Palazzo Dama – Hotel Review
If season two of The White Lotus had you drooling at the mere thought of a decadent Italian soggiorno, Palazzo Dama is the place to book. Nothing is understated at this boutique 18th-century palazzo at the edge of Rome’s River Tiber: from the wellness spa all the way to the lounger-lined outdoor pool, this hotel is OTT, with a healthy serving of chandeliers and velvet upholstery in-between. Read on for the full review.
Where is Palazzo Dama?
You’ll find this chalk-white townhouse just off the banks of the River Tiber, on a busy street lined with towering sweet gum trees. The closest metro station is Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo, a few hundred metres away – from here, you can reach the airport (with a change at Termini Station). If you’d prefer to take a taxi, it takes about 30 minutes.
What’s near Palazzo Dama?
The stately expanse of Piazza del Popolo is tantalisingly close (a mere 300 metres away). At its edge is the Leonardo da Vinci Experience Museum, with interactive renderings of the master’s greatest inventions. Another 150 metres on from the museum, you’ll find the cusp of Villa Borghese, an inner-city sanctuary of generous gardens, placid ponds and wooded areas of welcome shade.
There are only 29 rooms at Palazzo Dama, which gives the hotel an exclusive edge. The offerings are mostly a crisp white with pops of deep blue or olive-green decor accents; a curved lounge here, a plump pouffe there. The result is less ostentatious than the common areas and a little more refined – the top-tier additions such as Acqua di Parma toiletries, bathrobe and slipper combos and elegant bathrooms that nod to yesteryear complete the picture. The Dama Suite is particularly special (especially if you’ve booked the trip for a celebration): the furnished private terrace is the place to enjoy a morning cappuccino, hot from the in-room espresso machine.
Restaurants and bars
In a break with the city’s widespread pride for local Roman cuisine, the on-site Nikkei eatery Pacifico is certainly a break with tradition. The Japanese-Peruvian fusion menu – which gets a nod from the Michelin guide – is carefully plated, fresh on the palate and exceptionally bright in its assembly, making for a fresh change from the carb-heavy options that proliferate the city. The restaurant itself (where breakfast is also served) is like the inside of a flamboyant birdcage, adding to the fun.
There’s also Pisco Bar that teams with the cuisine theme, set under chandeliers sourced from New York’s Plaza Hotel.
Travel for work
There’s wi-fi throughout the hotel for remote working but it’ll be more of a work-from-lap situation in rooms where there’s nothing to fashion a desk from. You could always take your laptop to the pool terrace (if you’re not easily distracted, that is).
Pool and spa
You’ll hardly be able to help how often you’ll revolve around the outdoor pool and terrace area. In the evenings, it’s an aperitivo dream with the bone-white palazzo facade framing the area and, during summer days, a glorious respite from the city’s crowded, hot streets.
Angelo Caroli Health & Beauty Spa and attached wellness is yet another beautiful space to recline within. The buffet of indulgences is vast, despite the hotel’s diminutive size: there’s a Finnish-style sauna, whirlpool, three treatment rooms and hydrotherapy showers.
What you need to know
If you’re a light sleeper (or the opposite of a night owl), be aware there’s a nightclub housed under the hotel that operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the wee hours. Rooms on upper levels are best to avoid the ricochet of noise from below.
Best for: Party people
Number of rooms: 29
Rates: From €348
Parking: Not available
Address: Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia, 2, 00196 Roma
Phone: +39 06 8956 5272
Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at qantas.com/hotels