Hotel Isa is an
upscale, family-run boutique property located in the bustling and upmarket district of
Prati in the center of Rome. The location is excellent, with plenty of bars and
restaurants nearby, and almost all of Rome's major sights within
walking distance. Rooms are well-finished -- though styling might not be to
everyone's taste -- and some open on small balconies. The show-stopper,
however, is the wonderful rooftop terrace offering enviable city views. Prices
can be low compared with similar hotels in the area, especially considering that an outstanding breakfast is included in the room rate.
Artful blend of
contemporary minimalism and classical Roman touches
This relatively unassuming 19th-century building impresses immediately -- a
monolithic black-stone check-in desk dominates the high-ceilinged reception
room, which seamlessly blends contemporary minimalism with classical touches
that hark back to ancient Rome -- a motif that continues throughout the hotel.
Opened in the 1960s, Isa Hotel started as a seven-room boarding house but has
been expanded and modernized by the same family over the years. Today it comprises 53 rooms over five floors. The mix
of old and new is skillfully rendered in the swish lobby lounges, where marble
floors, a fireplace, and coffee table sit alongside modern art and chesterfield
sofas. An old-fashioned, wrought-iron elevator takes guest to smart hallways,
or all the way to the hotel's wonderful rooftop, panoramic terrace garden,
which provides enviable vistas of the city and views of St Peter's Dome.
in Rome's Prati district not far from Vatican City
The hotel is
centrally located in Rome's upmarket Prati district -- a commercial and
residential area of Rome that buzzes with offices, restaurants, cinemas, cafes, bars,
and every kind of pastry shop. The impressive Castel Sant'Angelo and Palace of
Justice are close by -- less than 10 minutes away on foot -- and Vatican City and its world-famous Sistine Chapel are within a
20-minute walk. The Spanish Steps and the Pantheon are also within a 20-minute walk, but in the other direction. The nearest metro stop, Lepanto, is a
10-minute walk away and connects to the Termini Railway Station.
distinctive interior design in air-conditioned and soundproofed rooms
The hotel has 53
rooms, no two of which are identical, although each is either classical or modern in style. Interior design is quite idiosyncratic, with
angle-cut mirrors and bespoke fixtures, while bathrooms are finished in marble (showers have a seating ledge) and include toiletries. Amenities include free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with
satellite channels and pay movies, minibars, and safes. All rooms are air-conditioned and soundproofed against the noisy street below. Some rooms also open onto small
furnished balconies, and Superior Rooms include seating areas with sofas.
buffet breakfast served with city views on rooftop terrace
The highlight of
the hotel is its superb rooftop La Terrazza di Isa where an extensive hot and
cold buffet -- including omelets, bacon and eggs, and Italian cheese and hams
-- is served free of charge, with excellent views over the city (weather
permitting). Wi-Fi is free and available throughout the hotel, and there an internet corner for guests' use.