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Three Roman Hideaways

David Cicconi The Inn at the Roman Forum

Photo: David Cicconi

Portrait Suites

Location

A four-story palazzo at the corner of Via Bocca di Leone and the storied Via Condotti, above the Ferragamo flagship store. Portrait Suites is part of the Lungarno Hotels group, owned by the Ferragamo family.

First Impressions

A smiling concierge posted at the discreet street-level entrance whisks guests up to a second-floor reception lounge, where an equally amiable duty manager checks them in. Refreshments are proffered while documents are processed; an Italian couple on their second stay laughed incredulously when the concierge greeted them by name and added, “Cappuccino for you, sir, and a chilled apple juice for you, madam, if I remember correctly?” The interiors, by house designer Michele Bönan, are chic and sexy in extremis: heathered ice-blue flannel chairs and headboards echo the silver-blue silk curtains, lined in a vermilion satin printed with the Ferragamo logo. Walls are black-stained French oak; framed photos and sketches from the Ferragamos’ private collection line the staircase. The roof terrace is all teak furniture and Zen-style potted grasses—a perfect foil for the dizzying Baroque splendor it overlooks. (It’s also the only public space in the hotel for lolling about; there’s no lobby or lounge, and breakfast is served in-suite.)

Rooms

All 14 have walk-in closets and fully stocked kitchenettes (espresso machines; bone china; Boffi fridges packed with milk, juice, Sicilian cookies, and wine). In the bathrooms, mirror-lined swing doors separate the toilet and bidet from the sink and shower area; slate-gray pure marble floors invite barefoot traipsing. A standard double somehow has space for a small sitting area, a three-way standing mirror, a little desk, and a 42-inch wall-hung plasma TV.

Sore Spot

The room’s stock starts to slide after the third or fourth time one has rolled into the crack between two twin mattresses masquerading as a king-size bed. It’s 2007; surely these are available in Italy by now?

Trump Cards

Six-star turndown service, with classical music on the Tivoli sound system, his-and-hers slippers, a cashmere blanket laid at the end of the bed, a breakfast menu next to the phone, and a plate of biscotti from Moriondo & Gariglio. And the staff: knowledgeable, fast, and friendly without being overfamiliar or obsequious.

23 Via Bocca di Leone; 39-06/6938-0742; www.lungarnohotels.com; doubles from $490.

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