We usually avoid hotel chains (decidedly impersonal), but this one is the crown jewel of the Meliá group, officially called Gran Meliá Rome. Located blocks away from the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Castel Sant’Angelo, Villa Agrippina is an authentic Italian villa, an urban oasis with beautiful landscaping and a great swimming pool, perfect to cool down during peak sun hours and in between strolls around the city (we admit the pool gets a little crowded sometimes, but the staff is super helpful). A Clarins Spa adds to the allure, as does the contemporary and sophisticated décor throughout, in light shades and large windows that allow in plenty of light to brighten the ambiance. We really enjoyed its proximity (ten-minute walk) to Trastevere, one of the liveliest nights in the city and the many small likeable piazzas, restaurants and bars in the area (be aware this is the left bank of the river, however another ten-minute walk will take you to Campo de Fiori). Rooms and suites are wonderfully decorated, with large paintings, parquet floors, luxurious upholstery, first class linen and spacious bathrooms. Some suites face the pretty gardens and bring you a relaxing feeling amidst the hustle and bustle of the historic city of Rome. Point to note, Villa Agrippina is atop a small hill, so do take it into consideration when planning your walks. If you like staying at larger hotels, instead of boutique ones, this is a very good option!