Kolbe Hotel

Casa Kolbe
That tangerine building at the bottom to the left is the Hotel Kolbe. The crumbling brick structures behind it: Those are the palaces of Roman Emperors on the Palatine Hill in the Forum right across the street.

A classy hotel in a former monastery at the Forum's back door in Rome, Italy

A room at the Kolbe Hotel in Rome
The palm-shaded garden of the Kolbe Hotel in Rome
View of ancient rooms from Kolbe window

The Kolbe seems a world away from the craziness of the city, on a quiet, forgotten side street lost between the Tiber River and the ancient Roman Forum.

In fact, the back entrance to the Forum is just a few hundred feet away—cool, huh?

Those rooms that don't open onto the peaceful courtyard's palms and orange trees look instead across a little-trafficked street onto a romantically overgrown, semi-excavated portion of the ancient Palatine Hill.

The Kolbe exudes that somber quiet that only a former monastery can muster, but it's comfy.

It was recently renovated into a plush four-star hotel with a stylish modern look crammed with amenities, from plasma screen TVs and internet to mosaicked baths with Jacuzzi tubs.

(That rise in status, actually, is why I dropped it from a two-star recommendation to a one-star. Yes, it is now "nicer"—but it also nearly doubled its rates. It used to be a bland but fabulously cheap hotel with a primo location; now it's just a hotel with a primo location—decently priced, sure, but no longer fabulously cheap. By becoming fancier, it has lost some of what made it so special. But I digress.)

Rates & Availability

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Tips & links


Via San Teodoro 48, across the street and down a bit from the little-used back entrance to the Roman Forum
tel. +39-06-679-8866

» book

Bus: 81, 85, 87, 160, 160F, 628; 27, 780
Metro: Circo Massimo (B)
Hop-on/hop-off: Circo Massimo

Rome hotel & lodging links
Useful Italian for lodging
English (Inglese) Italian (Italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...a hotel un albergo oon al-BEAR-go
...a B&B un bed-and-breakfast oon bet hand BREK-fust
...a rental room un'affittacamera oon ah-feet-ah-CAH-mair-ra
...an apartment for rent un appartamento oon ah-part-tah-MENT-toh
...a farm stay un agriturismo oon ah-gree-tour-EES-moh
...a hostel un ostello oon oh-STEHL-loh
How much is...? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
a single room una singola OO-nah SEEN-go-la
double room for single use [will often be offered if singles are unavailable] doppia uso singola DOPE-pee-ya OO-so SEEN-go-la
a double room with two beds una doppia con due letti OO-nah DOPE-pee-ya cone DOO-way LET-tee
a double room with one big bed una matrimoniale OO-nah mat-tree-moan-nee-YAAL-lay
triple room una tripla OO-nah TREE-plah
with private bathroom con bagno cone BAHN-yoh
without private bathroom senza bagno [they might say con bagno in comune—"with a communal bath"] SEN-zah BAHN-yoh
for one night per una notte pair OO-nah NOH-tay
for two nights per due notti pair DOO-way NOH-tee
for three nights per tre notti pair tray NOH-tee
Is breakfast included? É incluso la prima colazione? ay in-CLOO-soh lah PREE-mah coal-laht-zee-YOAN-nay
Is there WiFi? C'é WiFi? chay WHY-fy?
May I see the room? Posso vedere la camera? POH-soh veh-DAIR-eh lah CAH-mair-rah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
Is there a cheaper one? C'é una più economica? chay OO-nah pew eh-ko-NO-mee-kah
Rome's hotel tax

In January, 2011, Rome began charging a hotel bed tax. This is the city's doing, and sadly it is not a scam.

The following tax rates are per person, per night for all guests over the age of 10 and can be charged for stays of up to 10 days:

  • 1–3 star hotels: €2
  • 4–5 star hotels: €3
  • B&Bs: €2
  • Apartments: €2
  • Rental rooms: €2
  • Agriturismi: €2
  • Campsites: €1 (up to 5 days)

So a couple staying three nights in a four-star room would pay an extra €18.

Some hotels have begun folding this tax into their quoted rates; others tack it on when you go to check out, so be prepared.

How long does Rome take?

Planning your day: Rome wasn't built in a day, and you'd be hard-pressed to see it in that brief a time as well. Still, you can cram a lot into just a day or three.

To help you get the most out of your limited time in the Eternal City, here are some perfect itineraries, whether you have one, two, three, or four days to spend in Rome. » Rome itineraries

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Hotel Casa Kolbe

Via San Teodoro 48, across the street and down a bit from the little-used back entrance to the Roman Forum
tel. +39-06-679-8866

» book

Bus: 81, 85, 87, 160, 160F, 628; 27, 780
Metro: Circo Massimo (B)
Hop-on/hop-off: Circo Massimo

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