There’s never been a better time to visit the Eternal City. Every corner you look there are countless historic monuments, but with fewer tourists in town their infamous queues are now almost non-existent. The narrow, cobbled pathways of Rome are significantly more enjoyable when you don’t have to overtake strolling tourist groups whilst dodging speeding vehicles. And if you stay at Singer Palace Hotel, you will be at the heart of history.
The name comes from the fact the building was formerly the Roman headquarters of Singer, the world-famous sewing machine company. The iconic building was reconverted to a stylish boutique hotel by the Visocchi family in 2018 and they’ve made sure the many art deco touches were retained. From the antique sewing machines by reception to the unique curved wooden lift to the exquisite marble staircase, this is sheer heaven for hotel guests with an eye for design and history.
Although you don’t have to look far for touches of modernity, the Rooftop Jim’s Bar is a wonderful showcase for modern Italian design with cosy nooks to enjoy sumptuous cocktails and an outdoor terrace with beguiling views of Rome, including an uninterrupted view of the tomb of the unknown soldier.
They might have only 30 rooms and suites but do check out their website as they have 10 different categories/types of rooms. I stayed in the terrace suite and the first thing you’ll notice is how unusual it is to have such commodious outdoor space in the historic centre of Rome. They’ve managed to fit in a hammock and a dining table.
The suite is tastefully decorated with statement pieces, from ornate bedside lamps to designer prints. Also present are a flat-screen TV that connects to the internet, premium linen and slippers, and a feather-free duvet. They also provide welcoming sweet and savoury treats to ensure you feel right at home from the moment your step through the door.
The bathroom is particularly impressive with luxurious marbling throughout, a rainbow shower head that is almost the size of a flat-screen TV, and top-quality toiletries courtesy of Ortigia. Toiletries are replenished regularly throughout your stay.
Food and drink
Considering the size of the hotel, the fine-dining experience you get at the Terraces restaurant is truly surprising. I savoured their shrimp tartare which was paired with pistachio sauce and wild herbs. The beautiful rawness of the dish exemplified just how fresh their ingredients are.
I would suggest having a light lunch and visiting their restaurant for dinner so you can order both a primi and a secondi. They offer many classic Roman dishes such as baccalà which is salted cod served up with paprika-infused bread and potatoes. Ordering a pasta dish is a must and you can’t go wrong with their tonnarello with three peppers.
Indulging in an aperitif or digestif at their bar is one of the exceptional highlights of the hotel. Their award-winning bartender, Federica, will mesmerise you with her innovative creations using more quirky spirits like lychee liquor to offer her distinctive twists on classics. They can even arrange a bespoke cocktail masterclass with the maestro herself.
The great thing about visiting a boutique, family-run hotel is that everything is personalised. The Visocchi family has been running hotels for generations and with their unrivalled contacts, they can pretty much arrange anything you desire, budget-permitting.
Taking advantage of their prime location, I would highly recommend a walking tour around the surrounding neighbourhood. We took part in a guided tour with Eyes of Rome in which we discovered hidden gems like The Church of St. Ignatius and reputedly the best coffee shop in Rome, Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffè. But we also visited the most famous monuments, too, like the Trevi Fountain. In pre-pandemic times, you might struggle to even get close to the fountain to throw your coin to make that all-important wish. Nowadays, you have all the time in the world to get that unimpeded photographic masterpiece.
In a nutshell
Singer Palace Hotel is emblematic of the 21st-century Roman spirit, effortlessly blending history with modernity. It’s a family-run business that doesn’t sell its soul to corporate monoliths. The small personal touches here and there guarantee you won’t just fall in love with the eternal city, but with this boutique hotel, and you will keep coming back for more.
Singer Palace Hotel offers rooms from €293 per night.