For insider access to Rome’s lesser-known gems. J.K. Place Roma is a stylish, sophisticated and spoiling boutique hotel with chic interiors, attentive service and exceptional food.
Perfect for design-conscious travellers who enjoy the finer things in life; whether for a long weekend mini-moon, or as an aesthetically pleasing pit stop on an Italian road trip. There’s a palpable air of exclusivity without any pretentiousness at J.K. Place Roma, and the home-from-home layout and tempo instantly lowers shoulders and heart rates.
Set the scene
As though they are veering off a cobbled Roman street into a private home, guests enter a chic monochrome, fern-filled lobby where they are greeted with a cocktail. The impressive, neoclassical architecture is layered with low-slung sofas, oversized contemporary art and coffee tables piled with Assouline tomes. The space combines art, design and furnishings from multiple eras – from 19th-century French statues to mid-century Scandinavian furniture – all selected by architect and interior designer Michele Bönan. The result is an effortlessly chic, residential vibe that compliments the building’s elegant 16th-century bones. Like the enviable pied-a-terre of a friend with exquisite taste, it will have guests mentally redecorating their entire home the moment they arrive.
The beating heart of the hotel, the lobby is where Europe’s in-the-know mingle quietly over morning coffee, afternoon biscotti or early-evening aperitivo. Off the light-flooded atrium lies a cosy, wood-panelled bar, which in turn leads to the ochre-hued restaurant. A serene library-cum-drawing room with artfully curated bookshelves and an onyx fireplace completes the communal ground floor. The home-from-home theme is consolidated by a team of affable, low-key staff who cater for every whim. Tap into concierge Andrea’s impressive contacts and insider knowledge for a reservation at Rome’s hottest restaurants.
The streamlined styling continues in the bedrooms, which are decorated in shades of grey or with splashes of emerald green. Expect glossy dark wood and lacquers, contemporary four-poster beds and vintage mirrors and lighting. Artwork by Italian photographer Massimo Listri depicts the opulent grandeur of historic Italian palaces, contrasting with JK Place’s pared-back, (but still perfectly luxurious) modernity. Textural details such as linen bed drapes and headboards, boucle sofas and tasselled curtains soften the sharp edges and formal panelling.
Fashion and design coffee-table books are meticulously piled on antique chests and side tables, alongside an insider’s guide to Rome – highlighting the addresses to know. Bathrooms are a highlight, with polished teak floors and Italian marble walls framed by white wood panels. Full-sized J.K. Place toiletries, large walk-in wardrobes, Nespresso machines and complimentary minibars come as standard. Honeymooners should consider splashing out on the J.K. Master Balcony suite with its private terrace, a peaceful spot for an alfresco breakfast before spilling into the city.
Food & Drink
Aperitivo hour in the lobby is not to be missed: sip the hotel’s signature J.K. Sour cocktail while observing the stylish crowd. Aperitivo is served with overflowing bowls of delectable crisps and nuts, alongside substantial appetisers from the kitchen – careful not to ruin your appetite – hotel’s restaurant menu is worth saving a little room for.
With its jewel-toned decor, vintage Sputnik chandelier and plush velvet banquettes, J.K. Café serves a concise menu of elevated Italian classics. Top local suppliers provide ingredients for fresh and flavourful plates such as Caprese salad, prawn ceviche and salmon tartare with avocado, ginger and lime. Rigatone with six-tomato sauce is a house classic, as is the sinfully delicious Roman carbonara. The menu also features gourmet spins on American bistro classics – grilled meat and fish, burgers and salads. Charming sommelier Federico gives excellent recommendations from the extensive wine list, and won’t let guests leave without trying pudding – so save space for the melting-middle chocolate cake.
After dinner, take a seat at the bar with its backlit onyx wall for lethally good negronis. Be sure to drag yourselves out of bed in time for breakfast, also served at J.K. Café. With a menu featuring French toast and Nutella crêpes alongside eggs, fry-ups and avocado toast, it goes beyond the usual hotel buffet fare.
JK Place Roma opened in 2012 within the Palazzo Borghese, the 16th-century palace that was once the family home of the aristocratic Borghese family. It’s one of three J.K. hotels, the boutique group conceived by Israeli-Italian hotelier Ori Kafri and named in homage to his father. The other outposts in Paris and Capri attract a similarly discerning, design-conscious crowd. The group plans to open self-catering apartments in Rome, along with another hotel in Milan, by 2025.
The hotel prides itself on personalised service; returning guests are welcomed with gifts from designer brands, and partnerships with the city’s best restaurants and tour operators mean the team can make the near-impossible happen. Honeymooners should take advantage of the fleet of Fiat e-bikes and order a picnic to enjoy at the gardens of Villa Borghese, a 10-minute cycle from the hotel.
Thanks to a partnership with agency Rome x Love, the hotel can organise bespoke tours of the city beyond the usual tourist hotspots, tailored to guests’ interests: whether history, shopping or dining. It’s worth booking a walking tour early in your stay to discover the shops, bars and restaurants to revisit.
J.K. Place Roma is making a concerted effort to improve sustainably while maintaining the high standards guests expect – such as a paperless check in and creating Corian boxes for bathroom amenities previously housed in plastic. A J.K.-branded sustainable Tetra Pak is in the works and will replace plastic water bottles in all rooms.
Beyond the usual cots and high chairs, the team at J.K. Place Roma go out of their way to surprise tiny guests with presents and child-friendly treats. That said, digs this classy lend themselves best to a weekend à deux.
Hidden down an unassuming side street yards from the via Condotti, J.K. Place couldn’t be better located for some serious retail therapy, as well as being close to some of the city’s best restaurants. Tourist hotspots such as the Spanish Steps, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are all within easy walking distance – the Colosseum is around a 30-minute stroll. J.K. Place Roma is 30-45 minutes by taxi from Rome Fiumicino airport.
Nightly rates at J.K. Place Roma start from £710, with breakfast and taxes included. The JK Master Balcony Suite starts from £2,040.
To book, please visit jkroma.com
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