Now open in the heart of Rome: a cool new hotel with personality that doesn’t cost a small fortune


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Want to stay in a trendy, vibrant hotel in one of Europe’s most popular cities, without spending your entire travel budget? This is now possible at Mama Shelter Roma, which opened in Rome this summer, a short walk from the Vatican.

It is the first Italian outpost of the boutique hotel brand (co-founded by Serge Trigano, who helped launch Club Med), which is known for its eclectic and youthful aesthetic (some early locations were designed by Philippe Starck). This character is evident as soon as you enter the lobby, which has a mosaic floor and eye-catching ceiling with artwork by French graphic designer Beniloys.

The spa-like Mama Baths in the Rome location are a first for the boutique hotel brand.

The 217 rooms (starting at $ 189) are vibrant, with blush walls, floral-print furnishings (like armchairs and benches at the foot of the bed), and neon-lit mirrors. Spaces are generally comfortable (expect showers, not deep soaking tubs), though some have balconies and larger rooms can sleep up to four people. Additional touches include toiletries from organic French beauty brand Absolution and playful character-themed eye masks (think Spider-Man and Darth Vader) waiting on your pillow instead of the standard chocolates.

In a first for the hotel company, the Rome location includes a pastel-colored, spa-like space called Mama Baths, inspired by traditional Roman baths. Relax in the swimming pool, sauna or steam room before having a drink at the bar in the “relaxation zone”.

One of the comfortable and lively rooms at Mama Shelter Roma.
A guest bathroom, equipped with organic French toiletries.

Once you’re refreshed, check the events calendar for live music, take part in a friendly foosball competition, or have fun in the photo booth, all located in the common areas. You can also enjoy the view from the lush and spacious rooftop terrace, which has a solarium and serves tapas and appetizers throughout the day.

Of course, a trip to Italy isn’t complete until you can dine like a local. For Coffee, pasta (try the cacio e pepe ravioli with Sichuan pepper) and other classic dishes (such as sea bass fillet with vegetables), reserve at Giardino d’Inverno. Or treat yourself to a slice (or two) at Mama Pizzeria, which looks like a charming roadside restaurant and Roman gallery combined, before heading back to the party.

Relax on the deckchairs on the roof of Mama Shelter Roma.
Admire the view of the city?  including St. Peter's Basilica?  from the spacious roof.

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Travelers are reminded to check for public health restrictions that may affect their plans.

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