Call me boring (you’re wrong) but is there any greater joy than that which when, you throw open the door to your new home for the night/weekend/fortnight, sweating profusely and dragging 20kg of luggage behind, you are greeted by the site of a beautiful hotel room, fitted with things (unlike your own house) which actually work and look fabulous at the same time?
I think not.
Such was my feeling when I entered my room at The Blue Hostel.
Pure, unadulterated joy.
This Guesthouse (I am hesitant to call it a hostel but we’ll get to that bit later) is housed in a former Seventeenth Century Convent, and was entirely refurbished in 2013. Rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, fitted with high timber framed ceilings and parquet floors, with a serene view over a small private courtyard, which makes it absurdly quiet and tranquil for a noisy part of town.
All rooms are en-suite, and come complete with LCD TV, great wifi and coffee and tea making facilities. They’re also full of the kind of little details which make you feel really well looked after, like lovely little bottles of toiletries, glass carafes of cold water in the mini-fridge and enough travel guides on Rome to keep you room-bound for the entire holiday.
I was greeted by Ercole, proprietor of the hotel, who welcomed me enthusiastically (despite my dishevelled appearance), gave me a tour of the room, and even provided me with a custom made Blue Hostel map of the City, complete with recommendations and tips of places to eat, drink and take photos.
See, they’re very good at the details.
The Blue Hostel is close to the papal basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and Piazza Vittorio Emmanuelle II, just under a ten minute walk to Termini Station (the most useful station in the city). Termini isn't the most picturesque of locations, but it’s certainly one of the most convenient and all sites are within an easy walking distance. There are also plentiful trattoria, pasticeria, enoteca and bars to keep your thirst quenched and your belly happy.
Room prices start from €130 per night in high season, which by Rome’s standard in the summer, are extremely reasonable, particularly if there are more than two of you.
Now, there has been much hoohaaing about the rise of the ‘luxury hostel’ or ‘poshtel’ or whatever you want to call it. I’m hesitant to use the term myself because there’s very little of a hostel about this place. Perhaps my definition is outdated but, to my mind, even a good hostel conjures up images of ‘budget’ but ‘basic’ rooms, with a communal area thrown in for good measure, to encourage travellers keen to mingle.
This is not the case at the Blue Hostel.
This has all the trappings of a modern, boutique hotel.
I’d be hard pressed to find any fault in the place, aside from it sitting at the summit of quite a few steps and not providing milk for afore mentioned tea making facilities (but just writing that makes me feel absurdly British and pernickety).
The Blue Hostel is the perfect place from which to experience Rome - beautiful, intimate and perfect for those who aren't looking for 'basic' but are within a budget. Plus, Ercole and the rest of the staff have lived in the Rome for years, and are always on hand to provide helpful tips and suggestions on how best to use your time.
It’s hospitable hospitality at its finest.
For more details on The Blue Hostel visit
I stayed at The Blue Hostel as a guest. As usual, all options and views expressed here are entirely my own. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't write about it.