This week I am spending some time in Italy for a few business meetings. My first destination was in Rome, where I stayed at Santa Maria, a very charming hotel in the Trastevere area. I discovered the hotel on Trip Advisor where it had glowing reviews. Even thought I was there less than 24 hours, my experience there certainly echoed every one of those.
See that courtyard in the photo up there? I snapped it just after stepping out of my room this morning. Can you hear the birds singing? Can you smell the orange in the air? I could. It was all so gorgeous.
I checked in early yesterday morning, just after arriving in Rome from the US at 7:45 am. (Yaaaawn!) The lovely woman at the counter apologized that my room was not ready (even though I was there many hours before check in, so an apology was not needed!) showed me to the lounge where she offered me tea, croissants, a bathroom and a very comfortable-looking couch.
I ended up not staying long, as my tour guide showed up early take take me on a tour of the city. I hope to tell you more about that soon. Back to the hotel…
Hotel Santa Maria had everything one would want in a relaxing hotel… adorable setting, charming staff. This was not a slick, modern hotel, but instead one with all the comforts you want and need but with a lot of personality and personal touches. I was greeted with warmth, as if I was visiting a friend or was a VIP– but I most certainly am not a VIP!
The room was much larger than I expected and had a small minibar as well as a few complimentary snacks. Speaking of snacks….
I was unable to enjoy breakfast the day I left, as I needed to get to the train station too soon. However, during happy hour in the evening, they offered a delicious buffet of snacks like the ones in the photo above for free with any beverage purchase. How could I not enjoy a glass of Italian wine and those snacks in the lovely courtyard?! Around me I heard several languages and accents as couples and families exchanged stories. Gorgeous!
When it was time for me to go to the dinner, the bartender was again delightful in showing me the way I needed to go and then jokingly offering to go along as my guide.
After my dinner, when I returned to the area at about 11 pm, the area was bustling with people at nearby bars and trattorias. And yet, even with so many people around the corner, as I walked to the gates of my hotel, the noise drifted away and I was again at a peaceful, magical place.
I would definitely stay at the Santa Maria hotel again. I hope that the next time I am able to stay for at least two nights so I can slip into a more lingering, relaxing mode.
PS: Traveling to Paris anytime soon and looking for a hotel with a fun, carefree feel with a great staff? I’ve got the Paris hotel for you…