Hotel Lancelot, Rome

The Hotel Lancelot was one of the highlights of our stay in Rome. It’s a beautifully appointed hotel with a timeless feel in a wonderful location (very near the Colosseum) and run by the sort of charming, experienced and knowledgeable owners that you have to search seriously hard for nowadays. Here are a few photos and observations that we made during our stay, and at the bottom of this review is a video that’ll give you a further idea of the hotel.

Location – We took about twenty minutes to walk to the hotel from Termini Station, and perhaps five to walk to the Colosseum. The area remains relatively residential and extremely quiet considering it’s proximity to one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations. From the public upper terrace of the hotel there are fine views of much greenery, church domes and spires and of course the Colosseum and the monuments beyond.

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Check In – We were expected and were checked in within minutes. The building was started in the 1930’s but finished after the war and the reception area, bar and lounge are very easy on the eye and ear (somebody can often be heard tinkling on the piano in the lounge). The staircase, if you choose not to take the lift, is constructed from wide, solid, faux marble, the sort of construction that echoes gravitas and that, sadly, they don’t often make anymore.

The staff are friendly and unshakable, the epitome of the ‘stay calm and carry on’ attitude that the British love to claim as their own but which actually inhabits those of a certain class and temperament regardless of nationality. Over the days of our stay we were to gain great joy from our conversations with the very gentle, cultured owners, who were often to be found manning the reception desk along with other staff.

The dinner menu was displayed in the lift daily.

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Our Room - Each room at the Lancelot is decorated differently. Before we talk of our own room, here are a few images of other rooms that we saw during the course of our stay. First, a suite on the top floor, which was rather Japanese in style with it’s sliding doors, sense of delicacy and slanting light. Couple the decor with the wide doors and balcony view and you have an idylic living space; we loved the room but were thankful we weren’t staying in it. If we were, we might have been in danger of not stepping outside the door (and that would’ve been a shame, as Rome is a lovely city!).

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Other rooms, such as our own, impressed with their sheer size, wooden floors, ‘Grand Tour’ style décor (including light-shades with maps on them, and hand tinted 19th century images) and ‘just so’ decor – there was neither too much furniture, nor too little. Here is our own room.

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The furniture was sturdy and there was a large, deep pile red rug on the floor; it was like a home, and just what people would want after an arduous, overland travel from England in the old days (we’d been on the road for a few months ourselves and had travelled from Athens on the day we checked in so we appreciated it too!).

The widescreen TV showed several channels in various languages, English included, wi-fi was free and fast enough and on a Sunday the room was so quiet (even when we had the balcony door open) it was as if nobody else, anywhere, was alive.

A final point to note; the pale grey/lilac and white paint scheme of the bathroom, which matched the lilac coloured toiletries, was as well thought out as everything else is in the hotel. We learnt from the owners that each room has been decorated by them personally. They’ve visited antique markets regularly over the years and collected good quality, characterful furniture with each of the hotel’s seventy plus rooms in mind.

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Chances are you won’t get to stay in our room when you visit the Lancelot, so here are a selection of images showing other rooms, and views from those rooms, that we took during our stay. As you can see, whatever room you get, you’re going to experience a homely, classy environment.

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The Bar – A well stocked bar is on the ground floor; there’s a sitting room just off of it and also an outdoor sunken patio.

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Breakfast – A feature of eating at the Lancelot is that the large tables are round in shape and guests are encouraged to sit and share their meals with other guests, as they would have been many years ago in any civilised hotel. Sadly this isn’t common at other hotels now, in fact, the Lancelot is the first place we’ve experienced it in a great many years. Usually clients are offered privacy nowadays and encouraged to cut themselves off from other guests but the Lancelot’s policy harks back to the golden era of modern travel, the 1950’s and 60’s, where a more international, friendly atmosphere reined in hotels such as this.

The dining room is long and tall, lit by daylight filtered through floor length translucent white drapes and by several chandeliers. Breakfast is a range of juices (three or four choices), tea and coffee, hot milk (with Nesquick chocolate milk), oat or rice milk substitute, four or five cereals with accompanying nuts and dried fruit, fresh fruit, cuts of cold cheese and meat, boiled eggs, roman rolls (large and airy) and several choices of croissant, conserves, rusk, toast and cake. In all, there was a large choice of food with a very local feel to it. Here are some images that we took at breakfast.

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The Public Areas – Between reception and dining hall are two public sitting rooms where you can play piano, read the daily papers or books that hold the history of the hotel, or play board games.

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Here’s a short video that we made during our stay. It’s not meant to be a glossy promo film, more an honest look at what you might experience yourself if you stayed at the hotel.

We consider the Hotel Lancelot to be one of the very finest family run hotels we’ve ever experienced. The service is the sort that can only be offered by passionate, experienced hoteliers and, it goes without saying, is competent, genuine and welcoming. It’s a wise choice for Rome, in our opinion, so please do visit their website to learn more - http://www.lancelothotel.com/

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