From £181.63
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OVERVIEW

The exuberant and irreverent Mama Shelter brand's first outpost in Italy; expect sensory overload from the bright, playful and often downright wacky design, which sees all public areas adorned in, and festooned with, print-clashing fabrics and hung with cloud-or coffee-maker-shaped lights. The 217 rooms are catered for by three restaurants and there's a spa and gym in the basement.


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Rooms available from £181.63 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Mama Shelter resides in the otherwise prim residential neighbourhood of Prati, relatively far from most of the city's sights, flanked by apartment buildings and the odd café and grocery store. However, it's within walking distance of the Vatican, and there's a metro station close by which connects easily with the central hub of Termini. You can't argue with St Peter's Basilica, that magnificent, domed, 16th-century cathedral which plays host to the Pope's address every Sunday.

By plane: there are direct flights to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci International Airport from London (2 hours 25 minutes), Manchester (3 hours 5 minutes) and Bristol (4 hours 45 minutes). The hotel is a 40-minute drive from the airport. Book flights to Rome.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

You'll either love it or hate it; subtle, discreet and minimalist are not in Mama Shelter's vocabulary. Everything which can be dialled up to 11 has been, and the décor is a riot. However, it all works. The main restaurant, Giardino d'Inverno, mixes floral-patterned fabrics with colourful rattan lampshades, extensive greenery and wrought iron dining chairs, while the table supports of the lobby pizzeria are shaped like marble columns. All of it brings a smile.

THE FACILITIES

The largely young, hip staff are accommodating and friendly, and armed with advice on what to go and see, and - crucially - how best to get there. The facilities on site include the brand's first-ever spa area, with a stylish indoor pool, sauna, steam room and a small gym.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Roof terrace
  • Spa
  • Gym
  • Pool
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

The décor in the rooms is much calmer, featuring soft, pastel-coloured walls in tones of pistachio, primrose and sugared almond, with the ridiculously comfortable bed taking centre stage. These are hung with cartoon masks, while either a sofa or armchair is upholstered in a pretty floral print. Bathrooms are contemporary and spacious, with own-brand products featuring cheeky slogans such as 'Mama likes to keep it pure'.

Room types: Medium, Large, XL

Key amenities: double bed, ensuite with shower, organic toiletries, Smart TV with free films, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

You can choose to sit and eat pizza in the bright and colourful lobby Pizzeria, have brunch or lunch on the rooftop restaurant (in season) which comes with spectacular views across the city, or dine in the lavishly decorated Giardino d'Inverno. They take the food seriously here, making their own gelato on-site, while bread comes from the same bakery which supplies the Vatican.

Pizzeria: blend of classic Roman and Neopolitan pizza styles. Open for daily lunch and dinner. Pizza from €8.

Giardino d'Inverno: classic Italian flavours, modern technique. Open daily. Mains from €10.

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