Hotel Capo d’Africa, Rome | Hotel Review

From the archives: my review of this smart hotel near the Colosseum in Rome

Hotel Capo d’Africa ****

Verging on luxury standard, Hotel Capo d’Africa is a breath of fresh air in Rome. Unlike most Rome four-stars, this would be considered a comfortable and elegant hotel in any country. Newly and thoughtfully refurbished, the hotel is peaceful and pleasant. It’s located in an attractive spot up a small street from the Colosseum (a short walk from Colosseo metro station).

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Our review

We stayed at the Hotel Capo d’Africa anonymously in March 2005, having booked a good rate online. We’ve stayed in a huge number of Italian hotels, from one-star to five-star, and this hotel really struck us as something out of the ordinary for Italy. From the moment you arrive, mounting the steps outside, it’s clear that this is a high-class hotel; nothing like Rome’s standard tourist fare.

Where other hotels are content to tick the boxes, supplying the minimum of facilities needed for their star ratings, the Capo d’Africa is clearly aiming to go a step beyond. From the ubiquitous hotel monogram to the comfy bathrobes and slippers, this is far more like international five-star standard.

Reception staff were polite, although service was rather impersonal. Our suitcases were carried to our room, where we were left to explore the facilities provided. The bathroom was spotless and pleasant, with bath, shower over and choice of mirrors – ideal for make up. The room itself was reasonably spacious and well-furnished with desk, armchair, walk-in closet, safe, mini-bar, tv and a range of lighting options. We particularly appreciated the attention to detail evidenced in touches like the extending clothes-line above the bath and the pencil and notepad by the phone.

Breakfast was a generous buffet on the top floor of the building – where an outdoors terrace has lovely views. Breakfast was presided over by a very friendly woman who was an excellent public face for the hotel.

We were amazed by how quiet the room was. We were at the rear of the building, overlooking rooftops, and we didn’t hear a peep from the city or from other guests. We slept like a log until a rude awakening at 6am, when an automated wake-up call – unrequested – disturbed our slumbers. The response at reception, when we complained, was disappointingly off-hand (“someone must have given us your room number”). This event was the only quibble in what was a very comfortable overnight stay. We wished we were staying for longer.

We used to visit a friend living on this street, and we already knew how lovely the neighbourhood is. A small network of streets, dating back to Ancient Rome, stretch up from the Colosseum towards San Giovanni in Laterano – a surprisingly untouristy atmosphere prevails, although there are plenty of restaurants for the traveller. The nearest attractions are the Celio hill, San Clemente and the Colosseum, but the rest of Rome’s attractions are within 10-30 minutes walk. There are bus, tram and metro stops by the Colosseum, making it easy to get about the city.

Address: Via Capo d’Africa 54. Take Metro Linea B from Stazione Termini, and alight at Colosseo. Turn left, pass the Colosseum and walk towards the row of restaurants on the far side. Via Capo d’Africa is one of the narrow streets leading up away from the monument. The hotel is at the far end, on the left.

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Hotel Capo d’Africa review by Italy Heaven editors.