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The Palazzo Manfredi is a bucket-list worthy hotel in the heart of Rome. It’s a small, boutique property but it offers one of the most memorable hotel views you’ll probably ever have: a sweeping view of the Roman Colosseum. I recently stayed at this property for three nights and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Here’s my Palazzo Manfredi Review.
Relais & Chateaux
The The Palazzo Manfredi is a part of the Relais & Chateaux, which is a collection of independently owned and operated luxury hotels and restaurants, representing approximately 500 establishments globally.
This is important to a lot of readers because one of the many benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is that it offers special perks for Relais & Chateaux properties.
At these properties, you can receive a VIP welcome which includes things like a bottle of champagne in room on arrival and also free breakfast (but not at this property).
You can also get accelerated access to Club 5C status with Relais & Châteaux after staying just 2 nights at qualifying properties in a 12-month period.
I actually used Bonwi.com to book this hotel, though.
Palazzo Manfredi location
The Palazzo Manfredi’s location is superb.
It’s literally a (small) block away from the Colosseum.
For us, the Colosseum was the main attraction for Rome and so it was nice to be so close to it. Being next-door allowed us to view it at several different points throughout the day as the lighting changed.
One evening there was a beautiful sunset and we were able to go on a short stroll in the Park of Colle Oppio and watch the sunset with the Colosseum in the foreground, which was a very cool experience.
The only reason the hotel is a block away from the Colosseum is because it’s directly adjacent to the ruins of the most prominent Gladiator school in Rome known as, Ludus Magnus.
So right next to the hotel is where gladiators slept, ate, and trained for battles.
Their training sessions were often open to the public so crowds of up to 3,000 people would gather just outside your hotel room to witness these sessions. I don’t know about you but I found this site extremely interesting even though we weren’t able to go in.
Visiting the Colosseum
There are a lot of different tours and ticket packages that you can get for the Colosseum.
If you’re planning on visiting the Colosseum make sure you read my guide for buying tickets.
The first thing I couldn’t believe when we arrived was how close we actually were to the Colosseum.
From the entrance of the hotel, the Colosseum is right there.
As someone who had never seen the Colosseum before, this was such a cool feeling and it immediately got me pumped about our visit to the site planned for the next day.
The hotel lobby is small and cozy but has a very classy feel to it.
There’s a collection of umbrellas at the front door which came in handy several times during our visit — not just with blocking the rain but also helping our taxi drivers know where we stayed.
We were instantly met by one of the hotel staff members who was about as charming as could be.
He explained everything about the hotel to us and then gave us a quick primer about all of the different major attractions in Rome and how to get there from the hotel as he handed us a map.
He really did make us feel right at home and every time we passed him up in the following three days, he was just as gregarious as he was that first moment. It was very impressive and made me feel good about our hotel selection.
We took the stairs up to our room but there was an old-fashioned elevator.
I ended up trying it out once and it ran just fine (very smooth) but being the claustrophobic person I am, I preferred the open air of the staircase.
After making it up the stairs, we walked down a small hallway to our room.
Palazzo Manfredi room
Our hotel room wasn’t huge but it was very nice and came with a very comfortable bed.
There was a glass of bubbly and two glasses along with chocolates awaiting us as we checked in to the hotel.
There was also a big TV with a comfy bench below it.
The room came with an international cell phone which you’re allowed to take with you. We gave it a try and while it took a while to get it going, we eventually were able to make a call back to the US with it.
There’s a glass shelf with some interesting decor in it by the bed.
I personally thought the decor was cool (though a little odd). The only issue was that the glass shelf extends kind of far from the wall and when getting out of the bed, I came a little too close for comfort to the shelf.
There’s also a little stool.
In the corner of the room, there’s a small cabinet with coffee machine, snacks, and a small mini-fridge.
As you can see, there’s not much room for anything other than drinks inside the mini-fridge.
In the closet, there’s a set of robes, slippers, safe, and a couple of drawers you can put to use.
The hotel room view
We did not have a direct view of the Colosseum from our room. I believe only the suites have those direct views but I would check with the hotel to confirm.
However, looking out the window we could see the gladiator school.
If we poked our head out the window, the Colosseum came into view, however.
The bathroom, while not huge, was nice as well.
There’s a shower/tub with a window that opens up.
Water from the shower sprays all on and inside of the boot decor by the window so it’s a little odd but not a major deal.
One interesting feature is that there’s a window looking into the shower from the bedroom. There are some privacy stripes but no blinds so if you don’t want someone taking a peak at you from the bedroom, there’s not much you can do.
There was both a toilet and a bidet.
The sink area is nice but very small with only one sink and not a lot of counter space so things do feel pretty tight within the bathroom.
Over the sink, there’s a large oval mirror.
Breakfast was such a memorable experience each morning.
We made our way up to the rooftop each morning to have our meal.
Breakfast consisted of a combination of a small buffet and custom orders of hot items like eggs and crepes. I wasn’t too crazy about the crepes but the eggs were pretty fantastic each morning.
I also fell in love with the sugary pastries and definitely had too much of them each morning.
The buffet had a full spread of cheeses, meats, fruits, berries, cereals, breads, yogurts, and more pastries.
It’s not the biggest hotel buffet I’ve ever seen but the items we had were high quality and a great way to start off each day.
One cool thing about the restaurant is they they grow their own herbs up on the rooftop and you catch them snipping them off for fresh flavor.
But what really made the breakfast special was that you’re given a fantastic view of the Colosseum. We were the first up for breakfast each morning, so we were able to pick our seats anywhere we wanted.
I can’t think of many hotels with a better view for breakfast than this one.
Each morning we watched the sun cast its bright orange light on the Colosseum as it rose and it never got old to me.
There’s something about hotels that offer views of iconic landmarks like this that I find ultra-special. It’s like getting a special pass for that attraction for the duration of your visit.
Because it was a bit cold and raining off and on, the rooftop terrace had a glass cover/ceiling pulled out. But when the weather is nicer, they remove the top so the view gets even better.
Dinner at Aroma
We tried out dinner at the Michelin star restaurant known as Aroma. It’s an extremely romantic setting for dinner up on the rooftop terrace and if you stay at this hotel, then I highly recommend giving it a try.
This was a great dinner but I can hardly remember it because we had the dinner the first night we arrived and we had been flying for a long time.
We’d just done two puddle jumper flights in the Maldives, the flight from MLE to AUH (+ a four hour layover), AUH to LHR (+ a five hour layover), and then LHR to FCO.
I didn’t sleep on any of those flights or during any one of the layovers so I was extremely exhausted when we arrived but because this was the only opening for the restaurant, we decided to stay up a few hours for dinner.
With that said, I do recall the appetizers and the ravioli dish being excellent as was the service.
There is no gym at this hotel. :/
We usually stay at big chain hotels but we decided to do something a little different for Rome and try out a fancy boutique hotel. I was 100% happy with the decision to do so. I think the locations, views, and service, were incredible for this stay and left me very impressed.
I think booking a suite would have really put the stay over the top but getting that Colosseum view each morning for breakfast helped make up for that.
If you’re looking for a nice luxury property near the Colosseum, then I highly suggest giving this place some consideration.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.