We landed in Rome after a 4 hour departure delay – tired, hungry, jet lagged, one over-packed mom toting a toddler, a suitcase, a backpack and a traveling crib. Stepping off the crowded train at Roma Termini put us on the crowded platform – Rome in September is high season and it felt like half the world was in the train station. A quick negotiation of the station landed us on Via Cavour, and just one quick block later we were welcomed in to the perfect family hotel in Rome.
The sun-baked dusty buzz of the city disappeared as glass doors whooshed open, cool air washing over me. At noon on a weekday, the spacious lobby was hushed and empty, clean marble floors and warm wood paneling providing a gracious welcome after a tiring journey. The Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio – steps away from Roma Termini and a welcoming respite from the rush of the city just outside the doors.
I had selected Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio partially because of its stellar location – close to the train station and walking distance to most of Rome’s sights, it was very convenient for a short visit that was bookended by train travel. More importantly, I love the service we get at the Bettoja Hotels, a group of luxurious, family hotels in Rome. I had arrived well before check in, so we had a brief wait in the plush lobby while they finished preparing our room.
The lobby is delightful: a small mahogany bar anchors plush red seating with plenty of private nooks and art from the late 1800s – it’s a space I can imagine Audrey Hepburn discreetly awaiting her next adventure. A little less exotically, I enjoyed a perfect espresso while Avi noshed on some complimentary dolci – small offerings of cookies and fruits, perfect for a mid day energy boost. We had barely finished before the concierge came to let us know that our room was ready, and in fact, all our luggage had already been whisked up.
The hotel is large, only 6 stories tall but featuring 185 rooms. It was built in the early 1900s with some rooms facing the street and others on an internal courtyard; the courtyard rooms are by far quieter than those on the outside, especially those overlooking Via Cavour, though the double-paneled windows definitely cut the noise down. All of the rooms feature seating areas with complementary coffee and tea service, flat screen tvs, a mini fridge, and a desk; some have large walk-in closet areas while others have cabinetry and armoires.
Herringbone parquet floors, art deco inspired plush seating, heavy drapery and tailored bed linens are uniformly comfortable. Regardless of size, the rooms are marvelously maintained, though slightly dated – the hotel confidently stands as a grand old dame, completely uninterested in trendiness but self satisfied in her knowledge that she’s got class, style and substance. My only complaint: the wi-fi is spotty. Sometimes it’s great in the rooms, sometimes not so much – no real rhyme or reason.
We had a top floor double room facing the internal courtyard, with a spacious closet (perfect for a baby travel crib, which the hotel provided) and a huge bathroom. Honestly, the bathrooms at the Bettoja Hotels are larger than many of the hotel rooms I’ve stayed in throughout Europe. I didn’t see all of the different bathrooms at Hotel Massimo, but those that I peeked in share the same features: expansive granite countertops, frequently with 2 sinks; toilet and bidet, and, most importantly for someone intent on walking miles and miles each day: generous soaking tubs.
The amenities are my favorite: in addition to the usual soaps and lotions, the rooms at the Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio also come with bath salts – perfect for the long evening soak that is such a luxury when traveling!
Complimentary breakfast is served in a large room on the main floor, just off the check in desk. The spread is quite varied: breads, cornetti, pastries, fruits, prosciutto, cheeses, scrambled eggs, bacon, yogurt, cereal – literally just about anything to start the day right, which is just one of the many reasons this was a great family hotel in Rome. The coffee machine creates perfect espressos and cappuccinos at the touch of a button, and an abundance of juice, milk and water round out the offerings. Without fail, the staff was always accommodating, offering a high chair for my daughter and bringing me extra napkins “just in case” – and as we all know, toddler eating habits are ALWAYS in need of the “in case!”
The hotel restaurant is very well rated, and features a wine cellar that is actually a real cave. Special events and regular dining can be booked in the cave – we had only a moment to drop in, but I look forward to the next trip when I can have some more time to enjoy the ambiance, wine and dinner!
Overall, Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio is an excellent hotel for families looking for a spacious, comfortable stay in the heart of Rome. With on site dining and a network of other hotels in the area that share spa and gym facilities, this family hotel in Rome is accommodating for all needs, and its central location means that many sights are within walking distance. The concierge was helpful in pointing out some areas of interest for us to check out on our wanders, and always welcoming on our returns. With the Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio, I always happily say “arrivaderci” – until we meet again!