When in Rome… check out Mama Shelter Rome.
It’s a great sign when you hear Italian spoken everywhere (and no worries, English is, too). Mama Shelter Roma is not just a place to stay, it’s an actual place to be. The locals come mostly for a good-looking and tasting brunch or dinner at one of the restaurants or cocktails with a view one the rooftop bar (where it’s all about seeing to be seen), but this fun four star hotel’s also our new favorite place for friends and family to stay in comfort and style. This isn’t your typical tourist hotel, but that’s a good thing in our book. From the gelato-inspired color scheme, quirky design and fun Mama-branding, there’s something fresh and special about this group-friendly favorite close to Vatican and some of our favorite non-touristy sights.
Who doesn’t like a good (sound-proof) night of sleep when traveling — especially when staying in the city center of a busy city like Rome? Do you get excited too about staying in a newly opened hotel?
We sure do at Inside Europe. Not only have we checked out every hotel our travelers check in to, we actually make it a point to seek out new hotel openings wherever we go.
Just like a good article requires thorough research, so does our work: crafting one-of-a-kind experiences for curious travelers. Knowing the accommodation options in our destinations is key to a good nights’ sleep for our guests. Often tour operators, especially the big ones, offer a very limited number of hotels in each city — for many reasons, but as a boutique travel company, we prioritize seeking out unique places to stay, just as we revisit hotels that have already made our curated list of personally vetted accommodations.
Mama Shelter started in France in 2008 and since 2014 is part of the ACCOR group. Here is the brand message in a nutshell: “More than simply rooms or restaurants, Mama Shelter is a living space, a truly urban refuge not just beautiful and modern, but popular, fun and friendly. Based in the cities we love, full of life and where modern history is written, Mama opens its arms to people of all ages and backgrounds allowing them to meet and share the house dishes lovingly created by our Chefs, a cocktail prepared by our barmaids and barmen or even a cosy bed they’ll never want to leave.”
Mama Shelter Roma (aka Rome in Italian) is the newest “kid” in the hotel family that is not just hip, but also surprisingly family-friendly and affordable for most. Located in walking distance to the Vatican Museums, the property is part of a true Roman neighborhood which becomes quite obvious in the evenings: Rooftop, the bar + restaurant on the top floor of the main building is a draw for guests and locals alike. Sip a cocktail as the sun sets, enjoy a light dinner — the panzanella was excellent! — or try one of the Roman craft beers on tab. There is plenty of seating around the bar as well as on the large terrace. There are even foosball and ping pong tables, but the best feature is people watching: including the bar team making specialty cocktails inspired by the Rooftops’ Roman location. If you stand on your tippy toes in the right spot, you can catch a glimpse of St. Peters Basilica. During the day, the area is dedicated to lounging, tanning and relaxing.
Five Things We Love About Mama Shelter Roma
There is a room for everyone: single travelers, couples, friends, even families of four or five. Plus, with 200+ rooms, chances are pretty high that there is space, especially when booked in advance. Beds are comfy, the towels are fluffy and the bathrooms are sparkling clean. And, you’ll get to sleep in actual queen and king size beds — which is a rare at the four star level.
At Mama Shelter Rome, the food is fresh and absolutely delicious, which is not a given at most hotel restaurants. Rome is a foodie city and we strongly encourage our travelers to eat out, but before or after a long day of exploring, eating in at Mama Shelter Rome won’t disappoint nor break the bank. Our favorite dishes: panzanella and the freshly made pastas. Have you tried an Amatricana d’Estate yet? YUMMY! The pizzeria was’nt open during our visit, but the ovens are state of the art, so the Neapolitan-style pies shouldn’t disappoint.
Lobby and XL elevators with a HIGH fun factor: The vintage vibe from the ground floor restaurants, coffee shop and bar carries through the colorful lobby full of vintage games from pinball to fussball into the for Rome quite large elevators. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but when you check-in at Mama Shelter, you’ll see for yourself what’s happening on the way to/from your room.
Breakfast worth getting out of bed for! Colazione, breakfast’s not just another buffet at Mama Shelter Rome and even the filtered coffee’s decent. Although, you should opt for a cappuccino or at least order an authentic Café Americano, if you’re a coffee drinker. If you’re not all that hungry in the morning, there’s one local specialty you can’t refuse to try: Maritozzi. These brioche-style Italian sweet buns are flight, fluffy, filled with whipped cream and topped with powdered sugar. Maritozzi originated in Rome and are a divine treat for breakfast — and throughout the day. We also loved all dishes we tried at the hotel restaurant.
Location, location, location. Originally built as an office complex, Mama Shelter’s part of the ‘real’ sub-urban post-war Rome, and that means you’ll see laundry drying on clothes lines, Italian nonni (grandpas) sitting on plastic chairs on the sidewalks talking up a storm, plus you’re less than 10 walking minutes away from the Vatican (which is closer than the official tour bus drop-off point). Also nearby: Mercato Trionfale, the oldest and largest local fresh-produce market in town – if not in all of Europe. It’s another not-for-tourist sights we recommend to check out during your stay, especially if you’re hoping to get a closer look at the real Rome.
That list could go on and on as Mama Shelter Rome also offers an indoor pool, free movies (mom or dad, make sure to set up those parent controls tho before leaving the younguns alone with the remote), and lots of highly instagramable public areas. This is not just another Roman hotel, but part of our Inside Europe Sight-Sleeping Collection for the aforementioned reasons. And then there’s their caring team of hosts, at the front desk, in the restaurants, the roof top bar and also in housekeeping and maintenance. It’s hard to come across hotel staff in a busy place like Rome that genuinely enjoys welcoming guests and the many good reviews online confirm our very positive impression.
We’re counting down the days to come back to Mama Shelter in Rome. Andiamo?