Ideal four-star hotel in Rome – Kolbe Hotel Rome
Are you looking for the hotel holy grail in Rome, peaceful lodgings just a few minutes walk from the city’s historical heart? The Kolbe Hotel Rome could be the right Rome hotel for you. This refined, four-star structure has been enchanting hotel guests for 12 years, when this extraordinary piece of church estate at the foot of the Palatine Hill was first partially converted into a hotel. The other part is still monastery, in elegant and sedate quarters that sit a stately distance from the main building.
This year, for the first time, non-guests can also peek into this peaceful world as the Kolbe Hotel Rome has decided to open up its enchanting garden restaurant, Unique al Palatino, and roof terrace to the public for drinks and dinner.
I was invited to visit the structure on a warm February morning, and it was love at first sight for the Kolbe Hotel’s peaceful walled-garden – with a touch of cloister symmetry – and a breathtaking yes to its extraordinary roof terrace, overlooking the ancient ruins of the Palatine Hill.
The building’s inner core dates back to 1625. After a series of additions and renovations, the structure became a monastery in 1912. The last, most radical metamorphosis took place in 2007, with a meticulous renovation that gave the hotel its current appearance, while respecting the portion that is still inhabited by Franciscan Friars.
In the name of a saint
The Hotel is named after Father Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest who lived and studied here when it was the International College of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.
After his studies in philosophy and theology, Father Kolbe founded the Milizia dell’Immacolata, a work of devotion to the Virgin.
Having returned to Poland, he was deported to Auschwitz during the Nazi invasion, where he gave up his own life in exchange for that of another prisoner who had been condemned to death.
For this heroic act, he was awarded sainthood in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. A chapel and a small museum in the Hotel are dedicated to Father Kolbe.
Dining at Unique Al Palatino – Kolbe Hotel Rome’s garden restaurant
Whether you choose indoor or outdoor dining at the Kolbe Hotel Rome, expect a meticulous approach to seasonal ingredients at the sensational Unique Al Palatino Restaurant, combined with chef Ciro Tiano’s love of international travel and refined fusion food.
We started with a great example of chef Tiano’s fusion inspiration – empanadas filled with baccalà and dressed with sweet and sour sauce.
Next up, we moved on to this sensational marinated amberjack with spinach and olive creams, combined with tahini, prawns and pear. This proved a sensational combination of flavours.
It was time for the pasta course, and this dish artfully combined Roman traditions with gourmet dining. Essentially a pasta alla gricia – but with sword fish instead of smoked pig cheek – the tender asparagus tips brought a touch of the spring to the plate.
This was followed by a dish of succulent seared tuna fillet, with Catalan-style vegetables.
There was still room for dessert, a delicate whipped lemon cream with meringue rosettes and strawberry sauce. This hit the perfect tangy and tart notes while remaining smooth on the palate.
The Kolbe Hotel Rome is already open to non-guests for evening drinks and dinner at the charming Unique Al Palatino, so go ahead and book your table today. In the winter months and early spring, expect to dine in the charming indoor halls, overlooking the green garden, but from May-Septmber, plan on al fresco dining and drinks outside on a roof terrace which is set to become’s Rome’s hottest new outdoors space this year.
Testaccina was a guest of the Kolbe Hotel Rome. Book your room here.