I liked the place so much I used it on a family holiday the next summer, and have recommended it to many others since. All reports have always been good.
The hotel sits at the bottom of the Via Veneto, near the Piazza Barberini. This is definitely the high rent district. The legendary Hotel Excelsior and Hotel Eden are up the street, as is the impressive American Embassy. The Hassler, the hotel near the Spanish Steps and adored by film stars, is just a short walk away. You’ll pay about half of what those hotels charge, while benefiting from their neighbourhood. (Being a bit down the street, you’ll also avoid the prostitutes. Ironically, because the super-premium Excelsior is the only hotel within central Rome big enough to host large corporate conferences, the pavements in front of it have become a haunt of the oldest profession.)
The 60-room Alexandra comprises two 19th century buildings knocked together. Rooms are generously sized for a big city hotel and have an English traditional feel about them: shirt-stripe wallpaper, chintz bedspreads, classic prints in mahogany frames. The hotel went through a major renovation in the late ‘90s, so everything is fresh and in good repair.
The better rooms are in the front, higher up. You want the front because the Via Veneto is an impressive street and you’ll enjoy throwing open your windows and drinking in the view. The street winds down a hill and is lined with gracious 19th century architecture. This is the only tree-lined major street in Rome, cool and shady in the heat of the summer. Directly across the street is an impressive church. Crane your neck to the left and you’ll see a broad, white marble staircase short-cutting almost two stories up a hill, with more impressive architecture at its top. The Via Veneto is a busy street, of course, and can be noisy. Thus the recommendation to go for the top floors.
The only drawback of the Alexander is its public rooms. The lobby is attractive but tiny. There’s a small lounge off of this on one side, and a breakfast room on the other. (A continental breakfast is included in your room rate.) But you wouldn’t want to hang out for long in either place. Why linger indoors, after all, when the Via Veneto is filled with sidewalk cafes open late. When in Rome, do as they do. Grab a table on the street, wearing cool designer sunglasses and drinking Campari.
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April 12, 2011
November 14, 2009
November 27, 2006
October 15, 2006
From journal Roman Holiday
New York City, New York
March 15, 2003
From journal Enjoying Rome
by Bear in Britain
Windsor, United Kingdom
November 9, 2002
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