By Meghan Crawford
“Reservation for Crawford.” I handed my passport and credit card to the concierge behind the glossy oak-paneled counter. “Benvenuto, signorina,” he greeted me with a warm smile. While he pulled up my room number and ran my card, I took in the lobby: room keys dangling from pigeonholes lining the rear wall, sleek marble flooring, and a tiny elevator cheerily announcing its arrival on the ground floor. It was hard to believe that less than two hours prior I had been surveying the depressing sight of an Airbnb nightmare. Stray hairs littered the clearly unwashed sheets, damp towels dangled over the back of the desk chair, and the smell of stale cigarette smoke lingered in the air. What do you do with accommodations that bad? Take a deep breath — sorry, open the windows first — then call Albergo Cesari. It was by sheer luck that I remembered the hotel where my mother spent her honeymoon 15 years ago. Albergo Cesari provided her with exceptional service and was able to do the same for me, saving my one-night Roman holiday. In fact, they’ve been providing that same incredible service coupled with unbeatable location since 1787.
So it was by happy accident that I wound up in the Eternal City’s best hotel for a single-night stay. The Albergo Cesari is a three-star, family-owned hotel located at 89/A Via di Pietra. It’s within easy walking distance of the shopping district, the Parthenon, and the Trevi Fountain. Even St. Peter’s Basilica is achievable if you have a good pair of walking shoes, 20 minutes, and a large water bottle. In addition to the easily accessible city sights, the hotel itself certainly measures up. Make friends with the concierge and let him teach you a little Italian and where to find the best gelateria on Via di Pietra. Kick off your dusty walking shoes, and bask in the blessed air conditioning after a long day of shopping or sightseeing. Enjoy an espresso in the terrace gardens and watch the sun setting over the terra cotta rooftops or snag a cocktail at the open air bar before exploring la Fontana di Trevi after dark. Bounce on the beds if you want to; they’re pillow soft. Most importantly, soak up true Italian hospitality and feel like part of the famiglia while seeing as much of Rome as possible.
Best of all, the rooms at Albergo Cesari are reasonably priced, with singles starting at just $144 per night. And they’re more than happy to schedule a same-night reservation — just in case your well-laid travel plans fall through. If you find yourself in the Eternal City for only one night and want to make the most of your stay (without spending most of your money), book a room with Albergo Cesari online at www.albergocesari.it/en. Or call +39 06 6749701, like I did. I placed that call around 11:30 a.m. and handed over my luggage to the friendly hotel staff slightly before 1 p.m., which just so happened to be check-in time. Within 15 minutes, I was on my way, gelato in hand, to see all that Rome has to offer.
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