By Chloe Sachdev
July 08, 2020
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This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

As one of the countries hit first and hardest by the coronavirus, Italy has exercised caution as it gradually resumes activity after lockdown. And though travelers may not be able to return quite yet, the capital of Rome remains at the top of many must-visit lists. With its handmade gelato, vintage Vespas, and iconic landmarks on nearly every cobblestoned street, the Eternal City continues to enrapture Travel + Leisure readers year after year. There are glittering shops, fresh twirls of pasta and, of course, an endless supply of stylish places to bed down. From grand hotels with acres of marble to discreet design-forward bolt-holes, travelers have their pick — but there are, of course, the standouts.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

The top five Roman hotels return again this year — though the order has shuffled — and location continues to be a priority for T+L readers. (All five properties are located in the center of Rome and within walking distance of attractions like the Villa Borghese.) This year, Hotel Eden, part of the Dorchester Collection, moved up one notch to take the No. 4 position. Built in 1889, it’s close enough to the heart of the city, but its perch on a hill shelters guests from the immediate bustle. “I loved the panoramic view over Rome from the rooftop bar,” gushed one reader. “You can’t beat the location and atmosphere, or the specialty cocktails.” And the palatial St. Regis Rome (No. 5) is still a beacon of luxury at 126 years old.

Both the Hotel De Russie (No. 3) and Hotel Hassler Roma (No. 2) retain their respective ranks from last year. The former, a Rocco Forte Hotel, feels like a hidden oasis with its verdant garden and courtyard. As one reader said, “beautiful hotel and rooms, and amazing service, food, and staff, but the location is truly the star. It’s near everything that matters in Rome.” The same could be said for the family-owned Hotel Hassler, a grand dame that opened in 1893. It sits at the very top of the Spanish Steps.

But the best hotel in Rome — the one that seems to be locked in the hearts of T+L readers — is J.K. Place Roma, a returning champion for the third year in a row.

1. J.K. Place Roma

Courtesy of J.K. Place Roma

Score: 95.09

More information: jkroma.com

Since opening in 2013, J.K. Place Roma has amassed loyal fans. The boutique hotel is set in a grand 17th-century building that was once Rome’s school of architecture, though it feels more like an impossibly chic townhouse. The 30-room enclave is located in Rome’s historic center, just off the Via Condotti, which puts the Trevi Fountain and glitzy boutiques of Via del Corso within a five-minute walk. Every element of the stay feels carefully considered, from the discreet check-in experience in the living room to the elegant décor in the bedrooms, many of which have four-poster rosewood beds, dark wood panelling, and bathrooms accented with marble. As one reader summed it up: “First-class service, stunning facilities, top-notch food, and a great central location.”

2. Hotel Hassler Roma

Courtesy of Hotel Hassler

Score: 92.67

More information: hotelhasslerroma.com

3. Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel

Courtesy of Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel

Score: 91.95

More information: roccofortehotels.com

4. Hotel Eden, Dorchester Collection

Courtesy of Hotel Eden

Score: 89.88

More information: dorchestercollection.com

5. The St. Regis Rome

Courtesy of St. Regis

Score: 89.44

More information: st-regis.marriott.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.