic period. As we drifted in – it was free – we discovered a classical concert was to start! What a lucky day for us. We had a great Roman holiday.
Next time we are in Rome, we will stay at Charmsuite, our Roman home away from home.