'A home in Rome'
Sometimes I wish I didn't have a heart which was 60% full of hatred of hostels. It would make finding accommodation infinitely easier.
Sleeping in Rome is a daunting prospect - a superficial scour of the internet tells you that your only options are to spend big bucks on big hotels or to spend shrapnel on a room with many other travellers, accompanied by many more rucksacks.
Don't believe it. They're not your only options.
Enter, ‘The Beehive Hostel'
The Beehive Ho(s)tel - note the (s) - is an eco-conscious boutique hostel, or ‘poshtel’ if you will, located in the heart of Rome. It has all the amenities you’d expect from a modern boutique guesthouse, and more, all for the price of a hostel.
What’s not to love?
Linda and Steve opened the doors to The Beehive in 1999 with an aim to give people what they want - beautiful, budget accommodation with some incredibly friendly service.
Rooms range from 8 bed dorms (from $25) to private ensuites (doubles start at $60), so there’s something for ever type of traveller and every budget. Linda and Steve have four different properties in the area - The Sweets, Hotel Dell'Urbe, Acacia Guesthouse and Clover Guesthouse - a testament to how much people love The Beehive.
I actually stayed in a room at Hotel Dell’Urbe, which is under five minutes walk from Beehive HQ. My room was simply but tastefully decorated, kitted out with everything a traveler could need (wifi, linen, air-con) as well as some additional extras, like some rather exceptional vegetarian soap. I don't want to start getting weird about soap but if I could stuff my hand luggage full of the stuff and get it through Ryanair baggage control, I would.
The Beehive is more than just a reasonably priced room in Rome though. When I arrived at the hotel (a sweaty mess, daunted by the prospect of making the most of such a mammoth city) I was greeted by cheery receptionist Francesca who gave me the lowdown on the best sights to see first, what to eat, where to drink and a tour of the hostel.
The Beehive is full of homely, open spaces. There's even a small garden at the front of the hostel; a surprisingly tranquil space in such a hectic city.
The basement lounge is stuffed full of books, magazines and photographs of the family - the kinds of details which make you feel like you’re staying in a home, not a hostel.
The Beehive Cafe, which is open for breakfast from 7.30am -10.30am offers up some incredible vegan/vegetarian breakfast options. Mario even whipped me up a huge bowl of that substance I have been deprived of for three whole months, PORRIDGE.
Everyone who works at The Beehive loves Rome and they love to make people love Rome. To make sure we all make the most of it, the lovely lot at The Beehive have even created an app (my new favourite toy). It's a nifty tool for navigating your way around the labyrinth that is Rome, with plenty of recommendations on what to see, where to drink, where to pick up a pastry, and essentially everything you would like to find in Rome.
They have thought of everything.
I actually felt a bit sad to leave my home in Rome.
Poshtels of the world take heed, consider The Beehive an education in everything a boutique hostel should be.
The Beehive is located a short walk from Termini Station, the most convenient (if not the most picturesque) part of town. You definitely wont need to invest in a Metro ticket though, all the key sites are within walking distance.
Prices start from $25 for dorm rooms and $60 for private doubles.
I stayed at The Beehive 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.